The Road to the NHRA Auto Club Finals

Photo courtesy Don Schumacher Racing
Photo courtesy Don Schumacher Racing

The NHRA hosted a luncheon today in Pasadena, California where points leaders from the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series shared their thoughts on the upcoming Auto Club Finals in Pomona. Tony Schumacher has the championship locked down for Top Fuel, and so does Andrew Hines for Pro Stock Motorcycle, but both Funny Car and Pro Stock titles are still up for grabs.

Matt Hagan


While we waited to be seated, I caught up with Mopar/Rocky Boots Funny Car driver Matt Hagan. A lot has happened since we last talked; Hagan is currently the points leader in the Countdown with only 21 points separating him and John Force.

Force has been racing longer than Matt’s been alive, but that’s not going to stop him from giving it his all this weekend. The trophy, cash prize and title take a back seat for Hagan as his main motivation to win is his team. He’s racing for all the people who pour their blood, sweat and tears into making his car the fastest.



John Force


John Force was in good spirits, making jokes with Hagan and winning over the crowd with his signature charisma. It’s all fun and games now, but when race day comes, it’s going to be a fight. Prock’s departure didn’t seem to affect Force in Las Vegas, and hopefully that will remain true in Pomona.

John’s been making plenty of announcements recently and will be making another one at 11:30 am on Saturday, November 15 at the Auto Club stage. No word on what it’ll be about, but I’m guessing we’ll find out which car he’ll be campaigning next year.



Erica Enders-Stevens


Erica Enders-Stevens arrived at the event straight from the airport, having battled her way through infamous Los Angeles traffic. Hopefully nothing stands in her way this weekend as she tries to buffer her 17 point lead with some bonus points during qualifying, and ultimately go on to become the first woman to win a Pro Stock championship.

Erica has had an outstanding season and has really benefited from her partnership with Royal Purple. Her team and the Royal Purple engineers have worked together to formulate unique high-performance lubricants that help keep the Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro out in front.


After an action-packed year, it all comes down to the last race. Be sure to catch the final moments of the Countdown to the Championship live this weekend November 13 – 16 at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.

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