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...
Brainerd MN - While it might have been a short field where just ten cars entered the Top Alcohol Dragster class at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, it wasn't a short field on Duane Shields' side of the ladder as he had a tough opponent every round before he was eventually stopped by Joey Severance in the finals. "Everyone there was tough so you had to bring your A-game to this race. You couldn't take anyone lightly," Duane said. Duane's PEAK A/Fuel Dragster qualified third with a highly competitive 5.29 at 273 MPH.

In round one, Duane took on Mia Tedesco who is enjoying a respectable season going into this race. At the launch Tedesco had the better reaction time but she immediately lost traction and shook the tires giving Duane an easy trip to the finish line. Duane won the round with a 5.28 at 276 MPH to move on to the quarterfinals. "These A/Fuel Dragsters are very touchy and we all have to go out there with a very competitive tune-up. But that also increases your chances of overpowering the track and losing traction like Mia did," Duane said.

In the second round, Duane met up with Robin Samsel. As the cars rocketed off the starting line, it was Duane who was out first with an 0.065 to Samsel's 0.091. Duane shook violently but was able to maintain his lead and take the stripe. Duane clocked a 5.55 at 274 MPH to Samsel's off pace 5.98 at 269 MPH. "That was our lucky round win. The car shook really hard and I had to pedal twice but we still won the round," Said Duane.

In the semifinals, Duane raced new comer Megan Meyer who is the daughter of former World Champion Randy Meyer. Duane was out first with an 0.074 to Meyer's 0.083 but once again traction problems played into the race. Meyer had to coast as she blazed the tires while Duane made his best pass of the weekend with a sizzling 5.25 at 279 MPH to Meyer's 10.24 at 74 MPH.

In the final round, Duane faced the reining World Champion Joey Severance. As the lights came down Severance got off the line first...
KENT, Wash. (August 18, 2016) – While most of the top NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster teams are racing at the Brainerd national event this weekend, 2014 TAD world champion Chris Demke and the Maddern Racing team will be competing for their fourth consecutive event title at the Pacific Raceways regional event, August 19-21. The decision to race Seattle was an easy call for the California-based driver, who raced to the final round at the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways a couple weeks ago.

“We’ve won this race the last three years. We needed some in-region races. We missed out on the Woodburn and Mission races, so we figured we’d hang out in Seattle for the regional race then head east for the U.S. Nationals in Indy,” Demke said.

Demke’s Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products blown alcohol dragster was running on the edge at the NHRA Northwest Nationals. Demke qualified number three with a wheelstanding 5.221 et at 273.66 mph. His first-round 5.219 et was the tenth quickest pass for a blown alcohol dragster. The Maddern Racing team then earned two more round wins over Shawn Cowie and James Stevens. Demke was scheduled to face rival Joey Severance in the final round before rain showers forced the rescheduling of the race. The final round will be completed during qualifying at the NHRA Fall Nationals in Dallas in September.

The Maddern Racing group also spent the weekend celebrating the engagement of Demke’s younger sister, Aimee, and car chief Kevin Watson, who was celebrating his birthday during Friday qualifying.

As the Jerry Maddern-led Peen Rite team moves on to this weekend’s regional event, they must adopt a different tune-up than the one that carried Demke to the final round at the national event.

“At some tracks it helps to race there back-to-back, but I don’t think that’s the case with Seattle this year. The track prep won’t be as good as it was at the national event – it was incredible – and the weather was cool. It’s a completely different...
BRAINERD, MN (August 17, 2016) – Powerhouse NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster team Randy Meyer Racing enters this weekend’s Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals with intentions of winning the event for the third time in three years with as many different drivers. Team owner, tuner and driver Randy Meyer won it in 2014, former RMR driver Mark Taliaferro won last year, and now Megan Meyer looks to add her name to the history books at Brainerd International Raceway.

“Racing at Brainerd has always been a dream of mine,” Meyer said. “Some of my earliest memories are at BIR with my sister and I riding our scooters and selling t-shirts in the pits. As we got older, we were fortunate enough to bring both of our Junior Dragsters to BIR for a couple of years when they allowed juniors to race during the divisional race. Rachel and I claimed a couple of wins, and it was a really fun time to get to race at the same time as our dad and share the winner’s circle with him. Now, it's my turn to return to the track and try to take down some of the fiercest competition in the Alcohol class. I'm very excited to get back in the seat after claiming another runner-up at our last race in St. Louis,” said Megan, who is second in national points after a win and three runner-up finishes in national event competition and two runner-ups on the regional level.”

Meyer will be back to competing on her own this weekend after racing alongside younger sister Rachel at the last two races, where the Meyer sisters experienced mixed results.

“After the disappointing outing we had at the Topeka regional race, where Rachel and I both lost first round, we were all beating ourselves up pretty bad. We have some of the best dragsters in the nation and for us to go out and lose first round was very upsetting. We made some changes and ran a few test runs at the next race in St. Louis, and our efforts paid off on race day. We walked home with a Semi-Final and Runner-Up finish, and the track record mph of 274,” Meyer...