CONCORD, NC. (April 26, 2016) – A/Fuel dragster rookie Megan Meyer and her family-based team continue to impress in their bid for the NHRA Lucas Oil Series Top Alcohol Dragster national championship. Meyer drove her Racers Evolved dragster to her first national event victory at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals last Sunday, marking just her second national event start.

Meyer, the daughter of 2003 world championship tuner Randy Meyer, qualified number two with a 5.252 ET at 278 MPH. Randy gave her a consistently quick and fast race car as the 22-year old driver marched through eliminations with elapsed times of 5.308, 5.281 twice, and 5.325, all at or approaching 280 mph. Meyer and final round opponent Josh Hart were close for the first half, but the Racers Evolved machine charged ahead for the Four-Wide Wally.

“It was so emotional. Going down the track, I saw his Josh’s nose disappear behind me by half track. I was cheering by the time I pulled the parachutes. It was everything that you dream of. It was a very emotional moment for me and for my parents. We were all crying. We were all so happy. It didn’t take us long to get this first win, but it’s been a long process. This is something we’ve been planning my entire life. It’s finally here and it’s exactly what I thought it would be,” Meyer said.

Meyer also received a reward for her offseason work behind the computer screen, as the NHRA presented Randy Meyer Racing with the Best Appearing Crew award. She also won Best Appearing Car at her first race last month.

“Winning that award was very rewarding. I had some help from Matt Levonas with the design. He helped design the car wrap and crew shirts. We worked together, then we had some help from Racers Evolved because the look came from their Megan Meyer Signature Series shirts. As a designer, it felt good to get those two awards at my first two races. My dad has won Best Appearing Crew before, but never Best Appearing Car, so that one was special for Randy...
DJ Cox and the Anderika Racing team are set to continue their 2016 season at zMax Dragway in Charlotte, NC this weekend as part of the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods.

Cox will compete with the NHRA Lucas Oil National Series in the Top Alcohol Funny Car portion of the event. The Charlotte race marks Cox first competition of the season in Anderika’s torque converter car after competing in his family-owned entry in a pair of Gainesville, FL races last month. Cox is excited for the first of two events at the zMax Dragway for the team this season.

“It’s a great racetrack. It’s one of my favourite places to go. It’s just a really nice facility,” Cox said.

The Anderika team faces a handful of challenges as they enter the event, but are taking them in stride. Cold and wet weather in the team’s home state of Pennsylvania has made it difficult for productive testing in recent weeks.

“We only got the car out one time. It was on a green racetrack and we really didn’t learn much. The conditions weren’t great, so we’re a little behind the eight ball,” explained a determined Cox.

As a result the team plans to use its four qualifying runs on Friday and Saturday to learn as much as possible about the car and the racetrack.

“We’re just trying to get a handle on the overall combination. We struggled a little bit at the end of last year, so we’re hoping to turn that around,” Cox said.

After advancing to the second-round in Gainesville, Cox is simplifying his approach to this weekend’s event in order to continue building momentum.

“We always want to win, but we’re just looking for a good showing. We try to take the approach that we just focus on the first qualifying run and on one run at a time instead of focusing on the race overall,” he said.

Follow DJ Cox’s 2016 season with the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series by Liking the Anderika Racing team on Facebook.

DJ Cox and Anderika Racing are proud to partner with the following corporate sponsors: Dixie...
After a very long weekend at the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals, Johnny Ahten and the Island Renovations / Combust Filters team is anxious to get back to racing at this weekend’s Regional race at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The Ahten Racing truck and trailer pulled into the Vegas racetrack on Thursday afternoon in preparation for the National event. By Friday morning, it had already seemed like a week.

“We were chasing an ignition gremlin and it was a thrash just to get to the line for the first qualifying session, “said Johnny Ahten. We went back to a familiar combination and we thought we had the car sorted out. Our first and second qualifying passes proved us wrong on that one. As it turns out, we had a drivetrain issue that was preventing us from launching the car under power. By the third qualifying session on Saturday we had found the issue and laid down a decent pass. It was a long couple of days that made that full qualifying pass feel very satisfying.”

The Stump Puller’s third session 5.418/263.82 was good enough to qualify in the seventh spot. A first round match-up with Megan McKernan was slated for later on that day.

When the lights came down on round one, Johnny took a slight advantage and got the stripe first with a 5.543@261.72 over Megan McKernan's 5.627@262.28. It was not perfect, but after the mechanical challenges of the previous days, a win was welcome. This set up a Sunday morning round two with Garrett Bateman, who just happened to be the #1 qualifier.

In an epic battle that pitted the Clean Boost Oil teammates, Johnny Ahten drew first blood with the starting line advantage, but tire shake entered the skirmish. Bateman’s 5.347@268.97 took the win over the Stump Puller’s troubled 5.629@236.30.

“I slapped the pedal after the tire shake and tried to catch him but the damage was done.” added Ahten. “That run did produce our best short time of the weekend. I got out of it downtrack so that was why our mph was down. Overall...
LAS VEGAS (April 6, 2016) – Chris Demke is no stranger to racing defending NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster national champion Joey Severance. The two blown alcohol superstars have faced off countless times in one another’s recent championship battles, and already twice in final rounds this year. The most recent Demke-versus-Severance match race was the final round of the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last weekend.

Demke qualified his Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products dragster in the No. 2 position after laying down a 5.254 elapsed time, which was a career-best Las Vegas run for Demke. The run’s 272.45 MPH speed was also good for Top Speed of the event by the end of eliminations.

“That 5.25 was by far our career-best and goes along with what I expected for this tune-up based on how we performed at Phoenix in similar conditions. We were number one going into final qualifying until my Boost Performance Products teammate, Garrett Bateman, took it away from us,” Demke said of his qualifying effort.

Demke dipped into the 5.2s again in the first round when he defeated A/Fuel rookie Jndia Erbacher, daughter of European Top Fuel champion Urs Erbacher, with a 5.293. Another twenty was likely in the second round, but Demke had to pedal out of tire shake to run 5.300 to beat Shawn Cowie’s 5.386. Tire shake plagued the Maddern Racing entry again in the semifinals, though Demke was unopposed.

“Because of the way the ladder shakes out for an eleven-car field, the number one qualifier gets the bye run into the second round, but the number two qualifier gets the bye run in the semifinals. You just have to earn it by winning the first two rounds. We were able to take advantage of that,” Demke noted.

That free semifinal run sent Demke into the final round to face his rival.

“It’s a familiar place; a final round against Joey Severance. He had lane choice and was running very consistently. We knew if we could run near our qualifying...
LAS VEGAS (March 31, 2016) – Like everyone else in the NHRA community, Top Alcohol Dragster pilot Chris Demke enters this weekend’s Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals with a heavy heart after the unexpected loss of friend and NHRA Chief Starter Mark Lyle earlier this week. Demke and his Maddern Racing team will race this weekend in Lyle’s memory.

“Lyle and our team go way back. We knew him back when he was the Division 6 starter. We hung out with him on and off the track. We were really excited when he was promoted to NHRA Chief Starter. He was one of the good guys. He did his job and he did it very well. You could always trust Mark to tell you what was going on. He would have the track properly prepared. He will be sadly missed. Such a tragedy and a surprise. Lyle was the man,” Demke said of his late friend.

Traditionally a track that gives the West Coast blown alcohol dragster team some trouble, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is where the Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products team will find themselves for the next two weekends. Despite his spotty past at The Strip, Demke feels confident this time around after qualifying No. 1 and reaching the final round at the Phoenix regional event last month.

“Las Vegas is one of the best facilities on the west coast. It’s not a track we usually do well at, but we have our moments. There are four races at this track per year – two nationals and two regionals – and we won the spring regional last April. It’s challenging, but it’s a great track surface. It’s at a moderate elevation so we need to adjust our tune-up. If our Phoenix tune-up transfers to Vegas then I have very high expectations as far as what we’re capable of.

“We did better than we expected [at Phoenix], but we can’t get cocky heading into this race. We need to maintain that process that we put together and carry that through to Las Vegas. We had some good luck at Phoenix, but a good part of the success was performance driven. We ran our team best at...
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 17, 2016) – Second generation A/Fuel Dragster pilot Megan Meyer will begin her 2016 NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster campaign this weekend at the NHRA east coast opener, the 47th Annual NHRA Gatornationals, March 18-20. Meyer will compete in a nitro-injected dragster owned and tuned by her father, 2007 and 2015 Gatornationals event champion Randy Meyer.

“I feel a little extra pressure and a little extra confidence,” Megan said. “We’re confident because we won it last year, but this is a new car and a new driver. This is my first national event so I’m a little nervous about that. It’s a bigger stage than a regional event. We had some great results with this car at Pomona, so I think we’re heading in the right direction.”

Gainesville Raceway is a special place for Megan, not just because of her father’s history, but because of her own as well. It’s where she earned her Super Comp and Top Alcohol Dragster licenses, but she’s never actually competed at the historic track.

“I participated in Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School with my Super Comp dragster when I was 16 years old, and it was a great learning experience to transition from junior dragster to Super Comp. Two years later I was back on the track getting my feet wet with our Top Alcohol Dragster. I remember that day very well because a few of the Top Fuel teams stayed to test, and I felt very privileged to be able to run behind them for the very first time. This experience helped put everything into perspective as to where I could take myself in this sport. I grew better as a driver each time we returned to Gainesville, and last year I made a huge stepping stone of running a 5.29 ET pass and had the help of Dave Hirata to sign off on my TAD licensing pass. So it is very fitting to have my first NHRA National race at the Gatornationals.”

The Gatornationals will be Meyer’s first of 18 events scheduled for her true “rookie” season. One of the aspects she’s most looking forward to is...
CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 11, 2015) – Chris Demke added to his colorful Phoenix history last weekend when he raced to another final round at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park’s NHRA regional event. The California native qualified No. 1 and lost a close final round to blown alcohol rival Joey Severance.

Demke’s qualifying effort, highlighted with a 5.255/274 MPH best, was a confidence boost for the team as they move on through 2016 without a key former crew member.

"It wasn’t a show stopper, but it certainly gave our team confidence and proved to the rest of the teams that we are still a major contender without (former tuner) Adam Rhoades’ help.”

The low qualifier award also came with a first round bye run, as only seven cars attempted to qualify for the eight-car field. The Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products dragster went into tire shake on the run, which the Jerry Maddern-led team used as an experimental run.

“Throughout the weekend we were trying things as we work to figure out the large Hoosier tire. We progressed steadily throughout the weekend. Earning the first round bye gave us the opportunity to experiment, which we did. It wasn’t successful but we figured out a good baseline tuneup based on that tire. It seems to be fairly reliable. While the car didn’t go down the track every time, it was quick every time it did. Our slowest run of those full passes was quicker than the next closest competitor’s quickest run, so clearly we’re on to something,” Demke said confidently.

Demke went on to face a formidable opponent, Johnny Ahten, in the semifinals, but ended up with another unopposed trip to the next round.

“If you look at the last couple races, Johnny has had my number. He took me out at the Winternationals and beat me at the World Finals last year. We were looking for some revenge, but as Johnny’s team pointed out, the overall win-loss record between our teams is in our favor. Regardless, we’re always looking at the most recent results. Johnny was...
Racing is an inexact science. Sometimes things break, snap or wiggle loose. Such was the case at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park last weekend for the LODRS Regional race with Johnny Ahten. Making it to the semi-finals, Ahten was paired against Chris Demke. After a routine burnout, Ahten found that he could not get the car to go into reverse. Something had wiggled loose on the burnout and he had no choice but to abort the run. Demke went on to the final while Ahten returned to the pits.

“I’m disappointed in the fact that we did not get a chance to race Demke,” said Ahten. “We had the Stump Puller loaded up and I feel we would have given him a great race and move on. We got back to the pits and diagnosed the problem in no time. We spent five days in Phoenix which included a few test passes on Thursday. We will get things together and right for the Vegas races.”

Ahten and Island Renovations / Combust Filters dragster’s runs on Thursday were limited due to traction issues. This dictated that Friday’s only qualifying session was to be on a soft tune-up. A 5.647/218.83 was the result. Saturday’s first session produced an improved 5.386/268.92 which landed Ahten in the #3 position. In the final qualifying session a 5.387/264.23 showed consistency, but Ahten fell to the #4 position. This meant a first round match up with Derik Milanesio, with Ahten having lane choice. Both drivers shared identical reaction times but the Stump Puller marched down the quarter mile with a 5.418/264.75 to win over a faltering 7.469/187.57 by Milanesio. This set up a semi-final battle with Chris Demke with Ahten picking the lane.

This is when the clutch pedal somehow decided it didn’t want to work well with others after the burnout. A helpless Ahten tried to get the car to back up to no avail. The ever upbeat Ahten was still positive of the weekend’s progress. “We are happy with our performance on a difficult racing surface, and I know we will be ready for the Vegas National event and...
CHANDLER, Ariz. (March 3, 2016) – Top Alcohol Dragster hitter Chris Demke, who typically starts off the season strong at the NHRA Winternationals, is eager to move on after a first-round loss at the season opener last month. The Maddern Racing driver will have his chance this weekend at the NHRA Lucas Oil Series regional event at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix.

“We had some issues with tire shake at the Winternationals that caused us to go into first round with a tune-up that was too conservative. I’m fairly certain we know the solution to the problem, so I’m just anxious to get back on the track so we can prove it,” noted Demke, a three-time event champion at Phoenix.

Demke and the Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products team have no choice but to fix the shake issue quickly, as the Top Alcohol Dragster class is already so competitive as the class enters just its second race of the season.

“In past years, most teams weren’t as quick at the Winternationals as they were at the Finals a couple months prior. However, this year the track was handing out 5.2s like candy. That just goes to show that a lot of the competition has stepped up. Our team is regrouping and testing some things. We need to step it up a notch. We always have our 5.18 tune-up in our back pocket, and we may need to bring that out based on the competition.”

The Maddern Racing team will be without one of its most familiar members for the first time this weekend. Former tuner and clutch guy Adam Rhoades, who joined the team in 2009, accepted a tuning role on a Top Alcohol Funny Car team for 2016, but worked with Demke and associates at preseason testing and the Winternationals.

“This will be our first weekend racing without Adam Rhoades in quite some time. We spent some time at Pomona trying to shuffle his duties to other crew members, but this will be our first time putting the changes to work in race mode. We have a solid group of guys who know what they’re doing, so I’m...
The Top Alcohol Funny Car Team of Nancy Matter is proud to announce that they have joined forces with the 5.11®Tactical family for the 2016 drag racing season.

Coming off a whirlwind of changes in 2015, Matter’s Team is thrilled for the opportunity to represent a company who supports not only First Responder and Military members, but The Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit as well.

“We are so excited to incorporate 5.11 Tactical into our team for this year,” said Matter. “I was initially interested in finding a connection to help with the Chris Kyle Memorial Benefit, but I was also amazed by the product that they offer, and what they stand for. When I learned 5.11 had previously worked with Wayne and Deby Kyle, and was offered the opportunity to join their family, we were absolutely thrilled.”

With offices around the globe, 5.11 Tactical works directly with end users/operators to create purpose-built apparel and gear designed specifically to enhance the safety, accuracy, speed, and performance of first responders and tactical enthusiasts worldwide. 5.11 Tactical products exceed rigorous and exacting standards, which have allowed the brand to establish a reputation for innovation and authenticity, and become the premier choice for Duty-Driven professionals. Learn more about 5.11’s best-selling tactical gear and accessories at Connect with 5.11 Tactical on Facebook, Twitter @511Tactical and on Instagram @511Tactical. #511tactical