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2014 Circle K NHRA Winternationals: Who to watch

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The 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season kicks off this weekend, Thursday through Sunday, February 6th through 9th, with the Circle K NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in California. The event will feature Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock classes as well as numerous Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series categories.

In 2013, Shawn Langdon bookended his Top Fuel championship-winning season with wins at the season-opener and finale at Pomona. The California native considers Pomona his home track. “Obviously, there are a lot of great memories out at Pomona,” said Langdon. “Pomona is always a fun race. It’s the first race of the year and a track that I grew up at. So we’re definitely counting down the minutes to get there.”

Courtney Force kicked off her sophomore Funny Car season in 2013 with a win at Pomona, defeating Phil Burkhart, Matt Hagan and Bob Tasca III on her way to the finals against Ron Capps. Force also took home the Wally from the inaugural event at New England Dragway, and was runner-up at both Las Vegas events, losing to her father at the second race where he secured the championship.

2013 Pro Stock winner Vincent Nobile makes the move to KB Racing in 2014, joining two-time champ Jason Line and four-time champ Greg Anderson, who will miss the first few months of the season after surgery.

“Everybody loves the Winternationals,” said Nobile. “From what I’ve been looking at with weather, it’s going to be a fast race. (Temperatures) should get into the 60s and that is optimal for us in Pro Stock.”

Qualifying for the Circle K NHRA Winternationals begins Friday, February 7th at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. PT, and continues with the final two rounds on Saturday, February 8th at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. PT. Eliminations begin on Sunday, February 9th at 11 a.m. PT.

Keep up with the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series at www.nhra.com.

Quotes in this piece provided by the NHRA.

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