2021 NHRA Auto Club Finals Sportsman Preview

2021 NHRA Auto Club Finals Sportsman Preview from Pomona, California

Cover photo courtesy of NHRA.tv

POMONA – The 2021 NHRA tour comes down to one final race this week at the Pomona Fairgrounds. Racers roll into the NHRA Auto Club Finals with one last shot at glory before the book closes on the 2021 season. The historic and scenic California facility will play host to two championship races as the Stock Eliminator and Super Comp championships have yet to be finalized.

After Luke Bogacki clinched the Super Gas title a few weeks back, Blake Peavler (TD), Greg Stanfield (SS), and Jimmy Lewis (TS), wrapped up their respective championships at the Division 7 LODRS event in Las Vegas last weekend. That leaves us with two more titles to be determined this weekend.

The NHRA Auto Club Finals will showcase over 325 Lucas Oil sportsman racers competing in seven different classes. The schedule includes Competition Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock Eliminator, Super Comp, Super Gas, Top Sportsman, and Top Dragster.

Before we look ahead to the 2021 NHRA Auto Club Finals, letโ€™s look back at the 2019 event champions.

Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series

2019 NHRA Auto Club Finals Champions

Competition Eliminator – Doug Lambeck

Super Stock – Jeff Dona

Stock Eliminator – Jeff Taylor

Super Comp – Ryan McClanahan

Super Gas – Steve Williams


2021 NHRA Auto Club Finals Predictions

With each NHRA national event DragChampโ€™s sportsman preview includes an overview of each class. In addition, we select the DragChamp Picks to win the race. Here are this weekโ€™s picks.

Competition Eliminator – 14 Car Field

Royce Freeman

The small Comp field includes a large number of hitters like Joe Mozeris, Cody Lane, 2019 event winner Doug Lambeck, and more.

DragChamp picks to win:

Royce Freeman – Coming in hot this week after a big win at the Las Vegas divisional race. Look for that Patterson-Elite HP to show out this week.

Super Stock – 60 Car Field

Ryan McClanahan

Newly crowned 5X World Champ Greg Stanfield looks to round out his championship season with another victory. He’ll have to contend with top D7 runners like Justin Lamb, Jimmy DeFrank, and other hitters including the Emmons Bros., Tommy Gaynor, and Don Keen.

DragChamp picks to win:

Dennis Paz – Veteran D7 racer enjoyed huge success earlier this summer, look for him to rekindle that magic to close the season.

Ryan McClanahan – Won Super Comp here in 2019, look for him to be in the Super Stock final on Sunday.

Stock Eliminator – 60 Car Field

Joe Santangelo Stock Winner
Joe Santangelo – photo courtesy of NHRA.tv

Joe Santangelo comes into the weekend leading the points standings. He’ll need to hold off a hard-charging Jammin’ Jerry Emmons to secure the championship. Both racers will have to contend with a talent-laden field of Stockers which includes names like Lang, Lamb, Gilley, Plourd, and many more.

DragChamp picks to win:

CW Hoefer – One of the best bottom bulb racers on the west coast is bound to cash in soon on the national event level.

Jody Lang – The defending national champion closes the season with a W!

Super Comp – 66 Car Field

Zach Meziere

Defending World Champ and current points leader Christopher Dodd is not on the entry list for Pomona. That means he’ll watch from Texas as former World Champ Devin Isenhower takes his shot at the title. It looks like Devin will need to go to the semifinals to surpass Dodd. Should be fun to watch.

DragChamp picks to win:

Zach Meziere – The California kid, and friend to DragChamp, has been in Texas most of the year bracket racing. That extra seat time should pay off this weekend.

Madison Payne – Tough young racer is ready for the big time. Mom Shelly would have a huge celebration if she can break through for her big win this Sunday.

Super Gas – 62 Car Field

evan kowalski
Evan Kowalski

Evan Kowalski rolls into Pomona holding the hot hand. The best .90 racers from D5, D6, and D7 will look to put an end to his recent winning streak.

DragChamp picks to win:

Val Torres – D7 hitter has a long history of success at Pomona.

Steve Williams – Coming off a huge Super Comp victory at the Vegas Nationals, look for Steve to keep the momentum going and win the 9.90 class this week.

Top Sportsman – 32 Car Field

Jimmy Lewis

After crisscrossing the country in the last 90 days, newly crowned World Champ Jimmy Lewis looks to end the year with another victory. A strong contingent of racers consisting Don Meziere, Ed Olpin, Ken Ratzloff, and Richard Okerman will be gunning for the new champ.

DragChamp pick to win:

Steve Casner – Veteran racer has won in just about every class he’s raced. Not sure if he’s won in TS but it wouldn’t surprise me if he was holding the Wally on Sunday.

Ed Olpin – This dude has been way too quiet on the national event trail. Look for that to change this week.

Top Dragster – 32 Car Field

Taylor Vetter

Super Comp hitter Parker Theobald is going to stretch his legs this week and run the fast bracket class. Division 1 standout Ken Moses will make the long tow to California to mix it up with the Division 7 regulars.

DragChamp pick to win:

Taylor Vetter – Look for Taylor to grab a W before moving up to the Top Alcohol class next season.

Thomas Bayer – Driving school instructor is as cagey as they come. Always seems to put himself in position to win races.

DragChamp is your source for NHRA Lucas Oil sportsman drag racing news and drag race results. Click here for more NHRA sportsman news and race results.

2 thoughts on “2021 NHRA Auto Club Finals Sportsman Preview

  • November 9, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    Loving Evan Kowalski ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ˜ข

    • November 10, 2021 at 8:34 pm

      He’s had a great finish to the season!


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