No Problem Raceway Park, Belle Rose, La. (March 21-24)
The JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals at No Problem Raceway Park in Belle Rose, La., is one of three JEGS-sponsored events designed exclusively for racers in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. The other races are the JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals in Columbus, Ohio (Sept. 20-22) and the JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Oct. 11-13). Collectively, these three events attract upwards of 1,200 unique competitors each season.
The defending JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals champions are Arnie Martel (Comp), Mike Crutchfield (Super Stock), John Brimer (Stock), Steve Mikus (Super Comp), Dillon Bontrager (Super Gas), Val Harmon (Super Street), Anthony Bertozzi (Top Dragster), T.J. Tracey (Top Sportsman) and Kyle Olson (Sportsman Motorcycle).
By far, the most successful racer in the nine-year history of the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals is Top Sportsman driver Keith Raftery who has three wins (2005, 2008, and 2010) and a runner-up finish (2007) to his credit.
Other drivers with multiple wins in Belle Rose include T.J Tracey, who won the Top Sportsman title in 2012 and 2007 to go with a runner-up finish in 2008, Jeff Strickland, who won the Stock title in 2005 and the super Stock title in 2008, Sid Norwood, who claimed back-to-back Super Street wins in 2005 and 2006, Kevin Helms, who won Super Stock in 2006 and Stock in 2008, Craig Bourgeois, a back-to-back Comp champ in 2006-2007, Glen Self, also a back to back Comp champ in 2008-2009, and Brad Zaskowski, who won Super Stock in 2007 and 2009.
The only drive to double at the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals is Tommy Phillips who drove to both the Super Comp and Super Gas titles at the 2009 event.
The battle for the coveted JEGS Crown trophy will begin at this weekend’s event. The JEGS Crown is a handcrafted trophy that can only be won by winning two of the three JEGS SPORTSnationals events in a calendar year. The winners of the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals in Belle Rose, La., and the JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals in Las Vegas, Nev., are in the running for the trophy this year.
Since its inception, the JEGS Crown has been awarded just once, to Pro Mod competitor Mike Ashley, who won the Pro Mod class in Belle Rose and Columbus in 2005.
The list of former NHRA national champions who are also former winners of the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals includes Jeg Coughlin Jr., David Tatum III, Steve Cohen, Scotty Richardson, Anthony Bertozzi, Jeff Hefler, Hugh Meeks III, Kevin Helms, and Larry Stewart.
The JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals will also include the popular Mopar Hemi Challenge event for racers in the SS/AH class. Last year, Charlie Westcott Jr. continued his domination of the event with a final round win over Jim Pancake.
Fresh off his win at the Amalie Gatornationals last weekend, Team JEGS racer Troy Coughlin Jr. will compete in the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals. Coughlin plans to race in Super Gas with the same JEGS.com Corvette that carried him to a victory in Gainesville.
Brothers Jeg Jr. and Mike Coughlin are both prior winners of the JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals. Jeg Jr. won the Top Dragster title at the 2006 event while Mike won the Super Comp title in 2005 and also claimed a runner-up finish in Top Sportsman in 2009.
The JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals features a very busy schedule that includes the Moser Sportsman Shootout, Class Eliminations for racers in Stock and Super Stock, King of the Bayou Shootout races for drivers in Super Comp, Super Gas, and Super Street, the Mopar Hemi Challenge, and a CIC race for NHRA class-legal cars.
JEGS By the Numbers
JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals edition
1 Driver to win the JEGS Crown trophy (Mike Ashley, 2005)
3 Final rounds by the Coughlin family at the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals (2 wins, 1 runner-up).
9 Drivers who have won both an NHRA national championship and the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals
10 Years since the inaugural JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals in 2004.
77 Individual event champions crowned since the inaugural JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals in 2004