NHRA - National Hot Rod Association


Auto Club NHRA Finals Sunday Preview

Mike Salinas, Robert Hight, Greg Anderson and Karen Stoffer are low qualifiers as the 2021 Camping World NHRA Drag Racing season winds down in Pomona.
14 Nov 2021
Posted by NHRA.com staff

Late Sunday afternoon at Auto Club Pomona Raceway, four NHRA professional racers will officially be crowned as Camping World NHRA Series world champions. A lot can change during final eliminations for the Auto Club NHRA Finals, but the favorites to earn those titles include incoming points leaders Steve Torrence (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

After qualifying No. 2, Torrence needs only to win the first round of eliminations in his Capco Contractors dragster in order to secure his fourth-straight Top Fuel championship. To make it official, he’ll need to beat No. 15 qualifier Brandon Welch, who topped 300-mph for the first time on Saturday.

Brittany Force is still in the hunt for what would be her second title, but in order to do so, she’ll need to win the race and hope that Torrence loses in round one, which doesn’t happen often.

The title chase aside, the favorite to leave Pomona with the final Wally of the season could be low qualifier Mike Salinas, who has been in the 3.6s on two of his three runs including a 3.676. Salinas is coming off a win at the most recent event in Las Vegas.

Robert Hight remained on top of the Funny Car field with a strong 3.88 on Saturday but as far as the championship goes, Ron Capps is in the driver’s seat with a sizable lead over Matt Hagan and Cruz Pedregon. In order to win his second title, Capps simply needs to win the second round of should Capps lose in round one, Hagan would need to reach the final and Pedregon would have to win the race.

Capps finished qualifying in the No. 2 spot and faces Terry Haddock in round one while Hagan is scheduled to face Tony Jurado. Pedregon, in search of his third title, will square off against a tough opponent in Tim Wilkerson.

The battle for the Pro Stock title continues to be intense with Greg Anderson and Erica Enders each determined to battle to the bitter end. Anderson has been nearly flawless to the point, setting low elapsed time in each of the three qualifying sessions to extend his lead over Enders from 32 to 43 points. That means Enders will need to win two more rounds than Anderson in order to defend her 2020 title.

Anderson’s drive for a fifth title will begin with an opening round race against No. 16 qualifier Mike Callahan while Enders, who qualified No. 5, takes on Steve Graham. It’s possible that Anderson and Enders could meet in the semifinals. Should that happen, Anderson could clinch the title with a win while Enders would also need to win the final round.

 Matt Smith is also in a prime position to  clinch as he pursues a fifth championship in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Smith was bumped from the top spot by Karen Stoffer on Saturday afternoon, but managed to maintain his advantage over championship rivals Angelle Sampey and Steve Johnson. Both Sampey and Johnson would need to win two more rounds than Smith in order to win the championship.

You can catch the action all weekend on FOX Sports 1 and NHRA.tv.

You can follow NHRA on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to get a closer look at the action.

NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature eliminations Sunday, Oct. 31 at 10:00 a.m.

Qualifying: Sunday, Oct. 31, 4-5 p.m. Eastern, FS1
Eliminations: Sunday, Oct. 31, 5-8 p.m. Eastern, FS1