In a thrilling, down-to-the-wire battle, the host team from the NHRA North Central Division (Division 3) claimed the overall team title during the JEGS Allstars competition at Route 66 Raceway on Saturday. The Division 3 squad welcomed new Division Director Jeff Conley with an overall victory that was fueled by wins from Brian Browell (Comp), Andrew Hill (Stock), and Mark McDonald (Top Sportsman). It was the eighth time the Division 3 team has won the prestigious title, including a four-year unbeaten streak from 1996-99.
The other champions from the special event included Joey Severance (Top Alcohol Dragster), Andy Bohl (Top Alcohol Funny Car), James Antonette Jr. (Super Stock), Nick Folk (Super Comp), Ken Mostowich (Super Gas), John Dalrymple (Super Street), and Steven Furr (Top Dragster).
The JEGS Allstars is a unique competition that features 80 of the best Sportsman racers from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. Racers qualify for the event by earning points in their home division during the previous year. Champions are crowned in 10 different classes, and there is also an overall team champion.
The alcohol portion of the show was decided early when the West Region put four racers into the second round, which officially clinched the title. Severance, the winner of the last two national championships, defeated Mia Tedesco in the Top Alcohol Dragster final, 5.258 to 5.342. In Top Alcohol Funny Car, Chris Marshall appeared to be ahead of Bohl in the final until his chutes deployed prematurely. Bohl, with his car bouncing and bordering on the edge of control, slipped by for the win with a 5.553.
In the overall team competition, the opening round decided almost nothing as the teams from Divisions 3 and 4 finished tied with 500 points and the Division 1, 5, and 7 teams were close behind at 400 points. After the second round, the points picture was not much clearer with the Division 3 team holding a slight one-round lead against Divisions 5, 6, and 7.
In the final rounds, the Division 6 team managed to tie their Division 3 rivals for the lead in the first final when Dalrymple defeated Jonathan Anderson in an amazingly close Super Street final. The Division 3 team retaliated in the next pair when Hill stopped Division 7 racer Tibor Kadar in a double-breakout Stock final. Nick Folk, fresh off a double in Norwalk, kept the Division 5 hopes alive with a nearly perfect run in the Super Comp final against Trevor Larson. The team win became official when McDonald drove to the Top Sportsman title over blocker J.J. Heber. When Browell stopped Division 6 ace Brian Hyerstay in the Comp final, it provided icing on the cake.
The final score had the Division 3 team with 900 points, followed by a three-way tie for second between the Divisions 5, 6, and 7 teams with 700 points.
Each member of the Division 3 team shared in a $20,000 bonus provided by JEGS Mail Order. If any of the champions from today’s event can duplicate that feat in the final round of tomorrow’s Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N Filters, they will earn a double-up bonus from JEGS.
JEGS Allstars Final Points Standings
North Central 500
Division 3 (North Central) 900
Division 7 (Pacific) 700
Division 5 (West Central) 700
Division 6 (Northwest) 700
Division 1 (Northeast) 600
Division 4 (South Central) 500
Division 2 (Southeast) 400