HEBRON, Ohio (Sept. 21) – Historic National Trail Raceway will come alive this weekend as several hundred of NHRA’s best racers arrive at the track for the seventh 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, Top Dragster and Top Sportsman.
The event, favored by many racers due to the relaxed atmosphere and after-hours camaraderie, will also feature class eliminations for drivers in Super Stock and Stock, including the popular John Holt Race Cars Hemi Shootout featuring a host of 8-second Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda factory race cars. The Hemi Shootout will pay a generous $3,000 to the champion and $1,000 to the runner-up plus addition contingency awards.
Among the Hemi Shootout favorites will be Charlie Westcott Sr. and his son, Charlie Jr., who recently drove their matching War Fish Barracuda entries to a win and a runner-up at the Mopar Hemi Challenge at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. The Westcotts will be challenged by local hero Jim Pancake, Jim Daniels and David Barton.
Also on tap will be the DRAW/Racer’s for Christ Super Eliminator Shootouts for the top 16 qualifiers in Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street as well as the JEGS Top Dragster Shootout and the VP Racing Fuels Top Sportsman Shootout, all of which are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 24.
Last year’s event provided many thrilling moments as two drivers with Pro Stock experience, Dave Connolly of Elyria, Ohio, and Ryan Ondrejko of Roslindale, Mass., earned victories in Super Gas and Top Sportsman, respectively. Other champs who are expected to return to defend their titles include Ohio natives Craig Marshall (Super Stock) and Jeff Brown (Top Dragster).
As one of the final national events of the 2011 season, the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals will represent one of the final opportunities for competitors to earn points towards national and divisional championships. Among the drivers expected to compete at this year’s event are current Comp Eliminator frontrunner Sal Biondo and his younger brother Peter, who is leading in both Super Stock and Super Gas.
The seventh annual JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals will also mark the last of three races in the ongoing battle for the coveted JEGS Crown. The prized award is a special trophy which was handcrafted by Dan Dreisbach of Naked Sculpture. 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 five-time NHRA champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. Earlier this season, Coughlin made his first appearance at the JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals in Fontana, Calif., and earned a win in Super Comp to go with his runner-up finish in Super Gas. Should he win the Super Comp title in Columbus, he would become just the second driver in history to win the JEGS Crown.
Media Note: Additional information is available at the following locations:
Scott “Woody” Woodruff
JEGS, Director of Media & Motorsports
Office: 800-345-4545 (#3, ext. 412)