POMONA -- Tony Schumacher won his fourth consecutive Top Fuel title Sunday, beating Bob Vandergriff in the final round of the Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals to edge Rod Fuller for the championship.
Matt Smith won the Pro Stock Motorcycle crown with a final-round win, and Tony Pedregon sweated it out until the semifinals before securing his second Funny Car title. Jeg Coughlin wrapped up his third Pro Stock title in the quarterfinals.
Schumacher won on his final pass for the second year in a row.
This time, he beat Vandergriff with a run of 4.486 seconds at 328.30 mph. Vandergriff was clocked in 4.681 seconds.
Schumacher became the first Top Fuel racer to win four championships in a row. Entering the weekend in fourth place and needing help on many fronts, Schumacher danced through to the final and won his fifth POWERade crown by 19 points.
"After the second round, it was like déjá vu," Schumacher said. "My knees started shaking, and I had that feeling like maybe we could do it again. The guys on this team are unbelievable when the pressure is on. They showed it again."
In the Funny Car final, Robert Hight beat fill-in teammate Phil Burkart when Burkart's car lost traction 200 feet into the quarter-mile race. Coughlin punctuated his Pro Stock title with his 38th career win, this one over first-time finalist Justin Humphreys. Smith beat fellow Buell rider Chip Ellis in the Pro Stock Motorcycle final.
Hight and Burkart had little to race for besides bragging rights and an event trophy, as the Funny Car title was decided one round earlier when Hight couldn't run quick enough to set a national record. That deprived him of a chance at 20 bonus points he needed to pass Pedregon.