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JEGS Allstars to be Contested During Historic U.S. Nationals for Second Straight Year

2020 DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals

Last year, the JEGS Allstars race found a new home when it moved to historic Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. Held during the Dodge SRT U.S. Nationals, NHRA’s oldest and most prestigious event, the pairing proved to be a successful one with Indy proving to be the perfect host for the JEGS Allstars race, which celebrates its 37th year in 2021.

This week, the best Sportsman racers from across NHRA’s seven geographic divisions will return to Indianapolis for the special event that crowns both an overall team champion and individual winners in 10 separate eliminators.

For the 80 racers who have qualified for the special event, winning an individual title at the JEGS Allstars race is a tremendous achievement, but being a part of the winning team is an extra-special accomplishment, particularly on the hallowed grounds of Lucas Oil Raceway, which has been home to the U.S. Nationals since 1961.

Last year, the team from the West Central Division turned in a dominant performance to win their third overall title in the last seven seasons. The Division 5 crew also won titles in 2014 and 2016.

A highlight of each season since the inaugural event in 1985, the JEGS Allstars event features a total purse of more than $150,000, making it one of the richest events of its kind.

Racers qualify for the event by earning points in their home divisions during year-long battles in the following NHRA Lucas Oil categories; Top Alcohol Dragster, Top Alcohol Funny Car, Competition, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Top Dragster and Top Sportsman.

Still riding the wave of last year’s triumph, the Division 5 team returns to Indy with a great chance to repeat their 2020 victory. Their line-up includes past world champion Matt Driskell in Top Sportsman as well as title contenders Doug Engels (Comp), Scott Burton (Stock), and Bradley Johnson (Top Dragster).

Driskell is one of 13 former or current NHRA national champions in the JEGS Allstars field. That list also includes Top Alcohol Dragster racers Duane Shields and Joey Severance, and reigning champions Craig Bourgeois (Comp), Bryan Worner (Super Stock), Christopher Dodd (Super Comp), and Anthony Bertozzi (Top Dragster).

Four women have qualified for this year’s JEGS Allstars team including Jackie Fricke and Julie Nataas in Top Alcohol Dragster, Randi Lynn Shipp in Stock, and Alison Prose in Super Street. Nataas and Shipp are fresh off wins in last week’s Division 3 event in Bowling Green, Ky., while Fricke also earned a recent win at the Division 1 race in Reading, Pa.

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The Top Alcohol Funny Car class also delivers a stacked line-up, although the only driver in the field who has previously won a JEGS Allstars title is Ray Drew from the Central Region team, who is unbeaten in his last two starts. The Top Alcohol categories compete for their own championship, separate from the eight other eliminators.

The Northeast Division team features world champions Bryan Worner in Super Stock and Al Kenny in Top Dragster. The Division 1 crew are also seeking their first Allstars overall crown since 2010 when they won three of ten classes.

The Southeast Division team has enjoyed tremendous success at the Allstars with their most recent title coming in 2015. This year, their hopes are pinned on Bertozzi, Super Comp ace Ray Miller III, and veteran Stock racer Jeff Hairrington.

The North Central squad will be looking to garner their ninth win and they have all the weapons necessary to do it including past Super Stock world champ Ricky Decker, first-time Comp qualifier Ronnie Bohn, and Shipp, who is a seven-time national event winner.

The Northwest Division team is looking for their first title since 2005 and has brought to Indy a line-up that includes veteran Comp racer Ralph Van Paepeghem, reigning Division 6 Super Street champ Sean Shaffer, and Top Sportsman driver Robert Strohm.

The gang from the Pacific Division, who last claimed the overall title in 2012, will be looking to regain the top spot and there is no reason to think they won’t be able to with a core group that includes current championship contender Joe Mozeris in Comp, Kyle Rizzoli in Super Stock, and longtime class racer Steve Wann in Stock.

Any racer who can win Saturday’s JEGS Allstar title and then return on Sunday to win the Dodge SRT U.S. Nationals in the same class will be eligible for the JEGS “double-up” bonus.

2021 JEGS Allstars Race – Fast Facts

Now celebrating its 37th year, the JEGS Allstars competition is one of the most highly-anticipated events of the season for racers in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. Racers can only qualify for one of the coveted spots on the JEGS Allstars team by winning a year-long competition within each of NHRA’s seven geographic divisions.

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The racers in the JEGS Allstars event will be competing for a share of more than $150,000 in cash awards posted by JEGS Mail Order. The overall team champions will split a $20,000 bonus. In addition, there are close to $50,000 in manufacturer posted contingency awards available to the finalists this year.

Any driver who can win the JEGS Allstars on Saturday and then return to win the Dodge/SRT U.S. Nationals title the following day will automatically be eligible for a “double-up” bonus from JEGS Mail Order.

Current NHRA pros Aaron Stanfield, Bruno Massel, and Shawn Langdon are all former winners of the JEGS Allstars race.

Last year, the team from the NHRA West Central Division (Division 5) won the overall team title in the JEGS Allstars for the third time in the last six years. The Division 5 team was led by winners Trevor Larson (Super Comp), Kris Thies (Super Street), and Allen Firestone (Top Sportsman).

The North Central Division (Division 3) and South Central Division (Division 4) are tied for the lead with eight overall JEGS Allstars titles, while the teams from the Northeast Division (Division 1) and Southeast Division (Division 2) are tied with seven overall titles.

Since 1985, the JEGS Allstars has been contested in four locations; Bowling Green, Ky., Indianapolis, Ind., Columbus, Ohio, and Joliet, Ill.

There are 13 former or current NHRA national champions racing in this year’s JEGS Allstars event. They are Duane Shields, Joey Severance, Craig Bourgeois, Bryan Worner, Ricky Decker, Ray Miller III, Christopher Dodd, Austin Williams, Jeremy Mason, Al Kenny, Anthony Bertozzi, Aaron Stanfield, and Matt Driskell.

There are four women in this year’s JEGS Allstars field. Defending event champion Jackie Fricke will compete in Top Alcohol Dragster, where she is joined by Julie Nataas. Randi Lynn Shipp will represent the Division 3 team in Stock while Alison Prose is also representing Division 3 in Super Street.

The only driver to double-up at a JEGS Allstars race is Trevor Larson, who won the Super Comp and Super Gas titles in 2015. Larson also won in 2020, and has returned as the blocker.

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Mary Ann Method was the first woman to win the JEGS Allstars with her Stock victory in 1995. Since then, four others have joined her including the late Shelly Howard (Top Alcohol Dragster, 2004), Lynn Hoosigian (Super Street, 2006), Brenda Grubbs (Stock, 2008) and Jackie Fricke (Top Alcohol Dragster, 2020).

The most successful driver in the history of the JEGS Allstars is Frank Manzo who has 10 wins in the Top Alcohol Funny Car class

Division 4 racer Slate Cummings will return to Indy in search of his sixth JEGS Allstars title. Cummings won last year’s event, and also carded wins in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2016.

Defending Super Stock champ Kyle Rizzoli, who returns this season as a blocker, is the son of Jim Rizzoli, who won the 1992 JEGS Allstars Top Alcohol Dragster title.

JEGS Allstars By The Numbers

3 — Overall JEGS Allstars team titles for the Div. 5 team in the last six years.

4 — Women in the JEGS Allstars field. (Rachel Meyer, Megan Meyer, Annie Whiteley, Jackie Alley, Allison Doll, Rebecca Miller.)

8 — JEGS Allstars Team Championships for Division 3 and 4

10 — JEGS Allstars wins for Frank Manzo

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13 — World champions in this year’s field

37 — Years for the JEGS Allstars competition

This story was originally published on August 30, 2021. Drag Illustrated

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