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 record-setting runs so we knew we could go for it. We ended up making the best run on this car since we've had it so we were super pleased with that."
The semifinal wasn't as pretty, but it was definitely entertaining as both Tedesco and Megan Meyer lost traction during the race and had to fight it out to see who could gain control. In the end, it was Tedesco getting to the finish line first with a 6.786 at 257.09 mph to Meyer's 6.912 at 258.81 mph.
"As things got hotter, the track started going away and that race against Megan was just a lot of fun," Tedesco said. "We had stepped it up a little because she'd been running fantastic all weekend and I guess they did too because we both smoked the tires. Being in a fight like that and coming out on top was really awesome, especially since we are so close.
"We're just trying to get better and better every week. We're already excited about going to Indy next week. I'll be running Super Gas and Top Alcohol Dragster there too so we'll stay busy."