Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series - Cajun SPORTSnationals Preview
BELLE ROSE, March 14, 2012: The annual bayou bash better known as the JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals will return to No Problem Raceway Park in Belle Rose, La., this weekend. As many as 500 of the nations best drivers from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series are expected to attend the event, which is now celebrating its ninth season. In addition to the intense competition in the following NHRA eliminators; Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, Top Dragster, Top Sportsman, and Sportsman Motorcycle presented by Harley-Davidson, the JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals offers so much more as it is also an event that showcases the camaraderie and friendliness that define sportsman racing. Pit area cookouts, a crawfish boil, and late night parties are just some of the activities that attract racers from all over North America to the picturesque town of Belle Rose each year.
Last year’s event provided many thrilling moments as David Rampy of Piedmont, Ala., became just the sixth driver to claim 75 NHRA national event wins when he drove his roadster to the title in Comp Eliminator. Texas was also well represented as Terry Emmons of League City claimed the win in Super Stock, Jeff Lopez of Bedford scored in Super Comp, Grandview’s Rustin Mayse won in Super Gas, Chris LeBlanc of Pearland drove to the Super Street title, and former world champion Todd Steward of Kilgore, earned the Top Sportsman title. The rest of the winners were from the home state of Louisiana including Stock winner Kevin Helms of Schriever, Top Dragster winner Mark Jones of Marrero, and Prairieville’s James Enloe, who won in Sportsman Motorcycle presented by Harley-Davidson. Many of the above racers are expected to return to defend their titles.
The JEGS Mail Order team will also be well represented as Mike Coughlin will be in action with his Top Sportsman Chevy Cobalt and his nephew Troy Jr. will pull double duty behind the wheel of a pair of JEGS.com dragsters in Top Dragster and Super Comp. Mike Coughlin is a former winner of the JEGS NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals and a two-time Division 3 Top Sportsman champion. Troy Coughlin Jr. has won a pair of NHRA national events, including the prestigious Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.
The JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals also marks the return of several bonus races including the King of the Bayou, Top Sportsman and Top Dragster Shootouts, class eliminations for Stock and Super Stock, as well as a Hemi Shootout for Dodge and Plymouth factory race cars.
The champions crowned on Sunday will have the opportunity to battle for the coveted JEGS Crown. The highly prized but seldom seen hardware is a special trophy which was handcrafted by Dan Dreisbach of Naked Sculpture. The JEGS Crown is awarded to any driver who can win the same class in two of the three JEGS SPORTSnationals events in a given season. The winners of the JEGS Cajun SPORTSnationals will have additional chances to claim the trophy later this season at the JEGS Pacific SPORTSnationals in Fontana, Calif., and the JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals in Hebron, Ohio. In nearly a decade, the trophy has been claimed just once, in 2005 by Pro Mod racer Mike Ashley.
NHRA reintroduced the SPORTSnationals nine years ago at No Problem Raceway Park. Previously, SPORTSnationals events were held at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Ky. (1974-’80; 1985-’86), Houston International Raceway (1981-’82), and Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis (1983-’84).