BELLE ROSE, La. (April 2, 2004) — NHRA will renew a popular event designed to showcase NHRA Sportsman competitors in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, when No Problem Raceway hosts the NHRA Cajun SPORTSNationals, April 23-25.

The NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals will feature a guaranteed purse of more than $50,000 and competition in six NHRA Lucas Oil Series categories, including Competition Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street. NHRA Lucas Oil Series national event points will be awarded to drivers in all categories except Super Street.

“Virtually everyone involved in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series has welcomed with eagerness the announcement of the Cajun SPORTSnationals at No Problem Raceway in Louisiana,” said Len Imbrogno, NHRA Director of Sportsman Racing. “As each day passes and we get closer to the date of the event, interest and excitement is increasing. The ‘Sports,’ as they are known, haven’t been produced by NHRA for many years.”

An example of the importance of the event to the local community surrounding the track came with the announcement by government officials in Assumption Parish that the weekend has been declared “The NHRA Drag Race Festival.”

Reintroducing the SPORTSnationals was in response to “popular demand,” according to Imbrogno. “And we’re putting together an appropriate celebration of the return of the SPORTSnationals in true Cajun style,” he added. “It’s going to be a hallmark event in the annals of Sportsman racing.”

The race weekend also will offer a full program of related events, and all at No Problem Raceway, which Imbrogno describes as “a beautiful facility, one that is appropriate for an event of this character and prestige.” The quarter-mile dragstrip has undergone extensive upgrades recently, some specifically in preparation for the NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals.

The focus and attention will be on racing in the core NHRA Sportsman categories, but with the help of Pat Joffrion, owner/operator of No Problem Raceway, the well-rounded program is overflowing with a weekend of impressive features, including exhibition passes by competitors in Top Fuel, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Bike.

“We’re offering a heads-up Top Stock-style shootout, featuring A/Stock through C/Stock category cars; a Hemi shootout; a ‘King of the Bayou’ shootout for Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street Racers; a full midway; a showing of specialty cars throughout the pits; and much more,” Joffrion said. “It will stand alone as ‘The World’s Fastest Car Show,’ all in the tradition of NHRA Sportsman racing.”

For Stock and Super Stock racing, the event will not only include class eliminations, but national record runs as well.

“One of the most talked-about features scheduled for the NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals will be what could be considered ‘The Battle of the Big Cars,’” Imbrogno said. “Veteran U/SA racer Jack McCarthy and several others have thrown down a challenge to all U/SA racers across the country. The challenge is to once and for all see who has the fastest U/SA car in the country.”

NHRA hosted the SPORTSnationals from 1974-1986 at a trio of tracks, including Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Ky. (1974-‘80; 1985-‘86), the old Houston International Raceway (1981-‘82) and Indianapolis Raceway Park (1982-‘83).


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