Determining the Champs at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
The racing season ended where it began, at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, CA. After 24 races over a ten month time span, the championship for the “Pro” classes came down to the 51st Annual NHRA Finals. This event saw Champions crowned in 11 classes, including the 4 “Pro” classes of the NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series; six classes of the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series; and four classes of the Summit Racing Series. Over 500 racers came from seven geographical divisions around the United States.
Prior to this event, Erica Enders-Stevens had won the season Pro Stock championship. This Finals Pro Stock event was won by Allen Johnson. The Pro Stock Motorcycle season championship was won by Andrew Hines. His teammate Eddie Krawiec took this Finals event win. Del Worsham claimed both the season Funny Car championship and the Finals victory over rival Jack Beckman. That win makes him the third driver in NHRA history to win world championships in both Nitro classes. The other two were Kenny Bernstein and Gary Seclzi.
For the Top Fuel class, Antron Brown had won the season Top Fuel championship. He was simply too good and too powerful, but there was still a Wally to be won. Shawn Langdon plowed through the early rounds and right up into the final race, where he faced Antron Brown. Brown and Langdon staged and, in a powerful last race of the last meet of the season, the young Langdon powered his way to victory over Brown. With the last race of the year in the books, the fans poured out of the stands to participate in a huge celebration and talk to their favorite drivers and team.
The track was sticky, the crowds were happy, the music blared, camera lights flashed and a certain nostalgia and yearning for more racing was met by total exhaustion from all the race teams. They had a banquet to attend and awards to reap, and then a short vacation before the NHRA season starts all over again.
In the Hot Rod Junction area, they had an impressive lot of restored historic front-engined dragsters and beautiful nostalgia funny cars that did a “Cacklefest” twice a day. Brett Harrell was the DJ in the nostalgia area and he played period music from the 1950s and ‘60s, and kept up a lively banter that informed fans and spectators of who was around and where they could be found. The competition at the event was intense and the atmosphere fun.
The 2015 NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series Champions
51st Annual Auto Club NHRA Finals Winners
NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Finals Winners
Top Alcohol Dragster – Joey Severance, 5.278, 271.84 def. David Sheetz, 6.567, 128.98.
Top Alcohol Funny Car – John Lombardo Jr. Chevy Camaro, 5.445, 273.05 def. Jonnie Lindberg, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.439, 267.22.
Comp Eliminator – Tony Mandella, Chevy S-10, 8.351, 153.44 def. Joshua Lee, Bantam Roadster, 8.867, 134.86.
Super Comp – Gary Stinnett, Dragster, 9.192, 149.07 def. Prescott Dean, Dragster, 10.078, 93.96.
Super Stock – Jeff Adkinson, Pontiac Sunfire, 9.746, 133.50 def. Brian McClanahan, Chevy Camaro, 8.801, 146.50.
Super Gas – Marko Perivolaris, Chevy Camaro, 9.918, 170.75 def. Trevor Larson, Chevy Corvette, 9.891, 168.24.
Stock Eliminator – Leo Glasbrenner, Pontiac Firebird, 10.570, 122.06 def. Ryan McClanahan, Chevy Camaro, 9.706, 135.43.
Summit Super Pro – Todd Piper, Dragster, 7.182, 179.04 def. Chris Bear, Dragster, 7.449, 181.25.
Summit Pro – Robert Steffen, 0891, Chevy Nova, 10.564, 125.30 def. Brock Moshier, Chevy Vega, 9.107, 137.18.
Summit Bike – Mark Schwalm, Kawasaki, 7.714, 167.51 def. Rick Poole, Suzuki, 8.393, 149.83.
Summit Sportsman – Nick Hastings, Ford Mustang, 12.874, 80.84 def. Adam Tabor, Chevy Nova, foul.