NHRA Division 3 won the overall JEGS competition, but, Liberty Lake resident Tom Manfred did make it to the semi-final round in Super Street.
by Kevin McKenna, National DRAGSTER
The home team from the North Central Division emerged from a tight pack to win the 25th annual Jegs Allstars team title. With winning performances from Bill Reichert (Top Alcohol Dragster), Ben Wenzel Sr. (Stock), and Ricky Shipp ( Super Street), Jay Hullinger’s Division 3 team chalked up 11 round wins (1,100 points) to hold off the defending champs from Division 1, who scored 1,000 points. The teams from Divisions 5 and 7, two teams that have never won the Jegs Allstars, finished in a tie for third with 900 points. The Division 3 team, who won their last overall title a decade ago, has now claimed six wins in the 25 year history of the bonus event, which includes the best drivers from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
With nearly every team still in the running heading into the final rounds, Shipp gave the Div. 3 team the early advantage when he defeated Division 2 rep Mike DeSio for the title in Super Street. The points lead then see-sawed back and forth several times before the title was finally settled in the last run of the day. Frank Manzo kept the Division 1 hopes alive when he stopped Division 5’s Roger Bateman in the Top Alcohol Funny Car final, 5.55 to 5.63, but Reichert was able to seal the victory when he drove his Rislone dragster to a close 5.34 to 5.36 win against Chris Demke, who was representing the Division 7 team.
Division 5’s Bruno Massel, the winner a week ago at the O’Reilly NHRA Summernationals in Topeka, ended Sal Biondo’s two-year reign in Competition Eliminator after driving his turbocharged Chevy Cobalt to a 7.07 in the final round. Greg Luneack claimed a victory for the Division 7 team when he stopped Division 4’s Slate Cummings in Super Stock and Ben Wenzel, who has been racing his ’67 Camaro since it was new, downed Division 2’s Robbie Shaw to claim the Stock title.
Other Allstar winners were Division 7’s Aaron Kinard in Super Comp and Mike Sawyer of the Division 1 team, who successfully defended his title in the Super Gas class. All Jegs Allstar winners are automatically eligible to return next year as blockers in the event. Furthermore, any driver who can back up an Allstar victory with a win in Sunday’s United Association Route 66 Nationals will be eligible for a double-up bonus from event sponsor Jegs Mail Order.
Top Alcohol Dragster
Bill Reichert, 5.342, 266.42 def. Chris Demke, 5.362, 263.10.
Top Alcohol Funny Car
Frank Manzo, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.556, 260.41 def. Roger Bateman, Ford Mustang, 5.636, 252.76.
Bruno Massel, Cobalt, 7.071, 180.77 def. Sal Biondo, Beretta,8.159, 162.74.
Greg Luneack, Nova, 11.023, 113.69 def. Slate Cummings, Cavalier, 8.972, 141.65.
Ben Wenzel, Camaro, 10.700, 113.72 def. Robbie Shaw, Firebird, 10.233, 126.18.
Aaron Kinard, Dragster, 8.994, 165.86 def. Travis Prudhomme, Dragster, 8.929, 172.59.
Mike Sawyer, Cavalier, 9.941, 165.29 def. John Taylor, Dakota, 16.157,65.56.
Ricky Shipp, Nova, 10.918, 130.73 def. Mike Desio, Chevy II, 10.921, 138.57.
Final points standings
Division 3 1100
Division 1 1000
Division 7 900
Division 5 900
Division 2 800
Division 4 600
Division 6 100