Mello Yello champions to be crowned at Auto Club Finals

World champions will be crowned in all four Mello Yello Drag Racing Series categories at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona at the Auto Club NHRA Finals.
03 Nov 2017
Posted by staff

The dramatic conclusion to a thrilling 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series takes place at the Auto Club NHRA Finals, Nov. 9-12, at historic Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif. The final event of the year and the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship will crown world champions, all at a must-see finale showdown at the birthplace of NHRA Drag Racing.

The top stars in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle will look for a historic finish and a world championship, and the drama will be on full display in Pomona. The Auto Club NHRA Finals will have an increased amount of points in play via the point-and-a-half system, meaning the winner earns 150 points which could go a long way to secure a championship. 

With that much on the line and championships within reach, expect all the talented drivers to put together incredible on-track performances in the fastest motorsport on the planet.

Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Tommy Johnson (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the season-ending race that will be televised on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), including live finals coverage starting at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Nov. 12.
D_Kalitta.JPGKalitta won the Countdown to the Championship opener and remains in the hunt to claim his first world championship, trailing current points leader Steve Torrence by 84 points. Torrence has had a dream season, winning eight races, including in St. Louis. The other Countdown winner, Brittany Force, currently sits in second, 20 points back of Torrence as the top three in the class are all after their first world title. The most recent first-time Top Fuel champion is Shawn Langdon, who captured the 2013 crown. 

T_Johnson.JPGJohnson hasn’t had the Countdown to the Championship he has hoped for, watching Don Schumacher Racing teammate Ron Capps win a pair of playoff events as he goes for a second straight world championship. Capps has been brilliant in 2017, winning eight times in his title defense year, and currently holds a 15-point advantage over Robert Hight, who won the Countdown opener in Charlotte and again in Dallas. Hight’s John Force Racing teammate Courtney Force is 125 points out of first.

G_Anderson.JPGAnother Auto Club NHRA Finals win for Anderson, who has 12 wins in Pomona and six at the finale, could help the longtime standout claim a fifth world championship in Pro Stock. He jumped into the points lead with a win in St. Louis, but KB Racing teammate Bo Butner sits 40 points back as the four-time 2017 winner looks for his first world championship. Anderson’s longtime teammate, Jason Line, the defending world champion, is 76 points out of first.

E_Krawiec.JPGSmith's hopes for a third championship in Pro Stock Motorcycle have faded, as the two-time Pomona winner trailes points leader Eddie Krawiec by 283 points. Krawiec, a four-time Auto Club NHRA Finals winner, has gone on an absolute tear in the Countdown to the Championship. He has won four of the five playoff events, with the only exception being the St. Louis event. That has staked him to a 150-point lead over LE Tonglet, all but wrapping up his fourth Pro Stock Motorcycle championship. 

The Auto Club NHRA Finals will also feature thrilling competition in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, where the future stars of the sport earn their racing stripes. After Nitro qualifying, stick around to see the spectacular Muy Caliente Racing jet dragsters sponsored by Lucas Oil/ Mav TV. Known for their exciting pre-run flame shows and after burner pops, jet cars are thrust driven vehicles propelled by jet engines.

Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 12:00 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 12:00 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call 800-644-4444. Tickets also are available online at Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. All students can save 50 percent on general admission at the gate with a student ID. To honor the Salute to First Responders, military and first responders can save 20 percent on general admission tickets at the gate. .