2018 Champ Steve Torrence Leads 2017 Winner Brittany Force by Just 16 Points

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – FOX Sports wraps up the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series this weekend from Pomona, Calif., with just 16 points separating 2018 Top Fuel champion and current points leader Steve Torrence and 2017 champ Brittany Force. Weekend coverage begins Friday, Nov. 15 with NHRA FRIDAY NITRO LIVE on FS1 at 5:30 PM ET, with Final Round action starting Sunday, Nov. 17 at 3:00 PM ET with NHRA SUNDAY LIVE on FS1.

“The Brittany Force, crew chief David Grubnic combination was destined to be good,” said FOX NHRA analyst and two-time NHRA Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon. “Grubnic has proven over the last two years that he can out-run any other Top Fuel team given the right conditions, even with not much depth in terms of parts. Now that he has everything a tuner needs to be successful, he has become a bigger threat.

“And, like she did a couple of years ago, Brittany has stepped up her game when she has needed it most,” Pedregon added. Qualifying will be interesting. I look for Grubnic to be very aggressive. I don’t know that Steve can out-qualify them. The forecast on Sunday in Pomona will be a big factor. If it in fact reaches 87 degrees, the momentum will swing in Torrence‘s favor, possibly even opening the door for third-place Doug Kalitta. All things considered it is Steve’s to lose.”

Pedregon teams with play-by-play announcer Brian Lohnes in the booth, with reporting from two-time NHRA Competition Eliminator champion Bruno Massel, Amanda Busick and Lewis Bloom.

Busick will do her #Walk100Feet feature with Top Fuel rookie Austin Prock, and NHRA legend Don “The Snake” Prudhomme will make a special video appearance Sunday on FS1.

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series championship contenders heading into the season finale:

• Top Fuel: Steve Torrence, 2488 points; Brittany Force (-16), Doug Kalitta (-55)
• Funny Car: Robert Hight, 2494; Jack Beckman (-46), Matt Hagan (-56)
• Pro Stock: Erica Enders, 2517; Jeg Coughlin, Jr. (-92), Bo Butner (-113)
• Pro Stock Motorcycle: Andrew Hines, 2540; Jerry Savoie (-115), Eddie Krawiec (-116)

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–FOX SPORTS–