Steven Farr Saturday Pomona pit note

POMONA, Ca. - Let the record reflect that Steven Farr is now superstitious. The 22-year old, driver of the Jerry Haas Chevrolet S-10 Pro Stock Truck, admitted that he knew the 36th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in ...

POMONA, Ca. - Let the record reflect that Steven Farr is now superstitious. The 22-year old, driver of the Jerry Haas Chevrolet S-10 Pro Stock Truck, admitted that he knew the 36th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona, Ca., would provide him with a reprieve from three consecutive DNQ outings. The proof was in the pudding as he ended the final day of qualifying with a 7.525/179.21, good enough for the tenth spot.

How could he discern such a thing? Farr revealed that when he landed at the terminal in the airport, his gate number was 402, the same number on the Haas truck. However, in his mind, the one thing that did it was a passing glimpse of the clock that revealed the time was 11:11. Legend has it if one looks at the clock and it reads this particular time, without being noted by someone else, that you can make a wish. Farr now believes that wishes can come true.

"This is great," explained Farr, who first joined the Haas team in April of this season. "We hadn't lost our combination, we just encountered a lot of bad luck along the way. Even though we broke a fuel pump on the first run and we were not in the field, I knew that we'd get a break this weekend. It all came to pass."

Farr's best run came during Saturday's third session. The Colleyville, Texas-based driver was the 20th ranked driver with a 7.596 best. When he blasted out a 7.525, it enabled him to ascend to the fifth position. The season ended with Farr holding onto the tenth spot.

Rains entered Pomona prior to the fourth and final session, which ended qualifying.

Farr will meet recently crowned Pro Stock World Champion Bob Panella in the first round of eliminations.

As Farr enters the first round of eliminations, he will be carrying decals that memorialize those that perished in the fatal accident at last year's Texas A&M bonfire, a tradition which began in 1909. He explained that this tradition was one shared by him and his friends and was a real special occasion.

"We all cut the trees down," Farr said. "I always viewed all of these people as friends, and to a point, as a part of my extended family. I knew a couple of people that died and I had even been there with them building the stuff. One of my best friends was on the particular structure that collapsed and was in the rotation of students to exit it just before it fell. He and I grew up together and it makes me feel better that he was okay. A lot of other people weren't so lucky."

Farr was a college student at Blinn College, which is a brother college to Texas A&M, when a fatal bonfire accident claimed the lives of several of his colleagues. On November 18, twelve students died and 27 others were injured when a structure collapsed. Two of Farr's friends were among the injured.

"It was tough to deal with," recalled Farr. "It was on television all the time around here. I couldn't do anything. I was in a state of shock. My friends and I didn't go to school. We stayed glued to the television watching for the latest news to check on the condition of my friends. I went to high school with a lot of people that went to college there."

Since the tragedy, school officials announced that the tradition would be suspended until 2002. The news source reported that it had only been cancelled once since the inception, and that was after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

He's hoping to score a victory as a tribute to the families and friends of those affected by the unfortunate incident.

Farr first put them on at the rain-delayed NHRA O'Reilly FallNationals, but failed to earn a berth in final eliminations when race officials seeded the program with the top sixteen points earners when rain postponed qualifying.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Panella , Jerry Haas