After nearly 19 years, Jeff Dona finally visited the winner’s circle again with a national event Wally at the NHRA Auto Club Finals in Pomona, California.
POMONA, CA- Super Stock racer Jeff Dona visited the NHRA winner’s circle for the first time in 19 years after defeating Dan Fletcher in the final-round at the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona.
Dona first visited the winner’s circle at the NHRA national event in Madison, Illinois 19 years ago. Fast forward to 2019 and Jeff Dona was victorious again, but this time he was a little farther away from home.
Dona qualified third out of 53 cars in the Super Stock field. Running in SS/HA with his ’98 firebird, he ran -1.105 under his index, which ended up being a 9.495 on a 10.60 index.
In the first-round of eliminations, Dona defeated Super Comp winner Ryan McClanahan. Dona’s .017-package left McClanahan mathematically ineligible after he left with an .032 light. Both drivers ran dead on, but Dona was victorious with his .010 reaction time.
Jim Rau turned it red in the second round of eliminations giving Dona the win. Dona turned it -.003 red right behind him, but since Rau left first it made Dona the automatic winner.
In an almost heads-up race, Dona and Aaron Stanfield battled it out in round three. Stanfield, Dona’s engine builder, gave him a run for his money but ultimately came up short. Dona was .016 and ran dead on his dial-in while Stanfield was .018 and three above his dial-in.
The win over Stanfield earned Dona the fourth-round bye and a spot in the semifinals. Dona used up a .000 light on his bye run and shut off early to an 10.080.
In the semi-finals, Dona used a hole shot, .016 to .034, to earn the double-breakout win over the HEMI Dart of Joe Faherty. After leaving second, Faherty took .011 stripe to go post a .033 under 9.387 to Dona’s -.004 under 9.796. The win sent Dona to his seventh career final round.
The final was a battle of two of the top Super Stock racers in the country as Dan Fletcher squared off with Dona. Fletcher, appearing in his 156th career final, was nearly perfect off the line posting a .001 light. At the finish line, Fletcher took .021 stripe to go -.032 under his dial. Dona was .020 and ran a 9.750 on his 9.78 to earn his second national event Wally by .002-seconds.
Congrats to Jeff Dona and his family on their latest victory!
About the author: Megan Strassweg is a 22 year old Super Comp racer from Louisville, Kentucky. She races a 2015 American Dragster sponsored by Coolshirt Systems. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May of 2020 with a degree in Photojournalism and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Megan works at Jim Butner Auto in the Finance Department. Growing up at the racetrack, drag racing is all she has known and never plans to give up on it.