Pomona III: 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. 10 as the special event's top seed. Bernstein, entering his 12th 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. 10 as the special event's top seed. Bernstein, entering his 12th career Budweiser Shootout, won the lucrative bonus event in 1991 (def. Don Prudhomme) and 1993 (def. Eddie Hill). The winner of the 17th annual Budweiser Shootout at Pomona will earn $100,000. In addition, the Shootout winner is eligible to win a $50,000 "double-up" bonus from NHRA if he wins the 37th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals on Nov. 11.

The Budweiser Shootout at Pomona showcases the eight Top Fuel drivers who accumulated the most qualifying points during the 2001 Budweiser Shootout series, beginning with the 2000 Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals and ending at the 2001 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.

"We're excited many of the NHRA's top drivers will again compete in the Budweiser Shootout at Pomona," said Tony Ponturo, vice president of corporate media and sports marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. "This program gives us an outstanding way to reward the sport's best qualifiers week in and week out, and we're eager to give away $100,000 to this year's champion."

A total of $243,000 is available to Top Fuel drivers during the Budweiser Shootout series. Budweiser awarded $96,000 in bonuses to quick qualifiers throughout the Shootout series, with the low qualifier earning $4,000 at each NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series event leading up to the Budweiser Shootout at Pomona.

Bernstein, who leads the NHRA Winston Top Fuel point standings entering the final event, qualified No. 1 at eight events in the Shootout series.

Larry Dixon earned four top qualifying efforts to take the second spot in the lineup, while Mike Dunn posted five No. 1 qualifying efforts to claim the third spot. Defending champ Gary Scelzi anchors the top half of the eight-car field with five No. 1 efforts.

Scelzi, a three-time winner of the bonus event (2000, 1999, 1997), defeated Darrell Russell for the 2000 Budweiser Shootout at Pomona victory. Doug Kalitta (1998) and Dixon (1995) join Scelzi and Bernstein as the only past winners qualified for this year's event. Dunn is making his sixth appearance in the Budweiser Shootout, while Doug Herbert and Tony Schumacher are each making their third start. Darrell Russell is making his second start, after participating in the rain-delayed 2000 Budweiser Shootout, which was completed during the 2001 AutoZone Winternationals. Russell was allowed to compete as a substitute driver for Joe Amato, who retired following the 2000 season.

Amato, who competed in the bonus event a record 16 times, has the most wins (six), including four straight from 1987-'90. Other past winners include Don Garlits (1986); Shelly Anderson (1994); and Scott Kalitta (1996).

Budweiser Shootout rounds are scheduled for 12:45 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 10. <pre> 2001 BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT AT POMONA FINAL STANDINGS 1. Kenny Bernstein, Lake Forest, Calif., Budweiser King Dragster 3,750 2. Larry Dixon, Indianapolis, Miller Lite Dragster 3,725 3. Mike Dunn, Wrightsville, Pa., Yankee Dragster 3,655 4. Gary Scelzi, Fresno, Calif., Team Winston Dragster 3,635 5. Doug Kalitta, Ann Arbor, Mich., Mac Tools Dragster 3,405 6. Doug Herbert, Cherryville, N.C., Snap-on Tools Dragster 3,075 7. Tony Schumacher, Park Ridge, Ill., U.S. Army Dragster 3,055 8. Darrell Russell, Hockley, Texas, Amato Racing Dragster 3,050

2001 BUDWEISER SHOOTOUT ROUND PAIRINGS

FIRST ROUND Bernstein vs. Russell Dixon vs. Schumacher Dunn vs. Herbert Scelzi vs. Kalitta SEMIFINALS Bernstein-Russell winner vs. Scelzi-Kalitta winner Dixon-Schumacher winner vs. Dunn-Herbert winner FINAL: (4:30 p.m., Nov. 10)

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-NHRA-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Kenny Bernstein , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Don Garlits , Scott Kalitta , Don Prudhomme , Shelly Anderson