LAS VEGAS (Oct. 13) – First-time NHRA national event winner Dale Giroux and past world champion Keith Lynch highlighted the list of champions crowned on Sunday at the seventh annual JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Giroux and Lynch shared the winners circle with Michael Brand II (Stock), Brian Fischle (Super Comp), Kevin McClelland (Super Gas), Al Alguire (Super Street), Tom Koenen (Top Dragster), Rod Hymas (Top Sportsman), and Aaron Pine (Sportsman Motorcycle).
Giroux, of Canyon Creek, Alta., qualified in the No. 14 spot in his B/AA Cavalier and drove to the final round where he defeated the I/SMA Chevy of Randy Jones, who was making his second final round appearance at the JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals in the last four years.
Lynch, the 1982-83 NHRA Super Stock world champion, won his sixth NHRA national event title by driving his 2010 Drag Pak Challenger past Larry Scarth’s Chevy S-10 in the final round. Lynch slowed to a 10.29 from his 9.96 dial-in but turned on the win light after Scarth broke out by running nine-thousandths under his dial-in.
Brand raised his record to a perfect 2-0 in national event final round after defeating Mark Faul in the Stock final. Driving his G/SA Firebird, Brand won after Faul, who was appearing in his six final at a JEGS SPORTSnationals race, red-lighted.
Fischle won the Super Comp final with a 9.06 on the 9.05 altitude adjusted index following a 9.02 breakout by opponent Craig Blaisdell. The Super Gas final round was decided in a similar manner as McClelland, the son of Hall of Fame announcer Dave McClelland, drove his ’27-Ford to a 10.05 to defeat Pete Bothe, who broke out with a 10.04.
Alguire, a regular in the Las Vegas E.T. bracket racing program in his vintage ’68 Barracuda, won the Super Street final with an 11.04 to 10.96 double-breakout race against John Parrino’s ’69 Mustang.
Top Dragster champion Koenen was almost perfect in the final round as he defeated Thomas Bayer using a .005 reaction time and a 7.165 on his 7.15 dial. Bayer, a multi-time Division 7 champion drove to a runner-up after carding a 7.563 on his 7.52 dial.
The Top Sportsman final went to Hymas, who drove his ’69 Camaro to a 7.09 on his 7.06 dial for the holeshot win over Ed Olpin, who gave up a slight advantage on the starting line and could not make up the difference with a 7.43 on his 7.41 dial.
Pine, the champion of the 2010 JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals, earned his second national event title by riding his ’94 Suzuki to an 8.43 on his 8.41 dial to stop Gaige Herrera, who posted a .01-over 8.91. Pine’s son, Dakota, won the 2012 JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals title.
The Las Vegas event was the third of three JEGS SPORTSnationals events held in 2013 joining the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals in Belle Rose, La., and the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals held in Hebron, Ohio. Collectively, all three events hosted more than 1,200 of the best racers in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. Once again, the coveted JEGS Crown trophy went unclaimed as no one was able to win two of the three JEGS SPORTSnationals races this season. In the last eight years, the trophy has been claimed just once with Pro Mod racer Mike Ashley winning the Belle Rose and Hebron events in 2005.