Michalek Brothers Racing (MBR) is excited to announce a newly formed partnership with Simpson Performance Products for the 2016 racing season. MBR and Simpson will embark on their first year of official partnership in the NHRA's Top Alcohol Dragster category within the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

"It is very exciting and an honor to be a part of the Simpson Performance Products team," said Kyle. "Racing at 270+ MPH is serious business; however, we have peace of mind when we get into our car knowing we are protected by the best safety products available. Competing safely is our top priority; we have and will continue to invest in our safety by utilizing Simpson Performance Products."

Michalek Brothers Racing, along with some of the world’s most respected racers and teams including John Force Racing, Tony Stewart, and Carl Edwards, rely on Simpson Performance Products each time they take the track. Although many of Simpson's products have evolved over time, the concept remains the same: containment inside a safety cell is vital in any crash. Simpson Performance Products includes the equipment found in current Sprint Cup, IRL, Formula One and Drag Racing vehicles. When racers sit behind the wheel in Simpson's Envelope of Safety, they give themselves the advantage of 54 years of safety innovation and experience.

“It’s an honor to be a part of the Simpson Performance Products family. Kyle and I rely on their products every time we strap into a racecar and I can’t wait to represent their proven and trusted brand both on and off the track. The 2016 racing season is shaping up to be our biggest, and most challenging year to date. We have high expectations for ourselves and we look forward to having Simpson Performance Products along for the ride!"

To learn more about Simpson Performance Products, visit simpsonraceproducts.com for more information and to purchase products. Simpson Performance Products are for...
With great sadness, the Permatex/Follow A Dream team announces the retirement of longtime tuner Tom Howell, who recently was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS - also known as Lou Gehrig's disease). His departure marks the end of an era for the team. Howell called the shots when team owner and crew chief Jay Blake began campaigning Alcohol Funny Cars in 2003, and under his guidance the team has won a regional championship, four national events, and 10 divisional/regional events, including three wins in 2015 with driver Todd Veney.

Howell's involvement in motorsports spans more than 30 years, including stints with Marc Rowe Race Cars, the Blue Chip IHRA Funny Car driven by Dave Rowe, and the Florence Motorsports dragster driven by Don Florence. He also has extensive experience with Super Modifieds and offshore racing boats. Longtime tuner Anthony Terenzio, who guided veteran Mickey Ferro to countless Alcohol Funny Car victories, including five in a row to conclude the 2010 season, will take over for Howell in 2016.
On December 30th, 2015, Ora Vasquez, our father, husband, and mentor, moved on to the next level of his amazing life. Ora was a gentle man from humble beginnings with a hunger for life, a devotion to family and a passion for racing.

He started out life in the Monterey, California Area and worked on many ranches, served his country and ultimately became a mechanic by trade.

Ora started racing in 1949 and when NHRA was formed he raced in many classes at local dragstrips. He continued his racing career for almost 67 years.

Always the innovator, he was developing parts for his cars, tools to better the job and applying them to his racing. Ora eventually found a home in the Alcohol Classes and applied his talents to many National and Divisional winning teams.

Any of the owners and drivers he worked with can attest that Ora was focused on making their car faster and winning races, but always with an eye on safety. This mattered most to Ora, and any driver, of any of cars on which he worked, could attest that Ora would work hard to make the ride as safe as possible before sending them down the track.

During his life he made many friends and had a huge extended family through racing. If you ever met Ora, you know that he was always ready to lend a hand, help solve a problem, and just by having met you were his friend.

His family of friends is vast and he will be missed by all of us.

We want to thank you for adding to his life by being a part of his extended family, making his life so full of memories and contributing to his amazing journey.

The Vasquez Family

A celebration of life will be held on January 16th, 2016 at 11 A.M. at the Veterans’ Memorial Building located at 780 Bello Street, Pismo Beach, California. Race team apparel is encouraged for attendees.

Any remembrances can be made in Ora’s memory to the Racers for Christ at teamrfc.org or Drag Racing Association of Women at...
Michalek Brothers Racing (MBR) is excited to announce a continued partnership with Federal-Mogul Motorparts’ (NASDAQ: FDML) Champion® Spark Plugs brand for the 2016 race season. The upcoming season marks a significant milestone as MBR and Champion move into the fifth year of a successful partnership. 2016 will be MBR’s most ambitious season on track as the team prepares to debut its own NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster within the NHRA’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

“Champion has been there every step of the way as we have chased our racing dreams; we are humbled and thankful for all that Champion has done and continues to do for our racing careers,” said Kyle. “Developing our working relationship with Champion, Fel-Pro, Sealed Power, and Speed-Pro over the past 5 years has been a very rewarding experience and we are very proud to have the continued support of these great brands. 2016 is shaping up to be a big year for both MBR and the Federal Mogul motorparts brands, and we are very excited to represent each of these brands on and off the track as we take the next step in our racing careers as car owners. This progress would not possible without the ongoing support of the Federal Mogul Motorparts brands.”

The “Performance Driven” motto of Champion Spark Plugs continues to hold true both on and off the track as the brand leads the way with first-class digital initiatives for aspiring racers and everyday gear heads. Champion’s industry-leading Search for a Champion contest is back for its fifth straight year and is upping the ante with over $200,000 of cash prizes for racing sponsorships up for grabs. Champion is also excited to introduce the Parts Matter sweepstakes highlighting the shortcomings of inferior replacement parts. Getting involved is simple: submit photo or video of car-fails that didn’t have to happen on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr by using the hashtag #PartsMatter #Entry. Photo submissions will be entered for a chance to win one of three...
INDIANAPOLIS (December 9, 2015) – NHRA A/Fuel dragster driver-in-training Marina Anderson is displaying her custom-built dragster at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown this week. The display, which started on Sunday and will be in place until Saturday, December 12th, is scheduled around the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show at the Indiana Convention Center, which is accessible via the Marriott.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to have my dragster in the lobby of the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown for the PRI Show. The PRI Show is always a great experience for us to both show appreciation for current partners and meet with potential sponsors. This display is a unique opportunity to expose the Anderson Family Dragster (AFD) brand and our partners to the show attendees and Marriott guests,” said Anderson.

The Anderson family and Competition Fabrications worked meticulously on the AFD nitromethane-injected dragster for four years before its debut at the Detroit Autorama last year. They completed most of the chassis fabrication, tinwork, wiring and plumbing in-house, leaving the engine preparation to noted A/Fuel tuner Jerry Darien. Marina and her family are planning a 2016 competition debut upon Anderson’s completion of the NHRA licensing process.

“After testing the car for the first time this fall, we can’t wait to see what 2016 brings for the team. We learned a lot this year and I appreciate the way other A/Fuel teams have been open to teaching me and evening allowing me to work on their cars. I am also thankful for my team’s hard work to get to this point. I know next year will be a rewarding year because we plan on attending a few of the NHRA regional events.”

The PRI Show opens on Thursday, Dec. 10, and runs through Saturday, Dec. 12. Marina Anderson will be available to answer questions and sign autographs by her car display from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday of the show.

Anderson Family Dragster is an A/Fuel...
SPRING HILL, Kans. (Dec. 4, 2015) – Megan Meyer grew up watching her father, Randy, drive and tune some of the quickest and most successful A/Fuel dragsters in the NHRA's Top Alcohol Dragster class. Now, after two years of training and a promising regional event debut earlier this year, the NHRA Central Region Rookie of the Year nominee will join her father as a teammate and driver for a full national campaign in 2016.

Meyer, 22, drove to a final-round finish in her Top Alcohol Dragster debut at the St. Louis regional event in August. She's now planning a 18-race schedule for 2016, comprised of 10 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series (LODRS) national events and eight LODRS regional races.

“Entering the Lucas Oil national points series is such a dream come true for me. I've been looking forward to this my entire life and now that it's almost here, it seems surreal. After watching my dad take home a national points championship back in 2003 with Alan Bradshaw driving, and getting a first-hand look at what it takes to become a national points leader, I have complete faith our team will be a front-runner in 2016. My dad has instilled the skills of dedication, determination, sacrifice, and hard work in my upbringing, and I believe having him as crew chief of our amazing crew, consisting of my mother and little sister, is going to be the best combination in 2016,” Meyer said assuredly.

Meyer, who will graduate from Kansas' Pittsburg State University this month, has a busy schedule planned for 2016. The Herbalife 24 team will compete at NHRA national events in Gainesville. Charlotte, Houston, Norwalk, Chicago, Brainerd, Indianapolis, Reading, and Dallas. Megan will run the full NHRA Central Region schedule, with races in Belle Rose, Tulsa, Topeka, Earlville, and Noble. Meyer will also run North Central Region events in Chicago, St. Louis and Bowling Green.

“I am determined to end up number one or two in the Central Region points series, and would like to win my...
HARRISON TWP, Mich. (November 25, 2015) – Todd Robertson and his Eaton Corporation team had little experience with flip-top Funny Cars when they entered NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car competition in 2012. The former Outlaw Pro Mod standout admits he still has a lot to learn, but Robertson has progressed significantly in four years of competition. He kicked off the 2015 season with his first TA/FC win and went on to win the season championship in the NHRA North Central Region.

Robertson started the year with high expectations after reaching the final round at the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway in 2014. The Michigan native picked up his first-ever NHRA Wally when he drove his Eaton Monte Carlo to the winner's circle at the season-opening Lucas Oil Series North Central regional event in Indy.

“We left everything pretty much untouched from the year before since we did well at the U.S. Nationals in the fall. That strategy worked out for us. It was a crazy weekend because the parachutes kept going underneath the car, then I had no brakes or parachutes in the final so I ended up in the gravel. The winner's circle photos were taken after we towed the car back and dusted off the body,” Robertson remembers of the exciting weekend.

The Eaton/Aeroquip team continued their success at the next race at Norwalk. Racing in front of a sold-out Summit Motorsports Park crowd, Robertson again raced to the final round, this time falling to west coast sensation Doug Gordon because of an engine failure. Robertson struggled with early round losses at the next three races, but maintained his lead.

“We had the regional points lead all season long,” Robertson said. “After Columbus we shared the points lead with Paul Noakes until we passed him at the next race at St. Louis, where we passed him by only whatever points we received for going through tech inspection. We had issues with the car and didn't qualify.”

Robertson's season picked back up at...
Pomona, CA – Johnny Ahten and the Island Renovations / Combust Filters Dragster advanced to the second round at the 51st Annual Auto Club NHRA Finals last weekend at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. After qualifying with a 5.338 /265.48, Ahten entered the final race of the year in the number twelve position, won their first round match-up with 2014 World Champion Chris Demke, and finished the year in the number five position in Regional points.

“I feel good that we qualified and got a round win over the champ,” said Ahten. “The new chassis turned us into detectives, and now we have to follow the clues. We will go over the car, look at the data, and prepare for a strong campaign in 2016.”

Thursday qualifying started out with a 5.338 /265.48 which put Ahten in the number six position for the day. Friday’s qualifying session started off well, with the Stump Puller launching well off the starting line. Tire shake then reared its ugly head and Johnny wisely ended the run. Saturday morning’s final qualifying session was a repeat of that performance. At the conclusion of qualifying, Ahten was slotted in the number twelve slot. That paired him against fellow CleanBoost Oil racer Chris Demke in round one.

In Saturday’s first round of eliminations, Johnny had to pedal the car due to tire shake but got the 5.441/264.44 win over Demke's 9.775/84.67, as both drivers had issues. The Island Renovations / Combust Filters dragster was then paired against David Sheetz in round 2 Sunday.

Occasional rain showers delayed the running of the Top Alcohol Dragster class until after the second round of the professional classes. At the hit, Ahten got the advantage, and began to thunder down the track. Sheetz was right there with Ahten until the Stump Puller lost fire in a cylinder, and raw fuel began to pour out. Sheets crossed the line first with a 5.410/269.83 to Ahten’s 5.587/259.41.

As the crew drove down to pick Johnny up, a gentle rain began to fall. Ahten Racing must now...
POMONA, Calif. (November 20, 2015) – Defending NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster national champion Chris Demke completed his 2015 season at last weekend's Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway. The local favorite bowed out in an uncharacteristic first-round loss and watched as rival Joey Severance went on to win the 2015 national championship title.

Demke qualified fifth in one of the most impressive national event fields in history with a stout 5.261 et. The Peen Rite team's defense strategy was already foiled at that point, as Severance qualified on the opposite side of the ladder, meaning Demke couldn't prevent him from reaching the final round and winning the championship.

“It was somewhat of a hopeless feeling, but I was really looking forward to racing on Sunday because of the great atmospheric conditions that were going to be available. Unfortunately we lost first round due to an unknown ignition issue. I kept my foot in it for two seconds before I realized there was no chance of catching Johnny,” Demke said of his race with fire captain Johnny Ahten.

The Maddern Racing team had a “buyback” of sorts when they had the chance to lend a motor to a competitor on Severance's side of the ladder.

“We tried to take another stab at controlling things by loaning a motor to Ross Stickler. His team owner, Kevin Cantrell, came over to us looking for a spare crankshaft after first round and we told him we had one, but it had a motor and tune-up wrapped around it. We worked that evening and the next morning to get our motor transferred to his car. Unfortunately his tow strap got wrapped around the front wheel while towing up to the line and prevented Ross from running, which ended our second chance.”

Demke took a minute to reflect on the loss of championship, but was eager to offer congratulations to Severance, a first-time NHRA Lucas Oil Series national champion.

“When you're at the top, you want to stay at the top. I didn't take being champion for granted. I...
POMONA, Calif. (November 12, 2015) – Just one race, the 51st Annual Auto Club NHRA Finals, remains in Chris Demke's Top Alcohol Dragster national championship defense season. Held this weekend at the home track of Demke and his Maddern Racing team, Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the Finals is Demke's last chance at successfully defending his championship. He is in true defense mode this weekend, as all he can do is block rival Joey Severance from winning the 2015 title.

“We have our work cut out for us, but so does Joey,” Demke admitted. “We can't claim points at any more races; all we can do is block Joey and hope that we meet up with him in the semifinals or earlier. If he makes it to the final round he wins it all. It's a tall order at the Finals because there are a lot of strong cars entered for this weekend. I'm hoping for a semifinal matchup with Joey. If I have to pair up with him at any time, a semifinal pairing would make for a great story, win or lose.”

Demke and the Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products Top Alcohol Dragster recently competed at the final NHRA Lucas Oil Series regional event of the year in Las Vegas last weekend. The Jerry Maddern-led group qualified No. 1 with a 5.296, but slowed to a 5.398 in the first round of eliminations after having to swap engines.

“A couple things were missed on the engine swap and the car slowed down in the first round of eliminations. It was a bummer. We gave up the West regional championship on that run. It was unfortunate, but we'll keep our chins up heading into Pomona, hoping to hold on to the national championship.”

Before entering the final race of the season, Demke reflected on his 2015 season, which was highlighted by three national event wins (Pomona 1, Norwalk and Chicago) and three regional event victories (Las Vegas 1, Columbus and Seattle).

“It was a great year. We certainly made mistakes, but so did Joey and his team. We've done our best to give the championship back and forth to each...