BELLE ROSE, La. (April 6) – Former event winners Jeff Strickland and Kevin Helms headlined the group of nine champions who were crowned at the fifth annual JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals at No Problem Raceway Park. Strickland, of Red Bay, Ala., the winner of the 2005 Belle Rose event, reached the final round for the fourth time in five years at the special sportsman event and claimed the win in Super Stock after Lee Sharp fouled at the start.

Helms, a three-time NHRA Stock national champion who also lives in Belle Rose and works as a track manager at No Problem Raceway, parlayed his home track advantage into his 19th career win, beating defending Cajun SPORTSnationals Stock champ Gary Emmons in the final round.

Strickland and Helms shared the winner’s circle with fellow champions Kevin Self (Comp Eliminator), Charles Roth (Super Comp), Craig Anderson (Super Gas), Trevor Land (Super Street), Keith Raferty (Top Sportsman), Stan Leerkamp (Top Dragster), and Mike McCullah (Sportsman Motorcycle).

Self, of Caddo, Okla., raced from the No. 10 qualifying position to the win in Comp, driving his ’32 Bantam to a win over Scott Benham’s Pontiac Sunfire in the final round. Self had the quicker reaction time at the start and held on for the win, even though Benham had a slight performance advantage.

In the Super Comp final both drivers ran quicker than the 8.90-second index but Roth, of nearby Baton Rouge, La., ran closer to the number by five-thousandths of a second, holding on to defeat Jeff Bobo of Walnut, Miss.,

The Super Gas final was decided in a similar manner as Waxahatchie, Texas based Anderson posted a 9.886 elapsed time against the 9.90 index in his ’63 Corvette to defeat former NHRA world champion Steve Cohen, who ran just a thousandth of a second quicker with a 9.885 in his ’04 Grand Am.

Land, a resident of West Monroe, La., claimed the biggest win of his career when he took the Super Street title over Brian Funderburk of Clinton, Ala., Land drove his ’82 Mustang to a 10.95 in the final round to secure the win.

Leerkamp, who made the long trip to Belle Rose from his home base in Olympia, Wash., was rewarded with the Top Dragster title after stopping Kurt Damron Jr., of Fruitland, Park, Fla., in the final. Leerkamp ran a 7.25 on his dial-in time of 7.23-seconds to win over Damron, who ran a 6.96 on his dial-in of 6.93 seconds.

The Top Sportsman final featured a re-match of the 2007 JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals final with a different result as Raferty, of Lake Charles, La., earned a measure of revenge against T.J. Tracey of Eads, Tenn. Raferty started with an almost perfect reaction time and held on for the win over Tracey’s ’63 Corvette. Raferty also earned the Best Engineered Car award for his ’07 Pontiac GTO.

Finally, McCullah, of Houston, Texas, earned the win in the Sportsman Motorcycle division by beating fellow Texan Jerry Pomilla of Conroe in the final round. The Sportsman Motorcycle field also included NHRA Pro Craig Treble, who was defeated in the early rounds.

The JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals winners in Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Top Dragster and Top Sportsman will now be eligible to claim the coveted JEGS Crown trophy, a special award that is bestowed on any racer who can win two of the three JEGS Crown events held in 2008. In addition to the Belle Rose race, the other events are the JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 19-21, and the JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals, at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, Calif., Oct. 3-5.

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