Mission’s Chris Stone is heading to the Auto Club NHRA finals in Pomona

Stone hitting the pavement for second time

Mission drag racer qualifies for NHRA Auto Club Finals event once again.

Ben Lypka

Mission Record

Making it to the Auto Club NHRA finals in Pomona, Calif. can often be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

But Mission’s Chris Stone is hoping the second time is the charm.

Stone earned a spot to compete at the event this November after beating out 109 other competitors at the Race of Champions drag racing pro division six finals, which took place at the Mission Raceway Park over the Labour Day weekend.

The Mission racer beat out competitors from B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Washington, Oregon and Idaho to qualify for Pomona.

Stone is no stranger to the track in Pomona, as he also competed there in 2013. He said despite battling through rain delays in Mission that saw the local event stretch out from Sept. 3 to 5, he was pleased with his performance.

“Everything went right,” he said, of the qualifying event. “You have to be good and lucky and I was both that day.”

Drag racing has been a 20-plus year journey for Stone, as he first competed in 1995. He moved to Mission from Victoria mostly to be closer to the renowned racing track in Mission.

“I’m a big car guy and when I was younger I used to like to go fast,” he said. “The rush you get from racing is incredible. Drag racing is the easiest sport to race in. A novice can’t go and race on a NASCAR track but I have the ability to race by car against big names pretty easily.”

He said the machine does make a difference in the sport, but it’s the drivers who win or lose the races.

“You have to have a good car but you also need to be really focused,” he said. “Reaction time is very important. If you react badly, you lose.”

Stone, who works as a Dodge mechanic at Willowbrook Chrysler, made it to the second round in 2013. In Pomona, the top racers from all seven pro divisions across North America battle it out, along with a wildcard. He said he wants to bring what he learned from 2013 to this year’s race.

“I’m hoping to take what I learned in 2013 and get the job done this year,” he said. “You never know if or when you will ever go back. Winning would just be a huge thing for my pride and it would mean a lot. The winner also gets to have the #1 sticker on his car all year long.”

He said he believes he will be more comfortable competing in front of the huge crowd at Pomona this time.

“They really treat you like royalty there but it can be overwhelming,” he said. “There’s probably 60,000 people and you’re on ESPN. I’m hidden in my car so it’s not too bad for me but for my crew it can be daunting because they’re out there in front of everyone. There’s lots of pressure and the stakes are so high, it’s a very big deal.”

Stone and his team battle for drag racing glory from Nov. 10 to 13 at the historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

Metro Creative Connection Photo.
Mission council decides to revert back to ‘lifetime’ fire-pit permits

District moving towards restriction, rather than prohibition, of backyard burns

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Fraser South region has doubled in the last two weeks. The number of cases in the Fraser East region has tripled.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
COVID-19 surge in B.C. fuelled by spikes in new cases in Fraser Valley & Surrey area

Number of newly confirmed cases has tripled in Fraser Valley and doubled in the Surrey/Langley area

John Redekop, with wife Doris, was the 2019 recipient of the Betty Urquhart Community Service Award from UFV. (Photo courtesy of UFV)
Nominations open until Oct. 30 for UFV’s Betty Urquhart Awards

Award recognizes ‘significant impact’ of volunteer work by an individual or group

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows’ NDP incumbent Lisa Beare, believes Reese Witherspoon – seen here in the series “The Morning Show,” could best play her on the big screen. (Special to The News Apple TV+/TNS)
Maple Ridge candidates cast themselves in dramatic comedies

ELECTION LEVITY: MLA hopefuls reveal who should play them on the silver screen

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

The family of Anika Janz, who died after collapsing at school, has launched a GoFundMe to assist with funeral proceedings. (GoFundMe photo)
Family of student who died launches GoFundMe

Rick Hansen Secondary School student Anika Janz, 14, died after collapsing in PE class

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

Most Read