Third-generation Super Stock racer Aaron Stanfield leads the Division 4 team to an overpowering victory in the JEGS Allstars team competition. Pacific Region earns Top Alcohol trophy.
The Goodguys from the NHRA South Central Division turned in a dominating performance to win the 34th annual JEGS Allstars overall team title on Saturday during the JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals. The Division 4 crew built a sizable lead after five of their eight members advanced to the final round, and the knockout blow came early in the final rounds when third-generation star Aaron Stanfield claimed the Super Stock title over defending event winner James Antonette from Division 1. The final tally had the Division 4 team with 1,300 points to 1,000 for the defending overall champions from the host Division 3 team. In addition to their events winnings, each of the Division 4 members shared a $20,000 bonus. It was also the seventh time that the Division 4 team has won the title at the special event that brings together 80 of best Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series sportsman racers from across the country.
The alcohol portion of the competition turned into a rout after Western Region racers Joey Severance and Shane Westerfield won in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car, respectively. Severance, who has won the last three national championships, earned his third JEGS Allstars crown with a 5.249 to 5.326 win over James Stevens. Westerfield used a starting line holeshot to take out Doug Gordon, 5.522 to 5.518. Westerfield and Gordon finished first and second in last year’s Top Alcohol Funny Car points standings.
Stanfield drove his Camaro to the Super Stock title after Antonette red-lighted in the final round. Last year, Stanfield won the Route 66 Nationals title when he defeated his father, Greg, in the final round.
The Comp title went to Frank Aragona Jr. of the Division 1 team when he outran Division 4’s Craig Bourgeois in a battle of past national champions. Arangona won with a (-.627) 7.353 to a (-.487) 6.913.
Ryan Mangus, racing for the Division 7 team, won the Stock title when he defeated Division 6 racer Joe Sorensen. Mangus, driving Jeg Coughlin Jr.’s DragPak Challenger, picked up his first JEGS Allstars win after Sorensen red-lighted in his ’69 Camaro.
Division 1 racer Mike Robilotto was nearly perfect in the Super Comp final with a .009 reaction time and an 8.901 on the 8.90 index to close out two-time national champion Austin Williams of Division 4. Williams ran an 8.921 for the loss.
As the defending event champion in Super Gas, Ken Mostowich was entered as the blocker for Division 7 but he was moved to the Division representative Randy Bowers broke before the first round of eliminations. Mostowich made the most of the opportunity and went on to defeat Jack Collier, 9.903 to a 9.879 breakout.
The host team from Division 3 also scored in Super Street after Phil Smida drove to a narrow 10.909 to 10.912 win against Division 1 racer Don Garbinski in the final round.
Lester Johnson’s ’55 Chevy was the quickest car in the Top Sportsman field and he closed the deal with a perfect 6.173 on his 6.17 dial to stop Division 4 racer Bob Gulitti, who broke out by a hundredth of a second with a 6.560 on his 6.57 dial. Johnson, like the rest of the champions, will be eligible to return next year as a blocker for the JEGS Allstars race.
The final champion crowned was two-time national champion Jeff Strickland of Division 2, who beat reigning national champ Lynn Ellison of Division 3 in the final round. Strickland ran a 6.501 on his 6.49 dial for the win after Ellison broke out with a 6.438 on his 6.44 dial. Should any of the newly crowned JEGS Allstars champions go on to win again in tomorrow’s JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals final eliminations, they will be in line for the JEGS double-up bonus, which automatically doubles their winnings.