COLUMBUS, OHIO – From it’s humble beginnings in 1960 as a small speed shop to the present day as a nationwide leader in sales and distribution of parts and supplies for the aftermarket performance industry, there is one thing about Jeg’s that has never changed – it’s unwavering commitment to the racing community.

That commitment was reinforced earlier this year when Jeg’s Mail Order signed a multi-year agreement with NHRA to become the title sponsor for both NHRA SPORTSnationals events; the NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals in Belle Rose, La., and the Jeg’s Northern SPORTSnationals in Columbus. Ohio. Each SPORTSnationals race is a national event designed to showcase NHRA’s sportsman categories exclusively.

As an added bonus, the Jeg’s Crown was created to honor any racer who can win the same category at both events. The beautifully handcrafted Jeg’s Crown trophy was designed and created by Dan Dreisbach, the head fabricator at Rahal Racing.

The seven champions of the second annual NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals – Mike Ashley (Pro Mod), Michael Johnson (Comp), Hugh Meeks III (Super Stock), Jeff Strickland (Stock), Mike Coughlin (Super Comp), Scotty Richardson (Super Gas), and Sid Norwood (Super Street) – are now preparing to head for Columbus to continue their pursuit of the Jeg’s Crown.

The Jeg’s Northern SPORTSnationals will be held at National Trail Raceway July 29-31st. National Trail Raceway is located just East of Columbus, Ohio.

Driver: Mike Ashley
Age: 39
Hometown: Mellville, N.Y.
Car: Torco Race Fuels Mustang

Belle Rose Review: Ashley, the 2004 AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod champion, is well on his way to a second title in 2005. Coming off a win at the season opening event in Gainesville, Fla., Ashley continued his hot streak in Belle Rose by qualifying second in the 16-car field and reaching the final round, where he stopped Frankie Taylor in a close 6.17 to 6.20 contest. Ashley has since won two more events and is currently the runaway points leader in the AMS Staff Leasing Pro Mod Series. Winning the Jeg’s Crown would be extra special for Ashley due to his close relationship with the Coughlin family, particularly Troy Coughlin, who
joined Ashley’s Pro Mod team this year with the Jeg’s Mustang.

Quotable: “I have a very close relationship with the Coughlin family and everyone at Jeg’s and the more I get to know them, the more blessed I feel. I have never raced in Columbus, but we might try to test there because I want to do everything I can to win that race and win the Jeg’s Crown.”

Driver: Michael Johnson
Age: 34
Hometown: Springdale, Ark.
Car: G/SMA ’03 Cavalier

Belle Rose Review: Johnson’s Cavalier was one of the quickest cars in Belle Rose and he took care of the rest with a solid driving performance that led to his first victory of the season. Following a crucial victory over Colt Mikel in the semifinals, Johnson was able to cruise to the title after his final round opponent, Brian Browell, rolled the starting line staging beams and red-lighted. In addition to the victory, Johnson also set both ends of the G/SAM record in Belle Rose. One week after his SPORTSnationals victory, Johnson won again at the Division 4 Lucas Oil Series event at the Texas Motorplex. He is currently ranked third in the NHRA Comp points standings and is one of the leading contenders for the national championship.

Quotable: “Any time you’ve got the opportunity to win something this prestigious, you’ve got to go for it. [The Jeg’s Northern SPORTSnationals] wasn’t on our schedule to start the year, but we are definitely considering a trip to Ohio now. It would be quite an honor to win both

“Anytime you’ve got an opportunity to win something this prestigious, you’ve got to go for it,” said Johnson. “We’re definitely considering a trip to Ohio now. It would be quite an honor to win both.’

Driver: Hugh Meeks III
Age: 36
Hometown: Wetumpka, Ala.
Car: GT/AA ’93 Achieva

Belle Rose review: An accomplished bracket racer, who made 16 final round appearances in 2004 and has earned as much as $40,000 in a single day, Hugh Meeks III finally broke though for his first NHRA national event title in Belle Rose. Driving his family’s GT/AA Olds Achieva, Meeks turned in a nearly flawless driving performance as he made his way through six tough rounds of competition before defeating close friend and NHRA veteran Bob Dennis in the final round. Meeks ran right on his 9.57 dial in the final, but didn’t have to as Dennis had red-lighted by seven thousandths of a second.

Meeks has only competed in three Super Stock events this season, but has advanced to at least the third round of eliminations at all of them.

Quotable: “I usually focus on bracket racing but lately, I’ve really started to get into Super Stock. I like it a lot and I think it suits my driving style. Hopefully the win in Belle Rose was just the start of something good.”

Driver: Jeff Strickland
Age: 29
Hometown: Red Bay, Ala.
Car: Tiffin Motorhomes B/FIA ’95 Camaro

Belle Rose Review: Versatile Jeff Strickland competes in Super Comp, Super Stock, Stock and Bracket racing events and he is a proven winner in all of them. In Belle Rose, Strickland collected his fourth career NHRA national event title after driving his Tiffin Motorhomes Camaro to a win over Lee Banister in the final round. On his way to the final, Strickland defeated former national champion Jeff Hefler, and current Stock eliminator points leader Jerry Emmons.

More recently, Strickland reached the final round of Super Stock at the Sears Craftsman Nationals in Madison, Ill., before dropping a heads-up race against Chad Voges. Strickland was also a quarterfinalist at the recent national event in Atlanta, Ga.

Quotable: “I’ve never had much luck in Columbus, but the Jeg’s Crown is a very good reason for us to go and try our luck again. Jeg’s has gone out of their way to make these [SPORTSnationals] events special and I thank them for supporting us sportsman racers.”

Driver: Mike Coughlin
Age: 39
Hometown: Delaware, Ohio
Car: Jeg’s Mail Order dragster

Belle Rose Review: As a member of the Coughlin family and one of the owners of Jeg’s Mail Order, Mike Coughlin’s victory in Belle Rose easily qualifies as one of the highlights of his long and successful career. Coughlin outlasted a field of more than 100 cars, and broke a long winless streak when he downed former NHRA national champ Bryan Robinson in the final round. Along the way, Coughlin had three reaction times that were within a hundredth of a second of being perfect and twice he ran right on the 8.90-second index.

Coughlin may have an edge in Columbus since National Trail Raceway is his home track and he races there often and won back-to-back Super Comp titles in 2002 and 2003 at the track’s other NHRA national event, the Pontiac Performance Nationals.

Quotable: “I have traditionally had a lot of success at National Trail Raceway and I know the track very well. Just to have the chance to double up and win the Jeg’s Crown is quite an honor but I know it won’t be easy to complete the job. There are so many good racers these days that it’s hard to win one race let alone two but I’m looking forward to giving it my best shot.”

Driver: Scotty Richardson
Age: 34
Hometown: Springfield, Tenn.
Car: Richardson Racing ’03 Cavalier

Belle Rose Review: To fans of NHRA Sportsman racing, Scotty Richardson needs no introduction. A five-time national champion, he was one of the few non-professionals named to NHRA’s list of the top 50 drag racers of all time in 2001. Richardson won the bracket race on Saturday night in Belle Rose and returned the next day to claim his 10th career national
event title with a final round victory over Tom Stalba, the second-ranked Super Gas driver the past two seasons.

Richardson recently sold the Cavalier he drove in Belle Rose, but has vowed to find a replacement in time for the Northern SPORTSnationals in Columbus. At the recent Sears Craftsman Nationals in Madison, Richardson advanced to the Super Comp final.

Quotable: “I won Super Street in Columbus and I’ve won the [Jeg’s All-stars] twice when it was held in Columbus so I have a good record at that track. Originally, I wasn’t planning on going to that race, but now I’m going for it because I want to win the Jeg’s Crown. This is the first year they’re awarding that trophy so it would be really special to be the first one to win it.”

Driver: Sid Norwood
Age: 58
Hometown: Brandon, Miss.
Car: Norwood Racing ’80 Corvette

Belle Rose Review: NHRA does not have a national championship for Super Street drivers but Sid Norwood can still have something special to put on his mantle if he can pull off another victory at the Jeg’s Northern SPORTSnationals in Columbus. Norwood, of Brandon, Miss., came to Belle Rose with a new untested engine combination in his ’80 Corvette, but that didn’t stop him from winning his first national event title. In the final, Norwood defeated Jonathan Blades, who red-lighted. On his way to the final, Norwood logged two almost perfect .001 reaction times and ran a flawless 10.900 in round two.

Quotable: “We had a lot of fun in Belle Rose and now we’re looking forward to going to Columbus. That race wasn’t originally on our schedule, but we’re changing our vacation plans this summer to go that way.

Additional resources can be found at:

Media Contact:

Scott ‘Woody’ Woodruff
Director of Media & Motorsports
Office: 800.345.4545 (3.412)
Mobile: 614.595.1820
Fax: 740.362.4385
Email: -or-
Web Site: -or


Media Note: Additional information is available at the following locations:
Facebook - JEGS Performance
Twitter - TeamJEGS
Twitter - JEGS Performance