NORWALK, Ohio (May 20) -- Only a few races into his Top Alcohol Dragster career, Troy Coughlin Jr. drove the McPhillips Racing rail to the winner's circle by dominating the Cavalcade of Stars presented by Budweiser Sunday in what was clearly the best car of the meet.

"Winning this race in this car with this team, right here in the great state of Ohio at this track, it just doesn't get any better," Coughlin said. "To be the No. 1 qualifier and convert that into a race win is very satisfying. I've known from the start this McPhillips Racing team was capable of winning and dominating like this and to have it come together after just a handful of starts says a lot about this tenacious crew."

It's the 13th victory for the Delaware, Ohio native but his first in the Top Alcohol Dragster class. He's previously won races in Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Pro, and also has competed in Top Fuel and Pro Mod, where he was rookie of the year in 2015.

"Rich McPhillips and his son Rich Jr. are phenomenal tuners," Coughlin said. "My crew guys, Duke Roney, Andy Good and Charlie Wrotten on the dragster and Justin Beaver on my other racecars, they are all top-notch mechanics. My dad (three-time and reigning Pro Mod champ Troy Coughlin) and my fiancé Brenna ("

Troy Jr. qualified No. 1 with a best pass of 5.303 seconds at 276.52 mph and beat John Paul Gutierrez, Mike Kosky and Brandon Greco to score the trophy.

Although they ended the day in the winner's circle celebrating Troy Jr.'s amazing day, Mike and Paige both exited in Round 1 at the same event, Mike in Top Dragster and Paige in Super Comp.


Female Top Alcohol Dragster and Funny Car racing stars Megan Meyer and Annie Whiteley shared the winner’s stage to highlight the list of champions at the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Megan, the daughter of championship tuner Randy Meyer, collected her third national event win in the last three years, earning her first one at zMAX Dragway in 2016.

Megan won her first NHRA National event of 2018 by beating chassis builder Dan Page in the final round, 5.192 to 5.250. Megan, who was also the low qualifier with an impressive 5.168 ET, 283.73 MPH blast, was solidly in the 5.2s through the first three rounds in her wins against Krista Baldwin, Duane Shields, and first-year alcohol racer Troy Coughlin Jr.


Photo: NHRA

Megan went on to also hold low qualifier, low ET and top speed of the meet at the following race at Atlanta Dragway with a 5.22 ET at 277 MPH. Megan got a single run in the opening round of eliminations as Dan Lucas broke after the burnout, followed by a competition bye in second round. Megan once again took down Dan Page in the semi-finals, but ultimately lost to Josh Hart in the final round of the NHRA Southern Nationals.

Megan went on to also hold low qualifier, low ET and top speed of the meet at the following race at Atlanta Dragway with a 5.22 ET at 277 MPH. Megan got a single run in the opening round of eliminations as Dan Lucas broke after the burnout, followed by a competition bye in second round. Megan once again took down Dan Page in the semi-finals, but ultimately lost to Josh Hart in the final round of the NHRA Southern Nationals.
Atlanta - Duane Shields and the PEAK Team didn’t have the outing in Atlanta they were hoping for. It turned out to be a rare, off pace weekend for the popular A/Fuel Dragster team. On Saturday, there was a tragic accident during the first round of the Top Sportsman class which understandably cast a pall over the remainder of the event.

Duane qualified tenth over all with a 5.41 at 267 MPH. In round one, Duane lost a very close race to Dan Page. Page won the round with a 5.30 at 271 MPH to Duane’s valiant 5.34 at 272 MPH. “It was a difficult weekend for us but congratulations to my PEAK teammate Jay Payne for winning in the Top Alcohol Funny Car class” Duane said.

Next, the PEAK team moves up the East Coast to Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvania for an NHRA regional event, May 25-27. The PEAK team would like to give their condolences to the family of Randy Alexander who was involved in the crash on Saturday. The team would also like to thank PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil, Final Charge, Blue Def, NGK, GRP and Brad Anderson Enterprises for their continued support.
Charlotte - Duane Shields in the PEAK A/FuelDragster made it to the quarterfinal round at the NHRA NGK Spark Plugs Four - Wide Nationals following a disappointing regional event last weekend in Virginia. At that event the PEAK Dragster recorded a 5.27 at 273 MPH which would normally be competitive at any event. But sadly it was not enough in Virginia to get into a tight 8 car field. Duane just missed getting in the show as the ninth qualifier and found himself as the first alternate in what is now the quickest field in Top Alcohol Dragster history.

With the sting from the Virginia race behind them, the PEAK team moved on to Charlotte and quickly turned things around by qualifying eighth with a solid 5.31 at 271 MPH. This would ensure a first round showdown with Karen Stalba. As the lights came down, Duane was long gone with an 0.096 reaction time to Stalba’s 0.155. Duane also took care of Stalba at the top end of the track by securing the victory with a 5.32 at 272 MPH to Stalba’s 5.50 at 267 MPH.

In the quarter finals, Duane would face Megan Meyer who qualified first with a 5.16. At the hit, Duane left on Meyer with an 0.047 reaction time to Meyer’s 0.077. Duane continued his lead past the 60 foot mark but by the eighth mile Meyer moved ahead and was able to keep the candles lit to the finish line. She grabbed the win with a 5.23 at 277 MPH to Duane’s 5.33 at 273 MPH. “The car shook out there which slowed us down” Duane explained.

This coming weekend the PEAK Team will compete in Atlanta for the NHRA Southern 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.

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CHARLOTTE (April 29) -- For the second race in a row, six-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. raced his Performance Chevrolet Camaro to a top-half qualifying effort and a semifinal finish, signaling a continued change of fortune for the 76-time national event winner.

Adding to the fun at the ninth annual NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals were the similar results posted by Jeg Jr.'s nephew Troy Jr. in Top Alcohol Dragster.

Fellow Team JEGS racers Clay Coughlin (Junior Dragster), Samantha Coughlin (Super Comp) and Paige Coughlin (Super Comp) also were in action this weekend.

"It was a good weekend for us," Jeg Jr. said. "Just like Houston, we had a top-five car every round so we're certainly pleased to have a competitive racecar again. And for the second weekend in a row, one of my Elite Performance teammates won the race so things are certainly on a big upswing. It's an exciting time."

After qualifying sixth overall with a 6.558-second pass at 210.90 mph, Jeg Jr. roared to life on race day of the unique four-wide race, winning his opening-round quad with his best run of the weekend, a 6.515 at 212.66 mph. Teammate Vincent Nobile was second with a 6.513 at 212.16 mph, while last week's winner Matt Hartford spun his tires and coasted to the finish, drifting alongside Alan Prusiensky.

"Having two other Elite-powered cars in Round 1, we knew we'd have our hands full right from the start," Jeg Jr. said. "The guys did a great job setting up the JEGS Camaro and we had a really strong run. We just kind of fine-tuned from there for the next session."

In a semifinal quad of drivers that ended with all four drivers posting 6.54-second passes, Coughlin slipped to third place by a fraction of a second, watching Chris McGaha and Nobile advance to the final.

"We just spun a little in second and third gear and that very slight loss of momentum was enough to knock us out," Jeg Jr. said. "We needed .008 of a second more to get to the finals but...
By Bobby Bennett

Justin Ashley had a date with destiny on Saturday night.

The second-generation drag racer captured an impressive victory winning the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Div. 1 Top Alcohol Dragster crown behind the wheel of the Randy Meyer Racing entry at Virginia Motorsports Park, located outside of Richmond, Va, But this simply wasn't just another victory.

Ashley not only qualified #2 in the quickest-ever NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster field (5.265 bump) but also stopped Jared Dreher in the final round to capture his first-ever divisional title.

It seemed like yesterday that the 24-year old real estate developer was at VMP, then 8, watching his father Mike Ashley score his first victory behind the wheel a supercharged car.

"The car ran so well all weekend," Ashley said. "We were able to keep the car in the teens all weekend, and we needed to be there because this was the quickest field in Top Alcohol Dragster history. The competition out here was simply amazing."

Ashley fired his first shot in qualifying with a 5.177, 277.66 pass to land #2 behind Richard Rourke's 5.161.

Ashley said this kind of performance was the kind he'd envisioned when he declared his team would compete for a Top Alcohol Dragster title.

"Anytime I get behind the wheel of this car, Randy Meyer and his team put me in a position to win," Ashley explained. "This is the kind of performance we expect week in and week out."

Ashley's march to the winner's circle began with his quickest run of the weekend, a 5.141, to stop Julie Nataas. He then used an .04 light and a 5.158 to lead Dan Page through the lights.

In the final round, Ashley outreacted Dreher and scored the victory with a 5.238. Dreher slowed to a 7.164 for runner-up.

Ashley believes the key to the weekend success was getting off on the right foot on Friday.

"I think running the 5.19 out of the trailer...
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was the place to be for race fans. People from all over the world filled the stands to witness the inaugural four-wide event at the Las Vegas track. The speedway had a sell-out crowd for the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.

Fans showed up in droves to feel the energy and be a part of the historical event. Four-Wide drag racing has established itself in the Western Region and from the response of the fans and race competitors, you can bet it’s here to stay.

Once again, Team Litton Racing joined forces with Randy Meyer Racing to compete in the Top Alcohol Dragster division. Although race fans were eager to get the first glimpse of the newly constructed track, breaking in a new strip can bring many challenges for the driver and race team.

Driver Bill Litton, Crew Chief Randy Meyer, Assistant Crew Chief Dan Pomponio, and crew members Mary, JJ, Howard, Ted, and Glenn knew they had to bring their A – game. The first round of qualifying took off with a smooth run reaching the finish line in 5.42 seconds @ 270 mph. Driver Litton rolled into the next round of qualifying 5.39 @ 271 mph holding on to the #6 spot. The 3rd and final qualifying run on Saturday showed improvement, finishing at 5.34 @ 272.9 mph still holding on to the #6 qualifying spot. “After a trick race track, being an all new surface, we have come out in pretty good shape. Bill being the #6 qualifier with 5.34, looking pretty good going into eliminations," said Chief Meyer. "On Saturday we will be running first round eliminations to see if we can continue onward up the eliminations ladder, and hope for the best."
After qualifying in a solid position, Driver Bill Litton was optimistic going into first round eliminations. Per Litton, “Randy, Dan,...
John Lombardo Jr. and the NAPA Auto Parts/Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Funny Car team shook down their new McKinney car during testing at Auto Club Famoso Raceway.

LAS VEGAS, April 4, 2018 – John Lombardo Jr. is ready to make his 2018 season debut at this weekend’s DENSO Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas with a new car and the same mindset that drove the NAPA Auto Parts/Lucas Oil Chevy Camaro Top Alcohol Funny Car team to nine total wins in 2017.

Though eager to begin his pursuit of the 2018 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series championship, Lombardo and team patiently put a new race car together while others put their first competitive runs in the books in Pomona and Gainesville. Once the thorough process was completed at the team’s Southern California headquarters, they gained valuable information with the new frame at a test session at Auto Club Famoso Raceway before venturing out to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Lombardo doesn’t foresee five months’ time elapsed or a whole new race car tempering the considerable momentum he gained with wins in Las Vegas and Pomona to close the 2017 season in November. He drives with confidence knowing that the team surrounding him has immaculately prepared the supercharged, methanol-burning hot rod.

“Rick Jackson, Chris Perl, and crew are known to take first class race cars to the starting line,” said Lombardo. “Their efforts produce results as evidenced by nine wins in 17 races last year, including Vegas and Pomona in November. Our offseason has been a bit longer than normal, but it was extremely busy and productive.

“We are debuting a new McKinney Camaro and starting our season this weekend at Las Vegas. I can't wait to let the clutch out and pour the power to it, so we can see what this car needs to run up front and trigger those win lights!”

The reigning Central Region champion had a fruitful 2017 campaign with nine victories that included a perfect six-for-six sweep in...
Gainesville FL - Duane Shields, didn’t make it to the NHRA Gatornationals Winner's Circle this time but still had a good weekend by making it to the semi-finals before getting stopped by a loss of traction. “I’m disappointed. We were on a roll and thought we were heading for another final round appearance but it didn’t work out this time” Duane said.

Duane qualified the PEAK A/Fuel Dragster in the top half of the field with a scorching 5.22 at 274 MPH. His qualifying run was good for 4th in the final run order of the Top Alcohol Dragster class.

In round one, Duane easily disposed of Robin Samsel. Duane was on his game and won the round at both ends of the track as he beat Samsel off the line with an 0.053 to his 0.084. At the finish line it was Duane taking the win with a 5.29 at 271 MPH to Samsel’s valiant 5.34 at 264 MPH.

In round two, Duane faced off with Jordan Vandergriff. At the hit, Vandergriff got the stating line advantage but didn’t have the power to over come the PEAK Dragster as Duane made up for his slight starting line deficit instantly with a potent 5.23 at 276 MPH to Vandergriff’s slower 5.37 at 273 MPH.

In the semifinals, Duane raced Josh Hart. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the close race that everyone was expecting. Hart got the starting line advantage and never looked back as he scored the victory with a 5.27 at 273 MPH. Sadly for Duane, he immediately went up in smoke at the tap of the throttle and had to reluctantly conceded the race. “The weather warmed up and the track got a little tricky and we lost traction. Some of the cars that were running hard all weekend began to smoke the tires as well” Duane said.

The PEAK team will take a brief break after three races in a row and then return to action April 20-22 when they move on to Virginia Motorsports Park for a Lucas Oil Regional event. 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...
The track and weather conditions made it tough for the Randy Meyer Racing Team to continue their success from the 2017 season to 2018, but were able to walk away with a third place finish at both Regional races between 3 of their drivers.

The first event of the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series’ Central Region was held in Belle Rose, Louisiana the first weekend of March – a race that was typically held a month later. With a stout field the team pushed their two Top Alcohol Dragsters to power down the track as the quickest and fastest, and were able to do so with Megan Meyer’s NGK Spark Plugs race car. Unfortunately, tuning problems with Julie Nataas’s dragster caused her to qualify eighth, a first round set up for both girls to compete against each other.

Although this is not the ideal match for the opening round of eliminations for the team, the girls had a hard-fought race and the victory went to Megan as Julie had a -.002 red light. Megan went on to lose to Jackie Fricke in the following round due to tire shake on the track, despite the low E.T. she ran.


“I didn’t experience smoking the tires until my fifth race in an Alcohol Dragster, which was in Pomona earlier this year,” Julie said. “In Louisiana I learned a lot again; smoking the tires two out of the tree qualifying passes, getting used to it and know how to recover from it. In the final session, the car was going fast but was shaking to the point where I couldn’t see the finish line, so after half track I stepped off the gas and pulled the parachutes. We wanted a clean plass down the race track so that I didn’t have to race my teammate first round, but I was pretty upset that we didn’t qualify better. After losing two races on a holeshot last year, I wanted to cut a light against Megan but tried too hard and the red light start ended it for me in Louisiana. I look forward to coming back next year and...