JOLIET, Ill. (July 6, 2016) – For the second time in his Top Alcohol Dragster career, Brandon Booher will represent the NHRA North Central Region in the prestigious JEGS Allstars race this weekend. Held in conjunction with the NHRA K&N Filters Route 66 Nationals, July 7-10, the Allstars race will pit eight of the best TAD competitors from across the country against each other. But unlike most of the other competitors, Booher will spend most of his on-track time dialing in his combination for regional competition.

Booher, the 2013 NHRA North Central Region champion, is using his 2016 national event appearances as testing opportunities to prepare for regional events. The AB Construction team’s first national event of the year at Norwalk two weeks ago yielded promising results, but an untimely loose fitting prevented Booher from making a run in the first round of eliminations.

“The testing strategy worked at Norwalk,” Booher said. “The car ran really well in the heat. It would’ve ran better first round, but we can’t really think about that now. Moving on to Joliet, we have the same plan. I’ve got some converter stuff I’m going to test. I’ve got a different set of tires I’m going to test. Don’t get me wrong; if it goes out there on the first pass and runs really well, I’m probably not going to swing for the fences after that. I’ll dial it in. I’m going there and I’m going to put a car down the track that’s different than what went down the track Q3 and E1 at Norwalk, which already was a really competitive car; second or third-low for the session and quickest blower car by quite a bit. That’s sort of the plan.”

Booher certainly considers the prestige and prizes associated with winning the JEGS Allstars race and the NHRA Route 66 Nationals, but he’s intent on getting ready for the next NHRA North Central Regional event in Columbus, Ohio, July 22-24. He currently leads the region points.

“I sort of pigeon-holed myself trying to run the Allstars race (in 2014) and...
MARSTONS Mills, Massachusetts (July 5, 2016) - Jay Blake's Follow A Dream/Permatex Top Alcohol Funny Car team enjoyed an extra special 4th of July weekend.

The team got an early start on celebrating Independence Day by roaring to its first win of the season, capturing the NHRA Division 1 (Northeast Division) regional event at Lebanon Valley Dragway on Saturday, July 2.

The event came up aces all the way around for the Follow A Dream/Permatex team:

* Driver Phil Burkart, who joined the team at the beginning of this season, earned his first win with his new team.

* Burkart was the No. 1 qualifier.

* Burkart recorded low ET and fastest speed of the meet.

* And to cap things off, Burkart (5.641 seconds at 254.40 mph) defeated D.J. Cox Jr. (5.688 seconds at 250.60 mph) in the final round to take the event victory.

"We did great," Jay Blake said. "It doesn't get much better than that. We went into the race fighting D.J. Cox for No. 1 in the region. We were No. 1 and he was No. 2 by a point.

"So we had him in the final round. It was a real close, tight race. The team did a phenomenal job all weekend, didn't miss a beat and it was awesome to win the race.

But wait, there's more: The Follow A Dream team continued its dominance at the West Lebanon, New York dragstrip, winning the TA/FC for the third straight year and fifth time in the last seven years.

"It's a pretty crazy run we've had there, but it's pretty awesome," Blake said. "We were so close to winning (a couple months ago) at Richmond, so it's really awesome to finally get that first win, not just for Phil but also for the whole team. "Winning at Lebanon Valley gives us a lot of confidence and we should be in good shape."

The Follow A Dream/Permatex team now moves on this weekend to the next NHRA national event, the Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago).

Given what his team did at Lebanon Valley, Blake is excited to see the momentum continue in the Windy City....
West Lebanon, New York - Duane Shields in the PEAK A/Fuel Dragster made it to the final round of the NHRA Lucas Oil Regional at Lebanon Valley Dragway. Duane joined the who’s who of east coast Top Alcohol Dragster racers for one of the most competitive regional races of the season where twelve cars were trying to get into a tough eight car field. Duane qualified in the number two position with a very competitive 5.33 at 273 MPH.

In round one, Duane faced Richard St. Pierre. As the lights came down it was St. Pierre out of the gate first but his lead didn’t last as Duane out powered him and rung up the win with a stout 5.32 at 273 MPH to St. Pierre’s 5.70 at 245 MPH.

In the semifinal round, Duane took on Richard Bourke. At the hit, Bourke moved out of the box first but then abandoned the run after losing traction. In the other lane, Duane was on a flawless pass and stopped the clock with an impressive 5.34 at 268 MPH to advance to the final round where he would face Rich McPhillips who was hot off a national event win last week in Norwalk, Ohio.

As both A/Fuel Dragsters staged in the final round the cars left virtually together with McPhillips getting a very slight lead by only 2,000th of a second with a 0.082 to Duane’s ever so close 0.084. As both dragsters were traveling down track they were side by side in a race too close to call. At the finish line it was McPhillips taking the win by less than a car length. McPhillips posted a 5.37 at 271 to Duane’s close 5.44 at 270 MPH. "We believe we had an ignition problem in the finals which caused the car to slow down," Duane explained.

At the conclusion of the event, the PEAK team packed up and headed towards Chicago for the JEGS All Star race which is held in conjunction with the NHRA Route 66 Nationals this coming weekend. Duane would like to thank PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil, Final Charge, Blue Def, NGK, GRP and Brad Anderson Enterprises for their support.
Just a quick note to say thank you to everyone who has made InsideTopAlcohol.com what it is today. I launched the site on June 26, 2001. Time sure flies when you are having fun! It's been a hell of a ride, and I'm looking forward to another 15 years. Make no mistake about it, we have one of the best online communities in drag racing, and you are what make this site what it is! To anyone who has clicked, posted, or read the site, thanks so much!
Norwalk, Ohio - Overall it was a good weekend for Duane Shields and the PEAK A/Fuel Dragster team at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. They were the top qualifier in the Top Alcohol Dragster class and the car is running stellar. It was all good except for and unexpected change of plans in round two when the car smoked the tires at the wrong possible time thus ending the weekend early for the popular Nevada driver.

Duane qualified on the pole with a 5.30 at 271 MPH which set up a first round appointment with John Gutierrez in round one. It was not an easy race to win even though it appeared to be on paper. Gutierrez got the starting line advantage with an 0.032 to Duane’s 0.087 which gave him an early lead. However, the PEAK Dragster was able to quickly regain the lead and passed Gutierrez in time to grab the finish line stripe. Duane recorded a winning 5.39 at 271 MPH to Gutierrez’s 5.53 at 258 MPH.

In round two, Duane drew Rich McPhillips. At the hit both cars left evenly with McPhillips getting a slight edge. Both cars were side by side when suddenly the PEAK dragster started to lose traction 100 feet out allowing McPhillips to get past him to take the win with a 5.35 at 268 MPH to Duane’s 6.99 at 134 MPH.

"It came as a total surprise to us, we did not expect to smoke the tires. Rich went on to win the race so congratulations to him. The PEAK car is running good even in challenging weather conditions like the heat we experienced here in Norwalk. We are confident the car will run good at the next two races in Lebanon Valley and then the JEGS All Star Race in Chicago the following weekend,” Duane said.

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.
MORRISON, CO (June 15, 2016) – After a physically demanding weekend in the Tulsa heat, Chris Demke and the Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products Top Alcohol Dragster team were able to add the first event win to their 2016 scorecard last weekend. Demke seeks to pick up another NHRA regional event Wally this weekend as the Maddern Racing team competes at Denver’s Bandimere Speedway for the first time in a decade.

Driving the team’s experimental “X-car”, Demke qualified number two at the NHRA Central Region event at Tulsa Raceway Park with a 5.330 elapsed time at 267 mph.

“We had the X-car out for its second race of the year and after two qualifying sessions on Friday, I thought we weren’t pushing that car as hard as it’s capable of running. While consistent, it wasn’t showing what we are capable of. Saturday morning, [car chief] Kevin Watson, [team owner] Jerry Maddern and I sat down and talked about where we were with things and formulated a strategy for the day and what tactics we would use to implement that strategy.”

A strong 5.346 at 268 mph was enough to defeat former Top Fuel driver Spencer Massey’s tire-smoking run in the steamy first round. Demke and his team knew it would take quicker performances to compete with the nitro-injected A/Fuel cars as the temperatures dropped for the later rounds.

“Going into second round, I was nervous about implementing the tactics we had discussed earlier, as it was time to get more aggressive with the tune-up. Kevin Watson stuck by his guns and the car responded by stepping up a good half a tenth,” Demke said of his 5.281 defeat of Mike Manners. “That gave us what we needed to win the second round. We turned the knobs a little harder going into the final and just squeezed one out by seven thousandths of a second against Gord Gingles, a very tough competitor.”

The Maddern Racing team has raced in a wide range of conditions, but Tulsa’s summer heat tried its hardest to handicap the 2014 world champions.

“The race in...
TULSA, Okla. (June 8, 2016) – Chris Demke and the Maddern Racing Top Alcohol Dragster team have raced across the country for over two decades, so it’s not often that the California team pulls into a track they’ve never raced at before. That’s the scenario this week, though, as Demke will compete at the NHRA Central Region event at Tulsa Raceway Park, June 9-12.

“We try to squeeze in a new track every year just to keep us on our toes. We’ve talked with other teams about Tulsa and it sounds like a great facility with a decent racing surface. I don’t think there’s anything different that we do at a new track other than try to enjoy it. It’s like taking a vacation to a place you’ve never been to before. There’s always some added fun and excitement to it,” said Demke, the 2014 TAD world champion.

On a somber note, Demke hopes to honor the memory of past Division 4 Top Alcohol Dragster champion Shelly Howard, who passed away in a freak racing accident at Tulsa along with her son, Brian, in 2005.

“I try to remember those who passed away while competing and I won’t forget that this is where Shelly Howard lost her life. It was a very tragic situation. She was a very talented blown alcohol dragster driver,” Demke added.

The Maddern Racing team will be short a couple hands this weekend, as crew member Greg Rice was originally scheduled to miss this race after undergoing knee surgery, but he might still be on-hand to support his teammates.

“Greg is a major asset to this team and it will be a challenge to fill in his place this weekend. He’ll try to make it out to the race to help guide the team as best he can as long as his doctor allows him,” noted Demke, who himself was a Maddern Racing crew member before getting the chance to drive.

Chris Demke and the Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products team will hit the track for Top Alcohol Dragster qualifying sessions at 5 and 8 PM on Friday, June 10. Eliminations are scheduled to begin Saturday at 4 PM and conclude at 10 PM....
Everyone at CP-Carrillo takes extra pride in introducing our newest forging for Hemi engines with cylinder bore sizes from 4.440” to 4.560”, the “TA-X”.

TA-X (2).jpg TA-X (3).jpg

The “TA-X” is a forged side relief (FSR) forging with internal cross bracing that connects the two pin towers to each other. Designed to handle extreme HP levels, like those experienced in blown alcohol and injected nitro applications, there is also the option to internal mill the “TA-X” when natural aspiration or low boost levels are employed. With enough material in the pin boss areas to accommodate a 1.156” diameter wristpin, the “TA-X” is designed for serious race efforts.

The strutted sections from the pin towers to the skirts allow these forgings to be machined with narrower skirts than a round style piston reducing frictional losses. With no loss in stability of the bore due to the use of dedicated skirt profiles specifically for strutted pistons, the “TA-X” culminates in a lighter piston with no loss in performance or durability.

The “TA-X” can accommodate not only standard type pins and buttons like those used in conventional round style pistons, but can also be used with wire locks and shorter pins, (and rail supports for the oil ring if necessary). By eliminating the pin buttons and using a shorter pin, weight savings in the 40-50 gram range are not uncommon.

Additionally because the pin towers can be closer together, there is no loss of pin to piston engagement even when using a shorter pin. The net effect of all these features is a piston with significantly less pin boss and pin bore deflection, resulting in reduced pin and pin bore wear than with other types of forgings.

These design features result in a piston that can actually free up some HP that is lost in a conventional design, due to their constant flexing which causes binding in the wrist pin contact points with the rod and piston.

The “TA-X” can...
Reading PA - Duane Shields, the Defending Champion of both the NHRA national and regional events held at Maplegrove Raceway just missed another trip to the Winner’s Circle at this year’s Lucas Oil Regional where he lost to Rich McPhillips in the final round. Duane qualified third with a 5.34 but was on the outside looking in at the beginning of the final qualifying session. This added a lot of excitement in the grandstands since there was a good turnout of friends and family rooting for Duane. Fortunately, the PEAK team didn’t disappoint the fans as they got the PEAK Dragster into the show during the final session.

To add to the qualifying excitement, the first round was a real squeaker as Duane beat John Finke in a hole shot! Duane had an .062 reaction time to Finke’s .090 and that’s what won the round for Duane even though Finke had a slightly quicker 5.381 to Duane’s ever so close 5.386. “That was a very competitive and close race in the first round especially after being under a lot of pressure just to qualify” Duane said.

In the semifinals, Duane took on Jeff Veale. At the hit, Veale was off the line first with an 0.066 to Duane’s 0.070. As the cars roared down track, the PEAK dragster over powered Veale’s car and took the win with a stout 5.30 at 274 MPH to Veale’s 5.43 at 268 MPH to make it to the finals.

In the final round matched up, Duane faced familiar east coast opponent Rich McPhillips. At the hit Duane struck the tires and went up in smoke. Meanwhile, McPhillips was on a clean pass and took the win. While Duane was glad to have made it to the final round, he was disappointed that his car abruptly lost traction. “We always want to win so I’m obviously disappointed but overall I can’t complain. We qualified for a very tight field and we won the first round on a hole shot and we also had a great run in round two. So, it was still a pretty good weekend for the PEAK team” Duane said.

The PEAK team now moves on to Norwalk, Ohio for the Summit...
NORWALK, Ohio (May 27, 2016) – Past NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster regional champion Brandon Booher added a race win to his 2016 championship effort as he won the Cavalcade of Stars event at Summit Motorsports Park last weekend. The victory also gave Booher enough points to claim the number one spot to represent the North Central Region in the prestigious JEGS Allstars race in July.

Booher was especially pleased to win the Cavalcade of Stars because he only qualified eighth, barely earning the chance to race on Sunday. Tire shake plagued the AB Construction blown alcohol dragster on all three qualifying attempts, but the versatile driver/tuner found a solution for eliminations that brought him victorious runs of 5.447, 5.447, and 5.413 over Jared Dreher, Ken Perry, and Brandon Greco, respectively.

“I kept trying stuff through qualifying and nothing was working,” Booher stressed. “We’d get back from the run, download the Racepak, and it was as if nothing changed, like I made three carbon copy runs. So I decided I needed to do something drastic and run the car in a manner that I had never done before. That’s what it took. I doubt I’ll use those timing graphs ever again. I put some bars in the chassis that Spitzer had added when the car was built to use if needed to add rigidity to the car. I thought, well, it’s biting too much early and then not biting enough so I’ll stiffen it up and take an educated guess at the timing curve. Did it work? Well, it was more of a trophy-winning Band-Aid. It didn’t run phenomenal, but it ran good enough to win.”

It wasn’t a sweeping performance like the ones that helped Booher earn his first regional championship in 2013, but a dominant performance wasn’t needed to win the race that saw some of the Midwest’s best cars struggle to get down the Norwalk quarter-mile.

“Once we won first round and had lane choice in the second round, I realized I didn’t need to run a 5.32. Should I be able to run a thirty-two? Yes, everyone should be...