Hot Bikes at 50th Auto Club NHRA Finals
Words & Photos: Roger Rohrdanz
Pro Stock Motorcycle Finals Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
On November 13 thru 16, 2014 the 50th Annual NHRA Finals were contested at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, CA. The racing season began at this same track in February and after 24 races over a ten month time span the championship for the “Pro” classes came down to this last exciting race. This event saw Champions crowned in 11 classes including the 4 “Pro” classes of the NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series, 6 classes of the 2014 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series an 4 classes of the Summit Racing Series. Over 500 racers came from 7 geographical divisions around the United States. They were competing not only for a “Finals” event win, but also for the NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Series Championship. The weather was perfect, temperatures in the mid to high 70’s with evenings cooling off to mid 60’s producing a very fast track.
This was also the 50th Anniversary of the Finals, first held in 1965. The Hot Rod Junction area was filled with restored historic front engined dragsters and beautiful nostalgia funny cars that did a “Cacklefest” twice a day. Here, all the great legends of drag racing got together to sign autographs and talk to their fans. Also in the pits was “Nitro Alley” packed with rows and rows of vendors showing their wares. Rows and rows of stands served all kinds of food.
The exciting and historic finish to the 2014 NHRA Mello Yellow Drag Racing Season included Erica Enders-Stevens becoming the first women to win the Pro Stock championship when she defeated Jason Line in the final round. If that wasn’t enough, 3 more “Pro” championships were decided. Andrew Hines won his fourth Pro Stock Motorcycle championship. He raced to 6 event wins during the season. Matt Hagan claimed both the season Funny Car championship and the Finals victory over rival John Force.