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The latest update as of February 12, 2017

NHRA Circle K Winternationals logo

Final eliminations at the 57th annual NHRA Circle K Winternationals

After three days of in-and-out weather, the Southern California Chamber of Commerce worked it's usual magic for eliminations day at the Winternats, with beautiful sunny skies, warm temperatures and some seriously competitive racing in all categories. With a live television broadcast scheduled to start at 1:00 pm (PST) on the FOX Network, sportsman eliminations started at 9:30 with the pros waiting in the wings until the traditional 11:00 am kickoff.

That first competition round of the 2017 season produced only one remotely close match in Top Fuel (Shawn Reed vs Troy Coughlin) and what may become a regular event: a bye run for the low qualifier. The e.t.'s for the eight winners were closely bunched between Doug Kalitta's 3.69 and Steve Torrence's 3.75, giving hope for a much more competitive quarter-final round. Things were no better for the fuel funny cars as the closest encounter of the round saw Del Worsham pound Robert Hight by more than a quarter of a second. With six cars in the 3-second zone, the second round looked like a better bet for some side by side competition.

Pro Stock, despite it's lack of excitement - even after all the well promoted rules changes --- to be continued later today