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Saturday’s Auto Club NHRA Finals photo gallery
Saturday, November 09, 2013

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Auto Club NHRA Finals
Last update: 5:40 p.m.
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Preparations are under way for today's final two qualifying sessions that will set the field for Sunday's final eliminations. Despite a fine 3.799, Spencer Massey sits just seventh in the Top Fuel field entering the day.


Race fans are taking advantage of the calm before the storm to spend some quality time in the pits, where they have been interacting with drivers like seven-time NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel champ Tony Schumacher (above) or shopping for cool event-related and NHRA-themed souvenirs in the NitroMall (left).

Race fans also can get free samples of Mello Yello (below) in the company's cool interactive display on Nitro Alley.



NHRA hosted its annual Night of Champions Friday night before a packed house at the NHRA Motorsports Museum with a panel that boasted current stars David Grubnic, Erica Enders-Stevens, and Jack Beckman and two legends of the sport, "TV Tommy" Ivo and Bob Muravez, aka Floyd Lippencott Jr.

(Right) Beckman and Ivo shared a laugh at one of Ivo's remembrances.



[12:05 p.m.] None of the other riders in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class could match the 6.837 posted Friday by Hector Arana Jr. (left) ... that is except for the man himself, who bettered his field-leading pass with a strong 6.818. The track record is 6.811, set three years ago by Eddie Krawiec.

Arana's younger brother, rookie Adam, had the round's next-best pass, a 6.852, for the No. 2 spot, and John Hall (above) moved into the No. 3 position with a 6.857.

SoCal race fans are enjoying a picture-perfect postcard kind of day at the track with great weather on tap.

[12:40 p.m.] Jason Line ran 6.543 to temporarily take over the No. 1 Pro Stock spot from Mike Edwards, then slid back to second on Edwards' subsequent 6.530. Points leader Jeg Coughlin Jr.'s 6.545 was the third-best of the round, meaning that Line picked up just one point in his pursuit of Coughlin, whose lead is 71. Rodger Brogdon (below) currently is on the bump spot with a 6.598.

[1:25 p.m.] Del Worsham (above) blitzed the DHL Toyota Funny Car to a 4.019, the best pass of the day's first session, but fell just short of John Force's field-leading 4.015. Courtney Force (below) had to switch back to her pink livery after damaging her Rookie of the Year tribute car in a Friday blower explosion. The Traxxas team was up to the task and bounced right back with a solid 4.109 in the first session.


[2:20 p.m.] Antron Brown (left) and the Matco Tools team earned three valuable points in their pursuit of Top Fuel points leader Shawn Langdon, who earned no points. Brown's 3.798 was low of the round and chopped Langdon's lead to 102 points. If Brown can do that again in the final session, he will trim Langdon's lead to under 100 points, which will keep him mathematically alive in the championship battle.

Troy Buff (above) surprised with the round's third-best time, a 3.825.

With a championship within Shawn Langdon's grasp at the close of qualifying, the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel championship trophy was paraded to the top end with a full police escort to the approving cheers of the crowd.


 It was all Arana all the time in the final Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying session.

Adam Arana (above) had the best run of the session for the second time this event with a 6.854, and his dad, former world champ Hector Arana Sr. (right), was second-best with a 6.875.

The third member of the team, Adam's older brother, Hector Jr., ran a 6.883, third-best of the session, and stayed No. 1 in the field with his earlier 6.81.


[3:25 p.m.] Mike Edwards (above) completed a clean sweep of Pro Stock qualifying, earning 12 total points for leading each of the four sessions -- including a last-session 6.535 -- and eight points as the No. 1 qualifier. His hard work has pulled him into a tie for second place with Jason Line, both 70 points behind Jeg Coughlin Jr. (below), who had the third-quickest pass of the final session with a 6.548.

Pomona favorite “Big Jim” Dunn is enjoying a great qualifying outing with driver Jeff Arend and their special Mooneyes tribute Charger Funny Car. After posting a 4.080 Friday, they improved to a 4.067 for the No. 8 spot.

John Force made Pomona history in the final Funny Car qualifying session, running the track's first three-second flopper pass with a 3.995. It's his 146th No. 1 qualifying effort.

[4:15 p.m.] Just as they did at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Tony Schumacher and the U.S. Army Top Fuel team came down to the last qualifying session not in the show, yet responded with a clutch pass. Schumacher posted a 3.821 to put him solidly into the field.


[4:49 p.m.] Brandon Bernstein shook up the Top Fuel field by wheeling his ProtectTheHarvest dragster into the No. 1 spot with a 3.748 in the final qualifying session.


Shawn Langdon was congratulated by Coca-Cola's Al Rondon after clinching the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel world championship.

Thursday’s Auto Club NHRA
Finals photo gallery
Friday’s Auto Club NHRA
Finals photo gallery