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Fond Maple Grove Memories Fuel Demke's Keystone Nationals Trip

MOHNTON, Penn. (September 30, 2015) – Chris Demke's last visit to rural Pennsylvania's Maple Grove Raceway was a once-in-a-lifetime weekend that ended with two national event wins and a Top Alcohol Dragster national championship. Though he'll only be racing for the NHRA Keystone Nationals victory this weekend, and the national championship is far from decided, Demke and his Peen Rite team are still excited for this weekend's race.

“The term 'Maple Grove' gives me chills when I think about what we were able to pull off at this event last year,” Demke says. “Securing the national championship and winning the rained-out Charlotte race and the Maple Grove event was a once-in-a-lifetime event. While I don't think the stars are aligned to create that same type of excitement this weekend, I always look forward to going to this track. It's fast, it's fun and it's a great group of people.”

The determining factor for the level of excitement that will be created this weekend will likely be the weather. The scenic Maple Grove Raceway grounds have already seen heavy rain in the days leading up to the NHRA Keystone Nationals, with even more threatening weather expected over the weekend courtesy of Hurricane Joaquin.

“Mother Nature might be bringing a hurricane, but the Peen Rite/Maddern Racing team is bringing our own hurricane to Maple... [Read More]

Booher Caps Off Four-Race Stretch with Runner-Up Finish at Carolina Nationals

CONCORD, N.C. (September 23, 2015) – Former NHRA Carolina Nationals event champion Brandon Booher came just one win-light short of adding a second Charlotte Wally to his trophy case this past weekend. Booher fell to 2011 Top Alcohol Dragster national champion Duane Shields in the Carolina Nationals final round, capping off a four-week stretch of races for the family-owned team out of Champaign, Illinois.

“We started in Bowling Green with new cylinder heads from MBE – that definitely picked up our program. Not being able to field a competitive car in hot weather was something that was hurting us before. We could run well in good air, but so could everyone else. Now I feel that we can be competitive anywhere. Then we went to Indy with a new front-half. We had some issues there, then ran well in Earlville. We were able to finish strong this weekend at Charlotte, qualifying solidly in the field and reaching the final round,” Booher commented.

Booher drove his torque-converter-equipped dragster to the No. 4 qualifying spot with a stout 5.325 et at 271.95 mph. His supercharged machine struggled to get off the tricky starting line in the following qualifying sessions and subsequent rounds of elimination. Booher left the line first in all four rounds, first beating Wayne Morris with a 5.424/270.37 mph pass. He used a sizable... [Read More]

Ahten Goes Round at Woodburn

No, Johnny Ahten is not switching to a Nitromethane powered outlaw sprint car. What Ahten did do at the second NHRA LODRS Regional race at Woodburn Dragstrip last weekend was qualify in the number five position with 5.392/268.73. A difficult but satisfying first round victory followed. In the second round battle with Joey Severance, the Stump Puller experienced some tire shake and that concluded the weekend’s festivities.

“We were happy with the Island Renovation / Combust Filters dragster’s performance, but we know there is more,” said Ahten. “We are creeping up on the right combination.”

Right out of the box in Saturday’s first qualifying session the Stump Puller launched a 5.392/268.73 on a clean run. In the second session, a slow-starting 5.464/265.80 was posted. The last qualifying session of the day saw the fastest speed of the weekend with a 268.89 mile per hour charge, but the 5.411 elapsed time was no help. Johnny finished the day in the number five position, which meant raceday would start against the number four qualifier Megan McKernan.

Sunday’s first go-round saw Johnny battle McKernan’s 5.445/269.94 with a 5.425/266.35 to advance to the second round. Joey Severance was Johnny’s familiar foe in a supercharged alcohol verses injected nitro contest. Severance got the win with a well-proportioned 5.319 /267.22 to a tire-shaking 5.547/254.09 run... [Read More]

Duane Shields Guides PEAK Dragster to Big Win in Charlotte

With the National Championship now mathematically out of reach, Duane Shields and the PEAK team came into the NHRA Carolina Nationals looking for a victory and scored big by winning their first national event of the year. “We knew coming into this race that our title hopes were over for the season so we had nothing to lose by going after the win in Charlotte and we made it happen,” Duane said.

On his way to the winner’s circle, Duane qualified second with a sizzling 5.27 at 271 MPH to face Tom Fox Jr. in round one. At the hit it was Fox out first but the lead didn’t last long as he went up in smoke. Meanwhile, Duane had a decent opening round win as he stopped the clock with a 5.40 at 271 MPH.

In round two, Duane raced against Tripp Tatum. Duane won both ends of the race beginning at the starting line where he edged out his competitor with an 0.059 reaction time to Tatum’s 0.079. Duane maintained his lead and crossed the stripe with a winning time of 5.65 at 259 MPH to Tatum’s 6.01 at 218 MPH.

Next up was the semi-final round and the competition got dramatically tougher as two former National Champions, Alan Bradshaw and Duane Shields squared off for a trip to the final round. As the lights came down, Bradshaw was out of the gate first and started the clock with an 0.057 reaction time to Duane’s close 0.064. Both cars were side... [Read More]

Permatex/Follow A Dream Team Rises to 6th in National Points Following Indy

With one good run after another, Jay Blake's Permatex/Follow A Dream Top Alcohol Funny Car team reached the quarterfinals at the most prestigious event in drag racing, the Chevrolet Performance NHRA U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis. Driver Todd Veney ran times of 5.64, 5.61, and 5.57 in qualifying and a 5.61 and 5.62 in eliminations for the team's most consistent performance of the season.

Veney defeated Shane Westerfield, a top five driver in each of the past three seasons, in a close first-round match, 5.62 to 5.65, and lost to reigning world champion Steve Harker in the second round, 5.56 to 5.62. That 5.62 was quicker than not just any of the other six cars in that round but all four cars in the semifinals and both cars in the final.

"Wrong place at the wrong time," Veney said. "It's hard to lose with a run that good, but Harker's always a handful. It's unusual for a 5.57 to qualify you only 7th - but not at Indy. The car ran hard every single time, we moved up in the national standings, and we've got a legitimate shot to win any race the rest of the year."

"All in all, it wasn't a bad weekend," Blake said. "It's not what we were looking for, but it wasn't bad. The conditions should be better in Charlotte and Maple Grove in the next few weeks."

The race will be televised Sunday, Sept. 13 at... [Read More]

Shields Loses a Close One in Opening Round at Indy

Indianapolis - For racing fans at the Chevrolet Performance NHRA US Nationals it doesn’t get much better than the first round of Top Alcohol Dragster between the PEAK injected nitro dragster of Duane Shields and the blown alcohol dragster of Marty Thacker. Regardless of who won, it was world class drag racing competition at its finest which is what you expect at the “Big Go”.

Duane, who qualified second with a 5.24 at 271 MPH, looked like the driver to beat after the final qualifying round. He had just posted the second best run in the last session and looked strong going into round one on Sunday where he was matched up with Midwest veteran Marty Thacker, who qualified 15th with a 5.39.

As the cars roared off the stating line, Thacker got the reaction time advantage with a 0.050 to Duane’s 0.074. Both cars were nearly side by side down Indy’s historic quarter mile when Duane dropped a cylinder. Thacker meanwhile was able to maintain his slight lead. At the finish line it was Thacker who held on to take the win as Duane was gaining momentum but not soon enough. “It was a tough loss but Indy can be a strange race. We smoked the tires a couple of times in qualifying which we haven’t done in a long time. As a result, we were not confident going into eliminations and feared we might smoke the tires again so we took some power out of it. The dropped... [Read More]

TAD's Chris Demke Enters U.S. Nationals at Defending Event Champion

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (September 2, 2015) – Top Alcohol Dragster national points leader Chris Demke enters the prestigious 61st Annual Chevrolet Performance NHRA U.S. Nationals as the defending event and world champion, but he isn't overly confident heading into the sport's most storied race. Demke's performance at his last two races in Seattle provided a reminder that no matter the number on the wing or amount of Wallys in the trophy case, anything can happen when it comes to 3,500-horsepower racecars.

“It was a shock,” Demke said of a first-round loss at the NHRA Northwest Nationals last month. “It was a round we should have won, but we swapped engines after the last round of qualifying and a small bolt didn't get tightened in assembly. It didn't show up in the warm-up, but it certainly got our attention at the one-two shift when it shut the car off. The only thing damaged was our team's ego.”

Demke and his Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products teammates rebounded at the Seattle NHRA regional race a couple weeks later when the California native grabbed a holeshot win over Garrett Bateman in a 5.294-to-5.294 final-round decision.

“We knew we had to win that race to get any points out of it. Mission accomplished.

“That race was way harder than I expected. After seeing the performance of the west coast alcohol... [Read More]

Meyer Stomps the Competition and Sets Track Record at Bowling Green Regional

September 2, 2015 – The Randy Meyer Racing Team headed to Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky for the final Lucas Oil North Central Regional event, before heading to Indianapolis for the next NHRA National race. Hot off a win at Brainerd, Minnesota the week before, Meyer took strides to earn the win at Bowling Green for his second race of the Fall Tour, and the team's fourth final round in the past four races.

For the first qualifying session, Meyer ran a 5.35 Elapsed Time at 267 mph to sit fourth before quickly becoming the number one qualifier with a track record setting pass of 5.21 E.T. at 274 mph. With the average qualifying run being a mid 5.40s E.T., Meyer flew by the competition and set the bar high for the following eliminations.

Continuing momentum into eliminations, Meyer consistently ran in the 5.20’s all weekend. Meyer defeated Jeff Veale in the opening round with a 5.25 E.T. at 273 mph, followed by a 5.29 E.T. at 271 mph to take down Brandon Booher in round 2.

For the third and final round of eliminations, Meyer slowed down to a 5.31 E.T. at 271 mph, but it was well enough to beat the number two qualifier, Jared Dreher. Although Dreher got out of the gate first with the holeshot, Meyer charged ahead at the top-end and never looked back.

Running low E.T. and high mph... [Read More]

Northwest Nationals Tests Ahten's Mettle

KENT, Wash. (August 12, 2015) – Shinny bits of metal are great when they are jingling in your pocked as coins. They are less desirable when they are inside the block of your racing motor. That’s just what Johnny Ahten had after his first qualifying run at the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways last weekend. A wrist pin broke near the finish line under power and the number five cylinder became a disaster zone.

“Our 5.474/250.04 in the first session put us in the fourth position, but it was costly,” said Johnny Ahten. “The wrist pin failure meant we had to change motors between rounds, and the thrash was on. When they called Alcohol Funny Cars to the lanes we still had yet to put the magnetos on. Luckily, there was oil down and it gave us time to complete the motor change. The plan was to go to a thousand feet with the backup motor. The run went well with a 5.459/245.23, making me wish I had kept my foot in it. That put us in the number five spot after Friday qualifying. It was a positive sign after the destruction of the first session. ”

For Saturday’s final qualifying session the decision was made to crank it up a bit, and try move up the ladder. The Stump Puller had other ideas, as large clouds of smoke poured from the Goodyear’s at the hit. That put Johnny in the eighth spot and a first round meeting with CleanBoost Oil teammate Garrett Bateman. At... [Read More]
410 Views Joins Randy Meyer Racing for Topeka Regional Race

TOPEKA, Kans. (August 14, 2015) – The two-car A/Fuel Dragster team of Randy Meyer Racing (RMR) has announced a new partnership with The major associate sponsorship will begin this weekend as RMR competes at the NHRA Lucas Oil Series Central Region event at the team's home track, Heartland Park Topeka. is an online auction where anyone can buy affordable used cars. When tow companies impound cars that aren't claimed, those cars will eventually be sold at auction. hosts those auctions for tow companies nationwide. The bi-weekly online auctions are open to the public and have no buyer fees or reserves.

“We are proud to welcome to the RMR team this weekend. It is a great opportunity to join with Meyer Truck Center and the towing industry. We are very excited for this opportunity and the future of Randy Meyer Racing and Meyer Truck Center,” said Megan Meyer, the new driver of RMR's second nitro-injected A/Fuel dragster.

Both of the team's A/Fuel cars will be competing this weekend, as well as the RMR Super Comp dragster, driven by Rachel Meyer. Megan is coming off of an impressive runner-up finish at her Top Alcohol Dragster debut race in St. Louis last weekend. Randy is gearing up for the late-season points chase, where he currently sits fifth in NHRA national points.

... [Read More]

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