CHICAGO (June 28) — Thanks to a dominating performance that included four wins in five final rounds, the NHRA Division 5 team finally earned its first overall title Saturday night at the prestigious JEGS Allstars event at Route 66 Raceway.
In 30 years of JEGS Allstars competition, Division 5 had never claimed possession of the perpetual trophy that goes to the winning team, but that changed when it earned 1,400 points at this year's event, easily topping second-place Division 2, which ended with 1,000 points. The winning team members shared a $20,000 bonus from event sponsor JEGS Mail Order.
The winning group was led by Brett Speer, Trevor Larson, Roger Sauder, and Phil Unruh, who claimed wins in Stock, Super Gas, Super Street, and Top Dragster, respectively. As if that wasn't enough, defending JEGS Allstars winner Bruno Massel Jr. reached the final round in Comp.
Speer, of Little Falls, Minn., defeated Division 2 racer Robbie Shaw in a heads-up Stock finale between similarly classed A/SA entries. In the end, Speer's 10.23 defeated Shaw's quicker 10.17.
Moments later, Larson, of Starbuck, Minn., defeated Division 6 racer Randy Sides in the Super Gas final, 9.93 to 9.96.
Super Street winner Sauder, who hails from Sidney, Neb., won his final-round bout when opponent Clint Parker, representing the Division 4 team, fouled at the start.
Unruh, who is based in McPherson, Kan., won the title in Top Dragster by running a 6.41 on his 6.39 dial, which was enough to beat Division 1 racer Scott Luken, who ran a 7.10 on a 7.06 dial.
Greg Kamplain, of Brownsburg, Ind., claimed one of two titles for the defending team champs from Division 3 when he drove his dragster to victory in Comp. Kamplain defeated Massel, whose turbocharged dragster slowed before the finish line.
Fellow Division 3 racer Jerry Albert, of Avon, Ohio, also collected a win in Top Sportsman when he beat Michael Daniele of Division 1.
A pair of Division 2 racers met to decide the Super Stock title, with Mike Crutchfield, of Montgomery, Ala., claiming the win over Gary Coccaro, who was entered as a blocker and could not earn points toward the overall title. Crutchfield also won JEGS Allstars titles in 1990 and 2013.
The Division 2 team also won in Super Comp when Ray Miller III, of Spring Hill, Fla., took the trophy with an 8.954 to 8.951 holeshot victory over Division 7 rep George Garbiso.
The Central Region team won the overall title in the special Top Alcohol Dragster portion of the JEGS Allstars competition thanks to a victory by decorated racer Randy Meyer. Hailing from Spring Hill, Kan., Meyer defeated West Region racer Joey Severance in the final, 5.36 to a shutoff 7.86.
In the Top Alcohol Funny Car final, John Lombardo Jr., of Brea, Calif., scored a win for the West Region by driving to a 5.66 to 5.76 victory against East Region rival Dan Pomponio.
The 10 winners are not only eligible to return as blockers for next year's JEGS Allstars event, but they can also earn a special double-up bonus from JEGS Mail Order should they be able to claim a second win during tomorrow's final eliminations at Route 66 Raceway.
Final Points Standings
Division 5: 1,400
Division 2: 1,000
Division 4: 600
Division 1: 500
Division 3: 500
Division 6: 500
Division 7: 400