Pomona Jim Epler Preview

EPLER FINDING SUCCESS WITH WWF FUNNY CAR TAG TEAM POMONA, Calif. - John Force has already clinched his ninth NHRA Winston Funny Car championship. Tony Pedregon has a tight grasp on second place and Whit Bazemore has already pinned-down ...

EPLER FINDING SUCCESS WITH WWF FUNNY CAR TAG TEAM POMONA, Calif. - John Force has already clinched his ninth NHRA Winston Funny Car championship. Tony Pedregon has a tight grasp on second place and Whit Bazemore has already pinned-down third. While the top three spots have been secured, that doesn't mean there won't be any anticipation and excitement at the 35th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, Nov. 11-14 at Pomona Raceway. Funny Car positions 4-10 are wide open in the Winston Top 10 and several drivers will be working hard to gain one of the coveted spots at the $1.7 million race, the final of 22 events in the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Among drivers jockeying for position will be Jim Epler, a longtime Funny Car journeyman, who has finally found a good home with the Jerry Toliver-owned WWF Racing Team. Since joining the team at the U.S. Nationals, Epler has advanced to two final rounds, at Indianapolis and most recently at Houston Raceway Park. Epler's last national event win came at the 1993 Finals, and he's anxious to keep the momentum going and try to end his six year winless drought. "That's always been my favorite race," said Epler, driver of the WWF 'Undertaker' Pontiac Firebird. "I love going to Pomona, it's such a big market and I'm from Phoenix, so a lot of my family can come out and watch. Both of my wins have come there, so it's a pretty special place for me." Epler, currently seventh in the standings, is 41 points away from a career-best fifth place points finish. He'll be battling Del Worsham, Dean Skuza, Tommy Johnson Jr., Ron Capps and Cory Lee for valuable points in three days of qualifying and Sunday's eliminations. Since joining WWF's formidable drag racing stable, Epler has put behind him the memories of two specatcular engine explosions at consecutive events in Seattle and Sonoma, Calif. He says being part of the WWF team has made a huge difference in his approach to drag racing. "We've got a lot of great plans for the team," Epler said. "We're still putting everything together, getting the right people for the operation. We're in this for the long term. To have the budget to compete is the biggest difference and the folks at WWF are great at promoting our team." He says the success Force is enjoying is forcing teams to follow the multi-car team model. "Force has proved that operating a two car team is the way of the future," said Epler, who has posted career-bests for elapsed time (4.882 seconds) and speed (310.27 mph) in recent events. "We're definitely seeing results from having two cars. It's a benefit to gain as much information as you can."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Epler , Tony Pedregon , Del Worsham , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Cory Lee , Jerry Toliver , Tommy Johnson Jr.