Maple Grove Raceway’s Scott Smith lost to eventual champion Jeff Hefler in the first round of the Summit Sportsman class eliminator Sunday during the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals at Pomona, Calif.

Smith (Birdsboro, Pa.) punched his ticket to California by winning the Street championship at the NHRA Northeast Division Summit E.T. Finals back in September at Numidia Dragway. His first-place finish helped Team Maple Grove claim its 13th team title.

The annual race at Pomona brings together the bracket racing champions from all seven NHRA divisions to compete for a national championship.

In his race, Smith and his 1980 Malibu went 11.972 seconds at 108.59 mph and broke out by .028 under his dial-in.

On the other hand, Hefler (Fort Worth, Texas), driving a ’65 Impala, had the advantage off the starting line and grabbed the win with a pass of 12.231 at 112.14 that was .041 over.