HOUSTON (April 23) -- Mia Tedesco made a name for herself last year by becoming the first female driver in class history to win a world title in Super Gas. But "Miss Mia" also is a talented Top Alcohol Dragster driver, as witnessed by her impressive runner-up finish Sunday at the 30th annual NHRA Spring Nationals.

"Coming in with a new car this year and figuring out the bugs, if they had told me we'd go to a final this early in the season I would have taken that in a heartbeat," Tedesco said. "We are very pleased, especially after making the quickest and fastest pass we've ever had in this particular car. It was just a great weekend. Only one person is happier than we are at this point, and that's Joey (Severence)."

Severance simply had the better racecar this weekend. With the trophy on the line, the event's top qualifier beat No. 2 qualifier Tedesco with a stout 5.203 at 275.39 mph to Tedesco's 5.445 at 264.70 mph.

"Joey made a fantastic run just now that would have been hard to beat under any circumstances," Tedesco said. "After the pedalfest against Megan (Meyer) in the semifinals so we knew we had to back it down a little bit to try to get from A-to-B and take a shot at beating Severence. It was hard to get everything together in time for the finals but we did and we ended up having a good race. He was just too much for us today."

Tedesco started strong in the first round of eliminations Saturday night, easily beating 15th-ranked qualifier Karl Brounkowski with a 5.368 at 267.37 mph to Brounkowski's 5.619 at 241.41 mph.

An overnight cooling trend allowed for Tedesco's CARS Vehicle Service Contracts/Schepel Motors/NGK/Lucas Oil race team to tune up her dragster even more and she responded with a streaking 5.218 at 272.61 mph to beat Alan Bradshaw, who shutoff early and drifted to a 7.284 at 150.85 mph.

"Conditions were really good that round," Tedesco said. "The track also was really good. I heard some of the Top Fuel and Funny Car making...
HOUSTON (April 23) -- Mia Tedesco made a name for herself last year by becoming the first female driver in class history to win a world title in Super Gas. But "Miss Mia" also is a talented Top Alcohol Dragster driver, as witnessed by her impressive runner-up finish Sunday at the 30th annual NHRA Spring Nationals.

"Coming in with a new car this year and figuring out the bugs, if they had told me we'd go to a final this early in the season I would have taken that in a heartbeat," Tedesco said. "We are very pleased, especially after making the quickest and fastest pass we've ever had in this particular car. It was just a great weekend. Only one person is happier than we are at this point, and that's Joey (Severence)."

Severance simply had the better racecar this weekend. With the trophy on the line, the event's top qualifier beat No. 2 qualifier Tedesco with a stout 5.203 at 275.39 mph to Tedesco's 5.445 at 264.70 mph.

"Joey made a fantastic run just now that would have been hard to beat under any circumstances," Tedesco said. "After the pedalfest against Megan (Meyer) in the semifinals so we knew we had to back it down a little bit to try to get from A-to-B and take a shot at beating Severence. It was hard to get everything together in time for the finals but we did and we ended up having a good race. He was just too much for us today."

Tedesco started strong in the first round of eliminations Saturday night, easily beating 15th-ranked qualifier Karl Brounkowski with a 5.368 at 267.37 mph to Brounkowski's 5.619 at 241.41 mph.

An overnight cooling trend allowed for Tedesco's CARS Vehicle Service Contracts/Schepel Motors/NGK/Lucas Oil race team to tune up her dragster even more and she responded with a streaking 5.218 at 272.61 mph to beat Alan Bradshaw, who shutoff early and drifted to a 7.284 at 150.85 mph.

"Conditions were really good that round," Tedesco said. "The track also was really good. I heard some of the Top Fuel and Funny Car making...
At the NHRA Nitro on the Bayou event held at No Problem Raceway last year, Megan Meyer fought her way to the final round but came up a few thousandths short of a victory. This year, the Louisiana-based track saw her dominate the field and take home the win.

Tuned by her father and World Champion driver, Randy Meyer, Megan claimed the number one spot in her first hit down the track with a 5.26 E.T. at 275 mph. Out of the 14 dragsters at the event, she held the top spot even after sitting out the third qualifying session. The opening round of eliminations on Sunday paired Megan up against Dean Dubbin, who could not get the car into reverse after his burnout and had to escort the car immediately. On her solo run, Megan slowed to a 5.33 E.T. at 274 mph but still held lane choice for second round.

“It’s unfortunate for Dean and his team to not be able to make the pass first round,” Megan said. “Dean is a good friend of ours and they are just working out the kinks in their new Copeland-built dragster. It’s never in our interest to take a win on a bye. I love competing against these guys and I cheer them on even if they take me out.”

The Meyer family defeated Robin Samsel in the second round of eliminations with a 5.32 E.T. at 273 mph, but noticed a puff of smoke at the top end of the track, resulting in a hurt cylinder head. The team quickly replaced the head and made sure it was firing on all 8 before heading up to the staging lanes to face Jackie Fricke. This is the third time that two females have faced each other in the finals at a regional race. Megan was off the line first and ran the quickest and fastest pass of the weekend, also setting the track record, with a 5.23 E.T. at 279 mph for the Nitro on the Bayou win.

Annie Whiteley also won in Top Alcohol Funny Car, making it the first time that two female drivers in the Alcohol classes have won an event.

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“This is a weekend to remember,” Megan stated....
Las Vegas, NV. – At last weekend’s NHRA Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Johnny Ahten grabbed the No.1 qualifying position and is looking to carry that positive vibe over to Regional action this weekend.

“Grabbing the No.1 qualifying spot felt great under difficult weather and track conditions,” said Ahten. “Our 5.322@265.53 on Friday was enough to hold up throughout qualifying. Then we got a first round win over James Stevens on a holeshot, with his 5.379@266.95 being quicker than our 5.426@267.80. Lady Luck was on our side on that one. We went into Sunday’s second round with high expectations, but we suffered a tough loss. Our pit space was very quiet for quite a while. We are going to make best of that experience and move on. We all are very motivated to go back racing."

This weekend’s Regional event will have its own set of challenges. Many of the top hitters will be in attendance. There are also a few nagging issues mechanically that Johnny, crew chief Al Ahten and racing partner Howard Katano need to sort through. Bob Ahten and Kevin “Shark Colvell will be there to make sure things are right and tight.



Regional events are not as busy as National events, but the stress of strong competition and the desire to win still looms large. The Island Renovations / Combust Filters team is motivated and hungry. Once again this weekend, associate sponsors DJ Safety and EPHA products are being highlighted.

If Johnny Ahten has his way, there will be many Regional highlights to share. He has not given up on Lady Luck, instead choosing to make his own with the help of the Stump Puller, his crew and determination. Stay in touch with Johnny and Ahten Racing at facebook.com/JohnnyAhtenRacing, and on Twitter and Instagram at: @Ahtenracing and on Pinterest at pinterest.com/Ahten



Island Renovations understands the complexity of Hawaii's homes and their customers’ needs. Whether you are looking to...
Las Vegas, NV. – Johnny Ahten is not the kind of guy to take chances, but this weekend in Las Vegas at the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals it’s time to step up at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The first two races of the year have not yielded the results Ahten is looking for. Now just a few miles from the craps tables and slot machines, he is looking for just a small handout from lady luck.

“I’m not real big on hitting the casinos, the only thing I want in my hand this weekend is a steering wheel and brake handle,” said Ahten. “There’s only one way to beat a royal flush, and that’s with an A/Fuel dragster. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and give us some good air and low temps. Our team has put the work in and so far we have been rewarded with more work.”

In the weeks following the Phoenix regional, Johnny and Al Ahten installed a fresh motor, went through the tune-up options and they are now ready to deal with whatever the tricky track and stiff competition brings.

“We have run well in Vegas and the last time we raced here at the Fall Regional race we runner-upped,” added Ahten.

Major sponsors Island Renovations and Combust Filters remain, with the Vegas spotlights shining on featured sponsors DJ Safety and EPHA products. Making sure the Stump Puller is up to task is crew chief Al Ahten,racing partner Howard Katano, Bob Ahten, Kevin "Shark" Colvell, John Mark and Bobby Langston lending a hand. Johnny Ahten will continue his clutch management duties, all the while keeping an eye out for that lucky lady.

Stay in touch with Johnny and Ahten Racing at facebook.com/JohnnyAhtenRacing, and on Twitter and Instagram at: @Ahtenracing and on Pinterest at pinterest.com/ahten




Island Renovations understands the complexity of Hawaii's homes and their customers’ needs. Whether you are looking to build, remodel, or replace your existing windows and doors, Island Renovations is there to provide outstanding service...
Words Brad Littlefield

The successful national event debut of Justin Ashley in Top Alcohol Dragster could figuratively be described as being shot out of a cannon.

That's what the 22-year-old driver must have felt like in a physical sense with how hard the Epic Motorsports Marketing/Randy Meyer Racing A/Fuel dragster planted him in the seat during a barrage of 5.1-second, 280-mph performances.

Ashley, son of former Funny Car and Pro Mod competitor Mike, added the New York-based family to the list of NHRA family winners in a dominant performance. He ran a 5.150, now the sixth-quickest run in class history, right off the trailer and followed that up with a 5.143, the fourth-quickest run ever. He and teammate Megan Meyer, who won the East Region opener the previous weekend, qualified Nos. 1 and 2 with Meyer running a 5.153 which equaled the ninth-quickest run ever.

“It’s a big help,” Ashley said of his teammate. “It’s very easy to relate because of the similarities – we’re around the same age, both our fathers raced for a long time, things like that. To be able to lean on someone for guidance and understanding how to drive better is huge. She has been tremendously helpful to me.”

Ashley was also aided by the flawless preparation of the entry by the Randy Meyer Racing team and the mental pointers by his father.

“It makes my job that much easier as a driver,” said Ashley. “I used the same approach in the first qualifying round as I did in the final. I tried to do everything right mechanically, cut the best light I could, and keep it straight. Randy Meyer did everything he possibly could to make my job easy.”

Ashley stayed mired in the 5.1s throughout eliminations until he took on defending event champion and class veteran Rich McPhillips in the final. The injected nitro burners traded the lead a couple times until Ashley’s horsepower won out to grant the impressive rookie his first victory 5.232 to 5.258 decision.

“The race was back and forth, and I had...
At the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., Annie and Steven Whiteley became the first mother and son in NHRA history to double up at a national event, Annie scoring for the fourth time in her Top Alcohol Funny Car career and Steven for the first time ever in Pro Mod.

Team leader Jim Whiteley termed the landmark double-up for his wife and son nothing less than the highlight of his illustrious career. "This means more than any race I ever won," said Jim, who won 24 national events, 24 divisionals races, and two NHRA championships in Top Alcohol Dragster. "If none of us ever wins again, this weekend makes my whole drag racing career worthwhile."

Both started from the No. 5 spot – Annie with a 5.45 and Steven with a 5.80 that topped the early qualifying charts – and both made the fastest runs of their lives in the final. Annie hit 273.22 mph on a single when two-time Gatornationals winner Dan Pomponio was unable to appear. Steven hit 253.52 mph in a career-best 5.791 seconds to train-length runner-up Mike Castellana, whose Frank Manzo-tuned entry blew the tires off in low gear in the Pro Mod finale.

"It's just an unbelievable feeling," said Steven, who ran the Pro Mod final in the very next pair after his mom scored in TAFC. "When she won, it really sent the pressure on me through the roof. I thought, 'Now, I have to win this thing.' "

Annie faced a different kind of pressure. "It's weird being on a single in the final," she said. "You think of the ignition quitting or some dumb little thing breaking. What happens then? Does nobody win? I didn't really know. I made sure the Tree was definitely on, left, and it was just a perfect run." Her 5.41 was the second-quickest run of her career, behind only the low e.t. 5.40 she ran in the semifinals against No. 1 qualifier and defending Gainesville champ John Lombardo, and her speed topped the 273.05 she ran in the semi's.
Gainesville - The 48th annual Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals weren't too kind to Duane Shields and the PEAK A/Fuel Dragster team. Unfortunately, they suffered a close first round loss to end a three race stanza which included a regional event in Phoenix, Arizona and a pair of races in Gainesville, Florida.

Even with the loss, Duane was still on his game qualifying in the top half of another tough field as the seventh seed with an impressive 5.27 at 279 MPH. “The conditions were so good in Gainesville that it could make anyone into an instant hero. Everyone in the class stepped up so we gave the car a more aggressive tune up. But that increases the risk of losing traction” Duane said.

In round one, Duane took on reining East Coast Regional Champ, Rich McPhillips, who qualified tenth with a 5.31 at 266 MPH. As the dragsters left the line, McPhillips got the starting line advantage but then got slightly out of the grove allowing Duane to nearly close the gap but McPhillips crossed the finish line before Duane was able to pass him. McPhillips rang up another 5.31 at 270 MPH over Duane’s 5.39 at 278 MPH. “It shook early into the run so I had to pedal. The 5.39 is the slowest we have run since the beginning of the season in Pomona. But this is a race where consistency could have won. I’m disappointed but I have to say that I’m really proud of my team. They have really worked hard over the last three weeks and have done a great job” Duane said.

The PEAK team now takes a short break before returning to action April 21-23 in Richmond VA for a Lucas Oil Regional event. “This break comes at the right time so we can regroup and do some testing before the next race in Richmond. We need to step it up in order to stay with the top cars in the class” he said. As always, Duane would like to thank his sponsors PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil, Final Charge, Blue Def, NGK, GRP and Brad Anderson Enterprises.
Florida’s Burnyzz Speed Shop has agreed to partner with the NHRA’s premier Top Alcohol Dragster team, Randy Meyer Racing, for the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals this weekend. The Gatornationals will be held at Gainesville Raceway, just one hour North of Ocala where Burnyzz is located.

Burnyzz was founded in 2009 and has grown into a dealership of classic cars. The speed shop offers services such as paint, vintage installations, motor swaps, interior restorations, and dyno tuning. Burnyzz also encourages consignments and storage of American classic cars. Josh Hart, who also competes in the Top Alcohol Dragster class, is the owner of Burnyzz and sees great potential of the new partnership in the TAD class.

The Randy Meyer Racing Team visited Burnyzz after winning their first regional race of the year at Gainesville Raceway. Megan Meyer, who finished fourth in the nation last year, competed in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event and qualified in the second position. Her teammate, Justin Ashley, claimed the number one position, but had a failure with the fuel pump and was unable to compete in first round. Megan took down Jackie Fricke in the opening round with a 5.25 E.T. at 276 mph, followed by a 5.29 E.T. at 274 mph to defeat Mia Tedesco in the semi-finals. In the final round of eliminations, Megan had the starting line advantage and never looked back as she defeated Rich Bourke with a 5.24 E.T. at 276 to Bourke’s 5.38 E.T. at 251 mph. This is Megan’s first Lucas Oil Regional event win, and the Randy Meyer Racing Team’s 40th NHRA win.

“Josh Hart is a great competitor,” said Megan. “His performance on the track grows each race and it makes for great racing. We built a friendship at the races after I won the 4-Wide Nationals last year against Josh in the finals. We look forward to building the Burnyzz brand with Josh’s Fearless Racing Team. There is a lot to come...
Megan Meyer, a rising star in the Top Alcohol Dragster category, took home her first Lucas Oil Drag Racing League win at Gainesville Raceway on March 11. This is the first time the Randy Meyer Racing Team won the Southeast Division event.

Megan qualified in the number two position with a 5.239 E.T. at 274 mph. She defeated Jackie Fricke in the opening round of eliminations with a 5.257 at 276 mph, and slowed down to a 5.290 E.T. at 274 mph to take down Mia Tedesco in the semi-finals. Megan was matched up against the number five qualifier, Rich Bourke for the final round. Megan’s car picked up speed and she got the win with a 5.24 E.T. at 276 mph.

“We had an outstanding weekend for our first Lucas Oil Regional race of the year qualifying in the top 2 spots and taking home the win,” Said Meyer. “I was not planning on competing in the race but because my car ran great in testing we decided to enter Thursday night. We had just enough supplies and not enough crew members to run the two cars, but we worked together to make it happen.”

“Once Justin locked in the number 1 position we left his car alone and tried to get my car into the top half. We finally got the second qualifying spot on our third try and we're confident with both cars going into eliminations. Unfortunately Justin's fuel pump shaft broke while trying to start the car for first round, so he was not able to make the run against Josh Hart. But this was a blessing in disguise for us so we could focus on the one car.”

“We had the better car all day and although we lost lane choice going into the finals, we were able to use the cool track conditions to our advantage and get the win. This was an exciting weekend for us as it is my first regional win, our team’s 22nd regional win, and 40th NHRA win.”

The team is very confident in both of their A/Fuel Dragsters going into the NHRA GatorNationals. Qualifying begins Friday and will conclude on Saturday, followed by eliminations.