Thursday, June 13, 2024

NHRA Southern Nationals Sportsman Preview

Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals Lucas Oil Sportsman Preview

ATLANTA – A week removed from the 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, the NHRA circuit travels east to Atlanta Dragway for the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals. The event is the seventh on the 24 race NHRA national event series.

NHRA 4-Wide Sportsman Champions

The Southern Nationals will showcase 225 Lucas Oil sportsman racers competing in six different classes. The schedule includes Competition Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock Eliminator, Super Comp, Super Gas, and Top Dragster.

Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series

This is the first national of 2019 that doesn’t include full fields in at least a majority of the sportsman classes. After the NHRA reduced the sportsman class quotas this season, most nationals have maxed out their quota well in advance of the event. This week, none of the sportsman classes reached their respective quotas.

One possible reason for the short car counts could be there is a 90% chance of rain Saturday. With that, the revised sportsman schedule was released today which includes first round of eliminations on Friday for Stock, Super Comp, and Super Gas. The reasoning was to insure the sportsman competitors could finish the race on Sunday if the forecast held up.


2018 NHRA Southern Nationals Champions

Competition Eliminator – Van Puckett

Super Stock – Kevin Helms

Stock Eliminator – Jeff Strickland

Super Comp – Gene Quinn

Super Gas – Tommy Turner

Super Street – Keith Mayers

2018 Super Street Winner Keith Mayers
2018 Super Street Winner Keith Mayers

Top Sportsman – Robert Mandell

Top Dragster – Les Feist

2019 Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals Predictions

With each NHRA national event DragChamp’s sportsman preview includes an overview of each class. In addition, we select the DragChamp Picks to win the race. Here are this week’s picks.

Competition Eliminator – 16 Car Field

The short but stout field this week includes top names such as David Rampy, Craig Bourgeois, Randy Daniels, and 4-Wide Champ Jim Kimbrough.

DragChamp pick to win:

Craig Bourgeois – Talented racer who’s on a heater after doubling up at the Division 4 Lucas Oil double header in Dallas.

Super Stock – 42 Car Field

The talented Super Stock field boast racers from Divisions 1, 2, and 4. Several 2019 winners are in attendance including Gators champ Kevin Riner and 4-Wide champ Monty Bogan.

Two-time 2019 Lucas Oil winner Marion Stephenson will also be on hand.

DragChamp picks to win:

Brad Plourd – Bad Brad is a threat at any race he attends.

Tyler Caheely – Tough racer who knows his way to the winners circle.

Byron Worner – Will be looking to improve on last years runner up.

Stock Eliminator – 44 Car Field

The Stock class could be the most talented sportsman field in Atlanta. The entry list includes names such as Cummings, Fletcher, Taylor, Bogan, Strickland, and more.

Former national champ Jeff Strickland looks to go back-to-back after winning last year.

DragChamp picks to win:

Jeff Taylor – Veteran racer had a strong season in 2018, a win could keep the momentum going into 2019.

Slate Cummings – Baby Gap is always on his game in Atlanta.

Lucas Walker – Look for the bracket racing super star to figure out the class racing game quickly.

Super Comp – 48 Car Field

2018 Southern Nationals Super Comp Winner Gene Quinn
2018 Super Comp Winner Gene Quinn

Ray Miller III looks to continue his hot hand this week at Atlanta. After winning the first three Division 2 Lucas Oil events, Miller took runner up honors at the 4-Wide Nationals last week.

With three wins and a runner up, Miller has a lock on the national points standings. His hot streak also landed him on the DragChamp Top Ten List.

Last week’s winner and fellow DragChamp Top Ten racer Jonathan Anderson will also be competing this week.

DragChamp picks to win:

Ray Miller III – How can you not take him, you have to ride the momentum.

Sherman Adcock Jr. – I’ll take the multi-time world champ at his home track.

Craig Anderson – Talented driver in the APD house car has already earned a national event win and a Lucas Oil runner up in 2019.

Super Gas – 48 Car Field

Joe Harper won his third national event last week at the 4-Wide Nationals. He’ll look to ride that momentum to another final at Atlanta. After and all Division 4 final at the 4-Wide’s, look for the Division 2 racers to step up this week.

2018 Southern Nationals Super Gas Winner Tommy Turner
2018 Super Gas Winner Tommy Turner

DragChamp picks to win:

Jim Perry – The S-10 driver is due for another trip to the winners circle.

Steve Furr – Another tough racer who’s due for a big win.

Rusty Cook – Always a tough out, should be in the mix on Sunday.

Top Dragster – 27 Car Field

An onslaught of Division 4 racers will make up a third of the Top Dragster field at Atlanta. Racers coming in on a hot streak include the Laris family, the Baxter’s, and Aaron Stanfield. The competition will be stiff this week.

DragChamp picks to win:

Steve Cohen – Veteran racer is overdue for a Wally.

Jeff Strickland – Look for Strick to go back-to-back at Atlanta only in a different class this year.

Time trials, qualifying, class eliminations (Super Stock), and final eliminations start on Friday. Visit DragChamp.com throughout the weekend as we will post daily sportsman updates.

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