Auto Club NHRA Finals
Auto Club Raceway at Pomona
Nov 11-14, 2021
Matt Smith Wins Pro Stock Motorcycle
Matt Smith wrapped up his second straight world championship and fifth overall by winning in the second round on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/Matt Smith Racing EBR against three-time world champion Angelle Sampey. Smith was first off the starting line in the pivotal matchup to pull off the holeshot victory and replicated that in the final round, going 6.817 at 200.74 to beat Karen Stoffer on a holeshot. That gave Smith six victories during his championship season.
“The goal was to at least get three round wins today,” Smith said. “When we beat Angelle and Steve (Johnson) lost right in front of us, I knew we were champs. Everything worked out for the best. I knew we were going to have a tough race with Karen, but I hit the Tree as hard as I could and had the best light of the weekend for me. We just made it work and performed well on the starting line.”
Stoffer, who also qualified No. 1 and made her first career 200-mph run this weekend, advanced to her third straight final to close the year, knocking off Kelly Clontz and Scotty Pollacheck. Smith, though, was brilliant the entire season, knocking off Ryan Oehler, Sampey and Eddie Krawiec on Sunday to reach the final round en route to his 32nd career win.
The 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series begins Feb. 17-20 with the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Eliminations Round 1
|Driver||Scotty Pollacheck – WIN||Andrew Hines|
|660 FT MPH||161.38||159.93|
Scotty Pollacheck is 80 – 62 in his career in round one and 9 – 5 this year in round one. Andrew Hines is 24 – 7 against Pollacheck and 10 – 3 against him in round one. Hines is 24 – 7 against Pollacheck in prior events. Pollacheck is away first and pulls steadily ahead for the win. Hines slows from his prior best.
|Driver||Angie Smith||Angelle Sampey – WIN|
|660 FT MPH||160.02||161.73|
Angelle Sampey wins 83% of her round one races when she has lane choice. Angie Smith is 4 – 6 against Angelle overall and 2 -4 against her in round one. Sampey is 6 – 4 against Smith in prior events. Smith goes red to give the free pass to round two to Sampey. She makes her best run of the weekend in the win.
|Driver||Steve Johnson – WIN||Fred Camarena|
|660 FT MPH||161.90||158.19|
For his career, Steve Johnson has won 42% of his round one races. This year he has won 79% of them. Freddie Camarena is 0 -3 against Johnson and they have all been in the first round. The last time they met was at this event in 2019. Johnson is 2 – 0 against Camarena in prior events. Camarena gets a small starting line advantage, but Johnson is quickly out in front and never headed.
|Driver||Eddie Krawiec – WIN||Chris Bostick|
|660 FT MPH||161.57||159.64|
In his career, Eddie Krawiec has won 86% of his round one races. Eddie has faced 56 riders and there are just two he has never beaten. Geno Scali and Chris Bostick. Bostick is 1 – 0 against Krawiec in prior events. Bostick goes red to give the win to Krawiec.
|Driver||Matt Smith – WIN||Ryan Oehler|
|660 FT MPH||163.81||157.28|
For his career, Matt Smith is 188 – 82 in round one and in 2021 he is 13 – one. That one loss came against Ryan Oehler in Indianapolis. Smith is 5 – 3 against Oehler in prior events. Oehler is in front for a few feet, but Smith power drives on by for the fastest pass of the weekend, just 0.001 off of his qualifying ET. He Faces Sampey next round with lane choice.
|Driver||Karen Stoffer – WIN||Kelly Clontz|
|660 FT MPH||163.73||115.29|
Karen Stoffer is 3 – one in round one when qualified #1. Kelly Clontz is 0 – 4 against Stoffer and they have all been first round races. Stoffer is 4 – 0 against Clontz in prior events. Just 0.003 difference in RT’s and Stoffer gets the easy win, as Clontz was sitting up and coasting before the 330 foot light. Stoffer makes her best pass of the weekend and finally runs over 00 MPH to keep lane choose over Pollacheck next round.
Eliminations Round 2
|Driver||Steve Johnson||Eddie Krawiec – WIN|
|660 FT MPH||159.87||160.96|
12:56 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 88 degrees, relative humidity 14 percent, barometer 30.03 inches, adjusted altitude 3,188 feet, track temperature 110 degrees.Krawiec is 23 – 7 against Johnson in prior events. Johnson is way late and gives the super close hole shot win to Krawiec. Eddie Krawiec’s MOV: 0.0066 seconds (approximately 23 inches).
|Driver||Matt Smith – WIN||Angelle Sampey|
|660 FT MPH||162.39||162.24|
Smith is 20 – 7 against Sampey in prior events. In almost a repeat of the last pair, Sampey is late and makes her best pass of the weekend, only to lose on a hole shot to Smith. That make Matt Smith the 2021 Pro Stock Bike Champion and he celebrates by riding his bike into the Kitty Litter at the end of the track, as his bike has no brakes. He is OK and will have lane choice over Krawiec in round three.
|Driver||Karen Stoffer – WIN||Scotty Pollacheck|
|660 FT MPH||161.85||159.27|
Pollacheck is 2 – 0 against Stoffer in prior events. Winner will get a bye run to the finals! Two ‘Not So Good’ lights, but Stoffer has the advantage and steadily pulls ahead for the decisive win and a trip to the final round.
|Driver||Matt Smith – WIN||Eddie Krawiec|
|660 FT MPH||161.54||160.06|
:28 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 89 degrees, relative humidity 13 percent, barometer 30.01 inches, adjusted altitude 3,215 feet, track temperature 107 degrees.Krawiec is 28 – 20 against Smith in prior events. Krawiec gets the starting line advantage, but Smith rides on by before the 60′ lights and steadily pulls ahead to get a trip to his 65th final round.
|Driver||Karen Stoffer – WIN||—|
|660 FT MPH||162.29||—|
Stoffer goes to her 27th final round with lane choice on a bye run.
|Driver||Karen Stoffer||Matt Smith – WIN|
|660 FT MPH||163.39||162.41|
3:21 p.m. Weather conditions: air temperature 88 degrees, relative humidity 14 percent, barometer 30.01 inches, adjusted altitude 3,150 feet, track temperature 106 degrees.Smith is 18 – 15 against Stoffer in prior events and Smith is 3 – 2 against Stoffer in prior final rounds. Stoffer is dead late and Matt Smith takes the hole shot win. HIs sixth of the year and 32nd career win. Karen Stoffer’s incremental times: 60ft-1.059 sec., 330ft-2.834, 660ft-4.333/163.39 mph, 1,000ft-5.642.Matt Smith’s incremental times: 60ft-1.086 sec., 330ft-2.880, 660ft-4.390/162.41 mph, 1,000ft-5.700.
After advancing to back-to-back final rounds in Pro Stock Motorcycle, Karen Stoffer made a big move during the final qualifying session, going to the No. 1 spot with a run of 6.751 at 199.11 on her Ray Skillman Auto Group/Big St. Charles Suzuki. The standout pass gave Stoffer her first No. 1 qualifier of the season and the fifth in her career. Stoffer will open eliminations against Kelly Clontz as she looks to finish off her 2021 campaign on a strong note.
“The job is to turn on the win light and we want to do that four times tomorrow,” Stoffer said. “We’ve got the bike to do it and that was a good pass. We nearly squeaked out that 200 (mph) run, but we’re really excited. My job is to go ride the best I can and try to turn that win light on.”
Stoffer’s run bumped Matt Smith to second, as the points leader and defending world champ went 6.778 at 201.25. Eddie Krawiec’s 6.810 at 199.55 put him third, while championship contenders Steve Johnson and Angelle Sampey followed in fourth and fifth, respectively. Smith will take a 41-point lead over Sampey into raceday and faces Ryan Oehler in the first round. He could potentially face Sampey in the second round and Johnson, who is 45 points out of first, in the semifinals.
Matt Smith is after his fifth world championship and he started the weekend perfectly, going straight to No. 1 with a standout run of 6.779 at 201.19 on his Denso Auto Parts/Stockseth/Matt Smith Racing EBR. Smith would pick up his fifth No. 1 qualifier this season and 48th top spot in his career if it holds, but Smith’s focus is on a world title in the midst of a heated points battle. He picked up crucial qualifying points with his standout performance on Friday, pushing his lead to 22 points over Steve Johnson and 33 points over three-time world champ Angelle Sampey.
Johnson also ran well and is currently sitting third with a 6.811 at 197.39 and Sampey is right behind with a 6.819 at 196.76. Karen Stoffer, who has advanced to two straight final rounds, is currently second after going 6.785 at 197.97.
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