More than 400 of the world’s best sportsman racers will be in action at the event, which is one of three special SPORTSnationals races each season supported by aftermarket high performance giant JEGS Mail Order.
Since its inception in 2006, the JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals has become a popular event for racers as it combines all the competitive elements of a championship caliber NHRA national event with the down-home friendliness and camaraderie that define Sportsman drag racing. Champions will be crowned in nine separate eliminators — Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Sportsman Motorcycle, Top Dragster and Top Sportsman.
Last year’s event provided many thrilling and memorable moments as Ryan McClanahan of nearby Alta Loma, Calif., took the first steps toward an eventual world championship with a win in Super Stock. Nik Downing of Glendale, Ariz., also claimed a popular win in Super Street joining his father, Dwight, who won the Fontana event in 2007.
McClanahan and Downing are expected to be on hand to defend their titles along with other 2010 champions Alan Ellis (Comp), John Schloe (Stock), Andrew Madrid (Super Comp), Dana Keniry (Super Gas), Kevin Kleineweber (Top Sportsman), Tony Jardina (Top Dragster) and Aaron Pine (Sportsman Motorcycle).
One of the highlights of the event will be the open competition in the Top Dragster and Top Sportsman classes where it is common to see racers running in the six-second zone at speeds in excess of 200-mph. The Top Dragster and Top Sportsman classes have grown so rapidly that they are now contested at 13 NHRA national events and all 45 Lucas Oil Series divisional events. The Fontana event will also feature the popular class eliminations for racers in Super Stock and Stock.
The sixth annual JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals is the second of three races in the ongoing battle for the coveted JEGS Crown trophy. The highly prized but seldom seen hardware is a special trophy handcrafted by noted artist 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 recent JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals in Belle Rose, La., will have the first crack at the JEGS Crown, while this weekend’s champions will have an additional opportunity to claim the award later this year at the JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals in Hebron, Ohio.
To date, the JEGS Crown has been awarded just once, to Pro Mod racer Mike Ashley who won the Belle Rose and Hebron events in 2005.
The JEGS SPORTSnationals has a rich and colorful history that dates back to the inaugural event held in 1974 at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Ky. The event has also been held in Houston, Indianapolis, Belle Rose, La., Hebron, Ohio, and Fontana.
Through the years, many of the sport’s best racers have claimed wins at the SPORTSnationals including many who have gone on to achieve greater success as professional racers and crew chiefs. A few of the notable past SPORTSnationals champions include 14-time Top Alcohol Funny Car champion Frank Manzo, Hall of Famers Dale Armstrong, Ken Veney and Darrell Gwynn, and current Pro Stock driver Larry Morgan.
The JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals begins with a test and tune session Thursday. Later that evening, the festivities will kick into high gear with a racer appreciation party from 6-9 p.m at the local Dave and Busters Restaurant in the nearby Ontario Mills Mall. Qualifying and time trials will be held Friday and Saturday, with final eliminations scheduled for Sunday.
Information regarding JEGS Mail Order can be found at www.jegs.com <http://www.jegs.com/> and for media/fan resources checkout www.teamjegs.com <http://www.teamjegs.com/>.
Scott “Woody” Woodruff
JEGS, Director of Media & Motorsports
Office: 800.345.4545 (#3, ext 412)
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