Booher Starts Season with Four-Wide Runner-Up
CONCORD, N.C. (April 15) – As he anticipated, Top Alcohol Dragster driver/tuner Brandon Booher started his 2014 season in the same way he ended his last season; running in the low five-thirties and racing to the final round. The Champaign, Ill.-based driver overcame powerful A/Fuel competitors and parts breakage to persist through eliminations at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway near Charlotte last weekend.
Booher made a statement in the opening qualifying session, posting a 5.324/274 MPH blast down the race track. He backed it up with consistent 5.330 and 5.327 elapsed times during the later two qualifying sessions, but it was his first run of the season that was good enough to place him sixth in the field of nitromethane-injected A/Fuel dragsters.
“It's what I wanted the car to do,” Brandon said of his first run. “I knew we could pick up right where we left off. That sort of went with the plan of getting down the track and having something to tune off of. The 5.32 at 274 was exactly what we wanted, but things didn't go as swimmingly as I would've liked after that run.”
Booher narrowly escaped his Saturday first round race against Rich McPhillips. Brandon had to pedal his blown alcohol dragster, ultimately knocking off the supercharger and burning a piston. The numbers were astounding; Booher left the starting line first with a... [Read More]
Randy Meyer Improves at Four-Wide Nationals
April 15, 2014 – Randy Meyer, driver and team owner of the Randy Meyer Racing Team returned to zMAX Dragway to compete in the 2014 NHRA 4-Wide Nationals this past weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Meyer struggled to enter the qualifying field for the first two qualifying sessions, but he was able to make new strides on the second day of the event, placing his A/Fuel Dragster in the fourth qualifying position with a 5.29 e.t. at 274 mph.
Faced against Dan Mercier for the opening round of eliminations, Meyer made more improvements as he made the quickest and second fastest pass of the round; a consistent 5.29 e.t. at 275 mph for the win.
The second round paired Meyer up against rookie Corey Michalek. Unfortunately, Meyer’s 5.33 e.t. at 274 mph lost to a close race against Michalek’s 5.31 e.t. at 272 mph. Michalek went on to win the race.
“We fixed our problem from Friday’s qualifying and were able be back in the top half of the field. We have a great racecar and ran a good race, things are looking good for our team. Thank you to our friends and sponsors who came out to support us, and congratulations to Corey on winning his first national race,” Meyer said.
The sportsman racing of the 4-Wide Nationals will air on ESPN2 on 4/20/14 at 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET/8:00 AM – 9:00 AM PT.
Meyer will take a... [Read More]
Red-Hot Duane Shields Cools off Slightly in Round Two at Four-Wide Nationals
(Concord, N.C.) The PEAK A/Fuel Dragster continued to perform in competitive style at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals until round two where Duane Shields lost a very close race to Jackie Fricke. The PEAK Team ran well throughout qualifying as Duane put the PEAK Dragster in the number two position with a 5.25 at 275 MPH. The success in qualifying naturally spurred confidence that the PEAK Team would do well in eliminations.
In round one, Duane faced number 15 qualifier Dan Page. At the hit, Page got a sizable lead out of the hole but the “PEAK Express” ran like a cruise missile and passed Page at the 330 foot mark and held on to win the round with a respectable 5.34 at 272 MPH to Page’s competitive 5.47 at 263 MPH. “The car shook a little bit so I had to give it a quick pedal" Duane said.
Duane then moved on to the second round to race Jackie Fricke. At the hit, Fricke got a slight lead off the line with an 0.47 reaction time to Duane's 0.60 but he was still right there with her as they raced all the way down the 1,320. Both cars were side by side but Frickie got the win by just four feet as both cars ran nearly identical ETs. Duane was just a fraction quicker and posted a 5.364 at 267 MPH to Fricke’s 5.368 at 264 MPH. “We both had good lights and she ran really well. Since the car shook slightly on the last qualifying pass and... [Read More]
Simonton Going After First Win at Four-Wide Nationals
CONCORD, N.C. (April 10) – Fan favorite Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Cassie Simonton is back at zMax Dragway for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals this weekend to continue her quest for her first Wally. The immaculate Charlotte-area track has been good to the Kon Rodz Racing driver in the past, as the Minnesotan has run career-best elapsed times and speeds here. Simonton is hopeful to continue that trend after a disappointing Gatornationals outing that ended with a first round meeting with the retaining wall.
“We're confident coming into this race. We know the car has a lot of power. We struggled a little bit in Gainesville, when I hit the wall. I'm glad to be back at Charlotte. We've always run our best performances here. I'm excited to get on the track on Friday and see what the car can run,” Simonton says.
Cassie and her Spiro Kontos-owned team have optimistic goals for the Four-Wide race, eager to improve the team's best numbers.
“We're trying to push it to go faster,” Simonton claimed. “We're still trying to break into the forties; I'm not sure that the weather will permit that this weekend. The potential is there during our earlier runs in the morning. Our goal is to improve on each pass, get our consistency down, and maybe change our luck. We're usually fast in qualifying, we just need a little more luck in eliminations.”
... [Read More]
TAD Regional Champ Booher Kicking off 2014 Campaign at Four-Wide Nationals
CONCORD, N.C. (April 8) – NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster regional champion Brandon Booher is back in the United States after a two-month racing series took him to Qatar to work as a tuning consultant. The torque converter-savvy Booher is starting his 2014 campaign at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway this weekend, April 11-13.
Brandon spent most of his “offseason” in Qatar, joining Brandon Snider's ADRL Pro Extreme team as a tuning consultant. After working on and running the blown-alcohol Pro Mod almost daily, Booher is excited to be back to tuning and driving his AB Constuction/Torque MGMT dragster.
“When I got back from Qatar, I was almost burnt out from racing. We basically ran a full season's worth of runs in six weeks straight. I slowly started getting things ready, but the season starting on the west coast really motivated me to get everything ready for our season. Now I'm fully prepared to start off right where we left off,” Brandon said, hinting at his first-ever national event win at the Carolina Nationals here last September.
The Top Alcohol Dragster landscape has been altered slightly since the Booher Racing team last raced. Two-time national champion Jim Whiteley retired from the class. The rival nitro-injected A/Fuel teams were awarded three beneficial rule changes over the winter. Despite... [Read More]
Meyer Takes First in Qualifying at Power in the Park
Randy Meyer Racing recently competed in the Power in the Park event on April 4-5th at Virginia Motorsports Park for the first NHRA Northeast Regional event of the year.
At the end of the day on Friday, team-owner and driver, Randy Meyer, sat 5th in the Top Alcohol Dragster qualifying ranks with a 5.70 e.t. at 268 mph. However, with the second session pushed to Saturday, he was able to improve his tune-up and push the car to run a quick 5.25 e.t. at 273 mph, earning the number one spot in qualifying.
Meyer continued his streak of being untouchable in the opening round of eliminations, as he was able to improve his time and ran low e.t. of the race with a 5.23 e.t. at 275 mph against John Finke’s 5.34 e.t. at 270 mph.
For the second round, Meyer was up against Jackie Fricke, the number 4 qualifier. Meyer was not unable to get around Fricke as he had to quick-pedal the car to stay in the run, running a 5.36 e.t. at 271 mph to Fricke’s 5.32 e.t. at 267 mph.
“It felt great,” said Meyer as he commented on how the car is back to being one of the quickest in the field. “The car has improved greatly since our last outing at the GatorNationals in Gainesville. We plan on being the quickest again at Charlotte, and get the win.”
The Randy Meyer Racing Team will compete next in Charlotte, North Carolina at zMAX Dragway... [Read More]
The Kenan Advantage Group Joins Michalek Brothers Racing for 2014
Michalek Brothers Racing (MBR) is extremely pleased to announce a partnership agreement with the Kenan Advantage Group, Inc. (KAG). KAG will support MBR during the 2014 season and will serve as the team’s primary sponsor during the 8th Annual Mickey Mart Rewards Cavalcade of Stars NHRA Lucas Oil regional event at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, OH May 16-18.
“It is an honor to be partnered with an industry leading organization such as KAG,” said Kyle. “We are looking forward to introducing KAG to NHRA drag racing and, more importantly, introducing race fans to the exciting job opportunities available at KAG.”
KAG is actively seeking commercial truck drivers including company drivers and owner-operators, mechanics, and tank washers to join their growing team, and has partnered with MBR to help recruit new employees.
“There is a huge number of racing fans in the logistics and transportation industry, specifically commercial truck drivers and mechanics”, said Kyle. “KAG is experiencing strong growth, and has many positions that need to be filled; we plan to help by spreading the good news about job opportunities with KAG to the racing community.”
Job opportunities are available nationally and KAG currently has open positions in 44 states. Please visit thekag.com/employment for a full list of available... [Read More]
Ashley Sanford Sets Career-Best Numbers at Vegas
LAS VEGAS (April 2) – Gelish A/Fuel Dragster driver Ashley Sanford made great strides at last weekend's NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The young Californian set multiple career-best numbers during qualifying and testing. Sanford lost a close first round race, but the outing was a big step forward for Ashley and her team.
“We were struggling for a while when the season started. We just couldn't figure out why we couldn't get the car to go down the track. That went on for weeks; eleven consecutive passes where it either shook or smoked the tires. We took a few steps back and found problems in the clutch. Once we started to fix the little issues we started making full pulls,” Ashley said.
Sanford started the race with a 5.38 at 270 MPH run, a career-best speed at the time, in the opening qualifying session. She followed that pass with a 5.309/268, enough to place the Gelish dragster second in the qualifying order.
“That first thirty-eight on Friday, man was that exciting,” Sanford exclaimed. “We weren't expecting that. And to back it up with a thirty flat? We were on cloud nine. All of the hard work to fight through the struggle was worth it. It was very rewarding to see those numbers.”
The Gelish Gel Nail Polish/America's Best Value Inns A/Fuel team entered first round of... [Read More]
Demke and Maddern Racing Team Humbled by Vegas Second Round Loss
LAS VEGAS (April 1) – Another Vegas early exit was not what Chris Demke and his Maddern Racing team mates were looking for when they returned to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Racing at the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals, Demke qualified No. 3 with a satisfying 5.328/269 MPH, but his Peen Rite Top Alcohol Dragster was back on the trailer after the second round of eliminations.
“The weekend started good. Our plan for the weekend was to start running low thirties again. Our tune-up for the car worked great for the first round of qualifying. We were quite pleased with that first run. Things went downhill from there. It was a combination of tune-up and technical issues,” Chris said.
Chris' Peen Rite/Operational Solutions/Boost Performance Products blown alcohol dragster won the first round match with Derik Milanesio, 5.389 to 5.60. Disappointment followed in the next round, where Demke's 5.429 lost a close race to Don St. Arnaud's 5.403.
“Certainly we didn't want to go out second round,” Demke added. “Don St. Arnaud keeps whoopin' my butt. Our team is better than this. I know we can do better. Going out second round just doesn't show our team's full potential.”
Discouraged from two consecutive weeks of early round losses, Chris and the Peen Rite team have elected to take a step back and diagnose the... [Read More]
Hunter Qualifies No. 2, Races to Vegas Semifinal
LAS VEGAS (April 1) – Synoil Racing Top Alcohol Funny Car driver Greg Hunter capped off a two-race swing in Las Vegas with another semifinal finish, this time at the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals. The Geoff Goodwin-owned team had the car running consistently quick, allowing Greg to qualify a career-high No. 2 and race to the penultimate round.
“We always try to go into a race with every intention of winning. I don't know if I would say surprised, but we were definitely super-happy about qualifying No. 2. Once we realized we were running pretty good we wanted the No. 1 back,” said Hunter.
While his 5.660 and 5.628 runs in the last two sessions weren't enough to take the top spot, Greg's strong 5.610 from the opening qualifying session held up for No. 2. Hunter drove the Synoil Energy Services/ExactAir Top Alcohol Funny car to 5.658 and 5.686 victories over Dave Germain and Sean Bellemeur. The Synoil car smoked the tires for the first time all weekend during Greg's semifinal race against Jay Payne.
The tire smoke was a surprise for both the driver and team.
“We didn't really change much on the tune-up, so we didn't expect the car to smoke the tires as bad as it did. I was in the less-favorable lane and we just didn't have what it was looking for. We tried our best. I did my best to correct it and get the car to hook up... [Read More]