FONTANA, Calif. (Oct 6)– Michael Ogburn of Mission Viejo, Calif., won the $5,000 first place prize in the Mopar Hemi Challenge held during yesterday’s JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, Calif. Ogburn drove his vintage ’68 Barracuda to an 8.75 to earn the final round victory over John Rains of Santa Paula, Calif., who slowed the final. Rains also competed in last week’s JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals in Columbus, Ohio, which was won by Charlie Westcott Sr.

“This was a great win for out whole team,” said Ogburn, especially our engine builder, Harry Holton. Nobody knows more about making these [Super Stock Hemi] cars run that Harry does. I’m just the lucky guy who gets to drive.”

The Hemi Challenge was the highlight of an action-packed day of qualifying and eliminations at the second annual Pacific SPORTSnationals, an event that features more than 500 of the best NHRA amateur drag racers.

The SPORTSnationals also featured special eight-car Shootout-type events in Top Dragster, Top Sportsman, Super Comp, Super Gas, and Super Street. Del Cox Jr., of Downey, Calif., defeated Chip Rumis of Ramona, Calif., to win the Top Dragster Shootout and in the Top Sportsman Shootout, Joe Roubicek of West Lake Village, Calif., stopped Gary Ross of Trabuco Canyon, Calif. in the final round.

The Super Comp, Super Gas, and Super Street Shootouts were won by Milt Gedo, Jeff Agalsoff, and Lonnie Garcia, respectively.

After two days of qualifying, the fields are set in Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Top Dragster and Top Sportsman eliminator. Paul Gladden of Tracy, Calif., set the pace in Top Dragster with a run of 6.73 seconds and Frank Tames of Yakima, Wash., is the top qualifier in Top Sportsman after driving his 2007 Ford Mustang to a 6.87-second run. The other low qualifiers are David Beckley (Comp) Brian McClanahan (Super Stock), and Mark Yacavone (Stock).

Saturday’s off track highlights in Fontana included a well-attended car show featuring many vintage hot rods, customs, and muscle cars as well as a “Cacklefest” which showcases vintage nitro-burning front-engine Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars.

Final eliminations for the second annual JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals will begin tomorrow, October 7 at 8 a.m.

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