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Demke Goes "Old-School" to Win Back to Back at Columbus

HEBRON, Ohio (July 29, 2015) – An “old-school” tuning strategy paid off for Chris Demke and the Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products Top Alcohol Dragster team last weekend. Racing on a hot, tricky surface at National Trail Raceway, Demke defeated three of the hottest A/Fuel dragsters in the Midwest despite a broken data recorder. He scored his second NHRA Lucas Oil Series regional event win of his national championship defense season to maintain his position as national points leader.

“It was a tough weekend,” Demke admitted. “The track surface was over 120 degrees through qualifying – very slick conditions and our car shook the tires every round of qualifying. We tried everything and just couldn't get a handle on it. We actually had to go so far out of our tuning window that we had to pull out our log book from 2006 to find a tune-up for the conditions. We went old-school.”

Adding to the weekend's old-school theme was the lack of data. The car's on-board data recorder shut off upon launch during the second qualifying session. The team was unable to fix the recorder, so they resorted to manually noting as much as possible. The crew read the spark plugs after each run and attached a GoPro camera to the car to keep an eye on wheelspeed.

“I'm just amazed that we were able to get the car to perform as it did. The end results don't... [Read More]
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Michalek Brothers Racing to Field Top Alcohol Dragster Entry in 2016

Michalek Brothers Racing (MBR) has entered a new era. After 3 years of part-time involvement in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series behind the wheel of the Dreher Motorsports A/fuel dragster, the team will move forward with fielding its own Top Alcohol Dragster entry under the MBR banner. Michalek Brothers Racing has taken possession of a 2010 Spitzer Enterprises A/fuel dragster and is in the process of preparing the car and assembling a team for a 2016 debut.

“First and foremost, we need the thank Jared and Randy Dreher of Dreher Motorsports,” said Corey. “Over the past 3 years we have built an outstanding relationship with those two and their welcoming family both on and off the track. They were gracious enough to let me license in their car and they provided Kyle and me the opportunity to get seat time at 2 regional events and 6 national events inside the cockpit of a proven winner. It was a blast, to say the least, and I’m looking forward to seeing them out at the track for years to come.”

Kyle Michalek, MBR’s first Top Alcohol Dragster driver, reflected on a partnership that got off to a fast start and never lost momentum all the way through the team’s runner-up finish this past month in Norwalk, Ohio.

"The Drehers consistently provided us with a great car which helped shorten the learning curve and get us... [Read More]
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Defending Champion Chris Demke Continuing Midwest Trip at Columbus Regional

HEBRON, Ohio (July 24, 2015) – NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Chris Demke has to be feeling good as his Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products team rolls into National Trail Raceway for the Buckeye Fuel Wars NHRA North Central Region event. Demke is the defending event champion, and he recently won the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment Nationals just up the road in Norwalk, Ohio, as well as the Route 66 NHRA Nationals near Chicago last weekend.

“I should be calm, cool and collected but I feel anything but that,” Demke revealed. “I have a lot of stuff going on at home; work is very busy and I'm in the middle of buying a house. Lo and behold I have to go racing in the middle of it all. It's never easy and kind of a distraction at times but I'm sure once I get on the plane and start heading toward Columbus my focus will come.”

Demke and the Maddern Racing team carry a certain confidence to this race, knowing they're capable of running well in the Midwest summer conditions. A high level of familiarity with the local competition, mainly some of the hottest A/Fuel cars in the country currently, also adds to the California team's swagger.

“All of those guys know our team and hopefully we have them scared, having won these last two races. I know that's wishful thinking. I'm sure Mia (Tedesco) and her team have us right in... [Read More]
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Shields and PEAK Team Grab Fourth Regional Event Win of 2015

Duane Shields and the PEAK A/Fuel Dragster team won their fourth Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series regional event in the Northeast Division where they have experienced large fields of highly competitive cars in the Top Alcohol Dragster class. Duane set the tone early by qualifying on the pole with a 5.32 at 272 MPH to lead the 14 cars vying to get into an eight-car field.

In round one, Duane dispatched Frank Schuster from eliminations in a satisfying win. Schuster had the advantage on the starting line but was unable to out-run Duane’s 5.43 at 271 MPH blast. Schuster rang up a 5.64 in the first round loss. “It was a nice win for us since Frank beat me with a hole shot a couple of week ago in New York,” Duane said.

In round two Duane raced Karen Stalba. At the hit Duane got out of the gate first with an .052 to Stalba’s .125. Duane was able to maintain a short lead to the finish line and stopped the clock with a 5.34 at 272 MPH to Stalba’s valiant 5.43.

The final round had to be postponed until Sunday due to an accident that delayed racing. The weather improved overnight which changed the conditions. Duane’s opponent in the finals was Rich McPhillips, who has had a great deal of success in the past couple of seasons. When the lights came down it was Duane out first with a great .025 reaction time to McPhillip's .067. Just then... [Read More]
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Hanna working toward 2016 return in Top Alcohol Funny Car

DEER PARK, Texas – Three-time Divisional Champion Crew Chief Will Hanna will debut his own team in NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car in 2016. The second-generation driver will return behind the wheel after eight years of tuning and consulting for Top Alcohol and Pro Mod teams all over the world. The endeavor will be Hanna’s first as a team owner in the alcohol ranks.

Hanna, 36, from Deer Park, Texas, hopes to experience some of the success he has given his tuning customers.

“When I drove for Harry Clack, we were just on the corner of getting our torque converter combination figured out in ’07,” stated Hanna. “Harry had some business opportunities come up he needed to focus his resources on, so he made the tough decision to sell the team. We had just got the car into the 5.60’s, which was pretty respectable back then.

“I have no room to complain because it was a tremendous opportunity to drive, but I have always wondered what could have been had we kept going,” continued Hanna. “I have been blessed to have the opportunity to start putting my own team together over the past year. I want to get a chance to drive for the 36 year old Will Hanna tuning instead of the 26 year old Will Hanna. I have learned a few things since then.”

Hanna is assembling his 2014 Mustang with an emphasis on quality over quantity.
... [Read More]
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Second-Gen Racer Megan Meyer Set to Make TA/D Debut at St. Louis Regional

SPRING HILL, Kans. (July 15, 2015) – The NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and its Top Alcohol Dragster class will see the next generation of Randy Meyer Racing next month when Megan Meyer makes her TA/D competition debut at the St. Louis regional event. The 22-year-old daughter of world championship car owner and tuner Randy Meyer will compete alongside her seasoned father twice this year in preparation for a full season in 2016.

“I am thrilled to say the least about this dream come true. I have always wanted to be the next NHRA second-generation driver, and I plan to keep drag racing for a very long time. My father has set some high goals for me with his success over the years, and I will follow in his footsteps and set my own records in the Top Alcohol Dragster ranks,” Megan said.

Meyer was originally scheduled to make her debut next season, but promising test session results and the right opportunities have allowed for a debut at Gateway Motorsports Park, August 7-8.

“My dad and I came to an agreement that I wouldn’t start racing Top Alcohol Dragster until I graduate from college at Pittsburg State University, and although I won’t finish my degree in Graphic Design Management with a minor in Digital and Web Design until December this year, I plan to compete in my first Top Alcohol Dragster race at the Lucas... [Read More]
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Demke Adds Third Consecutive Route 66 Nationals Win to 2015 Scorecard

JOLIET, Ill. (July 15, 2015) – It's easy to see why Route 66 Raceway is one of Chris Demke's favorite tracks, as the California driver has enjoyed plenty of success at the Chicagoland facility in the recent past. Demke's reign at Route 66 continued last weekend when he won his third consecutive NHRA Route 66 Nationals Top Alcohol Dragster title.

The weekend started out with a very strong qualifying effort. Demke was qualified No. 3 with a 5.300 elapsed time after the first two sessions, which also put him in the two spot for JEGS Allstars eliminations. Demke drove the Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products dragster to a 5.289 blast in the first round of Allstars competition, but fellow West Region qualifier Joey Severance used a .013 reaction time and 5.324 et to take the holeshot win.

“Joey was struggling in qualifying but he was driving the Norm Grimes car and we know they can step up at any moment. He beat me by four thousandths of a second. It really bummed me out because I go to Chicago for the JEGS Allstars race. That's racing for you. Plus, it always sucks when you have to race your region teammate in the first round.

“We packed up for the night and set our focus on eliminations for the Route 66 Nationals. While I was stomping around mad at myself on Sunday, our tuner, Adam Rhoades, told me, 'Hey, that was... [Read More]
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PEAK Racer Duane Shields Goes to JEGS Allstars Final Round

Chicago - The Route 66 Nationals is a special stop on the tour for Duane Shields and the PEAK A/Fuel Dragster team because in conjunction with the nationals, a sportsman Allstar race is also included in the event. This year, Duane Shields represented the eastern region of the country. Also, Chicago is the headquarters for PEAK so there was a lot of special activities prior to the race at the Old World Industries headquarters. “It was good to see their headquarters. I had a great time with everyone there. They have a great group of employees,” Duane said.

JEGS ALL STAR RACE

In round one, Duane driving the beautiful blue and white PEAK dragster, took on Chase Copeland driving for drag racing legend Gene Snow. Duane took the win with a 5.42 at 261 MPH but dropped a cylinder at 1.5 seconds into the run.

In round two, Duane raced Midwest powerhouse Randy Meyer. Duane got by Meyer in a squeaker as both racers had nearly identical reaction times, but Duane got the edge off the line with an .061 to Meyer’s .063. At the finish line Duane posted a 5.35 at 271 MPH to Meyer’s close 5.36 at 269 MPH.

In the JEGS Allstar finals, Duane was matched up with Oregon’s Joey Severance who was representing the west. At the hit Severance was out first with an .049 to Duane’s .060. At the finish line it was Severance getting the victory... [Read More]
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Corey Michalek Posts Runner-Up Finish to Defending Nat. Champ Chris Demke at Norwalk

Michalek Brothers Racing (MBR) and Dreher Motorsports entered the 9th Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio on a mission to mix it up with some of the best Top Alcohol Dragster racers in the country on 4th of July weekend. Corey Michalek returned to the driver's seat hoping to feed off the momentum built during the team’s semi-final finish in Houston just a few months back when brother Kyle Michalek was behind the wheel. This marked the first time that the younger Michalek had piloted the Dreher Motorsports A/fueler since bowing out early at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, North Carolina this past March.

"I preached it before the race and I preach it every time someone asks us about driving… Kyle and I make less than 10 runs a year,” Corey stressed. "We put so much emphasis on taking advantage of every single opportunity that we get to stand on the gas in one of these cars. When we pull up to the line, I believe we have a different approach, a different sense of urgency than maybe a driver who runs 12-15 races a year. If we throw away an important qualifying run or a pass in eliminations, that’s it for us for the year. We just want to do whatever we can to make as many runs as possible."

Corey hit the track for qualifying on Friday afternoon and promptly opened up the weekend with a... [Read More]
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Permatex/Follow A Dream Team Earns Biggest Win Since 2006

At the SummitRacing.com Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, Jay Blake's Permatex/Follow A Dream team earned its biggest win in nine years and moved into third place in the NHRA national standings. Driver Todd Veney singled in the Top Alcohol Funny Car final when opponent D.J. Cox broke on the burnout, collecting his first national event title and the team's fourth overall.

"Winning an NHRA national event is a dream come true," said Veney, who grew up about 50 miles from the track, in Wadsworth, Ohio. "It's been my number one goal my whole life, and I have Jay and the entire Follow A Dream team to thank for it. We ran 264 mph three times, qualified No. 3, and didn't have any mechanical problems at all, so it was just a great weekend all around."

"This was a true team win," said Blake, whose Permatex/Follow A Dream crew also won the 2005 Spring Nationals in Houston, and in 2006 won the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla, and the NHRA Finals in Pomona, CA . "Everybody on the team did a perfect job, everybody worked together, and now we're as high in the national standings as we've ever been."

Veney qualified No. 3 with a 5.59 at 264 mph and instead of racing No. 14 qualifier Wayne Butler (who crashed in qualifying) in the first round, took down alternate Jay Payne, the winningest alcohol driver now that many-time world champion Frank Manzo... [Read More]
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