Fontana, Calif. (May 10) – The JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals, which began as a showcase event for recreational drag racers, has now become one of the most highly anticipated events of the season for racers in the western United States. The fifth annual event will be held this weekend, May 14-16 at Auto Club Dragway at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and is expected to attract more than 400 drivers competing in nine separate eliminators.
Last year’s event provided many dramatic moments as Ed Sigmon of Chatsworth, Calif., ended a winless draught that dates back to the 1960s when he claimed the Comp Eliminator title while touring pro Mark Faul of Tacoma, Wash., won the Super Stock title, reaching his third final round at the event in the last two seasons. In 2008, Faul nearly pulled off a rare feat with a win in Super Stock and a runner-up finish in Stock Eliminator. Perennial championship contender Thomas Bayer also collected the Super Comp title at the 2009 event while Hollis Colleasure defeated his son-in-law, Brad Pierce to win in Super Gas. These drivers are all expected to return to defend their titles along with fellow 2009 champions Leo Glasbrenner (Stock), Michael Blodgett (Super Street), Jed Bourquin (Top Sportsman), Tom Yancer (Top Dragster) and John Widmann (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 well 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 fifth annual JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals will also mark the second of three races in the ongoing battle for the coveted JEGS Crown. The highly prized but seldom seen hardware is a special trophy which was handcrafted by Dan Dreisbach of Naked Sculpture, he was the head fabricator at Rahal Letterman Racing. 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 Columbus, Ohio (Sept. 24-26).
One driver who appears to be well positioned to win the JEGS Crown is Top Sportsman racer Joe Roubicek. A resident of Westlake Village, Calif., Roubicek ventured to the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals in Belle Rose, La., and drove his ’68 Camaro to the win in the Top Sportsman class. Returning to his home state, Roubicek could become just the second racer to earn the JEGS Crown, joining Pro Mod racer Mike Ashley, who accomplished the feat in 2005.
The JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals begins with a test and tune session on Thursday, May 13 following by qualifying and time trials on Friday and Saturday, May 14-15. Final eliminations are scheduled for 8 a.m., Sunday May 16.
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