NHRA Auto Club of Southern California Finals
Auto Club Raceway, Pomona, Calif.
Funny Car: Cruz Pedregon won his second season championship, and first in 16 years, with a victory Sunday in the season-ending event. After Pedregon won his first-round meeting against Jerry Toliver, he secured the title when his two closest challengers lost in the first round. Season-long leader Tim Wilkerson fouled against John Force, and Robert Hight lost to Pedregon's brother, Tony.
Pedregon then drove his Advance Auto Parts Toyota Solara to his third straight event victory to close out the six-race Countdown to 1, NHRA's Playoffs. He beat Ron Capps in the final round for his 26th career win and second at his home track. “I'm stunned,” Pedregon said moments after his brother eliminated the last racer within reach. “It's awesome Tony got that win right there because I'm standing here thinking of my dad (Frank) and that I hope he's proud of his sons. I was 18 when he died and Tony was 16 and now we each have two world championships. We've come a long way for a couple of Hispanic kids from Chino.”
Pro Stock Motorcycle: Eddie Krawiec won his first POWERade Series crown, and did so without winning a race during the season. He joined Rob Bruins, the 1979 Top Fuel champ, as the only drivers in NHRA history to win a season title without earning an individual race victory. Krawiec entered the Countdown to 1 in seventh place and finished second in four of the six races in the championship playoffs, securing his first title and the fourth for his Harley-Davidson team and the seventh for Vance & Hines Racing. “Consistency pays off,” Krawiec said. “It shows you that you just need to go rounds at the end. We made the Countdown in seventh place and have been in four of the last five finals. I haven't had a chance to get my first (event) Wally yet, but I've got a big gold Wally (for winning the championship). I do have a $75,000 check here though, so if someone wants to sell a Wally, I could buy one.” Chris Rivas continued his hot streak by winning his third race in a row, defeating newly crowned season champ Krawiec in the final round. Rivas, who moved to second in the final point standings with the win, powered his Buell to a performance of 6.929 at 191.95 to drive away from Krawiec's Harley-Davidson, which trailed at 7.009 at 190.46.
Top Fuel: Larry Dixon raced to his second win of the season, holding off Rod Fuller in the final round. Dixon, who moved to second in the point standings with the victory, covered the distance in 3.833 seconds at 300.93 mph for his 43rd career victory and first at the finals. It was his fourth win at Pomona.
Pro Stock: Greg Anderson claimed his sixth Pro Stock victory of the season in a Pontiac GXP when Kurt Johnson fouled at the start in his Chevy Cobalt. It was Anderson's 57th career victory, his fourth win at the finals and seventh win at the historic Pomona track.
-- The Associated Press