National: Johnny Ahten Pomona preview

Ahten Plans for Pomona Performance Pomona, Calif. -- This weekend, at the 45th NHRA Auto Club World Finals held at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., Johnny Ahten will attempt to place his potent A/Fuel dragster in the 16-car qualified...

Ahten Plans for Pomona Performance

Pomona, Calif. -- This weekend, at the 45th NHRA Auto Club World Finals held at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., Johnny Ahten will attempt to place his potent A/Fuel dragster in the 16-car qualified field at the last race of the 2009 NHRA drag racing season. The firefighter from the nearby city of Saugus will be racing against some of the best Top Alcohol Dragsters in the world. And he is confident his Lucas Oil/ Island Renovations.com sponsored rail will haul the mail in the cool, crisp Southern California air.

"This track has historically produced some of the greatest performances in NHRA history," noted Ahten, "Our A/Fuel Dragster has made several good runs this season and I'm quietly confident we have yet to reach our full potential. This is the final race of the season, so we're going to reach into our bag-of-tricks and see what this baby can do."

Ahten Racing heads into Pomona after a second round finish at the recently completed NHRA Las Vegas Nationals, held at "The Strip" at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Ahten placed his A/Fueler in the number eight qualified position out of 25 TAD's entered. In the opening stanza Ahten matched up against the Blown Alcohol Dragster of Division 6 competitor Joey Severance. Severance held a slight reaction time advantage at the flash of the green, but the nitro methane powered rail chased him down, recording a solid 5.30 second elapsed time. In the second round Ahten was paired against the number one qualifier, Monroe Guest. Ahten gave Guest all he could handle until his car dropped two cylinders at 330 feet into the run. The loss of nearly 800 horsepower permitted Guest to drive past Ahten for the round win.

"Our car ran pretty well in the altitude of Las Vegas," Ahten said. "These A/Fuel cars do not historically do well at tracks like Las Vegas, but I think we have stumbled across some good information. I'm really proud of the effort the crew has done this season and I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do here in Pomona."

Ahten also knows he will have several of his friends and co workers in the grandstands cheering for him. "I really hope to do well for all my brothers and sisters who have battled several fires this season. We've all had a tough year and I'd love to be able to give all the firefighters in So Cal a reason to celebrate on Sunday. We'll give it our best effort for certain."

Ahten will begin his quest for his first NHRA National Event victory with three qualifying sessions beginning on Thursday afternoon at noon. The Top Alcohol Dragsters will also receive two more attempts to crack the top 16 on Friday. First round is scheduled to begin on Saturday evening.

-credit: ar

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Series NHRA