Pomona Pro Stock Truck Preview

JETER, PANELLA BRING PRO STOCK TRUCK CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE TO POMONA POMONA, Calif. - The established rivalries in NHRA Winston Drag Racing is what makes the sport so exciting and entertaining. When Kenny Bernstein and Joe Amato ...

JETER, PANELLA BRING PRO STOCK TRUCK CHAMPIONSHIP BATTLE TO POMONA POMONA, Calif. - The established rivalries in NHRA Winston Drag Racing is what makes the sport so exciting and entertaining. When Kenny Bernstein and Joe Amato square off in Top Fuel, it certainly gets the blood pumping. When John Force and Al Hofmann trade nitro punches in Funny Car, there's sure to be fireworks. In Pro Stock, Warren Johnson and Jim Yates always push it to the wire with a photo finish. Angelle Seeling and Matt Hines have the biggest grudge match going in Pro Stock Motorcycle. In NHRA's newest pro category, two-year-old Pro Stock Truck, a similar rivalry is developing: Brad Jeter vs. Bob Panella. The two drivers will see their rivalry intensify at the 35th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, Nov. 11-14 at Pomona Raceway. Both enter the $1.7 million race, final of 22 events in the $40 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series, with a shot at winning the NHRA Winston Pro Stock Truck championship. Panella leads Jeter by 56 points entering the season finale. "We knew at Dallas that if we wanted to win this championship it was a matter of winning the race," said Jeter, who accomplished that goal. "We did everything we could do. We set the truck up the best we could and I drove the best I could." In fact, Jeter has won the last two events. However, he says beating Panella in the semifinals at Dallas may have been his most crucial round win this season. "That was a big race," Jeter said. "There was a lot of pressure in that round. I knew if I could beat him I would still have a shot at winning the championship. If I lost it there, it would have been over. I had him on the tree and my Chevy S-10 pulled away and it saved us." Panella could have secured the championship at Dallas with a record-setting weekend. Unfortunately for the Stockton, Calif. driver, it didn't happen. "(Losing to Brad at Dallas) definitely didn't help," Panella said. "I was kind of excited to run him at Dallas. I was hoping to be able to beat him and not have to worry about the championship going to Pomona. Mathematically he could still win, but realistically that would have been the end of it. Unfortunately he had one of those runs that's really tough to beat. I said in the middle of the year that this championship would go to Pomona and that's where it's headed. We'll go home, freshen everything up, do some testing and I'll do my best in Pomona." For Jeter to win the championship, he knows he must do everything in his power to erase the 56-point deficit. He's going into the race looking to earn the maximum 138 points. To earn 138 points, drivers must qualify No. 1, set a national elapsed time record and win the race. "We're going to take this Chevy S-10 to Pomona and try to win this championship," said Jeter, a three-time winner in five finals this season. "Mathematically I've got a shot and I'll go in there with my guns loaded. At the first of the year I thought if we had went to five finals we could win the championship. We've now been in five and we're still not leading the championship." In addition to Panella and Jeter, former Pro Stock racer Mark Osborne has an outside shot at winning the NHRA Winston championship as well. He's currently third in the point standings, trailing Panella by 107.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Matt Hines , Bob Panella , Kenny Bernstein , Brad Jeter , Warren Johnson , Al Hofmann , John Force , Joe Amato