A new path Drag racing legend Kenny
Bernstein said goodbye to the NHRA,
shutting down his Top Fuel team that
had fielded his son, Brandon. Kenny
vowed to help his son find a new ride.
Matt Hagan applied the hard lessons of 2010 into his final-race replay of his Funny car title hopes, and he made sure the result was different this time around.
POMONA’S FIRST AND FOREMOST
Matt Hagan and Del Worsham win their way into the
record book with their first NHRA championship titles
While Del Worsham and Matt Hagan had
to sweat it out at Pomona, Jason Line
BELOW) was able to waltz through the
NHRA season finale with a title already
in his pocket, having clinched the Pro
Stock championship the week before at
Firebird Raceway outside Phoenix.
Line, 42, scored six wins in eight
final-round appearances with his
Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GXP
this year, but he entered the Countdown
to the Championship playoff series
second in points. He then raced to three
consecutive final round appearances,
including wins at Dallas and Reading, to
claim a second Pro Stock crown to go
with the one that he won in 2006.
“Timing is everything in our sport,
and we got hot at the right time,” said
Line, whose title was worth $250,000.
“The second championship definitely
means more to me because as I’ve
gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate
it and realized how hard these things
really are to get.”
AT HIS BEST WHEN
IT’S ON THE LINE
Countdown surge paid off
in spades for Jason Line
A pair of first-time championship winners headlined
the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing season finale at
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Matt Hagan, 28, avenged a disappointing end to the 2010
season, when he lost the Funny Car title to John Force on the
final day, by winning the championship this year in his
DieHard Dodge Charger.
“Being in that situation last year really helped us. I hate the
phrase you’ve gotta lose one to win one, but in this case it’s sort of
true,” mused Hagan. “Last year we were trying so hard to make
everything happen that we kind of chased it away, I think, and
this year we just let it all come to us.”
Del Worsham earned his first NHRA
championship in Top Fuel after spending
the 20 previous seasons behind the wheel
of a Funny Car. His first championship
was also his last, as he announced a week
later that he was retiring.
Loeb and his citroen saw off the challenge to his World rally crown from Hirvonen at rally GB, but then found out he will have to face the Finn on equal terms in 2012.
12 JANUARY 2012 racer.com
French ace takes WRC crown again, but then...