Sean O'Bannon Pomona preview

O'Bannon looking to start '07 strong in Pomona POMONA, Calif. - After pressing last year's NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster Championship battle down to the wire last season, Sean O'Bannon will be looking to start the year with a bang during this ...

O'Bannon looking to start '07 strong in Pomona

POMONA, Calif. - After pressing last year's NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster Championship battle down to the wire last season, Sean O'Bannon will be looking to start the year with a bang during this weekend's CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. Armed with the new increased overdrive rule from late last season, O'Bannon hopes to come away with a win in his Tequila Patron/Forest River RV's Blown Alcohol Dragster.

After finishing second in the country last season, O'Bannon, 28, of nearby Fontana, Calif., hopes to take the first step toward his first National Championship and his father Jack's sixth National Championship as a car owner this weekend at his hometown race.

"The team is very fired up to get the season started," said O'Bannon. "We just have to take it one run at a time and see what happens. They are forecasting some bad weather this weekend, so that is going to make getting down the track on the first run that much more critical since they would shorten qualifying if it does rain. The car ran well in testing, and we're all ready to go out there and try to put this Tequila Patron dragster in the winner's circle."

O'Bannon's duties will extend beyond the cockpit this weekend, however. The team's recently hired tuner, Sam Shockley will be unable to attend due to health reasons this weekend. O'Bannon will share the tune-up calls with his Top Alcohol Funny Car teammate Alexis De Joria's Crew Chief Randy Anderson and Team Manager Jeff Lirones.

"Sam is recovering from surgery and has an appointment this weekend he's been waiting to get for a while," explained O'Bannon. "We have a pretty solid baseline, so Jeff and I will pretty much run the car. Luckily we have Randy in our camp, and Sam is only a phone call away. We should be able to handle it this weekend, but we definitely look forward to getting Sam back soon."

-credit: jobr

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Series NHRA