BELLE ROSE, La. (March 18) – No Problem Raceway Park will roar to life March 20-22 when it hosts the best racers in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series for the 12th annual JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals.
The first of three annual JEGS SPORTSnationals events, which are designed to showcase NHRA’s best sportsman participants, the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals is expected to attract nearly 500 competitors and will crown champions in the following NHRA eliminators; Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Top Dragster, Top Sportsman, and Sportsman Motorcycle.
There will also be numerous specialty races, including the Moser Shootout and "King of the Bayou," for drivers in Super Comp, Super Gas, and Super Street, and a very special "Hemi Chootout" to honor the memory of longtime Super Stock racer and Louisiana native Tim Hebert.
The JEGS SPORTSnationals series will feature the popular heads-up class racing in Stock and Super Stock; National event champion points; National event contingency payouts; $400,000 cash and contingency postings; and a host of special features, some of which will be unique to each of the events.
At last year's race, David Rampy and Austin Williams were crowned champions in Comp and Stock, respectively. Those wins in Belle Rose ultimately led to national championships for both drivers. Rampy and Williams shared the No Problem Raceway winner’s circle with Harvey Emmons III (Super Stock), John Brener (Super Comp), John Labbous Jr. (Super Gas), Greg Parson (Super Street), Anthony Bertozzi (Top Dragster), Vince Hoda (Top Sportsman), and Randal Guitreau (Sportsman Motorcycle presented by Harley-Davidson). Bertozzi’s Top Dragster victory was particularly impressive in that it was his third-straight win in Belle Rose, having previously won in twice in Super Stock in 2013-2014.
The champions of the 12th annual JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals will be in line for possible bonus in the form of the coveted JEGS Crown trophy. The prized award is a special trophy handcrafted by Dan Dreisbach of Naked Sculpture, and is awarded to any driver who can win the same class in two of the three JEGS SPORTSnationals events in a given season.
Later this year, the winners of the Belle Rose event will also have the chance to travel to Columbus, Ohio for the JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals, and/or Fontana, Calif., for the JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals, where they will also be eligible for the JEGS Crown. The JEGS Crown has been captured just once, by Pro Mod competitor Mike Ashley in 2005.
Among the many special events on tap at this year’s event will be the Moser Sportsman Shootout for racers in the South Central Division. On Saturday, a select group of racers in Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Top Dragster, and Top Sportsman will race in head-to-head competition for a share of more than $15,000. The top prize is $5,000 with an additional $2,000 awarded to the runner-up. The Moser Shootout races are unique because they pit drivers from different classes in a single eliminator, using a handicap start and a breakout rule on an eighth-mile in an effort to insure parity.
The second annual Tim Hebert Hemi "Chootout" also will be contested during the Belle Rose event. Hebert was a long time NHRA racer who passed away suddenly at age 53 on June 2, 2013. Hebert’s ’68 Hemi Barracuda has been seen at NHRA events for decades and will be participating in the "Chootout" with his son Rory at the wheel. The "Chootout" will be held during Friday’s class eliminations. The Division 4 Good Guys: Southland Dodge (Joe Teuton), Steve Kent Services (Steve Kent), Paillot Bros. Construction (Joe & Jerry Paillot), Engines Inc. (Lloyd Wofford), Henson Family Dealerships (Fred Henson), 3001 (Stephen Hebert) and NPR are proud sponsors of the event. The tribute race is expected to attract one of the largest gatherings of vintage '68 Hemi Dart and Barracuda factory race cars in the country.
While the on-track racing at the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals is second-to-none, so is the after-hours action which includes cookouts and other get-togethers designed to promote off-track camaraderie. To that end, No Problem Raceway Park continues its tradition of not only producing first-rate events for NHRA Sportsman racing, but also hosting a weekend-long party that includes plenty of Cajun food-fests and other Southern-style celebrations.