COLUMBUS, Ohio (Sept 21) – The 16 winners of the two most recent JEGS NHRA SPORTSnationals events held earlier this year in Belle Rose, La., and Fontana, Calif., are halfway home in their quest to capture the coveted JEGS Crown trophy. The eight winners of the JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals at No Problem Raceway Park and the eight champions who were crowned at the JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, Calif., will now have an opportunity to capture one of the most unique trophies in Motorsports when the JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals takes place at National Trail Raceway in Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 25-27.
The JEGS Crown is beautifully handcrafted trophy that was designed and created by Dan Dreisbach, of Naked Sculpture ( The only way to earn the JEGS Crown is to win the same category at two of the three JEGS Mail Order-backed SPORTSnationals events in the same calendar year. The only driver to earn the elusive award is Mike Ashley, who won back-to-back Pro Mod titles in 2005, the year the JEGS Crown was created. The three JEGS SPORTSnationals races are designed as a showcase for competitors in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
The Belle Rose winners – Kevin Self (Comp), Brad Zaskowski (Super Stock), Austin Williams (Stock), Tommy Phillips (Super Comp and Super Gas), Mike DeSio (Super Street), Jeffrey Barker (Top Sportsman) and Casey Spradlin (Top Dragster), are eligible to win the award, as are the eight Fontana champions – Ed Sigmon (Comp), Mark Faul (Super Stock), Leo Glasbrenner (Stock), Thomas Bayer (Super Comp), Hollis Colleasure (Super Gas), Mike Blodgett Jr. (Super Street), Jed Bourquin (Top Sportsman), and Tom Yancer (Top Dragster).
Of the 16 eligible drivers, one who might have the upper hand in the race for the JEGS Crown is Brad Zaskowski. The winner of the Belle Rose event, Zaskowski lives in Belmont, Mich., and frequently races at National Trail Raceway. Zaskowski is also a leading contender for the national championship in Super Stock, which should provide additional motivation.
“I am very familiar with National Trail Raceway and I really enjoy running there,” said Zaskowski. “It was great to win the SPORTSnationals in Belle Rose this year but it would be even more awesome to win in Columbus. I’m doing pretty well in the [national] points standings so I have a lot riding on this event.”
Another driver who certainly holds a mathematical edge is Tommy Phillips of Forney, Texas. Phillips accomplished a rare feat when he won both the Super Comp and Super Gas titles in Belle Rose. Should he win either class in Columbus, he’ll become the second recipient of the JEGS Crown. Of course, should Phillips defy the astronomical odds and win both classes again, he would return to Texas with a pair of JEGS Crown trophies in his possession. These are the drivers are in contention for the 2009 JEGS Crown:
Driver: Kevin Self
Class: Comp Eliminator
Age: 49
Hometown: Caddo, Okla.
Vehicle: 1932 Bantam roadster
Notable: Self accomplished a rare feat when he won back-to-back JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals titles in 2008 and 2009.
Driver: Brad Zaskowski
Class: Super Stock
Age: 29
Hometown: Belmont, Mich.
Vehicle: 1987 Camaro
Notable: Following his success at the Belle Rose event, Zaskowski is currently in contention for the national championship and the North Central Division championship in Super Stock eliminator.
Driver: Austin Williams
Class: Stock
Age: 19
Hometown: Burleson, Texas
Vehicle: 1977 Road Runner
Notable: At the age of 19, Williams became one of NHRA’s youngest national event champions when he claimed the Stock title in Belle Rose. He has since earned several late-round finishes in South Central Division competition.
Driver: Tommy Phillips
Class: Super Comp
Age: 39
Hometown: Forney, Texas
Vehicle: dragster
Notable: There are just a handful of drivers who have claimed two national event wins at the same event and following his duel Super Comp and Super Gas titles in Belle Rose, Phillips is one of them.
Driver: Tommy Phillips
Class: Super Gas
Age: 39
Hometown: Forney, Texas
Vehicle: 1957 Corvette
Notable: For his career, Phillips has a 10-1 record in NHRA national event finals. He is also ranked in the top ten in both Super Comp and Super Gas this season.
Driver: Mike DeSio
Class: Super Street
Age: 43
Hometown: Seminole, Fla.
Vehicle: 1967 Nova
Notable: Winning the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals is just one of many memorable moments for DeSio in 2009 as he also won the Super Street title at the Atlanta national event and was runner-up in the JEGS Allstars competition in Joliet.
Driver: Jeffrey Barker
Class: Top Sportsman
Age: 26
Hometown: Warner Robins, Ga.
Vehicle: 2002 Camaro
Notable: Using the points he earned with his Belle Rose victory, second-generation racer Jeffrey Barker is well on his way to claiming a second-straight Southeast Division Top Sportsman championship. Barker’s father, Jerry, is also a consistent winner in Top Sportsman.
Driver: Casey Spradlin
Class: Top Dragster
Age: 31
Hometown: Ranburne, Ala.
Vehicle: dragster
Notable: Much like Barker, Spradlin has also made the most of his Belle Rose win as he currently enjoys a comfortable lead in the Southeast Division Top Dragster standings. He has also claimed a victory in Memphis this season.
Driver: Ed Sigmon
Class: Comp Eliminator
Age: 67
Hometown: Chatsworth, Calif.
Vehicle: 1934 Chevrolet
Notable: When Ed Sigmon claimed the Comp Eliminator title at the JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals, it marked his first NHRA national event victory since the 1969 Winternationals in Pomona, Calif.
Driver: Mark Faul
Class: Super Stock
Age: 43
Hometown: Tacoma, Wash.
Vehicle: 1995 Pontiac Grand Am
Notable: Mark Faul’s skills as a racer are so proficient that he is one of the few individuals that can actually make a living as a touring sportsman driver. Faul has won 14 NHRA national events including back-to-back Pacific SPORTSnationals wins in 2008 and 2009.
Driver: Leo Glasbrenner
Class: Stock
Age: 33
Hometown: San Dimas, Calif.
Vehicle: 1967 Pontiac Firebird
Notable: After a runner-up finish at the 2006 NHRA Finals in Pomona, Leo Glasbrenner finally broke through for his first national event title at the JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals.
Driver: Thomas Bayer
Class: Super Comp
Age: 41
Hometown: Fontana, Calif.
Vehicle: dragster
Notable: As an instructor at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School, Thomas Bayer has taught literally thousands of students the finer points of driving a race car. Bayer is obviously able to practice what he preaches as he’s also one of the nation’s most accomplished sportsman drivers and he is currently in contention for the national championship in Super Comp.
Driver: Hollis Colleasure
Class: Super Gas
Age: 62
Hometown: San Dimas, Calif.
Vehicle: 1927-T Ford roadster
Notable: After years of trying, veteran racer Hollis Colleasure finally captured his first NHRA national event title at the JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals and to make the moment even more special, he defeated his son-in-law, Brad Pierce, in the final round.
Driver: Michael Blodgett Jr.
Class: Super Street
Age: 42
Hometown: Long Beach, Calif.
Vehicle: 1967 Camaro
Notable: When he won the Super Street title in Fontana, Blodgett was following the lead of his brother, Matthew, who won the same race a year earlier. Family patriarch Mike Sr. is also a former national event winner.
Driver: Jed Bourquin
Class: Top Sportsman
Age: 48
Hometown: Canyon Country, Calif.
Vehicle: 1993 Daytona
Notable: In addition to his Top Sportsman win in Fontana, Bourquin also has a win and a runner-up finish to his credit in the Super Gas class. He is currently ranked ninth in the Pacific Division Top Sportsman standings.
Driver: Tom Yancer
Class: Top Dragster
Age: 50
Hometown: Chandler, Ariz.
Vehicle: dragster
Notable: Known primarily for his work as a chassis builder, Tom Yancer is also an extremely competent race as he proved with his Top Dragster win at the Pacific SPORTSnationals. Yancer is currently ranked seventh in the Pacific Division Top Dragster standings.
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