A trio of multi-time world-championship winners, John Force, Jeg Coughlin and Matt Smith, were joined by first-time winner Shawn Langdon as the headliners who were crowned Monday evening during the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series awards ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in West Los Angeles.
The four drivers were honored for their season-long achievements and presented with checks and trophies for winning 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championship titles during the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s playoffs.
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Officials from the Pacific Street Car Association and Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill., announced a multi-year partnership agreement to expand the popular drag racing Street Car Super Nationals to two events next season. The multi-purpose facility will host the St. Louis Street Car Super Nationals August 20-24, 2014.
“We’re excited to work with Mel Roth on the development of this event and believe it will quickly become one of the premier drag racing events in the United States,” said Chris Blair, Gateway Motorsports Park Senior vice president of business development and promotion. “Having been involved with the development of the Street Car Super Nationals from the beginning, I’ve watched the program grow tremendously from it’s beginning and know that our venue will be the perfect home for the next step for this event.”
With racers registered from all over the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, and even Sweden, this weekend's Pacific Street Car Association’s Street Car Super Nationals IX could be the biggest yet. The event, held again at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, will be covered by more than 25 international media outlets.
“We’re ready to go,” said PSCA President Mel Roth. “We put a lot of hard work into every one of our events, but there’s something special about the Street Car Super Nats. For a lot of racers, it’s the final event of the year and they push a little harder than they would at an event during the season, and the fans know they’re going to see some amazing passes on one of the best-prepped tracks in the country.
It just couldn’t get much better for Rocky Di Lecce in 2013.
The Pro Modified racer from Mississauga, Ontario won a record-setting five events for one season in the Pro Modified Racing Association, winning the Championship Point Award Series in fine style.
Di Lecce also captured a special Pro Mod Invitational held at Maryland International Raceway in September in an inaugural Canada-versus-USA matchup, besting some of the finest Pro Mod teams in the Eastern US.
Outgoing Top Fuel champion Antron Brown and Top Alcohol Dragster "Comeback Kid" Shawn Cowie are the 2013 recipients of CompetitionPlus.com's Mike Aiello "Spirit of Drag Racing" Award.
CompetitionPlus.com owner Bobby Bennett and 2010 recipient Jack Beckman made the presentation Sunday at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, just before eliminations of the Auto Club of Southern California Finals.
Jon Asher, the seasoned Senior Editor for CompetitionPlus.com, will bring you his four decades worth of insight to the NHRA Auto Club Finals in Pomona, Ca. Follow along daily with the seasoned journalist as he brings you this weekend's race from a different angle - HIS!
The drama for the Pro Stock world championship was eliminated before the final round of the Auto Club NHRA Finals.
Jeg Coughlin Jr. clinched the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock world title in round two of the Auto Club NHRA Finals when Jason Line lost to Buddy Perkinson.
None of that mattered to Rickie Jones, who was all smiles after winning his first NHRA career national event with a holeshot over Allen Johnson in the finals.
Ultimately, Matt Hagan wanted to win a 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Series nitro Funny Car world championship.
That wasn’t possible since legendary driver John Force clinched his 16th world title at the Las Vegas Nationals on Oct. 27.
Hagan did get a slight measure of satisfaction Sunday, however, beating Force in the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.
Just when Shawn Langdon thought nothing could feel any more thrilling than his NHRA Top Fuel championship celebration Saturday at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, his hometown track, he found out he could, indeed, squeeze even more from this triumphant weekend.
Standing hard on the gas against wicked-tough veteran Doug Kalitta in a side-by-side showdown Sunday, Langdon completed the first "Pomona sweep" (winning the season-opening Winternationals and the finale) since 2004 at the Auto Club Finals. (Langdon actually had a "California sweep," capturing the Wally at the Sonoma race in the Bay Area, too.)
It's not The House That Eddie Built, by any means.
John Force has won eight times at the historic Pomona, Calif., dragstrip known today as Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Kenny Bernstein has six victories here -- and Bob Glidden, Greg Anderson, and John Myers five. Tony Schumacher, Warren Johnson, and bike great Dave Schultz have been to the winners circle four times in the season finale.
The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series returns for the 13th season with premier events taking place across the country in all seven NHRA divisions. The 2014 schedule will feature 42 divisional events with a minimum of five in each of the seven divisions. There will also be 26 regional events featuring the 250-mph Top Alcohol Dragster and Funny Car classes.
The 2014 season will see a return to Orlando Speed World Dragway in Orlando, Fla., Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis and Thunder Road Raceway Park in Gilliam, La. The 2014 season will begin in Orlando Feb. 7-9, and concludes in Las Vegas, Nov. 6-9.
Shawn Langdon (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Rickie Jones (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were race winners at the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season-finale.
Coughlin, who won four races in eight final rounds during the season at the controls of his JEGS.com/Mopar Dodge Avenger, took the title at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona when his only remaining challenger, Jason Line, lost in the second round of eliminations.
"In this day and age, it is so tough to win out here," said Coughlin, who joins Shawn Langdon, John Force and Matt Smith as 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Series world champions.
Wide-eyed Jr. Dragster racers look at Shawn Langdon like he's a superhero.
They stand in front of his Al-Anabi Racing pit, maybe with mouths slightly agape, maybe a bit shy to ask for his autograph, maybe blurting out only that they have his picture stuck up on their bedroom walls and that one day they want to race Top Fuel dragsters like he does.
Their instructions this weekend are to hold down the fort, but for co-crew chiefs Mike Knudsen and Terry Snyder, the NHRA Auto Club Finals could very well be an audition for the future.
Knudsen is subbing for Matt Hagan’s crew chief Dickie Venables, out this weekend following a surgical procedure, while Terry Snyder, with Todd Okuhara, fills the spot vacated by Jack Beckman’s tuner Todd Smith, who was released following the Las Vegas event two weeks ago.
Point standings (top 10) following the 49th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the final of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series -
Final round-by-round results from the 49th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the final of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:
- FINAL ROUND PHOTOS FROM POMONA
- TOP FUEL'S BERNSTEIN TAKES NO. 1 SPOT, REMINDS CLASS HE'S A FACTOR
- FORCE CONTINUES TO SHINE WITH TITLE CLINCHED
- EDWARDS CARRIES SLIM TITLE HOPES INTO POMONA FINAL DAY
- PSM'S ARANA JR. COMES IN LIKE LION, PLANS TO GO OUT WITH ROAR
- COUGHLIN LIKELY TO CLINCH WITH RD. 1 WIN
- BROWN'S TOP FUEL MOJO RETURNS, JUST A LITTLE TOO LATE
- SATURDAY QUALIFYING COMPLETED IN POMONA
- BRUNO MASSEL MAKES THE LEAP INTO PRO STOCK
- HAGAN: YOU SIMPLY CANNOT REPLACE A MAN LIKE DICKIE VENABLES
- THE BATTLE FOR SECOND PLACE IN FC PROMISES EXCITEMENT
- FIRST THINGS FIRST, FOR EDWARDS AND TEAM
- FORCE DELIVERS IN THE CLUTCH
- NHRA HOT ROD HERITAGE RACING SERIES ANNOUNCES 2014 SEASON SCHEDULE
- LANGDON BUYS INTO AL-ANABI'S 'NEVER-SATISFIED' MANTRA