POMONA, CA – The 52nd NHRA Auto Club Finals at Pomona is in the books. The champions have been crowned, the parts bins depleted and the racecars and crew members are recovering. Johnny Ahten spent the Monday following the race running errands, fulfilling chores around the house and anxiously planning for the February 9, 2017 start of the NHRA Winternationals.

“The racing season may be over, but honestly I can’t wait to get back in the car,” said Ahten. “This year has been a challenge and we are looking to move forward and faster. We qualified strong, and lost a close one in eliminations. Instead of thinking about what we could have done differently or better at the Finals, I am going to focus on the positive gains.”

Johnny’s Pomona Finals started with a strong Thursday qualifying run of 5.395/270.97 which put him in the number eight slot for the day. In Friday’s second qualifying session, Johnny’s run was hampered and he lifted early to a 5.767/208.97. Later in the pits it was determined that the #6 intake valve was damaged. Repairs were made and the team headed to the last qualifying session with high hopes. The DJ Safety dragster ran the quickest elapsed time of the event with a 5.349/262.49 and would face Derik Milanesio in the first round later that afternoon.

Johnny Ahten and crew chief Al Ahten along with racing partner Howard Katano made the final adjustments and headed to the line with Bob Ahten, Kevin "Shark" Colvell, Chuck Costabile, Todd “Rocky” Rockwell, and John Mark. When the tree dropped and the cars rocketed off the line, Ahten had a slight advantage. Tire shake made its presence felt and Milanesio got the 5.307/272.94 win over Ahten's 5.476/249.26 shakefest.

“I am disappointed but motivated,” added Ahten. “I would have liked to have run better and go rounds at my home track, but I am excited about what we have planned for the coming season. DJ Safety, along with Island Renovations and Combust Filters have been very good to us this year...
October 28, 2016 Madison Ill: In all forms of racing, it’s common knowledge to expect the unexpected, on and off the track. One of the most unexpected off track events of the 2016 drag racing season is the inclusion of NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster and Funny Cars in the newly resurrected American Drag Racing League Series. The Alcohol classes are one of 5 Professional Classes that the ADRL is offering as an alternative racing platform, not a replacement platform to the existing format available.

The Guardian for Heroes Foundation – Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield Legacy Funny Car team piloted by Nancy Matter is taking on this new opportunity in St Louis for the Inaugural American Drag Racing League Series set to debut on November 4 and 5th, 2016 at Gateway Motorsports Park named Dragstock XI.

“We are extremely excited and grateful for this opportunity that Larry Jeffers and Kenny Nowling have put together. Their team has spent hundreds of hours restructuring and rebuilding this series” noted Matter. “With the PDRA having an additional platform for the NHRA J&A Pro Mod Series, now the Alcohol Class has an alternative racing platform as well.”

“We were looking for to head out to Vegas and Pomona, however, with everything new and newly installed on the Guardian For Heroes Foundation Funny Car, our testing data at Ennis was close to the numbers we were looking for, however, we were just a little shy without any data accumulated for our comfort level to travel west. We are testing again before the event and really looking forward to our first ADRL Race as a Professional Team.”

Matter’s Team will roll into St Louis on November 2nd for the PreRace Party where there is an anticipated 1500 fans to join in at Chuck a Burger and remain at Gateway Motorsports Park through Saturday, November 5th, until the conclusion of the event.

For continuous coverage, fans from around the world can log on to MotorManiaTV.com (MMTV1) and...
Las Vegas, NV. – “Dedicated to Safety” has long been the tag line for the NHRA. Johnny Ahten understands the importance of staying safe when he is traveling at speeds over 270 miles per hour on the track and as a LA County fire captain. He knows all too well that sometimes trouble can occur. This is why Ahten trusts DJ Safety. This weekend the Island Renovations / Combust Filters dragster will be highlighting DJ Safety with a visual overhaul that will continue through the Pomona Finals.

“DJ Safety has been a valued sponsor of Ahten Racing for many years and we are excited to place them loud and proud,” said Ahten. “Big Ben and his crew are amazing and their craftsmanship and commitment to safety is monumental. My new race suit not only looks great, but it’s very comfortable. I know it will protect me if needed.”

DJ Safety’s Ben Conant added, “DJ Safety would like to thank Johnny Ahten Racing for being part of the DJ Safety family and our great partnership we have.”

DJ Safety, Inc. is an engineering and manufacturing corporation which designs and produces safety equipment for a variety of industries including: Aerospace, Aviation, Film, Racing and Theme Parks. DJ Safety offers a variety of the standard and “made to order” safety products. The company has been successfully designing safety products for 15 years and manufacturing them for 16 years.

Johnny Ahten will have plenty of “ShowTime” with three races in Vegas and the Pomona finals. DJ Safety and Johnny Ahten worked together with One 11 Ink to design a new wrap for the car and matching starting line shirts from Six B Apparel. The new-look Ahten Racing dragster affectionately known as the “Stump Puller” will be revealed under the bright lights of The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

This weekend’s NHRA Toyota Nationals will be followed by the spring Vegas Regional make up race, then the Vegas Regional. The Ahten Racing Race Rig is full of parts and the team is eager to get it all started. It has...
CONCORD, NC (September 14, 2016) – Maddern Racing Top Alcohol Dragster driver Chris Demke enters this weekend’s NHRA Carolina Nationals as a past event champion, but he’s never actually hoisted a coveted “Wally” trophy at zMAX Dragway. Demke hopes to change that this weekend, though.

“I would love to add Charlotte to the list of racetracks where I’ve won. It’s one of Bruton Smith’s tracks, so it’s an awesome racing facility. It’s the only four-wide dragstrip in the world, and it’s in the heart of racing country. The fans in the Charlotte area are all about any kind of racing, and they love drag racing,” said Demke, who won the 2014 Charlotte event as part of a trifecta weekend during which Demke won the Carolina Nationals, Keystone Nationals, and the NHRA Lucas Oil Series national championship.

The 2016 NHRA Carolina Nationals, Sept. 16-18, is Demke’s second race back in the seat of his championship-winning Maddern Racing dragster after walking away from a violent crash in the team’s formerly experimental “X-car” at the Seattle regional race. With just a couple weeks between the crash and the prestigious U.S. Nationals across the country in Indianapolis, the Jerry Maddern and Kevin Watson-led team worked to prepare the second Peen Rite dragster for Indy. Demke qualified sixth with a 5.287 and bowed out in the second round.

While winning is always on the minds of the Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products team, Demke will spend this weekend focusing on the mental aspect of successfully pursuing race wins and a second national championship.

“After my crash in Seattle, getting back in the seat at Indy was challenging. The old saying about getting back on the horse really holds true. I would’ve liked to do better at Indy, but our team is very satisfied with our performance. In the end, it was my driving that failed us. The only thing that’s going to solve that is more laps. The sooner I get back in the seat, the sooner I get back to one hundred percent behind the...
Duane Shields made a surprise visit to the Midwest in order to compete at the NHRA Lucas Oil Regional event being held at Tri-State Raceway in Earlsville, Iowa. In the pits there was an impressive line-up of professional-looking teams in both the Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car class and the PEAK team's unplanned visit complimented the big row of semi trailers.

Duane qualified on top with a 5.32 at 278 MPH and would face James Stevens, of Gothenburg, Nebraska who qualified with a 5.57 at 262 MPH to place him sixth on the ladder going into the first round.

As the cars launched, Stevens got a little too eager and red lit. Even though the race was already won for Duane, both cars made a race out of it and Duane stopped the clock with a 5.32 at 275 MPH to Steven's 6.18. In round two, Duane received a single because it was a short field. On the second round bye run Duane rang up a strong 5.31 at 274 MPH.

In the finals it was USA vs. Canada as Duane took on Gord Gingles from Winnipeg MB. Unfortunately for Duane, the PEAK Dragster lost traction on the run which allowed Gingles to cross the finish line first and win the event. "We spun the tires out there aways but congrats to Gord Gingles and to Rich McPhillips for clinching the Eastern Region Championship," Duane said.

Duane would like to thank his great sponsors: PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil, Final Charge, Blue Def, NGK, GRP and Brad Anderson Enterprises for their continued support in 2016.
Indianapolis - Everything was pointing towards another trip to the winner’s circle at the Chevrolet Performance NHRA US Nationals for the PEAK A/Fuel Dragster team. They took the number three qualifying position, made plenty of sub 5.30 runs and the PEAK Dragster set low ET of the first round. But sadly Duane’s good karma ended in round two when he was stopped by Shawn Cowie.

Duane began the marathon race known as Indy by qualifying third with a 5.26 at 278 MPH which is usually a good position on the ladder to start from but this was Indy after all so there were no easy rounds.

In round one, the Nevada veteran took on Buddy Domingue who qualified in the 14th position. At the start Duane got the lead on Domingue right out of the box with an 0.069 reaction time to his 0.089. Duane was on a lightning quick pass and scored the quickest run of the round, a sizzling 5.25 at 280 MPH to Domingue’s very respectable 5.31 at 270 MPH.

In the quarter finals, Duane took on Canadian Shawn Cowie who was behind the wheel of a blown alcohol dragster. Both cars left together with Cowie getting a slight 0.081 lead to Duane’s close 0.085. Cowie maintained his lead with Duane in close pursuit all the way to the finish line but Cowie was able to reach the stripe first and took the win with a 5.28 at 275 MPH to Duane’s close 5.30 at 278 MPH. “No win at Indy this year. We dropped a cylinder at 5. seconds into the run which slowed us down but the car's still running good” Duane said.

Next, the PEAK team moves on to Charlotte for the NHRA Carolina Nationals. Duane would like to thank his sponsors PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil, Final Charge, Blue Def, NGK, GRP and Brad Anderson Enterprises for their continued support in 2016.
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (September 6, 2016) – Top Alcohol Dragster veteran Chris Demke entered last weekend’s 62nd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals with a lot on his mind. Of course he was thinking about winning a second U.S. Nationals title, but he was also trying to shake a mental funk that he picked up after sustaining a dramatic crash at the Seattle regional race just weeks prior. As it turned out, it wouldn’t take long for the past world champion to move past the accident.

Driving Maddern Racing’s spare car, the same car he drove to the 2014 NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster world championship, Demke started off U.S. Nationals qualifying with another tense situation. He was already halfway down the Lucas Oil Raceway strip when he realized the steering wheel had become detached from the steering shaft upon launch. The Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products dragster was heading for the left retaining wall as it crossed the finish line at around 90 mph, but Demke took matters into his own hands.

“In my mind I was thinking, ‘I’m not ending my weekend like this.’ I grabbed the steering shaft with my hands and cranked it as hard as I could to the right. It felt like I steered it away from the wall, but more than likely the car moved over from the parachutes deploying automatically. Either way, the car remained in one piece to race another round,” Demke said with relief.

While the incident didn’t help in the performance department, it did allow Demke to move on from his jarring crash at Seattle.

“As crazy as it was, that run really helped me put the crash behind me. It was a test of how much I really wanted to race. I just had that thought of, “there’s no way I’m going to let this car hit a wall again.” What I went through in Seattle changed my mentality. Physically I was fine, but mentally I had some demons to deal with.”

The steering situation was promptly fixed by car chief Kevin Watson and the Maddern Racing crew, allowing Demke to pilot the Peen Rite rail to...
BROWNSBURG, Ind. (August 31, 2016) – Less than two weeks ago, Chris Demke was climbing out of his mangled Top Alcohol Dragster chassis after a high-speed crash during the second qualifying session at an NHRA West Region race in Seattle. The crash would’ve put some other teams out of commission for weeks, it not months, but the Maddern Racing team went right to work preparing their spare car for this weekend’s 62nd annual Chevrolet Performance NHRA U.S. Nationals.

Racing at Pacific Raceways’ regional event, Demke was qualified seventh going into the second qualifying session when he encountered traction issues, pedaled a few times, and smacked the wall around the eighth-mile mark. The car then shot sideways across the centerline and hit the right wall, eventually coming to a stop past the finish line.

“Having won the Seattle regional the last three years, this is absolutely not how I wanted things to happen. I’m upset with myself for the driver error and destroying a beautiful race car. I’m very thankful to have a team that can put what happened behind them and move on to the next race,” Demke stressed.

The Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products team would’ve worked to prepare their spare car going into any race, but the effort was supercharged due to the fact that their next planned race was the legendary U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. Demke won the 60th anniversary edition of the prestigious event in 2014.

“The decision to go to Indy was made the afternoon after I crashed. The team rolled the broken chassis into the trailer and we all knew that if we were going to attempt to go to Indy, the decision had to be made that afternoon. We reviewed our options in a team meeting and the decision was made to make our best effort.”

Demke will roll into Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis with a very capable Uyehara chassis that previously carried the Californian driver to the 2014 NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster world championship and several race wins.

“Thanks to the...
BRAINERD, MN (August 25, 2016) – NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster standout Megan Meyer added another impressive event performance to her rookie season scorecard last weekend when she qualified number one and reached the semifinals at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. She also became the quickest female in NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series competition with a blistering 5.178 elapsed time during eliminations.

Meyer’s Racers Evolved A/Fuel dragster started off qualifying with a 5.539, then stepped up to the number two position with a 5.281 at 275.83 mph on Friday’s second run. With her father, Randy, making the tuning calls, Megan fired off a 5.195 at 276.41 mph to qualify number one for the second time in national event competition.

“Going into Brainerd, we had high hopes that the car would run quick due to the colder weather conditions and the fact that we have a great race car and crew with us. When we made the first qualifying pass, we were all a little bit disappointed because it was very slow and just felt really off going down the track. We made a few tuning adjustments going into the second session, and we were all hoping for a better turnout. When it flew down the track and ran the 5.19, we were all so excited to have ran that quick and reset my career best E.T.! Although we were thrilled to be the number one qualifier, that was not where we wanted to end up because of how the ladder was set up – we were aiming for the number two position,” revealed Meyer, who would have faced national points leader Joey Severance in the second round if she qualified in the second position.

Another 5.19 or even low 5.2-second run would’ve been more than enough to secure the first-round win, but the Randy Meyer Racing team isn’t one to settle for “good enough”. Meyer uncorked a 5.178 at 278 mph for an opening round win over the blown alcohol dragster of Dean Dubbin. The run gave Meyer the title of quickest female in Top Alcohol Dragster, the...
KENT, Wash. – “It’s a beast,” proclaimed Johnny Ahten in reference to his Island Renovations / Combust Filters dragster following the Seattle Regional event at Pacific Raceways. Ahten advanced to the semifinals and nearly went to the finals with a return to performance mode in Seattle.

Ahten’s first qualifying run on Friday served notice that the Ahten Racing dragster, known as the Stump Puller, was ready to burst through the line. A 5.346/266.64 run put Ahten in the number three position for the day. Saturday’s first qualifying session produced a 5.393/260.41, with room for improvement. The plan for the final qualifying session was to go quicker, so the wick was turned up. “It was either going to go number one, or smoke the tires,” added Ahten. A 10.532/90.73 pass answered that question. Ahten remained in the number three slot moving into Sunday eliminations and a match-up with Kim Parker.

Sunday saw a break from the warm weather conditions. Ahten took a slight starting line advantage and a 5.369/252.80 effort conquered Parker’s 5.396/262.64. This set a semifinal meeting with Megan McKernan. When the tree came down, Ahten got off the line first and was leading the race until the 300ft mark when the rear tires knocked loose. A couple of quick pedals resulted in two lost cylinders and a 5.837/221.96 defeat to McKernan’s 5.652/262.33.

“Even though we lost a close one in the semis, I am very happy about the way the Stump Puller performed at Pacific Raceways,” said Ahten. “It was great having a full crew around to make things go smoothly. My guys gave me a great racecar and we are all excited about the upcoming Regional at Woodburn, and then on to Vegas and the finals at Pomona."

Johnny Ahten and the Stump Puller will be at Woodburn Raceways September 16-18th. The usual strong contingent of west coast hitters will be there, and Ahten is anxious to let the Stump Puller feast. Stay in touch with Johnny and Ahten Racing at...