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Sat, 29 Sep 2007, 09:38 AM

Elite Eight Compete for JEGS Crown in Columbus
Courtesy of Scott Woodruff

HEBRON, Ohio -- Several hundred of NHRA's best sportsman drag racers will converge on National Trail Raceway for this weekend's JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals, but only eight will have the opportunity to win the coveted JEGS Crown. The JEGS Crown is a beautifully handcrafted trophy, which was designed and created by Dan Dreisbach, the head fabricator at Rahal Racing. In order to win it, a racer must claim two victories in the same class at the NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals, which was held last April in Belle Rose, La., and this weekend's JEGS Northern SPORTSnationals.

The eighth Belle Rose champions who remain in the running for the 2007 JEGS Crown are Craig Bourgeois (Competition Eliminator), Brad Zaskowski (Super Stock), Gary Emmons (Stock), Britt Cummings (Super Comp), David Tatum III (Super Gas), Kevin Edmonds (Super Street), T.J. Tracey (Top Sportsman) and David Strain (Top Dragster).

The JEGS Crown trophy might be one of the most difficult awards in all of drag racing to earn. In three seasons, it has only been awarded once; to former Pro Mod champion and current nitro Funny Car star Mike Ashley, who won both SPORTSnationals events in 2005 while racing in the AMS Pro Mod Series.

"We created the JEGS Crown because we wanted to do something special for the many sportsman racers who support the NHRA JEGS SPORTSnationals events in Belle Rose and Columbus," said Scott Woodruff, Director of Media and Motorsports Marketing for JEGS. "Yes, the JEGS Crown is very difficult to win but we planned it that way it is a very unique trophy. There aren't many of them around and any racer who wins one can do so knowing that they've really accomplished something extraordinary."

Bourgeois, of Metairie, La., will have a second chance to win the trophy as he was also the winner of the Comp title at the 2006 NHRA Cajun SPORTSnationals.

Interestingly enough, Tatum, has already won a pair of SPORTSnationals events. The Palmetto, Ga., racer won the Super Comp title at last year's JEGS NHRA Northern SPORTSnationals in Columbus and went to Belle Rose earlier this year and claimed the victory in Super Gas. Unfortunately for Tatum, a driver must win two events in the same class in the same year to be eligible for the JEGS Crown so he'll need a "three-peat" in order to bring home the hardware

Two drivers who might have the upper hand in the JEGS Crown battle are Zaskowski, who resides in Belmont, Mich., and races regularly at National Trail Raceway and Tracey, who as a former winner of the Million Dollar Drag Race, is used to high pressure final rounds.

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