BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – After finishing as runner-up a season ago, Comp Eliminator standout Jason Coan returned to his winning ways to lead the list of champions crowned on Sunday at the JEGS NHRA SPORTSnationals at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Ky.
Coan won the race for the fifth time, as the Kokomo, Ind., native posted a winning time of 8.717 at 113.14 mph in his dragster. Coan, who qualified No. 14, beat Terry Smith in the final round after Smith suffered a red-light disqualification.
Michael Bryant claimed the Super Stock crown, beating No. 1 qualifier Cody Lane in the final round. Driving a ’08 G5, Bryant, of New Orleans, La., went 10.018 at 131.88 to beat Lane. Bryant qualified No. 22 before working his way to the winner’s circle.
A flurry of first-time NHRA national event winners also graced the winner’s circle, including Ricky Pennington in Stock Eliminator, who drove a ’12 Cobra Jet to beat Jeff Adkinson in the final round. Pennington, of Gardendale, Ala., won with a 10.586 at 115.55.
Jonathan Anderson secured his first NHRA national event win by knocking off Austin Williams in Super Comp. Anderson, of Griffin, Ga., used an impressive .004 reaction time in the final round, running 8.945 on an 8.90 index at 163.41 to best Williams’ 8.951 at 165.74.
The first NHRA national event win for Joe Harper came in Super Gas. The Florence, Miss. native claimed the title with a 9.904 on the category’s 9.90 index at 148.71 in his ’98 Avenger to oust Steve Hoyt’s 9.909 at 172.21.
Gary Horstmann of Festus, Mo., won in Super Street for his first JEGS NHRA SPORTSnationals event victory, going 10.896 at 138.12 for a double-breakout win against the category’s 10.90 index. Driving a ’61 Falcon, Horstmann’s winning run came against Jeremy Schell, who posted a 10.876 at 133.12.
Jason Lynch, now a five-time NHRA JEGS NHRA SPORTSnationals winner, claimed his first event victory in Top Sportsman presented by Racing RVs. Lynch of Cedar Hill, Tenn., went 6.656 at 213 in his ’03 Grand Am, qualifying from the No. 12 position to knock off Mark McDonald’s 6.622 at 206.13.
In Top Dragster presented by Racing RVs, Lynn Ellison celebrated his 50th birthday in style, grabbing the victory with a performance of 6.31 at 211.79. Ellison, a Central City, Ky., native who qualified eighth and had a final-round reaction time of .036, edged out Michael Kile’s 6.261 at 217.14.
A showcase for NHRA Lucas Oil Series drivers, the JEGS NHRA SPORTSnationals has raced in Bowling Green for the past two seasons, returning to its birthplace last year for the first time since 1986. The event attracted a field of more than 450 drivers from all over North America.
Competition Eliminator – Jason Coan, Kokomo, Ind., ‘17 KHRC, 8.717 seconds, 113.14 mph def. Terry Smith, Liberty Township, Ohio, ‘15 Advanced, DISQ.
Super Stock – Michael Bryant, New Orleans, La., ‘08 G5, 10.018 seconds def. Cody Lane, North Bend, Wash., ’05 Cavalier, 8.605 seconds.
Stock Eliminator – Ricky Pennington, Gardendale, Ala., ’12 Cobra Jet, 10.586 seconds def. Jeff Adkinson, Damascus, Ga., ’69 Camaro, 10.218 seconds.
Super Comp – Jonathan Anderson, Griffin, Ga., ’09 Mullis, 8.945 seconds def. Austin Williams, Burleson, Texas, ’15 Miller, 8.951 seconds.
Super Gas – Joe Harper, Florence, Miss., ’98 Avenger, 9.904 seconds def. Steve Hoyt, Fort Wayne, Ind., ’63 Corvette, 9.909 seconds.
Super Street – Gary Horstmann, Festus, Mo., ’61 Falcon, 10.896 def. Jeremy Schell, Lawrenceburg, Ky., ’64 Nova, 10.876 seconds.
Top Sportsman – Jason Lynch, Cedar Hill, Tenn., ’03 Grand Am, 6.656 seconds def. Mark McDonald, Boonville, Ind., ’67 Mustang, 6.622 seconds.
Top Dragster – Lynn Ellison, Central City, Ky., ’11 M&M, 6.310 seconds def. Michael Kile, Westlake, La., ’16 Spitzer, 6.261 seconds.