Jason Line, Jerry Savoie take championship at NHRA finale in Pomona
Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) have won their class championships in the 2016 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Brown had already clinched his title back in Las Vegas two weeks ago, while Capps solidified his first championship during qualifying on Saturday.
In Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle, however, it was still all to play for, as the Pro Stock KB Racing teammates of Jason Line and Greg Anderson entered the day both eyeing the title, while it was a three-way shootout between Jerry Savoie, Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Line wrapped up the Pro Stock title when he advanced into the final. Anderson made it to the final on the other side of the ladder too, but Line had earned enough points in qualifying to clinch the title with his semi-final win. Anderson took his 86th career win when they squared off, meaning he finishes just three points back of Line. Anderson had defeated Aaron Strong, Shane Gray and Bo Butner en route to the final.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Savoie was the No. 1 qualifier, which meant he entered the day with a 4-point lead. When Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec were eliminated in Round 2, the title was Savoie’s, and he made it all the way to the semi-finals where he was eliminated by Angelle Sampey. Sampey advanced to the final where she took on Matt Smith. However, Sampey red-lighted, and Matt Smith broke a three-year-long winless streak for his 18th career win.
Meanwhile in Top Fuel, it was an all-Kalitta final as J.R. Todd and Doug Kalitta squared off at the Auto Club Raceway. While they didn’t get as close as their dead heat earlier in the season, there was just 0.0087 seconds left in it when they crossed the line, and Kalitta took home the Wally with a holeshot win.
In Funny Car, both John Force Racing and Don Schumacher Racing were represented in the final as John Force and Tommy Johnson, Jr. squared off for the final Funny Car race of 2016. The race ended in a photo finish, with Johnson just edging out the 16-time champion for his third win of the season.
The stars of NHRA will be back in Pomona to kick off the next season on Feb. 12, 2017.