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 www.511tactical.com. Connect with 5.11 Tactical on Facebook, Twitter @511Tactical and on Instagram @511Tactical. #511tactical
POMONA, Calif. (February 17, 2016) – For just the third time in the last six years, Chris Demke left Auto Club Raceway without the Circle K NHRA Winternationals Wally. A first-round loss certainly isn’t the way Demke and his Maddern Racing team hoped to start off their 2016 season, but the SoCal team knows why they went out early and will take the proper steps to prevent future E1 losses.

Demke’s Winternationals weekend started on a positive note when he drove the Peen Rite dragster to the provisional number five position with a strong 5.263 ET at 275 MPH. Tire shake-plagued runs followed on the other two qualifying attempts, leaving Demke to enter eliminations from the sixth spot. He faced Boost Performance Products teammate Johnny Ahten.

“Having to pedal on the last two qualifying runs put us behind the curve on what was necessary to run aggressively first round. We put a tune-up in the car for E1 that we knew would get down the track and we flat-out got beat. Hat’s off to Johnny Ahten for stepping up and running his best ET in that particular car. Johnny is a tough character and we didn’t take him lightly; we were just trying to get down the track without any problems and ended up losing.

“Our team has been challenged to get past round one of eliminations since the end of last year into this year. We have to go back to the shop and take a good look at our tune-up. Our parts are all fresh and solid. I think we’ve got what it takes to go rounds, we just need to re-evaluate our tune-up,” Demke admitted.

Maddern Racing tuner and clutch guy Adam Rhoades, who is leaving the team to tune a Top Alcohol Funny Car, was also struggling over the weekend.

“Adam was terribly sick all weekend. He couldn’t talk so we were literally having face-to-face conversations about the tune-up via text messages. I felt so bad for him. It definitely wasn’t how we wanted to finish our time together. While he’s not on the team anymore, he’s a good friend and I’m sure we’ll be talking...
Pomona CA - Duane Shields and the PEAK A/Fuel team returned to contender status at the Circle K NHRA Winternationals with a great performance which lasted through the semi-final round. Pomona was a welcome distraction for Duane who sadly lost his son Adam in a tragic motorcycle accident in January. “I’m happy the season has begun so we can start to move forward. Each day has been a struggle but we have to keep going and stay busy, we really have no other choice,” Duane said.

Duane qualified fourth with a 5.23 at 271 MPH and found himself on the tough side of the ladder. In round one, the PEAK team received a single when their opponent, Casey Grisel was a no show after breaking a crankshaft in qualifying. Duane got a little off pace on the run after losing traction and had to shut off early. He coasted to a 6.30 at only 165 MPH.

In round two, Duane took on the 2015 NHRA Series Champion Joey Severance. Severance had posted a 5.27 in round one so the PEAK team had to bring their A game to the starting line. At the hit it was Severance with the advantage off the line with an 0.036 reaction time to Duane’s 0.051. Severance began to lose traction on the run while the PEAK dragster was on a nearly perfect pass and stopped the clock with an impressive 5.24 at 275 MPH to advance to the next round.

In the semi-finals, Duane faced Don St. Arnaud, who made headlines with some stout performances all weekend including a 5.18 in qualifying. As the lights came down it was Duane who was out first with an 0.041 reaction time to St. Arnaud’s 0.057. At about 100 feet down track Duane began to lose traction and had to pedal while St. Arnaud was on another good run. At the finish line it was St. Arnaud scoring the win with a 5.24 at 284 MPH to Duane’s valiant 5.35 at 269 MPH. “Don always runs well at Pomona so we had to step it up but we were just a hair too aggressive. But you know what? The car performed well even in the unseasonably hot weather. I am very happy with how...
POMONA, Calif. (February 10, 2016) – Just as he finished last season, Chris Demke will kick off this 2016 season at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona with his usual positive demeanor. The Circle K NHRA Winternationals, February 11-14, is a big race for Demke and his Maddern Racing team, who have won the season-opening race in four of the last six years. It’s a clean slate; everyone’s first stop in the pursuit of the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Top Alcohol Dragster world championship.

“The Winternationals is always an important race because it’s the first race of the season. If you can do well here, it gives your team great momentum going in to the early part of the season. Fortunately for our team, we’ve won the Wtinernatiaonls the last two years and four total. I have great memories at the Winternationals. My first national event win was at the 50th anniversary Winternationals in 2010. It’s the race where I’ve had the most success,” said Demke, who lives nearby in Valencia.

Demke and the Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products team are coming off of a second-place finish in LODRS national points in 2015. The season started strong with a victory at the Winternationals, but the season finale left something to be desired.

“Last season ended on a bad note with an ignition problem that cost me first round against Johnny Ahten. We just did some testing in Las Vegas with the primary goal of making sure we fixed that problem. Testing went well, and I feel that we’re ready for the new season,” Demke claimed.

The state of the Top Alcohol Dragster class going into this season is very similar to what it looked like as the season wrapped up at the Auto Club Finals last November. Don’t expect much of a difference in the hard-charging, fun-loving attitude of the Peen Rite team either.

“There are a few new players in the class. No major rule changes. A couple new drivers and teams, as well as a lot of the same strong players that have been there in the last couple years....
With the 2016 racing season fast approaching Cameron Ferré, Top Alcohol dragster stand out alongside Miersch Racing are pleased to announce American Plastic Technologies will be joining their 2016 efforts starting at the NHRA Circle K Winternationals.

Coming off a stand out performance during the 2015 season, Ferré and Miersch Racing look to continue their success in 2016 with American Plastic Technologies and Racepak Data Systems. "I couldn't be happier to join forces with APT. We developed a B2B relationship through some projects started over at Racepak and it blossomed into something greater. I know firsthand that APT manufactures the highest quality polyurethane parts in the business for various industries such as: automotive aftermarket, OEM, off road, military, medical, and the oil industry. With over 30 years of industry experience that alone speaks volumes for the quality of the products APT produces. It is an honor to represent APT and Racepak together on one car this year, I hope to help them develop more great business relationships within NHRA Drag Racing."

It was a busy off season for Miersch Racing. They have been gearing up and stockpiling parts all winter as the team prepares to enter the 2016 season seeking the sought after first race win. "In 2015 the team came so close, I think as a team we are ready to turn it up a notch and build off of last year's progress. I have all the faith in my team, with Larry's turning ability alongside the marketing partners who have supported us, I cannot wait to get in the car and march down the race track," stated Ferré, who was the highest ranked part time driver in the 2015 national point standings.

The team will kick off qualifying efforts at the running of the 56th annual Circle K Winternationals on Thursday February 11th at Auto Club Raceway Pomona. Make no doubt about it, the American Plastic Technologies / Racepak Data Systems/Miersch Racing A/fuel Dragster will look to make a splash at their hometown...
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...