Cameron Ferré enjoyed the best weekend of his Top Fuel career during the season-ending NHRA Finals at the Pomona Fairplex.
Driving the EMPI-backed Paton Racing Top Fuel Dragster, Cameron defeated Leah Pruett and Clay Millican, before falling just 0.006 seconds short in his semi-final match with newly-crowned 4-time world champ Steve Torrence.
The team started strong, building on their earlier performances at both Las Vegas and Bristol, with Cameron recording a stout 3.880 at 299.66 mph in Friday’s lone qualifying session, placing him 10th in the provisional field.
Saturday’s first session went up in smoke, literally, as Cameron smoked the tires at the hit. However, during the second session, Cameron once again improved on his career-best numbers, recording a 3.803 second pass at 312.28 mph.
“That car was on a run!” Cameron remarked after the pass. “It was hauling all the way down there. It felt great!” Unfortunately for the team, the engine damage on that pass was significant enough to necessitate an engine swap.
In Sunday’s first round, Cameron faced off against Leah Pruett. In her last appearance at the Fairplex, Pruett took home the trophy at the NHRA Summernationals held back in July. At the green, Cameron left first, and led all the way, taking a 3.796/319.75 mph win over Leah’s 5.053/189.71 shut-off effort.
An elated Cameron exclaimed after the run, “I looked over [towards the other lane] and didn’t see any of her car. Not a wing or anything. We got the win, and even better, we got our first 3.70!”
That set up a second round match with Clay Millican. Clay had run a 3.73 the round earlier, so the Paton Racing team had their work cut out for them, especially as the track temperature rose throughout the day.
At the step, both drivers left together, but Clay’s car went up in smoke immediately while Cameron streaked downtrack to a 3.889 at 304.19 mph, giving him lane choice over Steve Torrence in the semi-finals.
In that semi-final round, Cameron left first on Steve (0.061 to 0.073), but his 3.831, 313.37 came up about 3 feet short of Torrence’s slowing 3.813, 283.07 mph pass.
“It was a great drag race. I just wish the track was about 20 feet longer and we may have caught him,” Ferré said back in the pits. “I was catching him, but just ran out of race track.”
The semi-final finish placed Cameron 16th in the 2021 Camping World points championship, running only a handful of events this year.