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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Automobile Club of Southern California
NHRA Finals Fact Sheet

By NHRA.com

WHAT: 37th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, the final of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Professional competitors in five categories earn points leading to 2001 NHRA Winston championships.

Sportsman competitors in seven categories earn points leading to 2001 NHRA Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series championships.

WHERE: Pomona Raceway, Pomona, Calif. Track is located off I-10 at Fairplex Drive. Go north on Fairplex drive to the Fairplex.

WHEN: Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 8-11, 2001.

PURSE: Cash and contingency awards of more than $2 million.

SCHEDULE: THURSDAY, Nov. 8 -- Gates open at 7 a.m. Qualifying and time trials, 8:15 a.m.-7 p.m.
FRIDAY, Nov. 9 -- Gates open at 7 a.m. Qualifying and sportsman eliminations, 8:15 a.m.-7 p.m.

SATURDAY, Nov. 10-- Gates open at 7 a.m. Sportsman eliminations, 8:15 a.m.-6 p.m.
BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT rounds at 12:45 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

SUNDAY, Nov. 11 -- Gates open at 7 a.m. Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m. FINAL ELIMINATIONS begin at 11 a.m.

TELEVISION: Saturday, Nov. 10 ESPN will televise two hours of qualifying coverage at 4 p.m. (ET). 
Saturday, Nov. 10 ESPN2 will televise one hour of Budweiser Shootout coverage at 11 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, Nov. 11 ESPN2 will televise three hours of final round coverage at 7 p.m. (ET).
*Check local listings, television schedule subject to change.

SATELLITE: Nov. 9, 8:30-9 p.m. (ET) - SBS 6/Transponder 5
Nov. 10, 10:30-11 p.m. (ET) - SBS 6/Transponder 3
Nov. 11, 10:30-11 p.m. (ET) - SBS 6/Transponder 3

Feeds include action with natural sound of Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Stock Motorcycle and Pro Stock Truck, plus interviews with qualifying leaders on Friday and Saturday and winners on Sunday.

2000 CHAMPIONS: Gary Scelzi, Top Fuel; John Force, Funny Car; Kurt Johnson, Pro Stock; Tony Mullen, Pro Stock Motorcycle; Greg Stanfield, Pro Stock Truck.

TICKETS: For tickets call the National Hot Rod Association, (800) 884-6472. Tickets also available at Ticketmaster.
GENERAL ADMISSION (includes pit pass) - Thursday: Adult, $15; Junior (6-12 years), $10. 
Friday: Adult, $25; Junior (6-12 years), $10. 
Saturday: Adult, $45; Junior (6-12 years), $10. 
Sunday: Adult, $50; Junior (6-12 years) $12; Child (5 years and under), free with paying adult in general admission and pit access areas each day.

RESERVED SEATS (includes pit pass) - Friday: Adult, $35; Junior (6-12 years), $20; Child (5 years and under), $10. 
Saturday: Adult, $55; Junior (6-12 years), $22; Child (5 years and under), $12. 
Sunday: Adult, $62; Junior (6-12 years), $24; Child (5 years and under), $14.


POMONA, Calif. - The NHRA's historic 50th Anniversary season is speeding to a 330-mph finish at the same place it all started.

Winston championships will be up for grabs in several professional categories as the NHRA returns to Southern California for the third time in its golden anniversary for the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, Nov. 8-11, at Pomona Raceway. Gary Scelzi, John Force, Kurt Johnson, Tony Mullen and Greg Stanfield are the defending winners of $2.1 million race, the final of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

Scelzi capped off his third Winston championship last year with his record ninth Top Fuel victory of the season, defeating rival Tony Schumacher in the final. Scelzi and Schumacher have struggled in 2001 as the two former champs have watched a battle of the beer cars with Kenny Bernstein and his Budweiser King dragster and Larry Dixon in the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite dragster clash for the prestigious series championship. Both title contenders will be challenged by the likes of rookie sensation Darrell Russell, who won his first professional start at Pomona back in February, the consistent 330-mph Yankee dragster driven by Mike Dunn, and the always consistent Doug Kalitta, driver of the Connie Kalitta-owned Mac Tools dragster.

In addition to the already impressive championship battle in Top Fuel, the 17th annual Budweiser Shootout will be contested at the historic Southern California quarter-mile for the eight qualified drivers. The lucrative $100,000 winner's purse will be up for grabs as Scelzi looks to defend his title and win his fourth Shootout in five attempts. Seven other drivers including Bernstein, Dixon and Kalitta lead the rest of the elite field into competition.

Force, from Yorba Linda, Calif., who has already clinched a record 11th NHRA Winston Funny Car championship, will try to add another victory to his growing total. The rest of the competition will battle for final spots in the standings and look to make a statement for next year. Force's long list of rivals, which include Whit Bazemore, Del Worsham, and Ron Capps, are hoping to solidify their positions among the top five in the final points order.

Lawrenceville, Ga.'s Johnson completed a late season surge with a victory over the already-crowned 2000 Winston Pro Stock champ Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the final. As both drivers continue to adjust this year to the new bodies of their Chevy Cavaliers, the incomparable Warren Johnson, Kurt's father, nears his sixth Pro Stock championship. The diversity in the field has been amazing, as only three drivers (Coughlin, W. Johnson and Greg Anderson) out of the 14 different season winners have been able to earn multiple victories. There will be no clear-cut favorite as George Marnell, Jim Yates, Bruce Allen and Mike Edwards plan on joining the short list of repeat winners.

After winning last season's finale, Mullen sat out 2001, but former teammate Antron Brown has been impressive, battling defending Winston champ Angelle Savoie for Pro Stock Motorcycle bragging rights. Savoie is seeking her second straight championship and would become the fourth rider to repeat as champ in the two-wheel category. She will be challenged by Brown, three-time champ Matt Hines, and 18-year-old rookie standout GT Tonglet.

After finishing fifth in the Pro Stock Truck standings following last year's victory in Pomona, Stanfield has been at or near the top of the points race all season. Two-time defending series champ Bob Panella is on the verge of his third straight Winston championship. Mike Coughlin and Randy Daniels will be among the favorites to win the race and try to deny Panella another championship trophy.

SCHEDULE: Pro qualifying is set to begin at 1:45 p.m. on Nov. 8, and will continue at 1:45 p.m. on Nov. 9, and at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 10. Budweiser Shootout elimination rounds scheduled for 12:45 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 10. Final professional eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11.

TICKETS: Tickets are available for the 37th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals. Call (800) 884-6472 for further ticket information. Tickets also are available at ticketmaster.com and nhra.com.

TELEVISION: ESPN will televise two hours of early qualifying highlights at 4 p.m. (ET) on Nov. 10 and then later qualifying highlights at 11 p.m. (ET) on Nov. 10. ESPN2 will televise one hour of coverage of the Budweiser Shootout at 1:30 a.m. (ET) on Nov. 11. ESPN2 also will televise three hours of final round coverage at 7 p.m. (ET) on Nov. 11.

ON THE WEB: NHRA news, photos and driver information available at www.nhra.com.


POMONA, Calif. - While the NHRA has enjoyed its golden anniversary in 2001, with the memories of years gone by, the legends of the sport, record-setting performances and milestones, and the promise of future greatness, Angelle Savoie has had quite a year herself.

The 31-year-old Savoie has experienced a pretty emotional season from beginning to end. A season that she is sure to remember as one of the most memorable in what is destined to become a storied career for one of the sport's current superstars. The New Orleans rider will continue her remarkable season when she returns to the birthplace of organized drag racing for the 37th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, Nov. 8-11, at historic Pomona Raceway. The $2.1 million race is the final of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

Savoie began the season as the defending NHRA Winston Pro Stock Motorcycle champion, dethroning three-time champ and rival Matt Hines last year and joining the legendary Shirley Muldowney as the only two females to earn a Winston title. Then in the spring, she tied the knot with long-time boyfriend Nicky Savoie, and that was all before her first race atop the 190-mph Team Winston Suzuki. As the season progressed, she went on to pass Muldowney as the all-time winningest female in NHRA history, win the NHRA's most prestigious event, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, and is on the verge of her second straight Winston crown.

"This season has been pretty good because it has been a lot less stressful than last year," said Savoie. "There was so much pressure last year to win that first championship. If I win it again great, if not, I have already proven that I can do it. That hasn't lessened the desire to repeat as champion, but it has been more fun knowing that no one can take that 2000 Winston championship from me. I try not to count points, but this late in the year, I do. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't looking to see where Antron (Brown) was and what he was doing this weekend."

Regardless of her place atop the Winston standings, Savoie will take no championship for granted after losing the 1999 title to Hines at the season finale in Pomona, by a mere eight points. "I'm real confident that we're going to win (the Winston championship)," said Savoie. "But I'm not counting on anything until it's all said and done. I don't care if all I had to do was qualify -- it all has to be locked up and then we'll celebrate. Anything can happen."

A defining moment of Savoie's young career is when she broke the win mark established by Muldowney, who paved the way for female competitors in motorsports.

"I always thought about winning the title, but being the winningest female hasn't sunk in yet," said Savoie. "I don't think it will sink in until I have enough wins where I am confident no one will ever pass me up. The wins are great, but it's the championships that matter. Shirley said herself that I need two more series titles to equal her, and that's what I believe in my heart too."

With all the success that Savoie has encountered this year, there was a major blow dealt to the relentless rider. Due to the Master Settlement Agreement of 1998, her primary sponsor, RJ Reynolds, will not return for the 2002 season.

"Our main focus right now is on winning this year and getting the championship, but getting a sponsor is definitely the second most important thing on or agenda right now," said Savoie. "We do have a deal in the works with good prospects, but there are no contracts signed. There are some things that they want and some things that we want that need to be worked out. However, based on past experiences, even if there is a contract signed, I won't believe it until I get my first paycheck. It's just going to be so hard to leave such a great sponsor and family and to think we will find anyone equal to Winston that would treat us any better."

(certification based on a required backup run within one percent of the record during the course of the same event)

TOP FUEL -- 4.477 seconds by Kenny Bernstein, Lake Forest, Calif., June 2001, Joliet, Ill.; 332.18 mph by Bernstein, Oct. 2001, Mohnton, Pa.

FUNNY CAR -- 4.731 seconds by John Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Oct. 2001, Mohnton, Pa.; 325.45 mph by Whit Bazemore, Indianapolis, Sept. 2001, Joliet, Ill.

PRO STOCK -- 6.750 seconds by Jeg Coughlin Jr., Columbus, Ohio, Oct. 2001, Mohnton, Pa.;  204.35 mph by Mark Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Oct. 2001, Mohnton, Pa.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE - 7.092 seconds by Matt Hines, Trinidad, Colo., Oct. 2001, Mohnton, Pa.; 194.10 mph by Hines, May 2001, Englishtown, N.J.

PRO STOCK TRUCK - 7.379 seconds by Mike Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 2001, Joliet, Ill.;  182.65 mph by Coughlin, Sept. 2001, Joliet, Ill.


TOP FUEL - 4.503 seconds by Mike Dunn, Wrightsville, Pa., Feb. 1999; 327.03 mph by Tony Schumacher, Park Ridge, Ill., Nov. 1999.

FUNNY CAR - 4.816 seconds by Whit Bazemore, Indianapolis, July 2001; 319.07 mph by Gary Densham, Bellflower, Calif., July 2001.

PRO STOCK - 6.828 seconds by Bruce Allen, Arlington, Texas, Feb. 2001; 202.18 mph by Kurt Johnson, Sugar Hill, Ga., Feb. 2001.

PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE - 7.160 seconds by Matt Hines, Trinidad, Colo., Nov. 2000; 189.27 mph by Hines, Nov. 1998.

PRO STOCK TRUCK - 7.478 seconds by Bob Panella, Stockton, Calif., Nov. 2000; 181.42 mph by Panella, Feb. 2001.

(Following the 23rd of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series)

Place Driver Points (Victories in Parentheses)
1. Kenny Bernstein, Lake Forest, Calif., Budweiser King Dragster (7) 1984
2. Larry Dixon, Indianapolis, Miller Lite Dragster (6) 1930
3. Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti, Mich., MAC Tools Dragster (3) 1564
4. Gary Scelzi, Fresno, Calif., Team Winston Dragster (2) 1529
5. Mike Dunn, Wrightsville, Pa., Yankee Dragster (2) 1498
6. Darrell Russell, Hockley, Texas, Amato Racing Dragster (2) 1452
7. Doug Herbert, Cherryville, N.C., Snap-On Tools Dragster (1) 1171
8. Tony Schumacher, Park Ridge, Ill., U.S. Army Dragster 1120
9. David Grubnic, Ennis, Mont., Oh Boy! O'Berto Dragster 843
10. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, Williamston, S.C., Fram Dragster 791

1. John Force, Yorba Linda, Calif., Castrol GTX Ford Mustang (6) 1953
2. Whit Bazemore, Indianapolis, Matco Tools Pontiac Firebird (3) 1650
3. Ron Capps, Carlsbad, Calif., Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro (3) 1417
4. Del Worsham, Chino Hills, Calif. Checker Schuck's Kragen Pontiac Firebird (3) 1378
5. Tony Pedregon, Chino Hills, Calif., Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang (3) 1350
6. Bruce Sarver, Bakersfield, Calif., E-moola.com Pontiac Firebird (1) 1251
7. Frank Pedregon, Phillips Ranch, Calif., Checker Schucks Kragen Pontiac Firebird (1) 1117
8. Gary Densham, Bellflower, Calif., Castrol GTX / Auto Club Ford Mustang (2) 1073
9. Tommy Johnson Jr., Ottumwa, Iowa, Skoal Racing Chevrolet Camaro (1) 1072
10. Dean Skuza, Brecksville, Ohio, Team Mopar Dodge R/T 1055

1. Warren Johnson, Buford, Ga., GM Goodwrench Pontiac Grand Am (6) 1504
2. Jim Yates, Alexandria, Va., Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Grand Am (1) 1401
3. Bruce Allen, Arlington, Texas, Reher-Morrison Pontiac Grand Am (1) 1266
4. Mike Edwards, Broken Arrow, Okla., Young Life Chevrolet Cavalier (1) 1265
5. Mark Osborne, Abingdon, Va., Mopar Parts Dodge Neon R/T (1) 1202
6. Mark Pawuk, Bath, Ohio, Summit Racing Pontiac Grand Am (1) 1190
7. Jeg Coughlin Jr., Columbus, Ohio, Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet Cavalier (3) 1182
8. Kurt Johnson, Lawrenceville, Ga., AC Delco Chevrolet Cavalier (1) 1160
9. Ron Krisher, Warren, Ohio, Eagle One Chevrolet Cavalier (1) 1150
10. George Marnell, Las Vegas, Marnell & Black Pontiac Grand Am (1) 982

(Following the 13th of 14 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series)
1. Angelle Savoie, New Orleans, Team Winston Suzuki (6) 1214
2. Antron Brown, Chesterfield, N.J., Team 23 Suzuki (3) 1141
3. Matt Hines, Trinidad, Colo., Eagle One Suzuki (2) 929
4. Craig Treble, Chandler, Ariz., Matco Tools Suzuki 893
5. GT Tonglet, Metairie, LA., Tonglet Racing Suzuki (1) 766
6. Shawn Gann, Stoneville, N.C., Gann Racing Suzuki (1) 753
7. Reggie Showers, Philadelphia, Damp Rid/PDI Suzuki 666
8. Geno Scali, Palatine, Ill., Cope Racing Suzuki 642
9. Steve Johnson, Birmingham, Ala., K&N Filters Suzuki 598
10. Mike Berry, Littleton, Colo., MB Precision Suzuki 460

(Following the 13th of 14 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series)
1. Bob Panella, Stockton, Calif., Panella Trucking Chevrolet S-10 (4) 1099
2. Greg Stanfield, Bossier City, La., DBP Enterprises Chevrolet S-10 (1) 965
3. Randy Daniels, Grantsboro, N.C., Bailey Trucking Chevrolet S-10 (2) 950
4. Jeff Gracia, Ontario, Calif., Panella Trucking GMC Sonoma 764
5. Mike Coughlin, Columbus, Ohio, Jeg's Mail Order Chevrolet S-10 (2) 708
6. Todd Patterson, Augusta, Kan., Dodge Motorsports Dakota R/T 694
7. Taylor Lastor, Austin, Texas, Texas Racing Engines Chevrolet S-10 (2) 663
8. Don Smith, Keller, Texas, Texas Harley Davidson Chevrolet S-10 (1) 647
9. Scott Perin, Pen Argyl, Pa. NAPA Development Chevrolet S-10 (1) 583
10. Victor Cagnazzi, Huntington, N.Y., Integrated Systems Chevrolet S-10 539



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