CHICAGO — Following a thrilling day of competition among drag racing’s best sportsman racers, the team representing Division 4 claimed the overall team title at the prestigious JEGS All-stars event over the weekend at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. Tied with the Division 7 team heading into the final round, the clincher came when Division 4 Super Stock racer Slate Cummings defeated Division 7’s Tony Mandella to officially lock up the championship, and the $20,000 team bonus that accompanies it.
Cummings, who reached the final round in Stock, scored the bulk of the points for the Division 4 team. Tommy Phillips also did his share of the heavy lifting by driving to the Super Comp title over defending champion Michael Miller. The Division 4 team finished with 1,300 points, 100 more than the Division 7 squad. The Division 3 team was in the running until the late rounds, ultimately finishing with 1,100 points while the teams from Divisions 1 and 2 tied with 800 points. On the other end of the standings, the Division 5 team scored 300 points while the Division 6 team was completely shut out on the scoreboard, scoring zero points for the event despite a talent-laden team.
For the second-straight year, Jim Whiteley claimed the Top Alcohol Dragster title as he stopped Division 4 racer Mike Manners in the final round with a 5.36. Whiteley is the first driver in 20 years to successfully defend a Top Alcohol Dragster title at the JEGS Allstars race.
Frank Manzo, who was honored on Friday by JEGS Mail Order for his 200 combined national and divisional event victories, claimed the Top Alcohol Funny Car title for the ninth time. Manzo drove his Al-Anabi Monte Carlo to a victory over Todd Veney in the final round, winning with a 5.59 to Veney’s 5.68. Manzo has now raced in the JEGS Allstars a record 19 times in 27 years.
In addition to Whiteley, other repeat winners included Mark Faul, who stopped Cummings in the Stock final, and Frank Aragona Jr., who successfully defended his title in Comp when he stopped Division 7 representative Mike DePalma in the final round.
Rusty Cook, representing the home Division 3, downed defending event champ Jason Kenny to win the Super Gas title while Mike Griggs picked up a win for Division 2 by beating Scotty Rienschield in the Super Street final.
For the second-straight year, the popular Top Dragster and Top Sportsman classes were included in the JEGS Allstars race. Joe Roubicek, of Division 7, earned the Top Sportsman title when he stopped Division 2 racer Ronnie “the King” Davis in the final round and James Monroe contributed to the strong weekend for the Division 3 team by stopping Art Hoover in the Top Dragster final.