THE AUTO CLUB FINALS NEVER DISAPPOINTS
The Auto Club Finals Never Disappoints
LOWER THE CURTAIN ON YET ANOTHER MEMORABLE NHRA SEASON. OF ALL THE ELIMINATORS, THE LOUDEST APPLAUSE AGAIN GOES TO THE FUNNY CAR CATEGORY.
/RON CAPPS finally sealed the deal after four world champ RUs. He secured the crown on Saturday, amassing sufficient points to surpass DSR teammate Matt Hagan. Capps was dominant for most of the season. In a seven-race span he scored three wins, two RUs and one semi appearance. He totaled five wins to ring up a career total of 50. This marked crew chief Rahn Tobler’s fourth championship.
/ABOVE. ANTRON BROWN continued his dominance of T/F, securing a third championship in five years (two back to back) at the Las Vegas Toyota race prior to Pomona. The DSR star won seven national events, three of which were during the countdown.
/TOP. THE PRO MOD title was decided at the Vegas Toyota event. Perennial “retiree” Rickie Smith secured his third championship over last year’s titleholder, Troy Coughlin. Smith proved the big motor/nitrous combo is still viable in doing battle with his turbo and blower competitors.
/RIGHT. YET ANOTHER WOMAN claims an NHRA world title! Mia Tedesco became the first woman Super Gas champ, claiming the honor at the fall Div. 7 Vegas event. In addition to the Super Gas national title, she also won the Div. 3 S/G championship and the North Central Region Top Alky Dragster title.
/ JEFF STRICKLAND became just the second driver in NHRA history to win two national championships in the same season. Piloting a COPO Camaro for the Gray Motorsports team, he captured Stock Eliminator Saturday at the finals, adding it to the Top Dragster title he secured seven days prior in Vegas (near lane).
/THE FIRST SEASON in the new era of FI Pro Stock was dominated by the Summit duo of Jason Line and Greg Anderson. The struggle lasted until the semifinals where Line finally secured the championship (his third) by a meager three points. Throughout the season he captured eight wins in 14 final round appearances. Though Anderson lost the war, this day he won the battle, defeating his teammate in the finals.
/LEFT. HD’S STRANGLE hold on PSB was broken by the feisty Jerry Savoie and his Suzuki. He was third coming into the finals (falling as far as sixth during the countdown), trailing former champs Hines and Krawiec. He advanced one round further than the HD teammates, giving Savoie the championship by a scant 23 points.
/BOTTOM. TAD AND TAFC experienced a case of déjà vû as Joey Severance and Jonnie Lindberg both retained their championship crowns. They cruised into Pomona having already secured their titles, though Severance padded his points total by taking the finals victory, his sixth of the season. Lindberg notched four wins, including Indy.
/MIDDLE. THE EARLY BIRD gets the crown? On the strength of three national event wins, Doug Doll Jr., wheeling Charlie Greco’s dragster, was arguably NHRA’s first 2016 champ. He locked up the Comp Eliminator title at September’s Charlotte Nationals.
/JONNIE LINDBERG repeat TAFC World Champ
/ABOVE. NICK FOLK took the Super Comp title points lead at the late October Div. 2 race and secured the World Championship a week later at the Div. 7 race in Vegas. Folk, who races as part of a family effort with his parents and his older brother, had a roller coaster season prior to his strong season-ending run.
/BELOW. JIMMY DEFRANK also cashed out, big time, in Vegas. It was there at the Toyota Nationals he racked up his fifth Super Stock World Championship.
/ THE HUSBAND-AND-WIFE duo of Mike and Darlene Williams from the Great White North secured the Top Sportsman World Championship on the strength of their Div. 7 double-header showing.