NHRA A/Fuel rookie Megan Meyer made quite an entrance in her official rookie season debut at the 47th Annual Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals. The event earned her team the Best Appearing car award in Gainesville, as well as marking the first final for Megan Meyer in the Top Alcohol Dragster class.
With the persistent rain in Gainesville over the course of Thursday – Saturday, it certainly didn’t look good for Top Alcohol Dragster class – limited to two qualifying sessions. In the first session, Megan lost traction and had to abort the run, coasting to an 11 second elapsed time and barely a spot on the 16 car ladder. They waited through to the late evening for their second round attempt, where Meyers was able to shoot up the ladder with a career-best qualifying time of 5.224 at 276.75 mph. She held the #1 position until she was bumped by Mia Tedesco to the No. 2 final qualifying spot entering Saturday eliminations – the first time two women held the top TAD qualifying spots since Brittany and Courtney Force qualified 1 and 2 in 2010.
This would place her against John Finke for the opening round of eliminations. She takes the lead at the tree, running straight down the the groove with a career-best ET of 5.203 at 278.00 mph to Finke’s losing 5.611 at 257.97 mph. She would face the other Finke car driven by Jackie in the second round on Sunday.
Meyer would carry lane choice into round two Sunday afternoon. At the hit, Jackie’s car would go up in smoke forcing her to abort the run, while Megan would take the advantage at the tree and continue down the track with a 5.611 at 274.83 mph, sailing onto the win and the semi-finals. She would face Jerry Powell, but would not have lane choice in the pairing. On the line, Megan would take the early advantage, never looking back with a 5.234 at 274.61 mph while Powell suffers traction issues and aborts the run. She earns the win, marking the first final for Megan Meyer in national event TAD competition.
On the other side of the ladder, Rich McPhillips would upset No. 1 qualified Mia Tedesco to face Megan. The ninth final for McPhillips, he held the advantage with three previous class victories going into the deciding round. This round, it was McPhillips who would strike first at the tree, outrunning Megan after a pedal-fest with a slower 5.567 at 266.95 mph to Megan’s 5.564 at 273.55mph, a hole-shot victory for McPhillip and a difference of 0.0101 seconds or four feet at the finish line.
AMAZING job to the McPhillips team and I’m so, so, so proud of the Randy Meyer Racing Team for all that they put into this hotrod all weekend long!! We accomplished many achievements in just a few days and I’m still speechless! A huge thank you to all of our sponsors and supporters around the world!!!!!”
Megan narrowly misses her first win in Top Alcohol Dragster, and defending the her dad’s 2015 Gatornationals victory, but she and the team did win the Best Appearing Car/Crew in Gainesville, after they unveiled new Racers Evolved livery on their 2015 Copeland A/Fuel chassis.