LA VERNE, Calif. — Veteran driver Jeff Arend will drive the Nitro Funny Car owned by the Russo family at the Auto Club NHRA Finals at the Pomona Fairplex, Nov. 14 – 17, 2019.
California Pest Management will sponsor a press opportunity for photos and interviews of the car owners, Peter and Helen Russo along with the La Verne based Driver, Jeff Arend Wednesday Nov. 13, 2019 from 11 am to 1 pm at the California Pest Management offices (908 Palomares Ave, La Verne, CA).
“I’m definitely looking forward to it,” Arend said. “We bought some later model cylinder heads for it at the end of last year had them checked out and then bought all new parts for them. Our original plan was to go to Las Vegas (Oct. 31-Nov. 3) and Pomona (Nov. 14-17) to end the year and then we decided to also go to Dallas. That way we can kind of test a bit with these new heads and make a partial run or two. It certainly helped that Jim Harmon from California Pest Management came on board and helped us out financially as a major associate sponsor.”
The last time Arend drove the Russo Funny Car – owned by Peter and Helen Russo – was at the NHRA Finals in November of 2018. Since 2016, Arend has driven a limited schedule in the nitro Funny Car owned by the Russo family. He competed at three races in 2018, for the Russo’s including the last two of the season at Las Vegas and Pomona where he qualified at both with a 4.11-second elapsed time.
Over the last several years, Arend has found a niche competing on a limited schedule in the NHRA Mello Yello Series – and he also has served as a fill-in driver.
Arend last drove as a substitute driver for Jonnie Lindberg, the primary driver for Jim Head, at the Route 66 Nationals May 30-June 2 in Chicago. Lindberg missed the event to return to his native Sweden as he pursued U.S. citizenship. Arend, who has won four career NHRA national events, served as a substitute driver for Kalitta Motorsports driver Alexis DeJoria at the 2016 season-ending Auto Club Finals in November in Pomona, Calif. DeJoria was sidelined because of a concussion.
Arend clocked a personal-best 3.930-second time at 317.19 mph during the event. Arend upset Matt Hagan in the first round before losing in round two to Courtney Force. Arend clocked a 3.979-second elapsed time against Force with a career-best 323.97 mph.
Arend also is competing in the California Hustler Funny Car in the Nostalgia Series, winning second place in the series this year