Chicago - Duane Shields and the PEAK A/Fuel Dragster team went down swinging in the quarterfinal round of the Route 66 NHRA Nationals. The national points leader going into Chicago lost a heartbreaker to Chris Demke. It was one of those races where one contestant would have to lose regardless of how well the car ran. Duane qualified third with a respectable 5.24 at 276 MPH. “We ran really well so we’re happy with our performance. And it was PEAK’s hometown race so overall it was an enjoyable weekend” Duane said summing up the event.
In round one, Duane faced Kim Parker who has been impressive since switching to an A/Fuel dragster so it was anyone’s race. As both cars completed their burnout Parker was unable to get the car in reverse and wisely drove it down the track allowing Duane to solo for a first round win. Duane demonstrated he brought his A game and ran a stellar 5.25 at 278 MPH to advance to round two. “They are known to step up and run some big numbers so we were ready for them. It was too bad she broke because it would have been a great race.” Duane explained.
Going into round two Duane met up with fellow west coast powerhouse Chris Demke in the Peen Rite entry. Demke was a little off his game in round one, posting an elapse time of 5.51, so the PEAK team had a good chance of taking the win if Demke wasn’t able to improve from the prior round. As the cars left the line, Demke got the edge at the starting line with a .028 to Duane’s .064. Both cars were side by side with the PEAK Dragster closing the gap. Unfortunately for Duane, Demke was able to take the stripe by a distance of only 16 feet, which is less that a car length. Demke took the win with a 5.27 at 277 MPH to Duane’s valiant 5.27 at 278 MPH. “Chris stepped up when he had too and ran his best ET and reaction time against me so that is that. We’ll go to the next race confident that we are competitive and can win.
The PEAK team will take a quick break and then return to NHRA national event action June 21-24 when they move on to Summit Dragway and the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. Duane would like to thank his sponsors: PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil, Final Charge, Blue Def, NGK, GRP and Brad Anderson Enterprises for their continued support.
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