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Demke Taking Hot Streak to Pep Boys Carolina Nationals

CONCORD, N.C. (September 11, 2014) – Top Alcohol Dragster's Chris Demke is taking his hot streak to the southeast for the Pep Boys Carolina Nationals at zMax Dragway this weekend. The 2014 NHRA U.S. Nationals champion and his Maddern Racing teammates are continuing a season-long road trip in search of their first national championship. With a healthy points lead and only a handful of events left in the season, Demke wants to stay hot.

“Momentum is important,” he said. “The thrill of winning a national event certainly lasts a lot longer with Indy, but it's time to get back to business, put that win behind us and focus on Charlotte. I only have two claimable races left so I need to make the most of my opportunities.”

The crew member-turned driver has already earned three 2014 nationals event wins, including the prestigious Labor Day tradition, the U.S. Nationals. Demke also won the last four NHRA Lucas Oil Series regional events he attended.

“We've learned a lot in these last few races. We have the best handle on the tune-up that I've seen in a long time so it's just a matter of keeping the crew, the tune-up and my driving synchronized so we can continue winning rounds like we know best,” Demke claimed.

The decision to continue east for the Carolina Nationals came down last minute. Blown alcohol cars like the Peen... [Read More]
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TAD Racer Dubbin Can't Get a Break

By: Todd Veney/Pro Sportsman Association

If it isn't one thing it's another this year for Alcohol Dragster racer Dean Dubbin. He's reached the semifinals somewhere at least once in each of his first three seasons in Top Alcohol Dragster, but 2014 has only grown more frustrating as it's dragged on, topped (he hopes) by a first-round foul last weekend at the Central Regional at Tri-State Raceway in Earlville, Iowa.

Opponent Randy Meyer had dominated all weekend and eventually won, but in the first round against Dubbin, he was, for once, vulnerable. "I knew I was going to smoke the tires," he told Dubbin later. "You know what's sad?" Dubbin said. "I did too."

Meyer did went up in smoke right off the line – right after Dubbin left before the Tree came on. It's not like Dubbin, up against the No. 1 qualifier, got the yips, completely lost his concentration, and took off – a solenoid failed, and as soon as he went up against the converter, the car left. "I was probably 50 feet out before I even knew what was going on," he said. "The solenoid shook itself loose. You have to use it for the burnout, and to back up from the burnout, and to go up to the starting line, and it activated all three times, but for whatever reason, when I went to bring the motor up to leave, it didn't, and the car just left."

Dubbin's frustration was further... [Read More]
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Demke Claims Meaningful U.S. Nationals Victory

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Sept. 3) – After multiple close attempts at the biggest race of the year, NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster driver Chris Demke can finally call himself a U.S. Nationals champion. He won the event as a crew member in the past. Demke, the current national points leader, has won races from California to Florida and everywhere in between, but a win as a driver at the prestigious “Big Go” has eluded him to this point.

“Our team won the U.S. Nationals in 1998 with Darren Nicholson driving, and that was huge. It was our second race win ever and our first national event win. I won then as a crew member but I've always wanted to win it as a driver. I knew with our car's recent performance that we always had a chance. We struggled a little – struggled is a relative term – but in the end the Wally is ours. It's an incredible feeling; indescribable,” Demke exclaimed.

Demke qualified the Peen Rite/OSI/Boost Performance Products blown alcohol dragster in the fourth position, running 5.375, 5.323 and 5.331 elapsed times during the rain-plagued qualifying sessions.

“We struggled in qualifying,” Demke claimed. “From anyone else's perspective we did great, but I'm getting cocky and I'm just not happy with number four qualifier. The car was very consistent but it wasn't fast enough. We'd turn one knob and the the car would run a thirty-two. We'd... [Read More]
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Randy Meyer Earns Brainerd National Win at U.S. Nationals

September 2nd, 2014 – On August 14th – 17th, the 33rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals was held at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota. Unfortunately, the race was canceled due to a tremendous amount of rain, and eliminations rounds for sportsman racers were completed at different races.

For Top Alcohol Dragster, the semi-final and final round of eliminations were to be held at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis during qualifying on Labor Day weekend. Randy Meyer, who qualified his Injected-Nitro machine in the second spot with a 5.33 E.T. pass at 269 mph, faced Dean Dubbin, the 13th qualifier, for the opening round of eliminations. Randy spun the tires on the launch, causing a slow start, but he quickly recovered the run and crossed the finish line first with a 5.41 E.T. at 265 mph.

With a not-so-full field, Randy got a free pass in the second and quarterfinal round, and ran an unopposed 5.30 E.T. at 269 mph. After this pass, however, rain interrupted the race and caused another delay. The race for Top Alcohol Dragster was postponed after the showers, and declared to be finished at the U.S. Nationals.

While in Indy, Randy faced Duane Shields for the semi-finals of the Lucas Oil Nationals, and got the round win with a 5.32 E.T. at 270 mph, but did not earn lane-choice over Tripp Tatum for the finals. Wrapping up... [Read More]
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Duane Shields and PEAK A/Fuel Dragster Go Two Rounds at Indy

At the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, it was two races in one for Duane Shields. Beside competing for the US National title, he had a little bit of unfinished business to attend to as the NHRA ran the final two rounds of the Lucas Oil Nationals from Brainerd during qualifying.

Duane was competing against Randy Meyer in the postponed semi-final round. At the start, Duane had to pedal the car but still had a super close race along side Meyer. At the other end it was Meyer taking the win with a 5.32 to Duane’s close 5.35.

Duane was then able to concentrate on winning the prestigious US Nationals title. In round one, Duane who qualified ninth with a 5.35 at 265 MPH faced Ashley Sanford. At the hit, Sanford red lit and then shook the tires. Duane went on to make a very smooth run after battling tire shake most of the weekend. Duane recorded a 5.37 at 263 MPH to advance to round two.

In the second round, Duane was determined to return the favor from his earlier defeat as he again faced Randy Meyer. As the lights came down, Duane was out of the gate first with an 0.050 to Meyer’s slower 0.094. Duane then experienced some early tire shake but was able to still make a race out of it. At the stripe, Meyer won a close one again as he rung up a 5.31 at 269 MPH to Duane’s valiant 5.37 at 268 MPH. The margin of victory... [Read More]
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Reichert to Retire from Driving at the End of the 2014 Season

Five-time NHRA National Champion Bill Reichert announced today that he is retiring from driving in NHRA competition at the end of the 2014 racing season. Reichert, who has compiled one of the most accomplished NHRA resumes ever in his 22-year driving career, is still the all-time low elapsed time record holder in Top Alcohol Dragster at 5.10 seconds. He recorded that elapsed time, as well as a companion 284.75 MPH top speed record, at Houston in 2007. Both are records that will likely never be broken.

In his retirement announcement Bill noted that his racing career has been very satisfying with more career accomplishments than even he could have imagined at its start. Those include 28 NHRA National Event wins beginning with the 1995 Brainerd event. Bill has also recorded 54 NHRA Regional/Divisional wins in 77 final round appearances.

Bill was quick to thank his family and friends for their support throughout his long and fruitful racing career. He also remarked that none of these accomplishments would have been possible without the enthusiastic support of the Bar’s Leaks and Rislone brands of automotive chemicals.

Noting that he competed in a class that required a significant investment, it was Bar’s Leaks and Rislone that had made it possible for him to achieve all that he has. He was honored to have earned their support... [Read More]
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Robertson's Eaton TAFC Headed to Big Go

Top Alcohol Owner/Driver Todd Robertson is taking his Eaton Backed/Pro Power Top Alcohol Funny Car Team to Indy for his third visit to the Big GO. Last year Robertson was able to qualify in the top half of the field with a 5.64 elapsed time at just over 255 miles per hour. After a first round win over long time veteran Fred Tigges, Robertson fell to one of the Kings of the Top Alcohol ranks, Frank “ACE” Manzo in round two. This year Robertson is hoping to take it a few rounds further.

“Much like last season, we took a while to get going but lately with the help of Darren Mayer at DMPE we have made some huge strides and hope to be able to benefit from what we’ve learned. We’ve also been working alongside Brandon Booher of “Torque MGMT” Brandon’s additional knowledge of converters and power application is very helpful and with the power we’ve been able to find through working with Darren I couldn’t ask for a better guy to team with. The added input could be very helpful to my Crew Chief, Dennis Kolomyjec when he makes the final call,” said Robertson.

Robertson and his Eaton corporation backed Pro Power Top Alcohol Funny Car team will compete in the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at historic Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Indiana this August 27-September 1st. To follow all the action, log onto ... [Read More]
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A/Fuel Driver Ashley Sanford Anticipating First U.S. Nationals Experience

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (Aug. 28) – Southern California native Ashley Sanford and her Gelish Gel Nail Polish A/Fuel dragster team have made the trek to Indianapolis for the legendary NHRA national event known by many simply as “The Big Go”. The 60th Annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, August 27 through September 1, is the one race that every drag racer wants to enter, and Sanford is doing just that for the first time this weekend.

“I'm blown away by the experience so far,” she said of the historic race. “It's kind of a racer's dream to come to Indy, especially coming from southern California. Making the trip to Indy is a big deal for a sportsman team like ours. It's the 60th anniversary, my first time here – I'm so excited for the experience.”

This is the first time 20-year old Ashley Sanford and her Gelish/Lucas Oil team have raced east of the Pacific Time Zone, which means new experiences for the driver and crew chief.

“I'm excited to meet new drivers. This race is going to be a challenge because there will be a lot of great A/Fuel cars. This will be a learning experience for me and my team. We're racing with drivers who we've never lined up against on a track that is new to us. I think we're up for the challenge though,” claimed the former sand dragster driver.

Sanford is looking to improve... [Read More]
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Demke Riding Four-Race Win Streak into U.S. Nationals

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (August 27) – A fourth consecutive regional event win has Top Alcohol Dragster hitter Chris Demke primed for the upcoming 60th Annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals near Indianapolis. Demke and his Maddern Racing team treated their most recent event, the Topeka regional race, as a test session for Indy and ended up in the winner's circle. They look to have similar success at “the Big Go”.

The Peen Rite-sponsored car and driver had one of their more impressive outings of the 2014 season at Topeka. Demke qualified No. 1 with a 5.325 and stayed in the five-thirties through eliminations. Both man and machine were quick and consistent, with Chris cutting .031, .044 and .043 lights. The California-based dragster ripped off 5.375, 5.320 and 5.336 elapsed times to secure the event win.

“We found everything we were looking for and more,” Demke said of the race/test session. “The team was looking for a quick, consistent tune-up for conditions that we could expect at Indy. I was working on improving my reaction times after receiving some advice from Tom Bayer, a sportsman racer who once drove Top Alcohol Dragster. While one race isn't conclusive, I think we found what we needed.”

With a promising tune-up and a stride in their step, Demke and his Jerry Maddern-led team head to Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Raceway for the... [Read More]
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Randy Meyer Clinches Central Region Points Lead with Topeka Regional Runner-Up

August 25th, 2014 – Smart Chicken and Price Chopper Top Alcohol Dragster Team Randy Meyer Racing had a solid performance at the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Central Regional event held at Heartland Park Topeka this past weekend with both of their A/Fuel Dragsters.

Randy Meyer and Chase Copeland took the second and third qualifying spots after two sessions on Friday with a 5.391 E.T. at 265 mph for Chase, and a 5.396 E.T. at 266 mph for Randy. Randy went on to defeat Todd Odom during first round with a 5.518 E.T. at 262 mph to Odom’s 5.711 E.T. at 239 mph, and Chase also won first round against Brandon Pierce with a 5.503 E.T. at 262 mph to Pierce’s 5.582 E.T. at 222 mph.

Paired up against each other for second round, Chase had lane choice over Randy, but immediately smoked the tires after his launch, as Randy pulled his Smart Chicken Price Chopper Dragster ahead for the semi-final win with a 5.358 E.T. at 268 mph. Moving onto the final round, Randy was up against the number one qualifier of the event, Chris Demke. With a slightly better reaction time, Demke was able to pull ahead of Randy for the win with a 5.336 E.T. at 268 mph to Randy’s 5.383 E.T. at 265 mph.

Although Randy didn’t get the hometown win, he was able to clinch his Central Region points lead with his runner-up finish. Chase currently sits... [Read More]
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