INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 4) – Last year, the JEGS Allstars race found a new home when it moved to historic Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. Held during the Dodge SRT U.S. Nationals, NHRA’s oldest and most prestigious event, the pairing proved to be a successful one with Indy proving to be the perfect host for the JEGS Allstars race, which celebrates its 37th year in 2021.
This week, the best Sportsman racers from across NHRA’s seven geographic divisions will return to Indianapolis for the special event that crowns both an overall team champion and individual winners in ten separate eliminators.
For the 80 racers who have qualified for the special event, winning an individual title at the JEGS Allstars race is a tremendous achievement, but being a part of the winning overall team is an extra-special accomplishment, particularly on the hallowed grounds of Lucas Oil Raceway, which has been home to the U.S. Nationals since 1961.
Last year, the team from the West Central Division turned in a dominant performance to win their third overall team title in the last seven seasons. The Division 5 crew also won titles in 2014 and 2016.
A highlight of each season since the inaugural event in 1985, the JEGS Allstars event features a total purse of more than $150,000, making it one of the richest events of its kind.
Racers can only qualify for the prestigious event by earning points in their home divisions during year-long battles in the following NHRA Lucas Oil categories; Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, Competition, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Top Dragster and Top Sportsman.
The Division 5 team returns to Indy with a great chance to repeat their 2020 victory. Their line-up includes past world champion Matt Driskell in Top Sportsman as well as title contenders Doug Engels (Comp), Scott Burton (Stock), and Bradley Johnson (Top Dragster).
Driskell is one of 13 former or current NHRA national champions in the field. That list also includes Top Alcohol Dragster racers Duane Shields and Joey Severance, and reigning champions Craig Bourgeois (Comp), Bryan Worner (Super Stock), Christopher Dodd (Super Comp), and Anthony Bertozzi (Top Dragster).
Four women have qualified for this year’s JEGS Allstars team including Jackie Fricke and Julie Nataas in Top Alcohol Dragster, Randi Lynn Shipp in Stock, and Alison Prose in Super Street. Nataas and Shipp are fresh off wins in last week’s Division 3 event in Bowling Green, Ky., while Fricke also earned a recent win at the Division 1 race in Reading, Pa.
The Top Alcohol Funny Car class also delivers a stacked line-up, although the only driver in the field who has previously won a JEGS Allstars title is Ray Drew from the Central Region team, who is unbeaten in his last two starts. The Top Alcohol categories compete for their own championship, separate from the eight other eliminators.
The Northeast Division team features world champions Bryan Worner in Super Stock and Al Kenny in Top Dragster. The Division 1 crew are also seeking their first Allstars overall crown since 2010 when they won three of ten classes.
The Southeast Division team has enjoyed tremendous success at the Allstars with their most recent title coming in 2015. This year, their hopes are pinned on Bertozzi, Super Comp ace Ray Miller III, and veteran Stock racer Jeff Hairrington.
The North Central squad will be looking to break the title with the Division 4 team and garner their ninth win and they have all the weapons necessary to do it including past Super Stock world champ Ricky Decker, first-time Comp qualifier Ronnie Bohn, and Shipp, who is a seven time national event winner.
The Northwest Division team is looking for their first title since 2005 and has brought to Indy a line-up that includes veteran Comp racer Ralph Van Paepeghem, reigning Division 6 Super Street champ Sean Shaffer, and Top Sportsman driver Robert Strohm.
The gang from the Pacific Division, who last claimed the overall title in 2012, will be looking to regain the top spot and there is no reason to think they won’t be able to with a core group that includes current championship contender Joe Mozeris in Comp, Kyle Rizzoli in Super Stock, and longtime class racer Steve Wann in Stock.
Any racer who can win Saturday’s JEGS Allstar title and then return on Sunday to win the Dodge SRT U.S. Nationals in the same class will be eligible for the JEGS double-up bonus.