Demke Wins Tulsa Debut, Moves on to Denver's 'Thunder on the Mountain'

Discussion in 'Alcohol Racing News' started by News Editor, Jun 15, 2016.

  1. News Editor

    News Editor Administrator

    Jan 13, 2007
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    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 was extremely challenging,” Demke stressed. “Not just from the perspective that we’d never been there before, but the temperatures, the heat index, the humidity, and the water grains were all in the ‘red zone’ on the meter. It brought the team to its knees, but the entire team stepped up to the challenge and persevered to do what it took to win the Wally.”

    The Tulsa win was the team’s first under the tuning guidance of longtime car chief Kevin Watson, who took over the main tuning duties earlier this season.

    “I have to hand it to Kevin. I can’t even begin to describe how proud I am and what a great job the guy is doing. It’s giving me great confidence in driving the car, too,” Demke noted.

    Moving forward to this weekend’s “Thunder on the Mountain” NHRA Central Region event at Bandimere Speedway, the Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products team will face even more challenging conditions. The density altitude is expected to approach 10,000 feet. Furthermore, the team’s Denver data log’s most recent entry is from 2006.

    “The biggest challenge is we haven’t raced there in 10 years. A lot has changed since then. Even though I have great records from 10 years ago, I don’t know that that information is still applicable. We’re just going to have to make some educated guesses on where to start with some of those tuning variables. We’re very capable and I have faith that we can at least make a decent showing,”

    Included in that data log, though, is the 1999 NHRA national event at Denver, when Maddern Racing qualified number one, won the race, and set low et and the track record with Darren Nicholson driving. Demke realizes a much lower et will be required to even qualify this weekend.

    “I think that track record run was like a 5.69. Since then, I think a good et there is in the 5.4-second range. Supercharger and cylinder head technologies have advanced significantly and we’re excited to see what our current pieces are capable of doing up on the mountain."

    Top Alcohol Dragster qualifying at the Bandimere Speedway “Thunder on the Mountain” race kicks off with one session at 4 PM on Friday, June 17. Two more sessions are scheduled for 3:30 PM and 6:30 PM on Saturday, June 18. Eliminations kick off at noon on Sunday.

    Maddern Racing is a family-owned and operated NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster team based in Southern California. The team's Chris Demke-driven Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products blown alcohol dragster is owned by Jerry Maddern and crewed by Kevin Watson, Aimee Maddern, Mike Demke, Greg Rice, Robert Hadaller, and Ryan Miller. For more information on Chris Demke and Maddern Racing, please visit

    Maddern Racing receives support from the following companies: Peen Rite Inc., Boost Performance Products, B-G Detection, Afco, LA X-Ray, Hoosier Racing Tires, Motorsports Unlimited, VP Racing Fuels, and Morningwood Energy Drink.

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