fter weeks of warm weather in SoCal the NHRA POWERade show came to the Pomona Fairplex in between rainstorms for the 45th Annual K&N Filters Winternationals. The line going around goes something like, "If your city is having a drought, hold an NHRA POWERade Drag Race!"

What started out as a clear morning progressively got darker and cloudier over Thursday and when the Pros took to Parker Avenue for their first qualifying session of the new season there was no longer a blue sky.

Sportsman racers consumed the morning and early afternoon, but first up was the Pro Stock qualifying session, the first competition test of the new beadlock wheel and tire combination under the mandated NHRA Rule.

Defending POWERade Pro Stock Champion Greg Anderson continued where he left off last fall here at the Pomona Finals when he led qualifying and took home the Wally.
The Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am grabbed this year's Winternationals first round #1 with a 6.743/205.19 mph. Anderson quipped, "I still feel really good, it's almost like we never left here."

He added, "I'm still not a big proponent of the beadlock wheels, because I just don't like to see this class slow down, I don't think it's good for the class, but I think we need the cars to be faster."

Anderson's team got the stiffer wheel and tires combo after the Finals and tested heavily in Florida in the off-season. When asked if there had been a problem with last season's wheels that needed to be changed, Anderson answered, "I've never, ever seen a failure. Does that mean you have to wait till you see a failure? No. Do we have a problem now? No."

This weekend finds three-time Pro Stock champion Darrell Alderman out of competition due to an off-season, work-related injury.


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