It took the better part of three decades, but the team from the NHRA Pacific Division finally broke through for its first overall team title in the JEGS Allstars competition. Led by Chris Demke, who claimed the win in Top Alcohol Dragster, and Aaron Kinard, who drove to the Super Comp title, Division Director Mike Rice’s troops scored 1,300 points, finishing in a tie with the Southeast Division team. Per the tiebreaker rules, which score additional points for wins, runner-up, and semifinal finishes, the title and the $20,000 bonus that accompanies it, went to the Division 7 team for the first time. The Division 5 crew, also seeking its first title, finished a respectable third with 1,100 points.
In the final round in Top Alcohol Dragster, Demke banged a supercharger and slowed to a 7.74 but picked up the dramatic win after Randy Meyer fouled away a 5.30, the quickest run of the event. Kinard also chipped in with three big round-wins when he drove his dragster to a narrow 8.911 to 8.915 win over Division 2 racer Sherman Adcock Jr., who was looking to become the first driver to double in the JEGS Allstars race.
The Division 7 team got down to business early as it scored 800 of a possible 1,000 points in the first round by sending eight of its 10 drivers into the semifinals. The Division 7 team was so dominant that the Division 6 team was mathematically eliminated after round one and the Division 1 team was on life support. However, as the battle progressed, the Division 2 and Division 5 teams stayed in the hunt until the very end. The final race of the day in Top Alcohol Funny Car decided the championship when Frank Manzo downed Mickey Ferro, who was the last hope for the Southeast Division, 5.58 to 5.61. For Manzo, it was the 10th JEGS Allstars title in his illustrious career.
The biggest contributors for the Division 2 team were Adcock, who drove to a close 9.901 to 9.903 win in the Super Gas final over Division 5's Kevin Moore, and Dylan Stott, who shook off an early loss in Top Dragster but returned to claim the Top Sportsman title by beating blocker Joe Roubicek in the final. Stott won with a 6.89 on his 6.86 dial while Roubicek trailed with a .05-over 7.05.
Division 5 ace and former national champion Bruno Massel dominated in Comp, driving his turbocharged DD/AT Cobalt to a convincing final-round win over newlywed Division 7 racer Justin Lamb. Massel ran a 6.94 on his 7.54 index for the win while Lamb posted an 8.66 on his 9.17 index.
JR Lobner did his part for the Division 5 team with a Top Dragster win over defending JEGS Allstars champ James Monroe. Lobner was perfect with a 6.94 on his 6.94 dial while Monroe broke out by two-hundredths.
The Super Stock title went to Division 4 racer Jerry Emmons, who scored his second win in the special event. Paired with world champion Joe Santangelo in the final, Emmons drove his Lucas Oil entry to a .02-over 9.80 for the win after Santangelo broke out with a 10.33 on his 10.36 dial.
Another repeat winner was Slate Cummings, who stopped Bo Butner to win the Stock title. Cummings posted a .02-over 10.46 in his Moser-backed Firebird while Butner drove his swift BB/SA Cobra Jet to a .03-over 9.27.
The final trophy went to Ricky Shipp Jr., who put the Division 3 team into the winner’s circle by driving his Nova to a narrow 10.902 to 10.911 win over Tom Manfred in a race that was decided by .002-second at the finish line.
Although the event was completed on Sunday night, there is still a lot of motivation for today’s JEGS Allstars champions heading into tomorrow’s final eliminations for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals as any racer who can repeat their win tomorrow will be eligible for the JEGS double-up bonus.
|2012 JEGS Allstars final points standings
||1,300 (wins on tiebreaker)