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Tricky Tipster tabs Torrence, Hight, Anderson, Hines as Finals favorites

Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are the top picks to win the Auto Club NHRA Finals, as predicted by NHRA National Dragster's Tricky Tipster.
08 Nov 2017
NHRA National Dragster staff
News
Tricky Tipster

For more than five decades, NHRA National Dragster's famed Tricky Tipster has tested his prognosticating skills prior to each national event, putting odds on the top eight racers he thinks have the best shot at victory in Tricky Tipster. This week, Tricky Tipster handicaps the Auto Club NHRA Finals.

Funny Car | Pro Stock | Pro Stock Motorcycle

TOP FUEL
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Steve Torrence • Capco Contractors
He’s had one of the best seasons in the history of Top Fuel but it won’t be complete unless he can close the deal and win the world title. His fate is in his own hands, which is always preferred.
ODDS: 3-1
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Brittany Force • Monster Energy
If not for that final round red-light in Vegas, she’d be tied for the lead. Regardless, she can win the championship by winning one more round than Torrence. That’s not easy, but it’s doable.
ODDS: 4-1
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Doug Kalitta • Mac Tools
Wouldn’t there be a bit of poetic justice if he came from behind and won the championship in dramatic fashion? If you believe in karma, that’s how the season will end for the Kalitta team.
ODDS: 6-1
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Antron Brown • Mac Tools
Probably can’t win the championship but might have a say in who does. The points leaders would definitely prefer to have this guy on the other side of the ladder.
ODDS: 7-1
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Tony Schumacher • U.S. Army
Really hard to handicap this team right now but given its history in Pomona, we’d tend to lean towards a strong outing to finish the season.
ODDS: 9-1
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Terry McMillen • Amalie Motor Oil
Remember this; he didn’t need much luck to win in Las Vegas. He did it with a solid string of 3.7s which means he will be a threat here as well.
ODDS: 11-1
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Leah Pritchett • Papa John’s Pizza
She won the last event in Pomona so a repeat would not be out of the question. At the same time, the Countdown has not been kind to the Papa John’s team.
ODDS: 14-1
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Clay Millican • Parts Plus/Great Clips
Might be a bit of a longshot, but given the weather forecast, it’s possible that he could leave Pomona with another record, or another win.
ODDS: 15-1

FUNNY CAR
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Robert Hight • Auto Club Chevy
Hard to argue that he doesn’t have the best car in the class right now. Still, he’s going to have to bring everything he’s got in order to win a second championship. Very unlikely this gets decided before the final.
ODDS: 3-1
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Ron Capps • NAPA Dodge
Yes, he’s got a great car, great team, and great crew chief. He’s also had a bit of luck when he’s needed it and that is a very difficult combination to overcome.
ODDS: 4-1
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Jack Beckman • Infinite Hero Dodge
SoCal guy looking to end the season with a win at a SoCal track. Short of winning the championship, that would be the best-case scenario for the Infinite Hero driver.
ODDS: 6-1
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Matt Hagan • Mopar Express Lane Dodge
Las Vegas win was a huge momentum booster for a team that sorely needed it. Entirely possible he finishes the season with back-to-back titles.
ODDS: 7-1
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Courtney Force • Advance Auto Chevy
As good as this car has been all season, it would be a crime if they didn’t end with at least one victory. The term “Overdue” doesn’t’ event begin to cover it.
ODDS: 9-1
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Tommy Johnson Jr. • Make-A-Wish Dodge
Three round wins in the Countdown is not what this team had in mind. They are better than this and they’ve got one more chance to show it before a long off-season.
ODDS: 11-1
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Alexis DeJoria • Patron Toyota
If this is indeed the last hurrah for La Patrona, it’s been a great ride. One more win would make for a memorable post-race celebration that might last until February.
ODDS: 13-1
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Jonnie Lindberg • Head Racing Toyota
It’s been a memorable rookie season for the two-time TAFC champion. It would be even more memorable if he can squeeze in a victory at the final event.
ODDS: 15-1

PRO STOCK
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Greg Anderson • Summit Camaro
Motivated and driven, a fifth championship is well within his grasp and we don’t expect him to give it up. He shows no mercy, even against his teammates.
ODDS: 5-2
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Bo Butner • Butner Auto Camaro
IF NHRA had a most improved driver award, he’d already have it in the bag. Winning the championship will require a monster effort but it’s not out of the question.
ODDS: 4-1
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Jason Line • Summit Camaro
Technically, he’s still in the running for the title but is he willing to intentionally qualify in the back half of the field and draw Anderson or Butner early? That would be fun to watch.
ODDS: 5-1
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Tanner Gray • Gray Manufacturing Technologies Camaro
No matter what happens in Pomona, he’s had a rookie season for the ages and it’s obvious that his future is limitless. Still, he’d love to leave Pomona with another Wally.
ODDS: 6-1
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Drew Skillman • Skillman Auto Camaro
Much like Butner, he’s better now than he was at the start of the season and he was pretty darn good in February.
ODDS: 8-1
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Erica Enders • Melling Camaro
Not at all the season that the two-time champ wanted to have but there is still one more race to be won and she’s fully capable of sealing the deal.
ODDS: 9-1
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Allen Johnson • Marathon Petroleum Dart
In a perfect world, he’ll share the winner’s circle with fellow retiree Alexis DeJoria. That would be the perfect way to wrap up a Hall of Fame driving career.
ODDS: 11-1
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Chris McGaha • Harlow Sammons Camaro
Honestly, he probably doesn’t get enough credit for being one of the last remaining drivers, tuners, and engine builders left in the sport.
ODDS: 14-1

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
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Andrew Hines • Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
His teammate Krawiec is going to win the championship but Hines figures to be the favorite here. He’s got arguably the best bike in the class right now.
ODDS: 2-1
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Eddie Krawiec • Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
Once he qualifies, he’ll wrap up a fourth championship and if you don’t think he’s motivated to finish off the deal with a win then you don’t know Eddie.
ODDS: 3-1
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LE Tonglet • Nitro Fish Suzuki
He didn’t win the championship, but he’s got six wins this season and has reaffirmed what everyone else already knows; he is an elite rider who ranks among the best in the sport’s history.
ODDS: 4-1
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Jerry Savoie • White Alligator Suzuki
He’s managed to accomplish a lot this season including putting two bikes in the top 10. He figures to close out his time as the reigning champ with a strong outing here.
ODDS: 5-1
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Scotty Pollacheck • Suzuki Extended Protection Suzuki
Terry McMillen and Clay Millican now have their long-awaited first victories. Doesn’t that mean it’s finally this guy’s turn? If he makes the final, the crowd on the starting line will rival a small tire race.
ODDS: 7-1
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Chip Ellis • Screamin’ Eagle Harley-Davidson
He’s got a rare opportunity here to ride a Harley-Davidson Street Rod and to honor his late team owner Junior Pippin. It would be a storybook ending to win this race.
ODDS: 9-1
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Hector Arana Jr. • Lucas Oil Buell
Hard to imagine how frustrating it is to have a bike this strong and no wins this season. A season-ending victory would be a huge morale boost for a very competitive Lucas Oil team.
ODDS: 11-1
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Matt Smith • Polaris Victory Magnum
Not sure what he’s going to do next season but he’s probably not too worried about that right now. His focus is squarely on winning the last event of the season.
ODDS: 14-1