Monday, December 4, 2023

NHRA Southern Nationals Sportsman Preview

2021 NHRA Lucas Oil Southern Nationals Sportsman Preview from Atlanta

All images courtesy of NHRA.tv

ATLANTA – The NHRA national event tour moves to Atlanta, Georgia this week for the Lucas Oil Southern Nationals. The third event on the 2021 NHRA calendar should be a good one as it is the final national event at Atlanta Dragway. Racers will compete to add their name to the legendary Southern Nationals winners list for the very last time.

Southern Nationals Logo

The Southern Nationals will showcase over 290 Lucas Oil sportsman racers competing in six different classes. The schedule includes Super Stock, Stock Eliminator, Super Comp, Super Gas, Super Street, and Top Sportsman.

Before we look ahead to the 2021 Four-Wide Nationals, let’s look back at the 2019 event champions.

Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series

2019 NHRA Southern Nationals Champions

Competition Eliminator – Craig Bourgeois

Super Stock – Aaron Stanfield

Stock Eliminator – Chip Johnson

Super Comp – Trene Cressonie

Super Gas – Jim Perry

Top Dragster – Clint Riley


2021 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.

Super Stock – 52 Car Field

Southern Nationals Super Stock Final Aaron Stanfield defeated Brandon Bakies
Aaron Stanfield (far lane) over Brandon Bakies – 2019 Final

2020 Factory Stock world champ Aaron Stanfield hoisted the Super Stock Wally at the 2019 event. He’s been red-hot this season so a repeat is not out of the question. To repeat, he’ll have to outlast a talented field of racers from almost every division in the country. Names that stand out include Jeff Dona, Jeff Adkinson, Marion Stephenson, Kevin Helms, and more.

DragChamp picks to win:

Mike Crutchfield – Veteran D2 runner always seems to end up in the finals.

Monty Bogan Jr. – Has been at the top of his game the last couple of seasons.

Tyler Caheely – Consistently making final rounds, time to take one down.

Stock Eliminator – 60 Car Field

Southern Nationals Stock Final Chip Johnson defeated Jeff Warren
Chip Johnson (far lane) over Jeff Warren – 2019 Final

The Stock field runs deep this week and includes Conner Statler, the most recent winner on the tour. Statler collected his first Wally in Vegas a couple of weeks ago and will try to add to it this week in Atlanta. Wes Neely started 2021 making multiple finals rounds, he could be a threat this weekend. One of the best footbrake racers in the country, Adam Davis, will try his hand at Stock this week as well.

DragChamp picks to win:

Brad Plourd – Mr. Versatile can get it done in any class. He’s especially dangerous in the bottom bulb classes.

Marion Stephenson – Always seems to run well at the Southern Nationals.

Jeff Hairrington – Look for the Mustang to be in the late rounds on Sunday.

Super Comp – 58 Car Field

Southern Nationals Super Comp final Trene Cressonie defeated Shannon Brinkley
Trene Cressonie (near lane) over Shannon Brinkley – 2019 Final

Coming off his win at the Gatornationals, Ray Miller III will look to add to his impressive start to the season in Atlanta. He’ll face off against a tough field that includes a rare 8.90 appearance by Anthony Bertozzi.

DragChamp picks to win:

Ray Miller III – Got to go with momentum and Ray Ray has it.

Jonathan Anderson – Another racer with a ton of momentum, all he does is win, win, win.

Lauren Freer – Speaking of momentum, Freer picked up a win at the SFG 500 last week!

Super Gas – 57 Car Field

Jim Perry
Jim Perry 2019 Super Gas Champ

Jim Perry returns to Atlanta this week in search of a repeat performance from 2019. The veteran racer is more than capable of another big win. The Super Gas field seems to be the most solid from top to bottom this week. Should make for some great matchups throughout the weekend.

DragChamp picks to win:

Luke Bogacki – The online drag racing instructor seems fired up for Super Gas this season. That could spell trouble for the class.

Steve Furr – Hard to bet against the Fuzz! Although I don’t think he’s ever won when I picked him, lol.

Rusty Cook – Veteran racer is a tough out. Should make some noise this week.

Super Street – 45 Car Field

May be an image of one or more people, people standing, car and road
Photo courtesy of Ray Dew’s Facebook page

The 10.90 racers get a shot to race on the big stage this week. One lucky racer will be holding the Wally on Sunday evening. The 45-car field includes five double-digit numbers when means it won’t be an easy trek to the final round.

DragChamp picks to win:

Jeff Strickland – 2x NHRA World Champ would love to add a Super Street Wally to the collection.

Ray Dew – Division 4 champ consistently lays down great laps. He could be a handful this weekend.

Top Sportsman – 18 Car Field

No photo description available.
Vince Hoda (near lane) vs Bob Mandell in the 2018 TS Final

The Top Sportsman field may be on the small side this week but it’s loaded with hitters such as Johnny Brooks, Sandy Wilkins, Curt Fredrich, David Tatum, and more. Last season’s number two and three ranked drivers Allen Firestone and Ron Riegel will also make an appearance this week.

DragChamp pick to win:

Vince Hoda – The D4 runner makes great runs and knows his way to the winner’s circle.

DragChamp is your source for NHRA Lucas Oil sportsman drag racing news and drag race results.

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