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Keeping Pace

NHRA Celebrates 50th Winternationals In Pomona

The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series kicks off its 2010 season this weekend in Pomona, Calif. with the running of the 50th Annual Winternationals.


Courtesy: NHRA Media Relations

 

 

From the legendary cars and stars of yesterday to today’s 0-to-100-mph-in-less-than-a-second dragsters, the ‘best value in sports’ just got even better

 

 

 

POMONA, Calif. — In today’s increasingly fast-paced and mobile world, with its 0-to-100-mph-in-less-than-a-second dragsters and the wildly frenetic action in the open pits, perhaps no sport on the planet does a better job of attacking boredom from all angles than the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

 

 

 

Whether you’re 16 or 66, whether you know that AOL’s Hottest Athlete Ashley Force Hood races a Ford Mustang at 300-plus mph, if you live in Southern California, you should drop what you’re doing and make plans to attend the 50th running of the Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals presented by Valvoline, Feb. 11-14, at storied Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (ticket information at 800-884-NHRA or ticketmaster.com).

 

 

 

“This will be a once-in-a-lifetime event not just for drag racing fans in Southern California, but for all Southern Californians,” said Gary Darcy, NHRA senior vice president, sales and marketing. “To see – and feel – an NHRA drag race in person is the ultimate adrenaline rush in sports. Combine that with our unparalleled Open-Pit access, and all of the really extraordinary activities we have scheduled to celebrate this 50th running of the Kragen O’Reilly Winternationals, and you have a package that we couldn’t be more excited to offer to sports fans and families here in our home market of Southern California.”

 

 

 

Already renowned as “the best value in sports” by the SportsBusiness Journal for all of the ways fans can entertain themselves at an NHRA event, they’ll have to come up with a new category to characterize the value of a ticket to the 2010 NHRA season-opener.

 

 

 

To mark the milestone 50th running of the iconic Winternationals, NHRA has scheduled a series of “events-within-the-event” that will transform Auto Club Raceway at Pomona into a virtual hot-rodding amusement park for the weekend.

 

 

 

In addition to what fans can already expect at an NHRA race – the open pit access, interaction with drivers and crews, witnessing the quickest accelerating vehicles on the planet and so much more – among the scheduled events specific to the 50th running of the Winternationals include:

 

 

 

• The Golden 50 Corral Car Show, effectively a museum displaying the cars including Roland Leong’s Hawaiian and Don “The Snake” Prudhomme’s Hot Wheels Funny Car that laid the foundation for today’s 7,000-horsepower, 300-mph dragsters

 

 

 

• Daily Cacklefests, featuring top cars from the last 50 years in one of the oldest traditions in drag racing

 

 

 

• Autograph sessions with NHRA legends, including Shirley Muldowney, “Big Daddy” Don Garlits, Bob Glidden, Kenny Bernstein and many, many more

 

 

 

• Exhibition runs by legendary tribute cars on the Auto Club Raceway track

 

 

 

• The unveiling of the Greatest Moment in Winternationals history (the complete list of moments can be found on NHRA.com)

 

NHRA has also launched an event-specific Web site that is chock full of features that will help first-time and returning fans heading to Pomona for this historic event, including lists of all past winners, plenty of vintage video and a decade-by-decade look back at the second-longest running event on the NHRA circuit behind only the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.

 

 

 

• SCHEDULE: Pro qualifying sessions are scheduled for 3 p.m. on Feb. 11-12 and at noon and 3 p.m. on Feb. 13. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14.

 

 

 

• TICKETS: Tickets are available for the 50th annual Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Valvoline. Call NHRA at (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit nhra.com or ticketmaster.com.

 

 

 

• ON TV: ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 11 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, Feb. 13. ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise NHRA Race Day, a 30-minute pre-race show, at 10 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, Feb. 14. ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise three hours of eliminations coverage beginning at 8 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Feb. 14.

 

 

 

• LUCAS OIL SERIES: The 50th annual Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Valvoline also will feature competition in seven categories in the NHRA Lucas Oil Series, where the future stars of the NHRA Full Throttle Series earn their racing stripes. Lucas Oil Series qualifying begins at 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 11. Lucas Oil Series eliminations begin at 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 12.

 

 

 

• ON THE WEB: Get live timing, scoring, multimedia and the latest news updates from every NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event on the Internet at www.nhra.com. Visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

 

 

 

* * *

 

 

 

SCHUMACHER HUNGRY TO INCREASE HIS LEGEND AT LEGENDARY RACE

 

    

 

POMONA, Calif. – With seven Top Fuel world championship trophies on his mantle, including the last six in a row, some might think it’s a chore for Tony Schumacher to pump himself up for yet another season, another title run, to try and keep his dominating streak going.

 

 

 

But Schumacher says he doesn’t have those problems. He’s a racer, pure and simple. He says he was ready to race the next weekend after last year’s finals. It’s been a long winter for the Chicago-based speedster.

 

 

 

So as his U.S. Army team rolls to the starting line for the first time in the 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season at the 50th annual Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 11-14 at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Schumacher, arguably the greatest Top Fuel driver in NHRA history with 61 career victories, will be itching to get the season started like never before.

 

 

 

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) are the defending winners of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event, which will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD.

 

 

 

As an A-plus student of the sport of drag racing, Schumacher knows the importance of this milestone event and all the legends that have come before him. To know that his name is now mentioned alongside Don Garlits, Kenny Bernstein and Don Prudhomme, to name a few, as one of the greats, gives Schumacher even more motivation to succeed.  

 

 

 

“It all starts at the Winternationals,” said Schumacher, who won NHRA’s prestigious season-opening event in 2004 and 2008. “The biggest names that have ever won championships in racing and just races in general started right there.  So that’s the place.  The history of racing comes from California.  To go out and perform at that race from the first get‑go, man, you just can’t beat it.  It was an amazing thing to be able to accomplish.”

 

 

 

Schumacher’s Winternationals titles came during some amazing championship runs during the last decade. He claimed world championship titles in 2006 and 2007 in dramatic fashion during the closing moments of the season. In 2008 he had one of the most dominating runs ever, ultimately capturing the prestigious DRIVER OF THE YEAR title for all of motorsports. However his title last year – a two-point thriller over rival Larry Dixon – may be his most satisfying of all. He won the title with a new crew chief and new teammates, defeating former tuner Alan Johnson and most of his former crew.

 

 

 

“It was an amazing year last year to be able do what we did,” Schumacher said.  “To be able to go out there after losing Alan Johnson and my whole Army team and beat them by two points, which is what everyone in the world showed up to watch.”

 

 

 

Schumacher expects another tough battle with Dixon and the Al-Anabi Racing team. However, many other drivers will be in the championship hunt as well, including Antron Brown, who swept the Western Swing last season in his Matco Tools dragster, veteran Cory McClenathan in the FRAM Tough Guard dragster, a reenergized Brandon Bernstein in the Copart dragster, and Morgan Lucas, who won three times last year in the GEICO Powersports dragster.

 

 

 

“We’re giving them the best show I’ve ever seen,” Schumacher said of the competition in NHRA Top Fuel.  “It is brutal right now, the hardest thing I’ve ever been a part of. Best show I’ve ever been a part of.”

 

 

 

Schumacher still gets a chuckle at all of those prognosticators who predicted his downfall last year. And he knows there may be a few who still think last year was a fluke. No matter, he plans to keep his expectations in check and focus on the task at hand, just like he’s done for the last six championship-winning seasons.

 

 

 

“I never expected to win six championships in a row,” Schumacher said.  “And I don’t expect to go on and win every championship from here on out.  The competition’s too tough.  We’re going to show up, qualify the best and run the best we can each round.  At the end of the season we’ll know where it falls.”

 

 

 

• SCHEDULE: Pro qualifying sessions are scheduled for 3 p.m. on Feb. 11-12 and at noon and 3 p.m. on Feb. 13. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14.

 

 

 

• TICKETS: Tickets are available for the 50th annual Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Valvoline. Call NHRA at (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit nhra.com or ticketmaster.com.

 

 

 

• ON TV: ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 11 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, Feb. 13. ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise NHRA Race Day, a 30-minute pre-race show, at 10 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, Feb. 14. ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise three hours of eliminations coverage beginning at 8 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Feb. 14.

 

 

 

• LUCAS OIL SERIES: The 50th annual Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Valvoline also will feature competition in seven categories in the NHRA Lucas Oil Series, where the future stars of the NHRA Full Throttle Series earn their racing stripes. Lucas Oil Series qualifying begins at 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 11. Lucas Oil Series eliminations begin at 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 12.

 

 

 

• ON THE WEB: Get live timing, scoring, multimedia and the latest news updates from every NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event on the Internet at www.nhra.com. Visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

 

 

 

* * *

 

 

 

FUNNY CAR TITLE CONTENDER FORCE HOOD CAN JOIN STRONG FEMALE LEGACY OF WINNING AT TRADITION-RICH WINTERNATIONALS

 

 

 

POMONA, Calif. – Ever since Shirley Shahan raced past Ken Heinemann for the 1966 Stock Eliminator victory and became the first female winner of a national event in NHRA history, the Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals has become a race that’s known for the girls beating the boys.

 

 

 

In Top Fuel, four women have visited winner’s circle at the tradition-rich event at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. The legendary Shirley Muldowney was the first female to win a Top Fuel title and raced to two victories here, in 1980 and 1983. She was runner-up in 1982. Lori Johns won in 1990, Shelley Anderson in 1994 and most recently Melanie Troxel opened with a Winternationals victory in 2006.

 

There has never been a female in a Funny Car final round at the Winternationals, but that could change this season. Ashley Force Hood, who finished second in the Funny Car point standings last year with two wins in eight final rounds, comes into the much-hyped 50th anniversary event Feb. 11-14 as a heavy favorite to win the race, as well as the pre-season favorite for many to win the world championship crown.

 

 

 

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) are the defending winners of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event, which will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD. 

 

 

 

Force Hood, who has claimed many firsts during the past three seasons, including first female in her category to go to a final round, win a race, lead the point standings and hold the national speed record, to name a few of her accomplishments, seems poised to make more history in her Castrol GTX Ford Mustang. She understands what it would mean to be a part of the great Kragen O’Reilly NHRA Winternationals legacy.

 

 

 

“It’s just a huge event,” Force Hood said.  “The first race of the year kicks off everything.  Everybody new out there, new sponsors, new fans, it’s the race you want to do well at and start your year strong.  It definitely gives you a great confidence boost if you are able to start your season on such a great note.  And I think it’s going to be a big deal. I know that NHRA is promoting a lot and doing a lot of special events and activities.  It’s going to be exciting.  I hope we can do well there.  It is a tough one to win because you are coming back after a few months off.  You might have a change in crew members or changes with your car. But we’re all out there.  That’s what’s on everyone’s mind in their off season is to go out and win that race. Especially this year.  It’s such a special one, it’s going to be cool.”

 

 

 

While she’s heard the rumblings that she may have the car to beat this season, she puts it all in perspective. It may be an overused cliché, but she’s taking them one race at a time. Her car may top 310 mph, but her focus on the season is slow and deliberate.

 

 

 

“We’ve got to go out there for the Winternationals and we’ve got to qualify,” she said.  “We’ve got to utilize every qualifying run.  Get that info that we need.  I need to get my experience in the car and then go out there hopefully on Sunday and have a strong race.  That is the way that we believe, and every team might have a different philosophy for how they do it.  But we try to not even get so far ahead to where we’re thinking of the championship points.  For now we want to win the Winternationals.  We want to qualify and win the Winternationals.  So that’s where our goals are set as of today.”

 

 

 

After finishing 10th in points in her rookie year and sixth in 2008, her second-place run last year came up a few points short of teammate Robert Hight, who claimed his first championship title. Hight’s Auto Club Ford Mustang will be just one of the very tough competitors she’ll have to face in order to win the Winternationals and the season title.

 

 

 

In addition to Hight, other top contenders in Funny Car include her father, 14-time champ John Force, last year’s third place finisher Ron Capps, 2008 champ Cruz Pedregon in his Snap-on Tools Toyota, fellow-Ford drivers Tim Wilkerson and Bob Tasca, two-time champ Tony Pedregon and the always tough Del Worsham.

 

 

 

“I believe in Funny Car the competition has gotten so close,” Force Hood said.  “That’s why the fans love to see the Funny Car category.  There are so many different teams, every pair that goes up there is a car that can run a great time.  There is nobody really dominating anything.  So it’s exciting to watch, and obviously, it’s exciting to be a part of that.”

 

 

 

And in terms of the Full Throttle Series championship hunt, Force Hood isn’t putting any extra pressure on herself or her race team.

 

“Maybe the championship will be ours, and maybe it won’t,” Force Hood said.  “You know, the talent, the skill, all those things are so important.  Sometimes you just need a little bit of luck, and that is part of this racing thing as well.  We can just do the best that we can do.  And not let the pressure that media or fans might want to put on us on this championship, not let it get to us because it doesn’t help you at all.  Every time you go up to run that car, we’re all doing the best that we can do.  Whether it’s your day to win or not, you know, it’s how it’s going to be.  You can’t get too ahead of yourself.”

 

 

 

• SCHEDULE: Pro qualifying sessions are scheduled for 3 p.m. on Feb. 11-12 and at noon and 3 p.m. on Feb. 13. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14.

 

 

 

• TICKETS: Tickets are available for the 50th annual Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Valvoline. Call NHRA at (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit nhra.com or ticketmaster.com.

 

 

 

• ON TV: ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 11 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, Feb. 13. ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise NHRA Race Day, a 30-minute pre-race show, at 10 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, Feb. 14. ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise three hours of eliminations coverage beginning at 8 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Feb. 14.

 

 

 

• LUCAS OIL SERIES: The 50th annual Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Valvoline also will feature competition in seven categories in the NHRA Lucas Oil Series, where the future stars of the NHRA Full Throttle Series earn their racing stripes. Lucas Oil Series qualifying begins at 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 11. Lucas Oil Series eliminations begin at 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 12.

 

 

 

• ON THE WEB: Get live timing, scoring, multimedia and the latest news updates from every NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event on the Internet at www.nhra.com. Visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

 

 

 

* * *

 

 

 

PRO STOCK’S COUGHLIN SAYS WINTERNATIONALS OFFERS ELECTRIC ATMOSPHERE, PLENTY OF EXCITEMENT

 

 

 

POMONA, Calif. – Every season Jeg Coughlin says he anxiously counts the days until the start of the Winternationals. So you can imagine the popular Ohio Pro Stock driver’s eagerness to be a part of the 50th annual edition of one of NHRA’s most tradition-rich and historic races.

 

 

 

Not only does the event mark the beginning of a new season, but for Coughlin it marks an event at a track where the JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt driver has excelled since he turned pro in 1997.

 

 

 

Maybe Auto Club Raceway at Pomona just fits the eye of Midwestern-based Pro Stock drivers. Just like Indiana’s Bob Glidden, the winningest pro driver in Winternationals history with seven victories, Coughlin has put together a strong performance record at this track. Of his 10 career finals and six wins at Pomona, two wins and four finals have come at the Winternationals.

 

 

 

Coughlin will be among the Pro Stock favorites at the 50th annual Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Valvoline, Feb. 11-14. Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) are the defending winners of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event, which will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD.

 

 

 

“Pomona and the Fairplex are always electric at the Winternationals,” Coughlin said. “When you roll onto those historic grounds for the first race of the year there is just a lot of excitement in the air. All the new teams, new colors and most importantly, everybody has a fresh start in the points. There is a lot of media coverage and the fans literally come from all over the world to attend that race. It just really makes you want to focus that much more to go out and perform and win the Winternationals.”

 

 

 

He says the secret to success at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona is essentially the same at all tracks: preparation. Last year he didn’t win the Winternationals, but Coughlin’s JEGS.com team’s pre-season preparation paid big dividends. He raced to seven victories in nine final rounds in the first 18 events to finish the regular season as the top seed for the Countdown to 1 playoffs.

 

 

 

“Without question, being prepared is the key,” Coughlin said. “You have almost three months to prepare for the first race and getting out of the gate with momentum is very important to having a good season.”

 

 

 

Last season veteran driver Mike Edwards ultimately won the championship, his first as a driver. He will be back this year to defend his title with a new sponsor in Interstate Batteries. He is one of the drivers Coughlin figures to battle in the championship hunt. Others include four-time Winternationals winner Greg Anderson, defending winner Line, Team Mopar Avenger driver Allen Johnson, fourth-place points finisher Greg Stanfield and the always-tough veteran drivers Ron Krisher and Johnny Gray.

 

 

 

“It will be interesting to see how our off-season efforts stack up within the Pro Stock ranks,” Coughlin said. “There are three or four teams with multiple cars that have been awesome and we feel as though we will be back in the mix again with them. We will approach the season similar to 2009 and that is to be prepared, drive aggressive and put ourselves in a position to win rounds and win races.”

 

 

 

• SCHEDULE: Pro qualifying sessions are scheduled for 3 p.m. on Feb. 11-12 and at noon and 3 p.m. on Feb. 13. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14.

 

 

 

• TICKETS: Tickets are available for the 50th annual Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Valvoline. Call NHRA at (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit nhra.com or ticketmaster.com.

 

 

 

• ON TV: ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise two hours of qualifying highlights at 11 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, Feb. 13. ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise NHRA Race Day, a 30-minute pre-race show, at 10 a.m. (ET) on Sunday, Feb. 14. ESPN2 and ESPN2HD will televise three hours of eliminations coverage beginning at 8 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Feb. 14.

 

 

 

• LUCAS OIL SERIES: The 50th annual Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Valvoline also will feature competition in seven categories in the NHRA Lucas Oil Series, where the future stars of the NHRA Full Throttle Series earn their racing stripes. Lucas Oil Series qualifying begins at 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 11. Lucas Oil Series eliminations begin at 8:15 a.m. on Feb. 12.

 

 

 

• ON THE WEB: Get live timing, scoring, multimedia and the latest news updates from every NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event on the Internet at www.nhra.com. Visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

 

 

 

* * *

 

 

 

FOR 50 YEARS NHRA WINTERNATIONALS HAS CREATED ITS SHARE OF MEMORABLE HOT-RODDING MOMENTS

 

 

 

POMONA, Calif. – Since 1961, the Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals has been NHRA’s official season kick-off event. For 50 years, drag racers have flocked to venerable Auto Club Raceway at Pomona to show off their new race cars, paint schemes, sponsors and new drivers. With each new season world championship hopes begin anew.

 

 

 

Since then, a lot has changed on the drag racing landscape. There’s big money on the line for the race victory as well as the season championship. There’s worldwide television exposure. There’s bigger sponsors and bigger race car transporters. On the track the performances are quicker and faster. And did we mention there’s more pressure on each driver to win?

 

 

 

While the days of racing for fun and driving cross-country with your hot-rod affixed to the back of a flat-bed trailer are long gone, the memories for several of the sport’s biggest icons remain.

 

 

 

Many of NHRA’s legendary drivers will be participating in various special events and autograph sessions at the 50th annual Kragen O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 11-14 at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, and sharing their stories from hot-rodding’s glory days. Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) are the defending winners of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event, which will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD. 

 

 

 

For Bob Glidden, seven-time winner of the Winternationals and 10-time NHRA Pro Stock world champion, the race always meant the first opportunity to see how the competition stacked up for the season.

 

 

 

“Certainly it was proven to us that Pomona was a great springboard to the whole season,” Glidden said.  “And if we could go and run well at Pomona, we ordinarily ran well throughout the season.  Fortunately, for us, the track there at Pomona was just a great place for us to be, because we were lucky enough to win a lot of races there.”

 

 

 

“Big Daddy” Don Garlits, who annually towed his race car from Florida, claimed Winternationals trophies in Top Fuel five times, and always loved to check out the latest gadgets and gizmos in Pomona.

 

 

 

“The Winternationals was a special deal because that’s where we saw the new cars,” said Garlits, voted the greatest drag racer of all time in 2001 during NHRA’s 50th anniversary season. “That’s where we tested our new stuff like that rear engine car was tested.  Well, I tested a lot of stuff there.  The first port nozzles in drag racing were tested there in Pomona.  The wing on the car in 1963 was tested there in Pomona.  It was a test bed.  Of course if it didn’t work real well, you went home and regrouped and you had time because there wasn’t a race real soon afterwards.  But it was just a great deal because we loved it.  It was out in California where all the manufacturers were, all the equipment was out there.  The track was great, and there were lots of competitors.”

 

 

 

According to Garlits, sometimes the real adventure was actually making it to the track, not making it down the dragstrip.

 

 

 

“We towed on open trailers and four door sedans,” Garlits said. “The used ones I might add.  We were all good mechanics. Most of those cars ran real good.  They didn’t look all that good, but they were pretty sound automobiles.  We could make that trip from Tampa to Los Angeles in 54 hours, me and Art Malone and Connie Swingle.  And we did it many times just like that.  It was fun.”

 

 

 

A young Kenny Bernstein advanced to the final round in his very first race, at the Winternationals in 1973, where he lost to Don Schumacher. Now with six world championship crowns and 69 victories to his credit after an amazing career behind the wheel, Bernstein reflects on those early days with a big smile. Bernstein went on to win the Winternationals in both Funny Car (1987) and Top Fuel (1992), one of only three drivers in NHRA history to accomplish the feat.

 

 

 

“You know, the Winternationals for me, being from Texas, we called it the ‘Big Go West’ back in the early days,” Bernstein recalled.  “That’s what they named it.  For all the kids back when we were growing up, we couldn’t wait to have our chance to go to Pomona for the Winternationals.  Then later when I did become able to do this as a profession, the Winternationals always marked the start, obviously of the season.  But it was almost a welcome race in the sense that you had been off for a couple of months and you were anxious to get back to it.  You wanted to see all the new cars, all the new looks, all the new teams — whatever was coming would always show up at Pomona.”

 

 

 

• SCHEDULE: Pro qualifying sessions are scheduled for 3 p.m. on Feb. 11-12 and at noon and 3 p.m. on Feb. 13. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 14.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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