Arriving in Pomona for the 44th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals fresh off of a win at the Division 7 event in Las Vegas, Lee Zane already had the Stock championship in his pocket, and the last race of the season was no time to forfeit momentum.
STOCK — 44th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals, Nov. 6-9, Pomona Zane ends championship season with lucky win by Kelly Wade “I couldn’t ask for anything more out there; back-to-back wins in Vegas and Pomona and the championship, what A rriving in Pomona for the 44th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals fresh off of a win at the Division 7 event in a great way to end the season,” said 2008 Stock world champion Lee Zane, near lane, who scored the final-round victory when Mike Johnston went red by .009-second. Las Vegas, Lee Zane already had the Stock (Right) Zane celebrated his second national event win of championship in his pocket, and the last race of the the season with car owner Sonny Stull, right. season was no time to forfeit momentum. “I go into any event believing I can win,” said Zane, put that out of your mind and make them do it again. who also claimed the 2004 Stock championship. That round was where the start of my problems began “If you don’t have confidence, there’s really no because I wasn’t running the number I had on the sense being there, so I go in hoping for that trophy car, but my reaction time was enough to cover that up at the end of the weekend.” a little bit. If I didn’t have that reaction time, I If self-assurance were enough, the weekend would wouldn’t have got by that round.” have been a breeze for Zane, but at a time when he Zane’s .024-second launch made up the difference should have been celebrating his newly claimed on his 11.05 (10.97 dial) to Glasbrenner’s .100-second championship title, he was sweating out mechanical green light and 10.99 (10.98), and he got the nod to issues and had to call on Lady Luck to go some rounds. the quarterfinals, where he drew another tough In the first round, Zane’s opponent, Kelly Pott, left competitor, Jody Lang. More luck prevailed when I guess. It was good that people didn’t know I was way too early with a -.174 red-light, giving Zane an easy Lang went red by just a thousandth, and Zane again having those problems, and I was lucky enough that advancement to round two, where he put together a struggled to run the number in an impaired car. the car ran okay in the semi’s. If anybody was better package than season-long rival Jimmy DeFrank, “We were fortunate enough to have a semifinals watching, they would have thought I was fine, but in who ended the year fourth in the Stock standings. bye run to try to sort things out,” said Zane, who all reality, the car was broke all day Sunday, and I When third-round challenger Doug Lambeck broke, had noticed increasingly weakened fuel pressure. just happened to get away with it.” Zane was paired with Leo Glasbrenner, who won the “We thought we were okay, but then we went into NHRA Perfectly Strange Performance Award for the final, and I broke again; if Mike Johnston would The key race: “The key race was getting by Jimmy running dead on his dial the round before. have turned it green, he would have won, but he red- DeFrank in the second round,” said Zane, who watched “I did think about the fact that he was dead-on,” lighted by nine-thousandths. I was carrying a DeFrank rise in the points standings throughout the said Zane. “He was perfect that run, but you have to horseshoe in my pocket, and I just got away with it, season to become one of his most intense challengers About the winning car T he Sonny and April Stull-owned D/SA ’98 Firebird that Lee Zane drove to the winner’s circle is powered by a 350-cid Chevy engine built by Bub Whitaker. It has a Crane cam, MSD distributor, ACCEL wires, Manley rods, and JE pistons with a Metric 200 transmission and an ATI converter. The Weld wheels are wrapped in Hoosier tires. Zane thanked his wife, Lisa; Sonny and April Stull; Brian, Kati, T.J., Tom, and Jean Van Poppel; and Mark Faul. He also acknowledged the support of Don Higgins from Crew Chief Pro software, Marc Labreque of Diamond RV, Farron and Roy from Hoosier, Maryland Performance Specialties, and Advanced Automotive Concepts. Zane got just the luck he needed when Division 6 heavyweight Jody Lang, near lane, was a thousandth in the wrong direction at the Tree in the quarterfinals, handing Zane the semifinal bye and a free pass into the final. 66 ✦ National DRAGSTER Stock Qualifying (Top 16 of 71 qualifiers) 1. Don Forester, Riverside, Calif. (M/SA ’80 Delta 88) . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.910 (-1.240) 2. John Shaul, Fultonham, N.Y. (A/SA ’64 Fury) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.071 (-1.229) 3. John Schloe, Garden Grove, Calif. (D/SA ’69 Firebird). . . . . . . . . . 10.645 (-1.205) 4. Rusty Hall, Chandler, Ariz. (C/SA ’67 Mustang) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.501 (-1.199) 5. Steve Wann, Modesto, Calif. (E/SA ’74 Dart) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.804 (-1.196)
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