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Booher Scores Second Consecutive Runner-Up Finish of 2015

NORWALK, Ohio (May 21, 2015) – Brandon Booher is working his way back into championship form in NHRA's North Central region, where he now has back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2015. The for-hire Pro Mod tuner drove the AB Construction Top Alcohol Dragster to his seventh regional-level final round at Summit Motorsports Park last weekend, just two weeks after taking runner-up at the season opener in Indianapolis.

“It was definitely good to be in those final rounds and to acquire the points. Obviously I would've liked to win them both, or at least one. It certainly could've been worse. I suspected a few issues at Indy, though they were overshadowed by other unrelated problems. Those issues made themselves evident at Norwalk, but there was nothing we could do about that at the track. I just had to maintain performance and do my job as a driver,” said Booher, who also tunes the family-owned car.

A threatening forecast for the Norwalk area forced officials to cut Top Alcohol qualifying down to two sessions, though Booher managed to qualify sixth in the eight-car field with a 5.427 elapsed time. Racing in front of over 20,000 people, he left first with a .012 light and ran 5.475 to beat Canadian Jeff Veale in the first round. Booher improved to a 5.440 at 265 mph to defeat Mike Manners in the semifinals, again leading the race from the starting line.... [Read More]

Red-Hot Permatex/Follow A Dream Team Ready for Maple Grove

Marstons Mills, MA-May 21, 2015-Fresh off a victory at Virginia Motorsports Park, Jay Blake's Permatex/Follow A Dream heads to the rolling hills of eastern Pennsylvania for this weekend's East Regional at historic Maple Grove Raceway. With the Virginia win, driver Todd Veney moved into a first-place tie with Mickey Ferro atop the East Region Top Alcohol Funny Car standings.

"Everybody feels good about the win, but that was last week," said Blake, whose team reached the final round of this event in 2010 and 2013 - both times against Frank Manzo. "Now, we have to do it again. It's a great track - my favorite - but all the same cars from Virginia should be there, so this will be just as tough as Virginia."

Qualifying on the all-new surface at Maple Grove, which was completely repaved in the off-season, will be on Friday, with sessions scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Eliminations are set to go off under the lights Saturday night at 5:00, 7:00, and 9:00.

Demke Seeking First and Potentially Last Kansas Nationals Win

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 21, 2015) – NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster national points leader Chris Demke and his Peen Rite team are kicking off their 2015 Midwest tour this weekend at the NHRA Kansas Nationals in Topeka. The four-time Topeka finalist is seeking his elusive first Kansas Nationals Wally, and with Heartland Park Topeka's future in jeopardy, this might be his last chance.

“[Tuner] Adam Rhoades texted me a couple weeks before the race and said, 'Looks like this could be the end of the Topeka event, we're gonna have to win it,' so we've got our marching orders. I've been to the finals here plenty of times, but I've yet to win the national event. We went to the regional event for the first time last year and won. We know how to win at this track. We just haven't been able to put together the four runs necessary to win the Kansas Nationals,” Demke admitted.

Even though the Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products team is more than capable of stringing together win lights in the hot, humid conditions Topeka is known for, they thrive in cool weather where every bit of performance can be squeezed out of the Jerry Maddern-owned entry. A quick look at the forecast shows the possibility for ideal conditions is there.

“Our team has been going to Topeka as long ago as 1999 with Darren Nicholson driving,” said Demke, who served as a Maddern... [Read More]

Robertson Grabs the Wally at Indy

After a long, harsh Michigan winter, Todd Robertson and his ProPower Motorsports team were able to blow out the cob webs and win their first NHRA regional meet on a blissful sunny day at Indianapolis. “I couldn’t think of a better way to shake off the winter blues than a win during the Spectacle of Speed here at Lucas Oil Raceway Park,” chuckled long time crew man Ed Youness.

In the first qualifying round of Top Alcohol Funny Car, the Eaton-sponsored team ran a 5.65 @ 255. This landed them in the number 3 qualifying position, which they were able to maintain after two additional qualifying sessions. “We looked at the data from our runner-up pass at the US Nationals last year, and the conditions and track were similar so we went with it! And it paid off,” said team Engineer Jeff Sawruk.

1st round brought ProPower’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo against Ray Drew's Mustang. Robertson’s Lucas Oil-lubricated hot rod got the hole shot with a 0.021 light to Drew's 0.030 light which held on for the win.

2nd round paired Robertson against number 2 qualifier, Andy Bohl. Robertson's DMPE Supercharged Alcohol Funny Car moved first and took the win light as Bohl's Total Flow Mustang entry fought to stay straight.

The Final round was then set up to be a battle between Robertson's Aeroquip-plumbed Monte Carlo and Paul Noakes' Mustang. “Having lane choice in the... [Read More]

Shields Trades Vacation Time for a Big Win in Virginia

Dinwiddie, Va. - The Virginia Motorsports Park Lucas Oil Regional event rained out on April 25th and officials had no choice but to postpone the event until the weekend of May 8-9. Unfortunately for Duane Shields, the rain date landed on the last half of his hawaiian vacation with wife Betsy, so a difficult decision had to be made. Since the postponed event cut into Duane and Betsy's vacation, Duane was determined to make the best of it and win his second regional event of the year.

Duane had qualified third on the original weekend with a 5.34 at 271 MPH. This set up a first round match with Jake Allen, who was the first alternate. At the hit, Allen smoked the tires and recorded an 11.78 in a loosing effort. Meanwhile, Duane was on a clean pass and stopped the clock with a decent 5.48 @266 MPH to advance into the second round.

In round two, Duane took on Wayne Morris in his closest race of the day. Duane got out of the gate first with a .058 to Morris' .161. At the finish line it was a close race with Duane winning on a hole shot with a 5.41 at 270 MPH to Morris' quicker 5.38 at 266 MPH.

The final round was a classic match up between Duane and Rich McPhillips. Once again, Duane was first off the line with a .058 reaction time to McPhillips' .071. At the finish line it was all PEAK with Duane winning the battle on both ends of the... [Read More]

Tedesco Overcomes Adversity, Claims Second Victory of the Season

Indianapolis, IN: Mia Tedesco’s weekend at the NHRA Lucas Oil Series Division 3 opener at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis did not start well. Saturday morning, during the final Super Gas time trial session, the 21-year-old driver suffered a violent crash behind the wheel of her C.A.R.S. Protection Plus / Chevrolet Cavalier, careening off of both retaining walls shortly after reaching a speed in excess of 170 miles per hour.

“After you’ve done this for awhile, I think it’s easy to take things for granted,” Tedesco explained. “We went up for a time trial. It wasn’t an elimination round, and the track conditions were perfect. The last thing on anyone’s mind is an accident.”

Nearing the finish line in what appeared to be a routine Super Gas run, like hundreds Tedesco has made in recent years, something went horribly wrong.

“The oil filter came loose, spraying 100+ psi of warm oil under the car moving at 170 miles per hour,” Tedesco explained. “I saw some smoke, but there was literally nothing I could do. I was completely out of control before I had time to react.”

Tedesco’s Cavalier spun completely around, first contacting the right hand wall with the left rear of the car, then spinning again to catch the left wall with the left front.

“I’ve been through one prior... [Read More]

Booher Kicks Off 2015 Season with Indy Regional Runner-Up Finish

BROWNSBURG, Ind. (May 7, 2015) – A long offseason of hard work was met with reward last Sunday as Top Alcohol Dragster driver Brandon Booher raced to his sixth NHRA regional event final round and first money round since winning Norwalk last year. Racing at the Spring Spectacle of Speed NHRA North Central Region event at Lucas Oil Raceway, Booher fought his way past two of the top blown alcohol cars in the country before falling to one of the class's rising stars in the final round.

The weekend started positively when a test pass on Thursday yielded a 5.361/265 mph time slip. Drama started in qualifying, though, beginning with a broken blower belt on Friday's run. A torque-converter seal broke on Saturday's first pass, then the top blower pulley broke during the final session. Making matters worse, the team later found out that a brake rotor came off during the burnout. Booher and team worked through the night to secure parts, ultimately finishing repairs on Sunday morning after a quick nap.

“Very few teams carry spare brake rotors and blower pulleys. Thankfully we were able to get a rotor from Anthony Dicero. Shawn and Ron Cowie and their crew chief, Bill Moore, let us use a spare pulley and snout, then we ended up racing them first round. We wouldn't have been able to race on Sunday if it weren't for the parts provided by those teams,” Booher... [Read More]

Kyle Michalek Has Strong Performance at Houston

Qualifies #2 and records career-best E.T. and MPH en route to semifinal finish

Over the course of three hot, humid days in Houston, TX, Michalek Brothers Racing (MBR), Dreher Motorsports, and the Kenan Advantage Group (KAG) teamed up to post a string of impressive performances en route to a semi-final finish at the 28th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals.

Back in the driver’s seat for the first time in just under a year, Kyle Michalek kicked off his third season behind the wheel of the Dreher's nitro-burning A/fuel dragster in style by posting a career best 5.299 second elapsed time at 267.96 MPH to sit in the provisional #1 qualifying position. The Michalek/Dreher combo then reeled off a 5.356 second lap at 267.00 MPH and a 5.326 second lap at 270.16 MPH (new career best MPH) in the remaining qualifying sessions to enter eliminations in the #2 qualifying spot. This starting spot marked the team’s best qualifying effort in National Event competition.

Still riding a high from resetting his personal best ET and MPH, Kyle Michalek broke down the team’s qualifying performance.

"It's tough being out of the car for an extended period of time; I was probably more nervous for the first qualifying pass than I was racing in the final round of the Norwalk regional a few years ago," said Kyle. "I knew we had a great... [Read More]

Meyer Celebrates Third Consecutive Spring Nationals Victory

April 27, 2015 – The Randy Meyer Racing Team took home the win this weekend in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway for the third year in a row.

Randy Meyer, Top Alcohol Dragster driver and team owner based out of Spring Hill, Kansas, claimed the victory after defeating David Brounkowski, who red light in the final round and automatically giving the win to Randy.

On Friday and Saturday, Randy qualified his A/Fuel Dragster with a best run of 5.378 ET at 271 mph to claim the fifth position, out of 16. All elimination rounds were held on Sunday, which gave Randy the chance to make experienced tuning adjustments to have the quickest times on Sunday, making him unbeatable.

“We didn’t do as good as I wanted to in qualifying,” Randy said. “I changed some things on the motor before first round, and we were very happy with the results.”

Randy got his first taste of success with a 5.294 ET at 271 mph to defeat Aaron Tatum in round one of eliminations. As the only dragster to run in the 5.20s, Randy had lane choice in second round over competitor and veteran Jim Whiteley, and his 5.279 ET at 271 mph took out Whiteley’s 5.359 at 267 mph.

Randy continued to knock down the competition, and defeated Lee Callaway with a 5.264 ET at 272 mph in the... [Read More]

Demke Claims Important Vegas Regional Win

LAS VEGAS (April 21, 2015) – Chris Demke's Top Alcohol Dragster win at last weekend's NHRA Lucas Oil Series West Region event in Las Vegas might not seem so special at first glance; a regional event win is a standard accomplishment for a championship team like Maddern Racing. But it really was an important win for Demke and team, as it was their first win in Sin City in five years and they defeated Joey Severance, who previously hadn't lost a round at The Strip since 2013.

“We struggle at this racetrack all the time and this weekend certainly wasn't any different. We faced our own challenges and the car never ran as good as I expected it to run, but as it turned out it was good enough,” Demke remarked.

Demke qualified the Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products blown alcohol dragster in the third spot, standing on his first run down the track, a 5.380 elapsed time at 269.76 mph. In the first round of eliminations, he defeated Randy Eakins, who he fell to in the first round at the Nationals in Vegas last weekend. The second round was the big one, though. Demke left just one thousandth of a second behind Joey Severance, then
charged ahead to win in a 5.415 to 5.429 race.

“Winning that round, as has happened with other rounds, felt like we won the race even though it wasn't the final. We talked about it afterward; if there... [Read More]

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