The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series made its way to the Los Angeles County fair plex in Pomona, which is the site of Auto Club Raceway at Pomona and the 52nd running of the Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals. This was the final race of the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello drag racing series season.
In Top Fuel, Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team powered their way through eliminations taking out Shawn Reed in the opening round with a 3.755 at 320 mph. He would then take on Tony Schumacher and the US Army team. Kalitta posted a 3.742 at 328 mph to capture the win light. In the semifinals, he would take down Shawn Langdon with a 3.734 at 326 mph. In the final round, he matched up with teammate and number one qualifier JR Todd and his Seal Master team. Kalitta got off the starting line first with a .063 to a .112 reaction time which was the advantage needed. Kalitta put a 3.745 at 326 mph to a quicker but losing 3.704 at 327 mph to capture his 42nd career win and first at the NHRA Finals. Kalitta finished second in the season points behind Antron Brown.
Tommy Johnson Jr. and his Make-A-Wish team picked up the event Funny Car title. Johnson first took down Dave Richards in a tire smoker with a 4.373 at 235 mph. In round two he motored past Robert Hight and the Auto Club of Southern California Chevy with the low elapse time of race day with a 3.897 at 325 mph. His semifinal match up was Courtney Force and her Traxxas Chevy. He got off the starting line first with a .009 reaction time to Force’s .079, he then put a 3.929 at 297 mph to her quicker but losing 3.916 at 327 mph. In the final round, Johnson would take on the 16-time champion John Force and the Peak Antifreeze Chevy. Johnson got a slight advantage at the starting line with a .041 to a .046 reaction time. Both drivers ran a 3.918 elapse time. Johnson captured his third win of the season, 15th of his career and first at the NHRA Finals.
At the conclusion of Saturday qualifying, Ron Capps captured his first career NHRA Funny Car World Championship. He has four runner-up finishes in his 21-year career. Up until now he was the winningest to have never won a championship.
In Pro Stock Greg Anderson picked up his 86th career victory and sixth at the NHRA Finals. He defeated teammate Jason Line in the final round.
Line, with his advancement to the final round, earned enough points to capture his third career Pro Stock World Championship. His teammate Greg Anderson finished second by three points.
Pro Stock motorcyclist Matt Smith picked up his 18th career win and his only win of the 2016 season and first for Victory Motorcycles over Angel Sampy.
Jerry Savoie clinched his first career World Championship when both Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec lost in round two.
The NHRA will kick off the 2017 season Feb. 9 through 12 at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona for the Circle K Winternationals.