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Demke Pads Points Lead with Columbus Regional Win

HEBRON, Ohio (July 22) – NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster national points leader Chris Demke added a second regional event win to his 2014 scorecard last weekend when he won the Buckeye Fuel Wars race. Racing at National Trail Raceway near Columbus, Demke qualified No. 1 and scored the win to extend his points lead to almost one hundred points over Joey Severance. The win was the third in a stretch of races that included four events spread out between Montana and Ohio.

Demke put the Peen Rite/OSI/Boost Performance Products dragster in the top spot during Friday's opening qualifying session, running 5.358 at 270 MPH. Saturday rain showers forced the cancellation of one session, leaving teams with a final evening session. Few teams improved and the few that did improve didn't run better than 5.358, so the Maddern Racing team elected to skip the run.

Through eliminations Demke would face three Midwest-based nitro-injected A/Fuel dragsters. The first was Tripp Tatum, who qualified No. 8 with a 5.45. The race was close with Chris finishing first, 5.404 to Tripp's 5.424.

The Jerry Maddern-led team anticipated a challenge in the semifinals, as five-time national champion Bill Reichert would be their opponent.

“You can never take that guy lightly,” Demke said of Reichert. “He's a multi-time champion and he's probably beaten me more... [Read More]
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Strong Woodburn Outing for Ahten

Woodburn, Ore. – A strong 5.370/261.24 qualifying effort garnered Johnny Ahten the number two qualifying position at last weekend’s NHRA West Regional race at Woodburn Dragstrip. That was the good news. The not so good news was the first round red light. On the other hand, the 5.33/267.37 Johnny posted after a .005 foul showed the power of the Stump Puller and Ahten Racing’s tune-up.

“After the burnout I went to stage, and I had trouble holding it in the lights. I yanked on the brake handle but it just wouldn't hold," said Ahten. "In retrospect, I could have of dragged the brakes harder during the burnout. My Dad and the crew gave me a great racecar and it stinks I went red. It was on a run too. I carried the wheels for 1.8 seconds and picked them up two more times in route to that 5.33 run. The weather was crazy all weekend. The rain with thunder and lightning was really something. Joey Severance and the people at Woodburn Dragstrip really worked their tails off and gave us a great racing surface. This was my first time racing here and I was really impressed," acknowledged Ahten.

"Our first qualifying pass was a planned check-out run that netted 5.502/252.80. That put us #4 and we were ready for more. Our second qualifying pass was later in the day on a 136° track. The Island Renovations / Combust Filters dragster motored right down there to a 5.370/261.24. That... [Read More]
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Corey Michalek Qualifies the KAG A/Fuel Dragster into a Stout Norwalk Field

The MBR/Dreher Motorsports A/fuel dragster entry sponsored by the Kenan Advantage Group (KAG) and Champion Spark Plugs qualified #11 amongst a field of 21 of the nation’s premier Top Alcohol Dragster drivers at the 8th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, OH. Taking place over the course of a picture-perfect 4th of July weekend, this was the team’s third NHRA national event appearance as competitors; all of which MBR has successfully made the qualifying field.

Rookie driver Corey Michalek returned to the seat for the second time this year, and the team started the weekend out with a strong 5.455 second elapsed time at 262.03mph during Q1. During the second round of qualifying, the team had an aborted run due to tire shake and ended day 1 in the #10 qualifying spot. The 3,500 horsepower KAG A/fueler took the track one last time early Saturday afternoon and improved on its initial qualifying time by running a 5.445 second lap at 257.73mph to secure the #11 spot in the ladder. Unfortunately, during the process, parts attrition took its toll and MBR’s weekend came to an end before contesting the first round of eliminations.

Fresh off his second event of NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster competition, rookie driver Corey Michalek evaluated the team’s performance.

“Obviously we want to do well every time we... [Read More]
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Demke Reaches Semifinals at First Norwalk Appearance

NORWALK, Ohio (July 8) – A semifinal finish at one of the toughest races of the season, the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, puts Chris Demke at the top of the Top Alcohol Dragster national points standings. A close race against another stout blown alcohol competitor ended Chris' day in the penultimate round, but the upbeat Californian driver is still content with his recent performance.

Demke qualified the Peen Rite/OSI/Boost Performance Products dragster in the No. 5 spot, running 5.413, 5.344, and 5.434 in the Midwest heat. The Jerry Maddern-owned entry continued to perform in the low 5.4-to-5.3 range as eliminations began on Saturday with a 5.349 first round win over a tire-smoking Dan Page.

Chris eliminated successful Super-class racer Mia Tedesco in the second round in a 5.401 to 5.483 decision. His day would end in the next round when an uncharacteristically-late reaction time and 5.334 pass weren't enough to beat driver Mark Taliaferro and multi-time world champion tuner Norm Grimes, who ran 5.287 to move on.

“What I learned in Chicago is that you always have a chance,” Demke said, referencing his recent upset win. “I certainly went into the semifinals feeling like the underdog. Mark has Norm Grimes tuning his car, and you can see by his elapsed time and mile-per-hour on that run that Norm turned the knobs on high.... [Read More]
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Randy Meyer Struggles to Repeat Success at Norwalk National

July 8th 2014 – With momentum of winning the past two races, the Randy Meyer Racing Team expected to deliver more success at their most recent race this past weekend in Norwalk, Ohio for the 8th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park.

A 14th qualifying position did not make a strong impression on Driver and Team-Owner Randy Meyer, as his Top Alcohol Dragster struggled to get down the track with parachute problems and losing traction, resulting in the car to run a 5.67 E.T. at 152 mph for the first qualifying pass, a 5.55 E.T. at 167 mph for the second session, and a 5.48 E.T. at 184 mph for the final qualifying session.

Facing the seventh qualifier, Rich McPhillips, for the opening round of eliminations, Randy did his best to tune the car to make a strong pass to defeat McPhillips, but with a difficult track and no lane choice, Randy immediately smoked the tires after launching off the starting line. Randy then backed off the throttle until he saw McPhillips struggle, and got back on the throttle only to smoked the tires once again. However, when finishing the race a head gasket damaged the motor, and Randy was late on letting out the parachutes, causing him to safely stop the car in the sand trap at the end of the track.

“It was a less than expected weekend for us,“ said Randy. “We were hoping... [Read More]
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Steve Harker Grabs the Wally at Norwalk

From Top Qualifier to Event Winner, Steve Harker swept the Top Alcohol Funny Car Class in his Speed City-CAM2 Blue Blood Racing Motor Oil and new sponsor, Crane Trucking, Monte Carlo at this past weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, July 3-6 in Norwalk, Ohio.

Australian racing veterans and longtime NHRA competitors, Steve Harker and wife, Jenelle debuted at this past weekend’s event in only their 7th national event since returning to the sport after a three year break and proving they hadn’t missed a beat. Harker took the top honors of being the number 1 qualifier in the Top Alcohol Funny Car Class after impressive runs of 5.55et at 265.12mph and 5.54et at 264.39mph.

Consistency is the game and Harker proved his experience as tuner and driver throughout the event, kicking things off in round one with a 5.58et at 263.41mph win over a red-lighting Todd Robertson.

The consistency continued in Round 2 as Harker again laid down another bracket car performance with a 5.58et at 262.82mph pass to defeat Fredd Tiggers’ 5.60et at 261.47mph pass.

Semi-Finals time paired Harker and Todd Veney in a wacky battle that saw Harker getting the win light with his slowest run of the weekend 5.65et at 262.74mph defeating Veney’s 5.81et at 252.19mph pass.

In a wire-to-wire battle Harker faced off against Central Region... [Read More]
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Michalek Brothers Racing Staring Down Toughest Test Yet in Norwalk
Corey Michalek to make Summit Motorsports Park competition debut amid stacked field

It has only been 44 days since Michalek Brothers Racing pulled off the Summit Motorsports Park property at the conclusion of the 8th annual Mickey Mart Rewards Cavalcade of Stars race, but for brothers and teammates Kyle and Corey Michalek, it feels more like 44 years. The wait, however, comes to an end this weekend as the team, partnered with Dreher Motorsports, returns to Norwalk, Ohio alongside 24 of the best Top Alcohol Dragsters in the country to vie for the coveted Wally that is up for grabs at the 8th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.

MBR returns to Norwalk for the second time in 2014, this time with Corey getting behind the wheel, in the midst of an already eventful campaign. The team started the 2014 racing season strong at the 5th annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, North Carolina. With Randy and Jared Dreher making the tuneup calls, the Champion Spark Plugs/Dreher Motorsports A/fuel dragster took home the wally in Corey's national event debut.

“Charlotte was a dream weekend for us; there’s no getting around that," said Corey. "The Drehers worked their tails off to provide us with a race car that was capable of going the distance and we were fortunate to catch a few breaks along the way."

The... [Read More]
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Demke Enters Summit Nationals with Momentum from Route 66 Nationals Win

NORWALK, Ohio (July 1) – West coast Top Alcohol Dragster hitter Chris Demke won the O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals for the second year in a row, winning his second race in as many weeks. Racing at Route 66 Raceway near Joliet, Ill. last weekend, Demke also competed in his seventh JEGS Allstars event. Now Chris and his Maddern Racing teammates carry momentum as they head to the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, July 3-6, for the first time.

Demke qualified No. 1 for the JEGS Allstars shootout race with a 5.39 pass. While typically an advantage, qualifying No. 1 lined up Chris against West Region teammate Joey Severance in the opening eliminations round. Chris improved slightly with a 5.377/268 MPH pass, but Severance improved greatly with a near-perfect .001 reaction time and 5.344 elapsed time.

“The team felt like we were punched in the gut,” Demke said of the first round loss. “We cherish the opportunity to race at the Allstars event. We have done well at the race recently, winning in 2012 and taking runner-up last year. We felt very confident in our chances.

“Going out early was tough to handle, but it gave us all day to take a look at what went wrong. We were able to come up with a solution before we went into national event competition on Sunday.”

Demke and the Peen... [Read More]
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Meyer Wins First JEGS Allstars Race at Joliet

June 30rd 2014 – Straight off a win and runner-up finish with their Top Alcohol Dragsters, the Randy Meyer Racing Team earn their 4th win of the season this past weekend at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, IL. Team-owner Randy Meyer piloted his A/Fuel Dragster to compete in the NHRA National event as well as the 30th annual Jegs Allstars race.

Competing in the Jegs Allstars race for the fifth time, Randy was representing the Central Region of the United States, along side James Stevens of Top Alcohol Dragster, and Dale Brand and John Lombardo Jr. in Top Alcohol Funny Car. Although Randy sits in the lower-half on the ranks in points, his car is first in points with four wins this year alone with Randy and Shayne Lawson sharing the drivers seat, and each earning two wins for the season.

Randy had to battle against the best-of-the-best from each region to earn this year’s Allstars championship on Saturday afternoon. Qualifying in the second spot with a 5.45 E.T. at 267 mph, Randy defeated the seventh qualifier, Dan Page, in the opening round of eliminations, and went on to beat Bill Reichert during second round with a 5.35 E.T. at 268 mph. For the third and final round, Randy was up against Joey Severance, but he was ahead from start to finish, and won the race with a 5.36 E.T. at 267 mph for his first Allstars win. His win also helped the Central Region and... [Read More]
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Shields' Chicago Early Round Loss Leads to More Customer Interaction for PEAK

(Chicago) Duane Shields in the PEAK A/Fuel Dragster had an early round exit from eliminations at the 17th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries. The silver lining was that the loss allowed Duane to spend more valuable time in the PEAK suite where he interacted with many of the company’s valued customers who were on hand to experience the excitement and raw power of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

Duane qualified ninth in the field with a solid 5.44 at 263 MPH. In round one, he drew Shawn Cowie who qualified eighth with a 5.40 at 266 MPH so it was an evenly matched pairing between Duane's A/Fuel car and Cowie's blown alcohol combination.

As the lights came down, Duane reacted first with an 0.063 to Cowie’s 0.075 but that was a far as the lead would go as Duane went up in smoke and Cowie was on a clean pass to take the win. "The conditions had improved so we thought we could give it a little more power since we were going up against someone as tough as Cowie. But we were a little over center and went over the PEAK in the tune up. Next, we are going to Norwalk so we will think about this one for a couple of days and then concentrate on the next race” Duane said.

Duane would like to thank PEAK Antifreeze, PEAK Motor Oil, Final Charge, Blue Def, NGK, GRP... [Read More]
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