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JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals Sportsman champion highlights

The annual JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals is considered one of the toughest events of the year for Sportsman racers because Saturday’s JEGS Allstars event attracts top tier talent from across North America, so it was only fitting that reigning champions put their best foot forward.
19 Jun 2018
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
News
Joey Severance

The annual JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals is considered one of the toughest events of the year for Sportsman racers because Saturday’s JEGS Allstars event attracts top tier talent from across North America, so it was only fitting that reigning champions put their best foot forward. That was the case in four of the classes with Joey Severance (Top Alcohol Dragster), Shane Westerfield (Top Alcohol Funny Car), Justin Lamb (Super Stock), and Austin Williams (Super Comp) earning Sunday victories. 

The other winners were several notables, including Michael Mans (Comp), Jeff Adkinson (Stock), Koy Collier (Super Gas), Val Harmon (Super Street), Kyle Seipel (Top Dragster presented by Racing RVs), and Don O’Neal (Top Sportsman presented by Racing RVs). 

Severance earned his second win of the season by stopping Dan Page in the Top Alcohol Dragster final round, 5.249 to 5.347. With four runs between 5.221 and 5.250, Severance was dominant on race day to earn his 21st career victory. [video]

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Westerfield ran the table with a win in the JEGS Allstars race and a Sunday victory over Kris Hool in the Top Alcohol Funny Car final round. Westerfield ran as quick as 5.414 on race day and sealed the win, his third of the season, with a 5.470. [video

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Two weeks after he broke a three-year win drought with a Super Stock victory in Topeka, Mans returned to the winner’s circle after he drove Daryl Arrowsmith’s GTO to the Comp title. Facing a field that included some of the best racers in the country, Mans made a clean sweep of the event after qualifying No. 1 and winning the event. In the final, Mans grabbed nearly a tenth off the starting line against Greg Kamplain and held on for the holeshot win with a (-.514) 8.166 to Kamplain’s (-.540) 6.780. [video]

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Reigning Stock and Super Stock champion Lamb almost doubled with a runner-up in Stock and a win in Super Stock. Lamb fouled by eight-thousandths in the Stock final but returned a few moments later to close the deal in Super Stock when he drove his SS/AM Cobalt to a final-round win against Dave Dupps Jr. Lamb won for the 22nd time in his career and his third this season with an 8.542 on his 8.52 dial while Dupps was .013-second behind with a 9.956 on his 9.94 dial. [video]

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Lamb’s red-light in the Stock final was a huge relief to Adkinson, who won his third national event title behind the wheel of his A/SA ’69 Camaro. A multitime Division 2 champ, Adkinson reached the final by beating Matt Lund in a heads-up, no-breakout battle and then downing Ben Wenzel’s classic ’67 Z-28 Camaro and Division 6’s JEGS Allstars rep Joe Sorensen. [video

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The Super Comp final was also decided via a red-light start which ended Collier’s chance to join the distinguished list of drivers who have doubled-up at an NHRA national event. When Collier left .009-second ahead of the green light, Williams won the 13th national event of his career. Williams’ best numbers came in the second round, where he used a .005 light and an 8.904 to overcome Jeff Beckman’s perfect 8.900 pass. [video

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Two weeks after his father, Steve, was injured in an on-track accident in Topeka, Collier scored his second win of the season in Super Gas. Following his runner-up in the JEGS Allstars race, Collier rallied on Sunday to earn another win in Super Gas when he topped Larry Bernhausen in the double-breakout final, 9.881 to 9.878. [video]

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Val Harmon, the 2012 JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals champion, earned a second national event title in Super Street after defeating Cole Cummings, who finished the event with a win and a semifinal finish. Harmon won the all-Louisiana, all-’67 Nova battle with a .013 light and a 10.912 to Cummings’ .038 light and 10.914. A round earlier, Harmon dashed Phil Smida’s hopes for a double-up after Smida won Saturday’s JEGS Allstars title. [video]

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With a win in the final round of Top Dragster presented by Racing RVs, Kyle Seipel joined his good buddy, Lamb, in the winner’s circle. Seipel, a winner in four different NHRA classes, locked horns with young prodigy Aaron Stanfield in the final and squeezed out a win by just three-thousandths of a second thanks to a .010 light and a 6.728 on his 6.72 dial. Nick Meloni also made the final four in Top Dragster before losing to Seipel, and Stanfield stopped Mark Jones in the other semifinal match. [video]

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Crazy doesn’t begin to describe the final round of Top Sportsman presented by Racing RVs after O’Neal won his second national event of the season, even though he fouled in the final. O’Neal left .004-second too soon which should have ended the final round, but his opponent Lester Johnson got out of shape and nicked a timing block, handing the win back to O’Neal. Johnson got to the final after a semifinal win against Meloni while O’Neal topped Curt Fredrich. [video]