HEBRON, Ohio (Sept 26) – Delaware, Ohio racer Jim Pancake claimed the $5,000 top prize in the Mopar Hemi Challenge race and James Monroe of Bloomington, Ind., won the JEGS Top Dragster Shootout today at the sixth annual JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals at National Trail Raceway. Pancake, who also won the Hemi Challenge at this event in 2007, drove his Dodge Dart to an 8.53 in the final round for the win. Pancake made a single run in the final after his scheduled opponent, recent Mac Tools U.S. Nationals Hemi Challenger champion Jim Daniels, broke his Dodge Dart and was not able to make repairs in time.
Coming off a disappointing outing at the U.S. Nationals, where he broke before the start of eliminations, pre-race favorite Charlie Westcott Jr., once again qualified in the top spot for the Hemi Challenge with his War Fish Barracuda but he once again failed to reach the final after losing a close race to Larry Perkins in round one.
Monroe claimed the title in the JEGS Top Dragster Shootout, a special eight-car race for the quickest qualifiers in the Top Dragster class, with a final round victory over Rick Forish of New Palestine, Ind. Monroe ran a 6.82 on his 6.78 dial-in, while Forish lost traction and slowed just off the starting line.
The Mopar Hemi Challenge and JEGS Top Dragster Shootout were just two of the highlights of a busy day at the sixth annual JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals as qualifying concluded for the rest of the nearly 400 competitors in the event.
Dave Yediny of Nazareth, Pa., drove his Opel GT to an 8.704 to lead all qualifiers in Comp Eliminator. Yediny is followed by Charlie Greco and Jason Coan on the qualifying list.
Team JEGS racer John Coughlin finished in the No. 6 spot in Comp after posting two very consistent runs of 8.219 and 8.213 in his JEGS.com Cobalt. John is also qualified third in the Top Dragster class with a run of 6.60-seconds. The Top Dragster field is incredibly quick with Chuck Maruniak of Aurora, Ohio, leading the field with a run of 6.22 seconds. The bump spot is a 6.80 by Terry Smith and there were 15 drivers who ran in the sixes yet still did not qualify for tomorrow’s final eliminations.
The No. 1 spot in Top Sportsman went to Mike Jones of Montville, Ohio, who drove his ’96 Beretta to a run of 6.75-seconds to edge Gary Wojnowski Jr., who is second with a 6.79 and JEGS Mail Order’s Mike Coughlin, who is third. Coughlin, the two-time and defending Division 3 champion, is making his return to racing after being sidelined for more than six months by a medical issue. Coughlin, who is also a three-time winner of the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals, showed no signs of rust as he wheeled his JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt to a 6.805. Coughlin is set to face Glen Teets of Manassas, Va., when eliminations begin tomorrow morning.
Competitors in Super Stock and Stock eliminator completed class eliminations today while the racers in Super Comp, Super Gas, and Super Street, which includes third generation JEGS driver Troy Coughlin Jr., have completed their time trial runs and will also head into final eliminations tomorrow morning.
Scott “Woody” Woodruff
JEGS, Director of Media & Motorsports
Office: 800.345.4545 (#3, ext 412)