Pomona II: Budweiser Shootout preview

Bernstein seeking third Budweiser Shootout at Pomona Victory. POMONA, Calif. -- Kenny Bernstein will seek his third Budweiser Shootout at Pomona victory on Nov. 9 as the event's top seed. Bernstein, entering his 13th and final career Budweiser...

Bernstein seeking third Budweiser Shootout at Pomona Victory.

POMONA, Calif. -- Kenny Bernstein will seek his third Budweiser Shootout at Pomona victory on Nov. 9 as the event's top seed. Bernstein, entering his 13th and final career Budweiser Shootout, won the lucrative bonus event in 1991 (def. Don Prudhomme) and 1993 (def. Eddie Hill). The winner of the 18th annual Budweiser Shootout at Pomona will earn $100,000. In addition, the Shootout winner is eligible for a $50,000 double-up bonus from NHRA if he also wins the 38th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals on Nov. 10.

The Budweiser Shootout at Pomona showcases the eight Top Fuel drivers who accumulated the most qualifying points during the 2002 Budweiser Shootout series, beginning with the 2001 Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals and ending at the 2002 ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas.

Budweiser, the Official Beer of the NHRA, provides an overall purse of $147,000 for the eight drivers who have qualified for the Budweiser Shootout at Pomona. The Shootout runner-up will earn $15,000. The two semifinalists will earn $6,000 each and the four first-round finishers $5,000 apiece.

A total of $239,000 is available to Top Fuel drivers during the 23-race Budweiser Shootout series. Budweiser awarded $92,000 in bonuses to quick qualifiers throughout the Shootout series, with the Top Fuel low qualifier earning $4,000 at each NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event leading up to the Budweiser Shootout at Pomona.

Bernstein, a six-time NHRA champion who will retire from driving following the event, qualified No. 1 at five events in the series. Defending Budweiser Shootout champ Larry Dixon, who recently claimed his first NHRA POWERade series crown, earned seven top qualifying efforts to earn the second spot in the lineup, while Doug Kalitta claimed the third spot with three No. 1 efforts.

Dixon, a two-time winner of the bonus event (2001, 1995), defeated Doug Kalitta for last season's Budweiser Shootout at Pomona title. Kalitta (1998) and Dixon join Bernstein as the only past winners qualified for this year's event. Cory McClenathan, who is making his 10th career start anchors the fifth spot in the eight-car lineup and is a three-time runner-up in the bonus race.

Other qualified drivers for the Budweiser Shootout include Andrew Cowin, making his first career start from the No. 6 starting position, Doug Herbert, who is qualified seventh and making his fourth career start and No. 4 qualifier Tony Schumacher, making his fourth appearance. Darrell Russell, making his second career start from the No. 8 position, will try to give six-time winner Joe Amato another trophy in the event he's competed in as a driver a record 16 times. Other past winners include Don Garlits (1986); Shelly Anderson (1994); and Scott Kalitta (1996). Amato is the only Top Fuel driver to win the double-up bonus (1990).

Budweiser Shootout rounds are scheduled for 12:15 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Nov. 10. <pre> 2002 BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT AT POMONA FINAL STANDINGS 1. Kenny Bernstein, Lake Forest, Calif., Budweiser King Dragster 3,535 2. Larry Dixon, Indianapolis, Miller Lite Dragster 3,505 3. Doug Kalitta, Ypsilanti, Mich., Mac Tools Dragster 3,320 4. Tony Schumacher, Park Ridge, Ill., U.S. Army Dragster 3,220 5. Cory McClenathan, Anaheim, Calif., Berryman Dragster 3,120 6. Andrew Cowin, Davie, Fla., Yankee Dragster 3,100 7. Doug Herbert, Cherryville, N.C., Snap-on Tools Dragster 3,025 8. Darrell Russell, Hockley, Texas, Bilstein Engine Flush Dragster 2,905

2002 BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT ROUND PAIRINGS FIRST ROUND ( 12:15 p.m., Nov. 9) Bernstein vs. Russell Dixon vs. Herbert Kalitta vs. Cowin Schumacher vs. McClenathan

SEMIFINALS (2 p.m.) Bernstein-Russell winner vs. Schumacher-McClenathan winner Dixon-Herbert winner vs. Kalitta-Cowin winner

FINAL: (4 p.m.)

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Doug Kalitta , Andrew Cowin , Don Garlits , Cory McClenathan , Scott Kalitta , Don Prudhomme , Shelly Anderson