"Holy Toledo!"

February 7, 2008

NHRA Opening Day Results From Pomona

Filed under: NHRA — Bill @ 9:05 pm

(The new WordPress system sucks so please forgive any spacing issues)

If you happened to notice a hint of nitro in the air it’s because today was Opening Day for the NHRA Drag Racing Season. Yes Parker Avenue in Pomona was once again alive with the ground-pounders as they embarked upon their
2008 season.

I am thrilled to provide you with today’s results:

(notes & times provided by NHRA.com, editing & comments by yours truly)

Funny Car Qualifying
Results for Qualifying Round 1

POMONA, Calif. – POMONA 1 – Notes from round 1 qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 48th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals listing lane, driver name, elapsed time, top speed, and
position in order following run:

2:27 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 71 degrees, relative humidity 24 percent, barometer 28.98 inches, adjusted altitude 2,233 feet, track
temperature 89 degrees.

It’s Opening Day and we hear the sweet sound of nitro power roaring to life on the starting line. Welcome to the 2008 NHRA Season race fans, it all begins right now!

First up is Bob Tasca

Right Lane: Bob Tasca III Runs 5.277/309.34, Now #1

Tasca shook the tires pretty hard at the hit but pedaled the car like a long time Pro. Nice numbers out the back door.

Next on the pad: Melanie Troxel (making her first official F/C qualifying pass) & James Day

Left Lane: Melanie Troxel Runs 4.900/316.45, Now #1
Right Lane: James Day Runs 17.101/69.68, Now #3

And the first 4 second pass of the year goes to Melanie. Troxel gets a full pass but Day shakes the Goodyears hard before 20ft and has to lift. Nice start for Troxel on a fairly green track.

Next up: Mike Neff

It seems really strange to see a JFR car in red! Old Spice is featured on the car and that has been their color for years.

Right Lane: Mike Neff Runs 4.850/321.65, Now #1

Great opener for the new team. Neff will begin that long climb to the ‘Road to the Future’ award at the end of the 24 race series.

Up next: Bob Bode & (the old WWF guy) Jerry Tolliver.

Left Lane: Bob Bode Runs 4.841/314.68, Now #1
Right Lane: Jerry Toliver Runs 7.048/109.09, Now #5

Bode must have a big smile on his face at the turnout as for the moment, he’s #1! Tolliver was door to door with Bode until his tires kicked loose at about 200ft.

Up next: Scott Kalitta & (the Teacher’s Pet) Gary Densham

Left Lane: Scott Kalitta Runs 4.818/322.65, Now #1
Right Lane: Gary Densham Runs 8.828/108.93, Now #7

Kalitta makes Bode’s rule over the field very short. His run moves Bode to #2 and, uh oh, Kalitta noses the car into the ‘beach’ at the end of the race track. The TV folks aren’t broadcasting today but it appears he didn’t get the DHL Toyota into the kitty litter all that deep. Not forgetting Densham, he smoked the tires about 200ft from the line. It looked like a smooth transition from bite to smoke so I’m guessing the power came in just a little bit to quickly..

On the pad: Tony Bartone & Tim Wilkerson
(It took quite awhile to dig Kalitta out of the sand so I’d say he must have
more than just nosed it in)

Left Lane: Tony Bartone Runs 11.060/70.62, Now #9
Right Lane: Tim Wilkerson Runs 5.212/240.12, Now #5

Wilkerson had a nice looking pass until about half track where holes were going out in both banks. Bartone struck the tires early and coasted to the

Next up: T.J. Jr. & The Cruzer

Left Lane: T. Johnson Jr. Runs 5.151/227.69, Now #5
Right Lane: Cruz Pedregon Runs 7.209/97.46, Now #9

Just plain bad luck for Cruz. He rattled the tires a bit but he must have been surprised how sluggish the car was after a parachute rattled out of
it’s pack. Johnson was putting out some strangely colored header flames and lifted before the finish line. They did send the sweeper down to 1000ft to do a quick dust and clean on his lane.

Next up: Ashley Force & Del Worsham

Left Lane: Ashley Force Runs 4.860/278.75, Now #4
Right Lane: Del Worsham Runs 4.967/317.79, Now #6

Our first all 4 second pass of the year, a pretty nice side by side runs. A. Force was right down the middle of the left lane but did lift a bit early.
Check out her speed. Worsham appeared to run the car out the back door and gets into the top half.

Next up: John Force & Jim Head.
Ok folks, here it is. Papa John is back in the seat and will make his first hit in competition since that ugly day in Houston.

Left Lane: Jim Head Runs 5.133/221.85, Now #7
Right Lane: John Force Runs 6.726/134.23, Now #11

Well, not exactly what he might have dreamed but by heck he has the first one under his belt. I think I was more polite than J. Force. His Mustang struck the tires at about 300ft and tried to pedal. He tried a couple more times before giving up. Head lost the blower belt at about 1000ft and was coasting at the stripe.

Up next: Mike Ashley & “Fast” Jack Beckman

Left Lane: Mike Ashley No Time, Now #19
Right Lane: Jack Beckman Runs 4.864/295.72, Now #5

Ashley was presenting the car in the water box but for some reason the crew pushed the car off to the side as Beckman singled for his first run. Beckman was on a solid run until the pipes went wet at about 1000ft. Blower belt most likely.

On the pad: Capps & Scelzi

Left Lane: Ron Capps Runs 4.876/320.51, Now #6
Right Lane: Gary Scelzi Runs 7.422/120.23, Now #16

Scelzi strikes the tires early in the run and he’s out of the spotlight for the moment. Capps gets to the stripe and cards a bit speed to go with a run the puts him #6. Either Tasca is on the bump at #12 or Scelzi at #16. Just depends on how you look at the new rules.

The final 2 Funny Cars are on the starting line: World Champion Tony Pedregon & Robert Hight

Left Lane: Robert Hight Runs 9.526/84.80, Now #19
Right Lane: Tony Pedregon Runs 4.845/325.45, Now #3

Hight smokes the tires in the Mustang and watches Pedregon take the Q Power Impala all the way to #3. That closes out the Funny Car session for Thursday. Next up are the long engine stands.

Funny Car
Order for Qualifying Round 1

POMONA, Calif. – SUMMIT FastNews – Order after one round of qualifying in Funny Car at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 48th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals:
Psn Driver Vehicle ET Speed
1. Scott Kalitta DHL Solara 4.818 322.65
2. Bob Bode Alard Machine Producs 4.841 314.68
3. Tony Pedregon Q Power Impala 4.845 325.45
4. Mike Neff Old Spice Mustang 4.850 321.65
5. Ashley Force Castrol GTX Mustang 4.860 278.75
6. Jack Beckman Valvoline/MTS Charger 4.864 295.72
7. Ron Capps NAPA Auto Parts Charger 4.876 320.51
8. Melanie Troxel ProCare RX Dodge RT 4.900 316.45
9. Del Worsham Checker Schuck’s Kragen 4.967 317.79
10. Jim Head Head Racing Solara 5.133 221.85
11. Tommy Johnson Jr. Monster Energy Drink Charger 5.151 227.69
12. Tim Wilkerson Levi, Ray & Shoup Monte Carlo 5.212 240.12
——— Not Qualified ———
13. Bob Tasca III Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang 5.277 309.34
14. John Force Castrol GTX Mustang 6.726 134.23
15. Jerry Toliver Rockstar Energy Drinks Charger 7.048 109.09
16. Cruz Pedregon Advance Auto Parts Impala 7.209 97.46
17. Gary Scelzi Mopar Oakley Charger 7.422 120.23
18. Gary Densham RaceBricks Monte Carlo 8.828 108.93
19. Robert Hight AAA of So. Cal Mustang 9.526 84.80
20. Tony Bartone Canidae Pet Food Monte Carlo 11.060 70.62
21. James Day Top Fuel Records Stratus 17.101 69.68


Top Fuel Qualifying
Results for Qualifying Round 1

Time for the Kings of the Sport!
3:20 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 71 degrees, relative humidity 24 percent, barometer 28.98 inches, adjusted altitude 2,233 feet, track
temperature 88 degrees.

Up first: Troy Buff.

Team Miller has persevered with their tech problems at Phoenix and will be
the first down the track today

Right Lane: Troy Buff Runs 6.115/135.67, Now #1

The new BME black TF’er with new driver Troy Buff, makes a strong pass to mid-track. Looks like it was planned that way. Troy Buff’s incremental times: 60ft-0.864 sec., 330ft-2.206, 660ft-3.300/194.63mph, 1,000ft-4.623

Up next: Antron Brown (making his first official pass in Top Fuel) & Urs Erbacher

Left Lane: Antron Brown Runs 4.560/326.16, Now #1
Right Lane: Urs Erbacher Runs 5.952/160.40, Now #2

Brown makes a statement with his first National Event pass in Top Fuel. A little stuff from the engin  on the top end, but still good numbers.
Erbacher’s car was slow off the line and clicks it early.

Up next: Steven Chrisman & Allen Bradshaw

Left Lane: Steven Chrisman Runs 13.679/75.15, Now #5
Right Lane: Alan Bradshaw Runs 4.524/306.40, Now #1

Bradshaw’s new sponsor, Vis Viva, makes a nice looking race car. The car leaves hard and runs well to near mid-track where there is head gasket
flames and a lot of smoke form the engine. He stays on it and cards a low four fifty. Chrisman’s car is up in smoke by sixty feet.

Next up: Morgan Lucas & Hillary Will
Lucas is already #1 qualifier in Top Alcohol Dragster and looking for the same position here in Top Fuel)

Left Lane: Morgan Lucas Runs 4.557/322.42, Now #3
Right Lane: Hillary Will Runs 4.534/333.58, Now #2

Side by side 4.50’s! Two solid runs with Will getting their first and running her quickest MPH ever! Morgan Lucas’ incremental times: 60ft-0.870 sec., 330ft-2.183, 660ft-3.099/274.94mph, 1,000ft-3.876 Hillary Will’s incremental times: 60ft-0.855 sec., 330ft-2.187, 660ft-3.098/276.86mph,

Up next: Cory Mac & David Grubnic

Left Lane: Cory McClenathan Runs 4.539/321.81, Now #4
Right Lane: David Grubnic Runs 4.530/318.62, Now #2

…and the hits keep coming. Nine thousands is the difference between #2 and #4 currently. They leave together and Grubnic starts to pull steadily ahead down the track.

On the pad: J.R. Todd & Doug Kalitta

Left Lane: Doug Kalitta Runs 4.647/315.34, Now #8
Right Lane: J.R. Todd Runs 4.575/294.18, Now #7

You got your good news and you got your bad news.

The bad news: Todd tagged the ride side guard rail and shot across the track into Kalitta lane.

The good news: The contact was right after the finish line lights, so the run counts!

Kalitta’s car was off the line and still runs well enough to stay in the top half of the field for now.

(NO REPORT FROM NHRA on the condition of J.R. Todd at this time)

Lots of dusting and cleaning in the right lane and the Torco car is still on the track near the last turout.

3:46 p.m. …and we are back.

On the pad: Doug Herbert & Bob Vandergriff
It is Doug’s first appearance since the tragic death of his sons. One can hardly imagine the thoughts going through his head right now. On the other hand perhaps being at the races is what he needs.

Left Lane: Doug Herbert Runs 4.545/327.98, Now #5
Right Lane: Bob Vandergriff Runs 4.678/311.56, Now #10

Vandergriff was off the line first, but Herbert was quickly around him and pulled ahead all the way down the track and into the current top half of the
field. Vandergriff may have clicked it early.

Up next: Larry Dixon & Brandon Bernstein

Left Lane: Larry Dixon Runs 4.543/324.28, Now #5
Right Lane: B. Bernstein Runs 9.831/78.90, Now #14

New sponsor wraps on both cars. Bernstein’s car is up in smoke before the 330 lights. Dixon’s car is right down Broadway and into the current #5 spot. They are checking the top end, but no “stuff” on the track.

Final two fuelers of the day: Schumacher & “Hot” Rod

Left Lane: Rod Fuller Runs 4.558/325.30, Now #9
Right Lane: Tony Schumacher Runs 4.513/331.53, Now #1

The World Champ once again proves why he is the best moving to the top of the ladder. Fuller makes a solid pass but not good enough to be in the top half of the field.

Top Fuel
Order for Qualifying Round 1

POMONA, Calif. – SUMMIT FastNews – Order after one round of qualifying in Top Fuel at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, 48th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals:
Psn Driver Vehicle ET Speed
1. Tony Schumacher U.S. Army Dragster 4.513 331.53
2. Alan Bradshaw Vis Viva Living Force Dragster 4.524 306.40
3. David Grubnic Kalitta Motorsports Dragster 4.530 318.62
4. Hillary Will KB Racing Dragster 4.534 333.58
5. Cory McClenathan Fram Dragster 4.539 321.81
6. Larry Dixon U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Dragste 4.543 324.28
7. Doug Herbert Snap-On Tools Dragster 4.545 327.98
8. Morgan Lucas Lucas Oil/Torco Racing Fuels D 4.557 322.42
9. Rod Fuller Caterpillar Dragster 4.558 325.30
10. Antron Brown Matco Dragster 4.560 326.16
11. J.R. Todd Torco/Lucas Dragster 4.575 294.18
12. Doug Kalitta MAC Tools Dragster 4.647 315.34
——— Not Qualified ———
13. Bob Vandergriff UPS Dragster 4.678 311.56
14. Urs Erbacher Midland Oil Dragster 5.952 160.40
15. Troy Buff Bill Miller Racing/Okuma Drags 6.115 135.67
16. Brandon Bernstein Budweiser/Lucas Oil Dragster 9.831 78.90
17. Steven Chrisman Chrisman Driveline Dragster 13.679 75.15

Opening Day in Pomona is a wonderful experience. Everyone is sporting new colors, new cars, and for some even new teams. The Championship is up for grabs because everyone is in first place.

It can all change tomorrow…

For all other NHRA Winternationals Qualifying Results please click here:



  1. where are the pro stockers? the rest saved me a lot of time thanks.

    Comment by uncle buck — February 8, 2008 @ 12:06 pm

  2. Buck,
    Aren’t you the same guy who used to drive the dragster they called Panama Red?

    Simply put I ran out of time, plus I was having server problems. If you use the link I provided (at the bottom of the original article) it will give you results from any day & any class being run at the Winters.

    Glad you enjoyed it.


    Comment by Bill — February 8, 2008 @ 12:51 pm

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