CHEVROLET AT POMONA
52nd Auto Club NHRA Finals
Friday, Nov. 11-Sunday, Nov. 13
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, California
FS1: Qualifying – 11:30 p.m. ET Friday (live)
FS1: Qualifying – 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday (taped highlights)
FS1: Eliminations and finals – 4 p.m. ET Sunday (live)
Chevrolet Drivers Seek to Wrap Up Championship, Reach Personal Goals
KB Racing teammates to battle for Pro Stock title in finale of thrilling NHRA season
DETROIT (Nov. 10, 2016) – A National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) season that began with great promise nine months ago at Auto Club Raceway and then crisscrossed the nation with scintillating and record-setting events will conclude this weekend back at the racetrack in Pomona, California, with a championship and personal goals on the line for Chevrolet Racing drivers.
KB Racing teammates Jason Line and Greg Anderson, who combined to claim 15 victories in 18 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series regular-season races, enter the Auto Club NHRA Finals seeking to wrap up the Pro Stock championship. Line, driver of the Summit Racing equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS, holds a 19-point advantage over Anderson entering the sixth and final event of the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.
Line, who has eight wins and five runner-up finishes, isn’t taking anything for granted as he seeks a third Pro Stock world championship.
“The selfish side of me wants to win it all, but if it is Greg then it is all good. I’ve also learned that being nervous will not affect the outcome of the race,” Line said. “I’m going to go out to Pomona and do the best I can do and hopefully that is enough. However it all ends, 2016 was a great year for KB Racing.”
Anderson, who has seven victories among 13 final-round appearances in the red Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS, is aiming for his fifth Pro Stock title and first since 2010. He was the 2015 title runner-up to Chevrolet driver Erica Enders.
“We work as one around here at KB Racing,” said Anderson, who has five wins among his career total of 85 in the season finale at Auto Club Raceway. “We try to make each other’s car as fast as we can every day of our life, and we have a great battle. When we put the helmet on, obviously, and stage, you don’t want to beat anybody more than you want to beat your teammate. It’s like a brother, like you want to pick on your brother. So it’s a battle then, but in the downtime in between and the time at the shop and the time leading up to the race, we’re one.
“A lot of harmony right now, but it may not be that way come this Sunday.”
Chevrolet drivers hold the top seven spots in the Pro Stock standings, and four of the five following the KB Racing duo have won at least once this season: Drew Skillman in the Ray Skillman Auto Chevrolet Camaro SS, Vincent Nobile in the Mountain View Tire Chevrolet Camaro SS, Chris McGaha in the Harlow Sammons of Odessa Chevrolet Camaro SS, and most recently Shane Gray in the Valvoline/Nova Services Chevrolet Camaro SS.
Brittany Force will be aiming for a personal-best finish in the Top Fuel standings. The John Force Racing driver of the Monster Energy Chevrolet dragster, who has recorded three victories this season, is only 58 points out of second place. Not since 1982, when Shirley Muldowney claimed her final Top Fuel world championship, has a female Top Fuel racer finished higher than fourth in the standings.
“We have had a great season and we want to finish on a high note at the Auto Club Finals,” Fore said. “This is my home track so I’ll have a lot of family and friends at the race. I am so proud of this Monster Energy Top Fuel team and all my crew guys. We achieved a lot of my goals this season and we have one more race to try and win.”
Her sister and teammate, Courtney Force, also is aiming to finish a stellar Funny Car season on a high note at her home track in the Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS. The Houston winner and three-time runner-up has set the record for most career final-round appearances by a female in the professional class.
John Force, the 16-time Funny Car world champion, has three victories in the Countdown and four overall this season in the PEAK Antifreeze & Coolant Chevrolet Camaro SS, and will be seeking his ninth win in the season finale at Auto Club Raceway. The resident of Yorba Linda, California, is 46 points shy of third place. Teammate Robert Hight, who drives the Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS, will aim for his first victory in the Auto Club Raceway finale after two runner-up finishes.
“I think we have made a lot of progress on the performance side of things,” the 2009 Funny Car champion said. “I think we have a race car that can win races. This Auto Club Camaro team really worked well together this season and I am looking for a strong finish.”
Dan Fletcher and Jeff Strickland, winners earlier this season in their Chevrolet COPO Camaros, will lead Chevrolet drivers in Super Stock and Stock Eliminator, respectively, this weekend.
FOX Sports 1 will telecast three hours of live eliminations and finals at 4 p.m. ET Sunday, along with an hour of qualifying live at 11:30 p.m. ET Friday. FS1 will telecast taped highlights of qualifying at 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday.
Chevrolet will welcome fans to its Chevrolet Performance Display during the weekend. It will include numerous award-winning Chevrolet production vehicles, examples of Chevrolet engines, and a selection of performance parts and accessories that are available for fans to purchase from their local Chevrolet dealer.
CHEVROLET RACING ENGINEERING PREVIEW – AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS
ROGER ALLEN, CHEVROLET RACING NHRA PROGRAM MANAGER: “A season that began at Auto Club Raceway in early February will conclude at the historic venue this weekend with undoubtedly another exciting event. And what a season it has been for Chevrolet Racing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. A Chevrolet driver will claim the Pro Stock title for the second consecutive year, Brittany Force has an opportunity to break or match a 30-year-old Top Fuel record for the best finish by a female driver, and other career bests can be achieved in all three professional classes. Overall, it has been a tremendously successful season for Chevrolet teams and drivers, and we’ll be looking to exit ’16 on a high note in Pomona.”
CHEVROLET FROM THE COCKPIT – AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS
BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONSTER ENERGY CHEVROLET TOP FUEL DRAGSTER: “We have had a great season and we want to finish on a high note at the Auto Club Finals. This is my home track so I’ll have a lot of family and friends at the race. I am so proud of this Monster Energy Top Fuel team and all my crew guys. We achieved a lot of my goals this season and we have one more race to try and win.”
JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, PEAK ANTIFREEZE & COOLANT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: “We have been running well since the Western Swing but we have also had some tough first-round losses. (Crew chiefs) Jon Schaffer, Jason McCulloch and Nick Casertano have given me a great race car and the young guys on this PEAK Chevy team have kept me motivated. Two weeks ago, that was a big win in Las Vegas. We started the Countdown with a win in Charlotte and I would like to end the season with a win in Pomona.”
COURTNEY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, TRAXXAS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: “I am focusing on finishing the season with a win and then starting to get ready for 2017. This has been a good season but not a great season. We led the points and I want to race for the championship. My team has given me a championship-caliber Funny Car and I think we will continue to get better. I have to thank my crew chiefs Dan Hood and Ronnie Thompson for all their efforts as well as the rest of this Traxxas team.”
ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AUTO CLUB CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: “Getting a win in Pomona would be huge because that is the one you remember all off-season. If you can win the last race, you end the season on a high note. This Auto Club Camaro team really worked well together this season and I am looking for a strong finish. We came into the Countdown with a lot of confidence and just didn’t capitalize. We have done some things well in the Countdown with our qualifying but we need to get wins. We will focus on Pomona and then as soon as that race is over we’ll take some time off and then start getting ready for 2017.”
VINCENT NOBILE, MOUNTAIN VIEW RACING, MOUNTAIN VIEW TIRE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: “The last time I was in Pomona, it wasn’t good. I am looking forward to racing there again. It’s the end of the season and we would like to finish strong. We dropped the ball a little bit two weeks ago in Las Vegas. The best we can finish is third and that’s what we are shooting for.”
JASON LINE, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: “As time goes on, winning a Championship gets more special. I think I appreciate it now more than I would have 10 years ago. To be able to say you were the best is a cool thing. It is very rare to be in the battle for Championship. To be in this position is an honor and I’m extremely grateful.”
GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: “. You just don’t want a season like this with the dominance we had early to go up in flames and not get the deal closed, but just because you had a great early season or mid-season, whatever you want to call it, it doesn’t get you anything. When you reset the playoffs, it’s game on, start over, everybody starts from scratch, and that huge points advantage we had went away, so we had to regroup and find an extra gear. Fortunately, we’ve been able to do that.”
SHANE GRAY, GRAY MOTORSPORTS, VALVOLINE/NOVA SERVICES CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: “We’ve had a great car for most of the season, really ever since Dave Connolly came on board as crew chief back in Atlanta. We’ve been racing to the semifinals with regularity, which has been awesome, but wins were elusive until (Oct. 30 at Las Vegas). To finally get it done was a big relief, a lot of fun and a great way to lead us into the off-season. No matter where we finish, I’m extremely proud of the team and what we’ve been able to accomplish this year. The atmosphere we have in our pit, the times we spend together, that’s what makes racing fun for me.”
DREW SKILLMAN, RAY SKILLMAN RACING, RAY SKILLMAN AUTO CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: “A win at Pomona, where we set the track (speed) record last year, would be a great way to cap off the season. We’ve come on strong recently, with a win and advancing to the final round in the past two races. We’ve set the stage for 2017.”
CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS RACING, HARLOW SAMMONS OF ODESSA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: “It’s hard to believe we’ve made it back to Pomona and we’re closing out the season with our Harlow Sammons Chevrolet Camaro. We’ve had some ups and downs this season, but winning Indy was the biggest win of my career. I hope to go to Pomona and show them that winning spirit one more time before next year.”
BO BUTNER, JIM BUTNER AUTO, BUTNER AUTO SALES CHEVROLET CAMARO SS: “We have one more shot at a victory, which would be a great way to close out a successful season in the Chevrolet Camaro. I’m looking forward to congratulating either Jason (Line) or Greg (Anderson) as champion. They’ve given us a championship-caliber car all season, and I’m proud to have contributed to the KB Racing program’s success.”