POMONA, Calif. – The thrilling excitement and heart-pounding action of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona for the 52nd annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries, Feb. 9-12.
NHRA’s tradition-rich season-opening event will be every NHRA fan’s first opportunity to see all of the new cars and new paint schemes for the 2012 season and meet all of the drivers who will be racing at speeds of more than 320 mph in an attempt to join the prestigious list of O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals champions. A win at this event can mean great momentum as drivers pursue NHRA Full Throttle world championship glory during the 23-event season that crisscrosses the United States. The event will be televised on ESPN2 HD.
All of the biggest stars in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will be on hand to blast their way toward the finish line and keep the fans on the edge of their seats. Seven-time Top Fuel world champion and two-time Winternationals winner Tony Schumacher will once again be behind the wheel of his famed U.S. Army dragster. After going winless in 2011, Schumacher will be more determined than ever to get back on the winning track. Several of his arch rivals, including defending winner Morgan Lucas, Antron Brown, Brandon Bernstein and Spencer Massey, will be in the mix and focused on mounting a championship charge.
In Funny Car, five-time Winternationals winner John Force will introduce a fourth member to his race team, as his youngest daughter Courtney Force, 23, will take to the track for the first time in a 7,000-horsepower Ford Mustang in official NHRA competition. Popular Virginia cattle rancher Matt Hagan returns to defend his world championship title from a year ago in his Dodge Charger. Meanwhile, a host of hungry competitors will try to earn a victory at the Winternationals, including Robert Hight, Mike Neff, Ron Capps, Cruz Pedregon, Jack Beckman and rookie Alexis DeJoria.
Defending Pro Stock world champion Jason Line, the two-time and defending winner of this event, will lead the 200 mph Factory Hot Rods into action. In order to win the event for a third time, he’ll have to hold off Greg Anderson, Erica Enders, Mike Edwards, Allen Johnson, Vincent Nobile and Jeg Coughlin Jr., who will make his much-anticipated return to action after sitting out the 2011 season.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet.
Pro qualifying begins on Thursday, Feb. 9 with the first session at 1:30 p.m., followed by another session on Friday, Feb. 10 at 1:30 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 12.
To purchase general admission, reserved seat or Top Eliminator Club tickets, please visit www.NHRATIX.com or call the NHRA Ticket Sales Center at (800) 884-NHRA. Tickets for children 12 and under are free with any paid adult ticket. For more information about NHRA, please visit www.NHRA.com.