JOLIET, Ill. (June 7) A trio of stellar performances by Bill Reichert, Ben Wenzel and Ricky Shipp allowed the team from the NHRA North Central Division to capture the overall team title at the 25th annual JEGS Allstars race, held yesterday at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. Reichert, Wenzel, and Shipp, won titles in Top Alcohol Dragster, Stock, and Super Street, respectively, and combined to earn 900 of the North Central Division team’s 1,100 as they prevented the Northeast Division team from winning their fourth-straight team title. Each of the North Central division team members shared in a $20,000 bonus from event sponsor JEGS Mail Order. The JEGS Allstars is an annual event that is reserved for the best sportsman drivers from each of NHRA’s seven geographic divisions.
Reichert, the reigning NHRA world champion, clinched the overall team title when he defeated Pacific Division racer Chris Demke in the Top Alcohol Dragster final, 5.34 to 5.36. Wenzel, who has raced in the North Central Division for more than three decades, drove his Chevy Camaro to a win over Southeast Division racer Robbie Shaw, and Shipp pitched in by driving his Chevy Nova to a final round victory in Super Street against Mike DeSio, who also represents the Southeast Division squad.
In the Top Alcohol Funny Car class, Northeast Division racer Frank Manzo, already the most successful racer in the history of the JEGS Allstars race, won for the seventh time when he drove his Lucas Oil entry to a 5.56 to 5.63 win over West Central Division racer Roger Bateman. Bateman’s West Central Division teammate, Bruno Massel, claimed the win in Competition Eliminator, winning a close final round battle against reigning JEGS Allstars champ Sal Biondo.
The NHRA Pacific Division claimed a pair of wins as Greg Luneack scored in Super Stock and Aaron Kinard win the Super Comp title. Both of those wins came at the expense of South Central Division racers as Luneack stopped Slate Cummings and Kinard drove past Travis Prudhomme. Finally, Northeast Division racer Mike Sawyer successfully defended his title in Super Gas as he defeated Southeast Division representative John Taylor in the final.
Each of the JEGS Allstars winners are automatically eligible to return next year as blockers in the event. Furthermore, any driver who can back up an Allstar victory with a win in Sunday’s United Association Route 66 Nationals will be eligible for a double-up bonus from event sponsor JEGS Mail Order.
Final points standings
Division 3 1100
Division 1 1000
Division 7 900
Division 5 900
Division 2 800
Division 4 600
Division 6 100