HEBRON, Ohio (Sept 22) – For the sixth-straight year, racers from all over North America will converge at historic National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio for the annual JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals. One of thee events designed specifically to showcase racers in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, the Northern SPORTSnationals will crown champions in the following NHRA eliminators, Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street. The event, which is expected to attract more than 400 entries, will also feature the increasingly popular Top Dragster and Top Sportsman classes where it is common to see racers running in the six-second zone at speeds well in excess of 200-mph. The Top Dragster and Top Sportsman classes have grown so rapidly that they are now contested at 13 NHRA national events and all 45 Lucas Oil Series divisional events. The Columbus event will also feature the popular class eliminations for racers in Super Stock and Stock.
Last year’s event provided many thrilling moments as Ray Connolly of Elyria, Ohio captured the Super Gas title en route to an eventual world championship and Team JEGS driver Mike Coughlin capped his incredible run to the North Central Division Top Sportsman title with a victory in the Top Sportsman class.
As one of the final national events of the season, the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals will once again represent one of the final opportunities for competitors to earn points towards national and divisional championships. Among the drivers that are expected to compete at this year’s event are current Comp Eliminator frontrunner Al Ackerman of Saddle Brook, N.J., Super Stock hopefuls Lincoln Morehead of Newburg, N.Y. and Brad Zaskowski of Grand Rapids, Mich., and Edmond Richardson of Greenbrier, Tenn., who is attempting to defend his 2009 world championship in Stock Eliminator.
The sixth annual JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals will also mark the last of three races in the ongoing battle for the coveted JEGS Crown. The highly prized but seldom seen hardware is a special trophy which was handcrafted by Dan Dreisbach, head fabricator at Rahal Racing. The JEGS Crown is awarded to any driver who can win the same class in two of the three JEGS SPORTSnationals events in a given season. The winners of the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals in Belle Rose, La., and the JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals in Fontana, Calif., will each have the opportunity to win the award with a second victory in Columbus.
One driver who appears to be well positioned to win the JEGS Crown is Super Gas racer David Tatum III of Palmetto, Ga. The current points leader in the class, Tatum has virtually locked up the world title. He also won the Cajun SPORTSnationals earlier this season and could ad to his impressive hardware collection with a win this weekend.
Finally, the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals will feature the latest round of the Mopar Hemi Challenge for specially built 1968 Dodge and Plymouth factory Super Stock race cars. Earlier this month at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, current record holder Jim Daniels defeated his teammate, David Barton to claim the Hemi Challenge title. Daniels, of Yardley, Pa., is expected to return for a chance at the Columbus title and the $5,000 bonus that accompanies it. Daniels will likely be challenge by the father-son team of Charlie Westcott Sr., and Jr., as well as Barton, Bucky Hess, Jim Pancake, and Tyler Hard. Hemi Challenge qualifying is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 25, and final eliminations are set for Saturday, Sept. 26 at 1 p.m.
Scott “Woody” Woodruff
JEGS, Director of Media & Motorsports
Office: 800.345.4545 (#3, ext 412)
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