Duane Shields and the PEAK A/Fuel Dragster Team seemed unstoppable and was definitely on their game until a clutch malfunctioned in the semi-final round of the Toyota NHRA Nationals at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This was the best finish the team has had at their home track in recent memory but they came up just a little short in the late round. “I’m disappointed on how it ended but it was still a good weekend. For me, one of the highlights of the race was our annual appreciation dinner for all of the Top Alcohol teams. It was a big success as over 150 people attended” Duane said. During the dinner there were likely a few accolades directed at the team on how impressive the PEAK Dragster ran in qualifying. The car was flawless on every pass and Duane rang up a 5.20 at 276 MPH which landed him second in the qualifying line up. In round one, Duane drew rising star Cameron Ferre. At the hit, the California native got a sizable starting line advantage but Dana Hopewell’s horsepower kicked in and Duane was ahead of Ferre just before the 60 foot mark. Problems began to set in for Ferre and Duane sailed to the finish line on a clean 5.30 at 272 MPH pass to Ferre’s meager 9.72 at just 90 MPH. In the second round, Duane took on Albany, Oregon’s Garret Bateman who drives for Rick Henkelman. As the lights came down, Bateman got off the starting line first but it didn’t help his cause as Duane was able to catch up with Bateman and pulled away at mid track just in time to grab the victory with a winning time of 5.33 at 272 MPH to Bateman’s valiant 5.39 at 270 MPH. As the semi finals rolled around it would be the race of the day in the Top Alcohol Dragster class thus far with Duane facing another Oregon driver, Joey Severance who was on his way to clinching the Championship. Unfortunately for the PEAK team, there was a clutch problem that threw everything off beginning with the burnout and in the confusion Duane tapped the throttle resulting in a red light. Meanwhile, Severance was on his game and posted a 5.27 at 274 MPH to Duane’s 5.72 at 259 MPH. “Things didn’t work out. We really wanted a good run against Joey but we have two more shots at a win and we plan to finish the season strong in California” Duane said. Next weekend will be the final NHRA Lucas Oil regional event of the year also held in Las Vegas. The PEAK team will hang around to see if they can get that illusive win at their home track. Duane would like to thank PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil, Final Charge, Blue Def, NGK Spark Plugs, GRP Connecting Rods and Brad Anderson Enterprises.