The 60th Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com represents the opening of the 2020 season and a high watermark for professional participation in Pomona. For the first time in years, more than 400 cars will take the track as competitors from Top Fuel to Super Street descend on Auto Club Raceway, kicking off the new season at one of NHRA’s most historic venues.
Pro Stock celebrates its 50th season at the Winternationals with 20 cars on the entry list, headlined by three-time world champion Erica Enders. The driver of the Melling Performance / Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro will defend her 2019 title against three-time Pro Stock world champion Jason Line in his final season behind the wheel of his Summit Racing Chevy Camaro.
Fernando Cuadra Sr. entered three Pro Stockers into the Pomona event, including a pair of Ford Mustangs wheeled by sons Fernando Cuadra Jr. and Cristian Cuadra. The Mexican businessman narrowly missed on qualification for the NHRA Countdown to the Championship in 2019 and expects to debut a Mustang of his own during the 2020 season.
Defending Funny Car world champion Robert Hight will begin his title defense in his Auto Club / John Force Racing Chevy Camaro against a stacked field. Hight runnered up the last time NHRA raced in Pomona against Infinite Hero / Don Schumacher Racing driver Jack Beckman, who expects to battle for his second Funny Car world title in 2020.
2019 Auto Club Road to the Future winner Austin Prock returns for his second season in his Montana Brand / Rocky Mountain Twist / John Force Racing Top Fuel dragster after getting a hot start in Pomona a season ago. Prock battled 2017 world champion and teammate Brittany Force in the first round at the Winternationals a season ago, getting the best of the matchup and impressing NHRA legend and mentor Don “The Snake” Prudhomme in the process.
The Winternationals also features a slew of nostalgia Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock entries which will make passes beginning Friday after the first pro qualifying session. Professional qualifying begins with Pro Stock at 12:15 p.m. Pacific and the midway opens at 8:30 a.m.
Lucas Oil Sportsman racing commences at Auto Club Raceway in classes ranging from Top Alcohol Dragster all the way to Top Dragster. Mickey Thompson Top Fuel Harley also makes its season debut at the fabled grounds of Pomona for the second season in a row. Nearly a dozen Sportsman categories will compete at Auto Club Raceway alongside the professional categories and the nostalgia classes as one of the most historic races of the season kicks off the 2020 campaign.
The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum hosts the Night of Champions Friday, featuring a panel of Prudhomme and Tommy Ivo, emceed by Jack Beckman. It begins at 5:15 p.m. and is free for all fans.