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WILKERSON CAPS SEASON WITH QUARTERFINAL FINISH IN POMONA

POMONA, CA – Veteran driver, crew chief and team owner Tim Wilkerson came into the Auto Club NHRA Finals with one goal. The two-time Funny Car winner in 2021 wanted to put on a great show for the fans and finish the season on a high note in the Levi, Ray & Shoup Summit Ford Mustang Funny Car.

Through two days of qualifying Wilkerson crept up on a consistent tune-up in unseasonably warm temperatures for Southern California. In the final session Wilkerson got a hold of a positive move and ran 3.990 seconds at 316.23 mph. It was not a standout run but it was enough of an improvement to give the experienced driver and crew chief something to work with on race day.

“We struggled in qualifying for sure,” said Wilkerson. “The track was hot and we didn’t get everything we wanted to out of it. I kept at it and Richard (Hartman) and I talked. I made some adjustments for Saturday night, and it improved like I hoped it would. I felt confident coming into the first round even though we didn’t have lane choice.”

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JUSTIN ASHLEY FINISHES SECOND SEASON FOURTH IN POINTS

POMONA, CA (November 14, 2021) — As the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing season wrapped up today at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona second-year driver and team owner Justin Ashley was looking to pick up his second win of the season. The 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year powered the Vita C Shot Top Fuel dragster to the No. 12 qualifying position heading into race day. Through two days of qualifying Ashley made three runs with his quickest effort, 3.765 seconds at 320.97 mph, was the fourth quickest run of the second session and solidified his spot in the field. A very tight Top Fuel field stacked up the Winternationals finalist against three-time Top Fuel champion Antron Brown in the opening round.

“We battled in qualifying and put ourselves into the show but unfortunately drew a tough first round opponent,” said Ashley, who raced to two final rounds in the Countdown. “Antron has been very supportive to me throughout my career.”

In the first round both 11,000 horsepower Top Fuel dragsters launched hard off the starting line. They were side by side the entire way down the 1,000-foot racetrack. At the finish line Brown’s Top Fuel dragster was just able to push the nose of his racecar out in front to get the win light. Ashley made his quickest run of the weekend, a strong 3.713 second pass at 329.42 mph but it wasn’t enough to advance to the quarterfinals.

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Toyota Unveils the New GR Supra Funny Car in NHRA

POMONA, CA – This morning at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Toyota unveiled its new race car for the 2022 NHRA season in Funny Car competition. For the first time, Toyota will campaign the GR Supra beginning with the season kickoff event in Pomona in February.

Toyota has competed with the Camry in Funny Car competition dating back to 2012. Prior to the Camry, the Toyota Celica and Toyota Solara were run.  The 2021 season has marked the 20th anniversary of Toyota’s official involvement in NHRA with competitors in both Top Fuel and Funny Car.

Toyota’s commitment to race vehicles that closely resemble production vehicles continues with this GR Supra. With the new body on the Funny Car for 2022, it marks the most significant styling characteristics of any previous Funny Car.

“After 10 years of fielding the Camry in NHRA Funny Car competition it’s really exciting for us to be moving to the GR Supra and ultimately the next generation of Funny Cars for NHRA,” said Paul Doleshal, group manager of motorsports for Toyota Motor North America. “Our team at TRD (Toyota Racing Development) along with the design team at Calty worked hard to incorporate as many features from the production GR Supra into the Funny Car that J.R. Todd and Alexis DeJoria will drive in 2022.”

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Funny Car Championship leader Capps Drives Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat into Eliminations as No. 2 Qualifier at NHRA Season Finale

Pomona, CA – With the last qualifying runs of the 2021 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Camping World Drag Racing Series season completed at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the stage is now set for a dramatic final showdown between the three Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Funny Cars of points leader Ron Capps, reigning world champion Matt Hagan, and winner of last week’s Dodge//SRT Nationals at Las Vegas, Cruz Pedregon.

Capps heads into the Auto Club NHRA Finals as the No. 2 qualifier after securing his spot by driving his NAPA AUTO PARTS Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat to a 3.908-second/ 329.83 mph run, the second quickest of the first session. He collected three bonus points for that effort, then added another four by posting the quickest time in the second session to help extend his lead over his Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) teammate Hagan to 67 points heading into Sunday’s eliminations rounds where round wins are worth 30 points.

Capps, who has taken home four Wally trophies from the Pomona Fairplex venue including the one earned this August, will begin his race day against No. 16 seed Terry Haddock and with the knowledge that he only needs to turn on two win lights on Sunday to secure his second Funny Car world championship title.

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ROBERT HIGHT AND AUTO CLUB SECURE THIRD NO. 1 OF THE SEASON AT AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS

POMONA, CA – Robert Hight and the Automobile Club of Southern California Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car team secured the No. 1 qualifying position Saturday at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. John Force and the PEAK Antifreeze and Coolant #PEAKSquad Chevy are heading into race day No. 5 while Brittany Force with the Monster Energy / Flav-R-Pac dragster are No. 13.

Entering the day already in the No. 1 spot, Robert Hight and the Auto Club Chevy stayed consistent throughout qualifying starting with a solid 3.951-second pass at 322.81 mph in the heat of the day Saturday afternoon. Coming into the final qualifying session, Hight and the Jimmy Prock and Chris Cunningham led Auto Club team laid down a stellar 3.886-second pass at 329.34 mph to solidify their third No. 1 of the season, 71st of his career.

“Jimmy thought it could run .88 or .87 and it did exactly that. The left lane is a little tricker, so good job to my Auto Club guys for getting it down the left lane. This is probably the best car I’ve had all year going into race day,” said Hight who lines up with Jim Campbell first round. “You can just tell it by the way Jimmy Prock is in the staging lanes. He was very confident when he made some changes and the car responded. It’s pretty exciting. Unfortunately, it’s a little too latee We want to be here fighting for a championship, but we want to win this race, see where it all shakes out and come back strong next year, really that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

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DSR Final Qualifying for the NHRA Finals

Pomona, CA – DSR Qualifying Highlights:

– No. 1 ranked Funny Car pilot Ron Capps further extended his lead on No. 2 ranked teammate Matt Hagan during qualifying at the NHRA Finals by earning four bonus points when he powered to the quickest pass of Q2
– Capps and Hagan are vying to deliver a 19th world championship and seventh Funny Car title for Don Schumacher Racing, drag racing’s winningest organization
– Capps begins his quest for a second world championship with a 67-point lead on Hagan
– Capps, who won at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona earlier this season, will start race day from the No. 2 position facing Terry Haddock. Capps is a four-time NHRA Winternationals event winner, but is seeking his first NHRA Finals triumph
– Hagan, the three-time and reigning series champion, begins his championship defense from seventh with a round-one match-up versus Tony Jurado
– The 2021 NHRA Camping World Series Funny Car world championship chase is primed for a thrilling showdown on Sunday: If Capps and Hagan win their E1 races, they would face each other in the second round. If Capps were to defeat Hagan in E2, he would be crowned champion. If Hagan were to come out on top, he would need to win the race in order to clinch a fourth world title

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HIGHT, SALINAS, ANDERSON AND STOFFER QUALIFY NO. 1 AT AUTO CLUB NHRA FINALS 

POMONA, CA – Looking to end his season on a good note, Robert Hight powered to the top in Funny Car on Saturday, qualifying No. 1 at the final race of the season, the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

Mike Salinas (Top Fuel), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock) and Karen Stoffer (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified No. 1 at the final race of the Countdown to the Championship and the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season. World championships will be decided in all four classes on Sunday.

Hight was already the provisional No. 1 qualifier in his 11,000-horsepower Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS, but improved on his top run to close out qualifying on Saturday, going an impressive 3.886-seconds at 329.34 mph. It gives Hight his third top spot this season and 71st in his career, setting up a first-round matchup with Jim Campbell in eliminations. Hight may not be in the title picture this year, but he’s still determined to finish strong to close 2021.

“This is probably the best car I’ve had all year going into raceday,” Hight said. “It’s pretty exciting. It’s a little too late as we wanted to be fighting for a championship, but we’re going to try to win this race and come back strong next year.”

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