Tedesco, who is just coming off a stellar season with three championships and a variety of honors to her name, was surprised by her long time beau, Andi Price, who popped the question on the evening of December 22nd.
A stellar year for NHRA hotshoe Mia Tedesco, the NHRA multi-class driver who racked up an impressive collection of hardware at the season closing awards ceremonies. The 22 year-old Tedesco pulled double-duty all season between her Top Alcohol Dragster and her Super Gas racecars in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series National, Regional and Divisional events.
Three championship titles in one season
The Pittsburgh, PA native became the first female to win the ultra-competitive Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Super Gas World Championship in her CARS Protection Plus/VP Racing Fuels Super Gas Chevrolet. She captured two wins in Chicago in the class – both the divisional event in June and the subsequent national event win in July. She also claimed the Division 3 title for Super Gas in the class, making her only the second racer in history to double-up with a National and Division 3 win for the season.
‘Miss Mia’ also piloted her 275 mph CARS Protection Plus/Schepel Motors/NGK/Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Dragster entry to the North Central Regional Championship, while finishing in the Top Ten for the National Top Alcohol Dragster points chase, with a strong No. 8 standing. She earned three regional wins for the season – Gainesville, St. Louis and Columbus, Ohio.
Driver of the Year Accolades
In addition to her impressive class standings and championships earned, Mia was also named Super Eliminator Driver of the Year, which encompasses drivers from the categories of Super Gas, Super Comp, Super Stock, and Stock. But the top accolade earned by the NHRA hotshoe was the highly-coveted Person of the Year award in front of a large crowd of her peers, family and friends.
“Getting the Person of the Year award was very cool,” Tedesco said. “I wasn’t expecting it so I was surprised and also very honored to win.”
“We had a big group of us there,” Tedesco said. “It was nice to be able to win and to be able to share it with my family and crew members; none of it happens without their love, support and hard work.”
“It’s great to look back on the season now and see everything we accomplished, but you’re not really thinking about it at the time. You just want to race one round at a time and hope it works out. It worked out pretty well for us this year.”
NHRA Funny Car driver Courtney Force teams with Advance Auto for 2017 season, unveils new black and red Advance Auto livery.
John Force Racing and Advance Auto Parts, a leading automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America, serving both professional installer and do-it-yourself customers, announced major primary sponsorship of Courtney Force’s Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car for the 2017 season. This multi-year sponsorship will begin with the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season opener, the Circle K NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California, and cover the winningest female Funny Car driver in NHRA history throughout the season.
“I am thrilled to be driving the Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car starting in 2017. Last season, we made some big strides toward our first championship and I am very confident in my team led by my crew chiefs, Dan Hood and Ronnie Thompson, and that next season can be even better. I love the look of this red, yellow and black Camaro and I can’t wait to get it into the winner’s circle,” said Courtney Force.
Last year, Advance Auto Parts made a series of limited appearances onboard John Force’s PEAK Camaro Funny Car at select events, including a trip to the winner’s circle at the NHRA Carolina Nationals to start the 2016 Countdown. The relationship has expanded to encompass Courtney Force’s Funny Car team through this multi-year sponsorship.
“This is a real business-to-business deal for John Force Racing. We expanded our relationship with PEAK at the beginning of last season and we ran the Advance Auto Parts Funny Car a couple times,” said John Force, JFR CEO and 16-time Funny Car champion. “The opportunity came to grow the deal and they were interested in Courtney so it was a perfect match. We are excited to work with Sponsorship Integrated Manager Matt Davis and his team at Advance to help them grow their business across all their stores. I have done shows with Advance Auto Parts in the past and am looking forward to working with them again.”
“We are proud to be partnering with Courtney Force and the John Force Racing team for the 2017 season and beyond,” said Walter Scott, Chief Marketing Officer for Advance Auto Parts. “After working with John and the team last year through our partnership with PEAK, we got to know Courtney and felt she would be a great ambassador for our company. Our team members and customers love NHRA drag racing and we can’t wait to see the Advance Auto Parts Funny Car on the track in 2017.”
For most, a rookie season is a year filled with learning experiences and getting comfortable in a new class and racing environment. But not for NHRA Top Alcohol driver, Megan Meyer – who set her eyes on the goal of a championship in her first year. The young protege daughter of TAD racing dynasty Randy Meyer Racing, Megan began her first full season behind the wheel of the Racer’s Evolved A/Fuel Dragster in March, catapulting herself to a spectacular rookie season filled with plenty of exciting achievements.
Megan Meyer Rookie Year-End Recap
Megan’s season began with the debut of beautiful new Racer’s Evolved livery at the 47th Annual NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida. She quickly took to the top of qualifying, before being bumped by Mia Tedesco into the #2 position. Megan would soldier through the field, making it all the way to the final round at her first national event in the class. Though she wasn’t able to score the win light, her runner up finish was a strong start to her rookie season. She also picked up the Best Appearing Car award for the event.
Her luck would continue into her second appearance, at the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series (LODRS) Division 4 South Central Region “Nitro on the Bayou” season opening event. Her first time to race at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, LA; she got off to a slow start learning the new track surface and qualified in the No. 7 position. But she learned quickly, and was able to navigate her Racer’s Evolved A/Fuel Dragster to another final round, finishing as runner up yet again – her second straight final round appearance and second runner-up of the year.
The rookie hot streak Megan was riding continued into the 7th Annual NHRA 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, NC. Qualifying again in the No. 2 position, she would march onto her third consecutive final, this time earning her first Wally after an emotional win. She also picked up another special Wally award that morning – the second for Best Appearing Crew honors that weekend.
A semi-final finish at the 29th Annual NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston suburb of Baytown, TX was her first time outside the final round for the season, but did nothing to slow Megan’s determination. She held strong at the No. 2 position in the national points chase entering her hometown event at Heartland Park Topeka.
The 28th Annual NHRA Kansas Nationals marked the first time father-daughter would compete alongside one another, and although the team had their hands full fielding two cars, they kept their stride all weekend. Megan grabbed her first career No. 1 qualifying position, and advance to yet another final round, where she earned her third runner up and fourth final round appearance of the season.
Up next, the rookie would take on NHRA’s LODRS South Central Division at Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park. Megan qualified No 5. At the event, taking the win first round before falling in round 2. The Racer’s Evolved A/Fuel dragster earned the Best Engineered Car award for the event.
Mechanical issues at the 10th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, OH would present the first major challenge of her highly successful rookie season. The throttle would stick on her A/Fuel Dragster, causing extensive engine damage. The team would scramble to get her back-up engine put in the car, and ended up with a No. 4 qualifying attempt. She would get by in round 1, but would suffer her first holeshot upset in Round 2 of eliminations.
But Megan and her Randy Meyer Racing team rebounded quickly, with a fifth final appearance and runner up finish at the Route 66 Nationals event. She would hold strong to her No. 2 position in the points standing.
Shifting gears from rookie to mentor, Megan then was able to welcome her sister, Rachel’s Top Alcohol Dragster debut for their hometown regional LODRS event at Heartland Park Topeka – their first time competing together in Top Alcohol Dragster. Both ladies qualified well, with Rachel taking the No. 1 qualified position at her debut event, and Megan taking the No 3 position. But both ladies made early exits in the first round after encountering tire shake. This marked Megan’s first time losing in the opening round of eliminations all season.
Megan and Rachel again teamed up for the NHRA LODRS North Central Division event in St. Louis. This time, they swapped qualifying performances, with Megan taking the No. 1 position and Rachel coming in at No. 3. Both ladies took turns resetting the track record for the Top Alcohol Dragster class, and along with Mia Tedesco, the ladies held the top three qualified positions, as well as commanding eliminations. Megan and Mia would battle it out in an all-female final round, with Megan ending up with the runner-up finish. Megan recorded her second career No. 1 qualifier, her fifth final round appearance and fourth runner-up of the season.
The marathon stretch for Megan and the rest of the Randy Meyer Racing team continued onto Brainerd, MN for the 35th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. There, Meyer would again capture her third No. 1 qualifier of the season. She would run a new career best in round 1 and round 2 of eliminations with a 5.178 second, 278 mph performance. This bested Mia Tedesco’s previous record of the quickest female in the sportsman contingent. She exited in the semi finals after massive tire shake, which would be the catalyst that set off a mechanical downturn that left the Randy Meyer Racing team struggling with performance issues for several races.
The excitement and marathon of activities surrounding the Big GO – NHRA’s hallowed 62nd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals event in Indianapolis, IN can be overwhelming and grueling on even the most seasoned racers. With a full schedule of media appearances and the week-long racing schedule of NHRA’s most prestigious event, Megan had her eyes on adding a coveted Indy win to her rookie season. She qualified right in the middle of the pack at the No. 7 position. But first round exit for Meyer put a damper on the weekend.
“We were all disappointed to go out in the first round of the U.S. Nationals. There was a tremendous amount of tough competition at the event, and unfortunately we couldn’t get a lucky break to get the win.”
Recouped from the grueling 5 week tour on the road, the 9th Annual NHRA Carolina Nationals gave Megan a chance to return to the site of her first victory, hoping for a repeat trip to the winner’s circle. She qualified strong, at the No. 3 position, and would take the win in round one, but would fall in the second round.
But it was the final race of the season that left the young rookie heartbroken. The 31st Annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals was the last chance for Megan to push her Racer’s Evolved A/F Dragster into the winner’s circle, and a critical race in holding her position in points standings. But it wasn’t meant to be, as Megan experienced the heartbreak of a DNF – failing to qualify for the event and being forced to the sidelines. This unfortunate incident ended up pushing her back to the #4 finish nationally and the #2 position regionally.
“Looking back at the successful year that we had, it was very heartbreaking for all of us to end our season by not qualifying for our last race of the year. Dallas was one of the races that I really wanted to win, and I knew that we had the race car that could compete in the quickest field of Top Alcohol Dragster, but we just could not repeat the same numbers as earlier this year. We believe that we have lost power due to a number of things that we cannot control throughout the year. These race cars go through tremendous tire smoke and shake that can really wear out parts fast, and forcing them to constantly run in the 5.20’s can do a lot of damage. I think our tires, clutch, motors, and the car have all experienced a lot this year, and it’s time that we refresh everything.”
“I am very hungry for another win, and I was a little disappointed that I made it to 6 final rounds this year but only came out on top once. I have an amazing and talented group of guys that work with us all year long, and with new sponsorship coming next year, as well as my sister coming on board as a full-time driver, we will be stronger than ever.”
Meyer is currently nominated for the honors of Division 5 Pro-Sportsman Driver of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and the Randy Meyer Racing team collectively up for Tuner of the Year. Each is a fan vote based award. Fans can place their votes at: https://form.jotform.com/52785826085972. Voting ends Dec 2nd.
2017 and Beyond
Though she has aspirations for a professional career in Top Fuel, Megan Meyer says for now, she has unfinished business in the Top Alcohol Dragster class, and intends to compete for the championship again in 2017. Proudly wearing the No. 4 designation on her dragster for the 2016, she has her eyes set on the championship in 2017 and is ready for the challenge of her sophomore season. Though her primary sponsor, Racer’s Evolved will not return in 2017, she is confident that a new partner will join the successful driver on her planned 17 race 2017 schedule. For now, the offseason gives the Randy Meyer Racing crew the opportunity to rebuild and renew equipment that saw plenty of action – and wear – over the course of their busy season. It also allows a very savvy and business minded Megan the chance to secure a new title sponsor to join along in the ride.
Rachel Meyer will join Megan on the tour full-time after her college graduation with a degree in Mechanical Engineer in May. The team will unveil a brand new dragster from Copeland Race Cars for Rachel’s 2017 debut at the NHRA Topeka Nationals.
Randy Meyer Racing will continue their “Rent-A-Ride” Program, welcoming rookie Justin Ashley (son of former Top Fuel and Funny Car driver Mike Ashley) to the team and allowing Megan to again step in as mentor for another young aspiring driver.
One thing is certain, the Meyer sisters and the rest of the Randy Meyer Racing team will be a formidable presence yet again in the Top Alcohol Dragster class. We wish them all the best of luck in 2017!
Do you need to be tough to drag race?
When a Top Fuel dragster leaves the line, it’s accelerating more quickly than a fighter jet at takeoff. A good run can see over 8Gs applied to the man or woman at the wheel. The human body often blacks out at 9. The forces and exertions drag racers endure multiple times in a single competition are real and serious. Even with extensive physical training, there’s no avoiding the physical wear involved in the sport.
It’s not just the 10,000 horsepower engine you’re strapped to that places loads on you during a drag race. While you’re not dealing with the face-melting forces of acceleration, you’ve still got to handle the heat coming off of your nitro-fueled monster and reign in whatever lateral forces come through the steering wheel.
Preparing to Win
In the days of Big Daddy Don Garlits and slingshot-style front-engine cars, race preparation might have involved a healthy whiff of nitro, a smoke and maybe a beer. These days, racers understand that You DO have to be tough to Drag Race, and that keeping a healthy body will allow them to compete better, more often.
The types of injuries drivers encounter, excluding those that come from a crash, typically involve the substantial forces placed on the touchpoints in the car. This means injuries to the hands, feet, and back and neck can occur on any 300+mph trip down the track.
To counter these occupational hazards, drivers spend an hour or more a day in the gym and commit to a diet you’d expect from a professional athlete. To deal with muscle and joint pain, some racers even use cryotherapy, which is a quick 2-4 minute exposure to negative 200 degree temperature. Brr!
Courtney Force, a professional NHRA driver, says she eats right by having chicken and veggies for lunch and fruit and almonds as a snack. Courtney’s father, John Force, was a 16-time NHRA champion, and now his three daughters are all competitive drag racing drivers.
Progress at Speed
Courtney and her sisters, Ashley and Brittany are helping literally “drive” women in the sport. While women have been involved in racing as far back as the 1950s, they rarely enjoyed success, oftentimes struggling to earn endorsements because team owners saw men as superior drivers.
These days, the Force sisters are proving that a female can withstand the intense physiological effects of racing dragsters just as well as their male counterparts.
At the same time drivers are learning how to better prepare their bodies for forces few people will ever face in their entire life, engineers are constantly seeking ways to make racing less hazardous for drivers.
Even the best-trained driver can fall victim to a wreck, and while things like high-tech fuel cells and the neck-saving Hans device have unquestionably saved lives, there is always more that can be done. There is even talk that Top Fuel dragsters may adopt bulletproof clear canopies, similar to those used on fighter jets and racing boats.
Any time you strap into a machine capable of reaching triple-digit speeds in a single second, inherent risk is involved. Being a drag racer certainly requires toughness, and the intense regiments modern drivers go through to win are a testament to that. Combined with new technologies, these advances are heralding a new era of the sport that is faster and more competitive than ever.
Thunder in the Heartland | LODRS Central Region
NHRA Top Alcohol rookie Megan Meyer and her Randy Meyer Racing team are ready for Thunder in the Heartland, the final Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Central Region competition of the season. The event takes place this weekend at Thunder Valley Raceway in Noble, OK.
“This will be my first time racing at Thunder Valley, so I’m excited to add another drag strip on my list,” says Meyer. “There are 17 dragsters registered for this race, which is unheard of for a regional race but we are excited to give it our all to qualify good and take the win.”
The driver of the Racer’s Evolved A/Fuel Dragster has had quite a season in her first year in the class, currently holding onto second place in the points chase, and finishing as runner-up twice this season at the regional level.
“My father won this race for the first time last year, so it’s only fitting that I try my best to follow in his footsteps. Currently we are 2nd in points behind Gord Gingles, and we are going to try to get as many points this weekend to lock in our position. I’m extremely happy ending the season in second place, my goal for the year was to just be in the top 5 and we have done extremely well in my rookie year with two regional runner-up finishes. My dad and my guys have given me one of the best race cars in the nation and I couldn’t be happier and more excited to close out the season on a high note.”
The team ran into a slump mid-season during a tough 5-race tour, where performance gremlins kept them out of the winner’s circle. But they regrouped and came out strong in Charlotte, the last National series race, and are excited for their final regional race of the 2016 season.
“The forecast says it will be in the mid-70s all weekend long which is perfect weather for our cars, so we predict we will run some quick numbers. At our last race in Charlotte, we were able to attack our gremlin that has been messing with us and we had some promising results. Unfortunately we lost in the 2nd round, but we still made small improvements that we are happy with.”
The Lucas Oil Drag Racing Central Region event at Thunder Valley Raceway kicks off today with qualifying for TAD Friday and Saturday at 1pm and 4pm. Eliminations will take place Sunday, at 1pm and 3pm.
Current Points Standings in Top Alcohol Dragster | Central Region
(as of 9/30/16 -- from NHRA.com)
- Gord Gingles 341
- Megan Meyer 235
- Dean Dubbin 170
- Spencer Massey 149
- Gary Cooper 128
- James Stevens 107
- Michael Manners 86
- David Brounkowski 85
- Rachel Meyer 75
New Driver Joins Randy Meyer Racing in Thunder Valley
Megan Meyer and the Randy Meyer Racing team will also welcome a new teammate at the Thunder Valley LODRS Central Region event. Chuck Grospitch, 25, from Olmsted Falls, OH earned his Top Alcohol Dragster license earlier this year.
A mechanic at Don Schumacher racing, Grospitch works professionally in the sport as a crew member, but a long time Bracket Racer and Super Comp driver, he is anxious to get a chance behind the driver’s seat this weekend alongside his new teammate, Megan Meyer with the Randy Meyer Racing team.
“I grew up bracket racing and progressed into Super Comp, before going to work for Pro teams,” says Grospitch. “ I love the thrill of turning the win light on and it’s always been a dream and a goal of mine to race Top Alcohol. I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to be apart of the RMR team. Randy runs a top notch operation and I’m looking forward to working with him and the Meyer family to start my career.”
NMRA drag racer Haley James takes final Coyote Modified win of the 2016 season at the 18th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA All-Ford World Finals. The second-year racer has had a difficult season, beginning with a jump to the Renegade class, before returning to the class in which she claimed the 2015 series championship title.
James qualified in the No. 4 position in the rain-shortened qualifying program, with a 7.907 second, 173.41 mph effort. In Sunday’s opening round, she was paired with the 2004 Mustang of No. 7 qualifier, Timothy Lapinski, where she would cross the finish line solo with a 7.944 at 172.41 mph pass.
Round two, James would face No. 3 qualifier, Jeff Polivka’s 2013 Mustang. The Hellion B-Team driver would get the startling line advantage with a 0.062 reaction to Polivka’s 0.074 light, taking a holeshot win at the finish with a slower 7.932 second at 173.29 mph pass to Polivka’s losing 7.928 at 175.21 mph effort.
In the semifinal round, Haley would get a competition bye run into the finals, dropping her 93 Mustang into the 7.888 zone at 173.43 mph. This effort awarded James lane choice in the deciding round against the 1985 Mustang of Joe Guertin.
Both cars staged together in the exciting final, but with the first jump at the tree and never looking back, Haley James takes final Coyote Modified win of the season at the World Finals. Her 7.857 second, 173.45 mph performance bested Guertin’s 7.872 at 172.45 mph pass.
“Bowling Green was an amazing way to end a very trying year,” said Haley of the Coyote Modified win. “I’m very grateful for all of the support, help, and teamwork that’s at my constant disposal. We found some very much needed, well overdue power this weekend.”
Video | Haley James takes final Coyote Modified win
For the second time in three years, NHRA Top Fuel driver Brittany Force finishes runner up at Maple Grove during the Dodge NHRA Nationals. She faced two-time world champion Antron Brown in a rematch of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in what has been one of the closest final rounds so far in the Countdown as both dragsters ran identical elapsed times of 3.721 seconds. Force came up .003 of a second short to Brown after both drivers had nearly equal reaction times with Brown slightly edging Force, a three-time winner this season at the stripe.
“It was definitely a crazy challenging weekend. Everyone only got one qualifying pass, we blew up in the second round and that just makes it tough on everyone. I have a strong team behind me. They pulled through today and we made it to the finals. I have the greatest group of guys on this Monster Energy team. When I saw the time slip I couldn’t believe how close that race was,” said Force.
After qualifying in the No. 12 position, Brittany Force and the Monster Energy team would pick up her first career win over three-time world champion Larry Dixon in a very pivotal first round. It was a close race, with Force’s 3.728 second run prevailing over Dixon’s 3.760. Force got the win by a wing at the finish line. This was Force’s first win over Dixon in five previous races. Force ran the same elapsed time as her second round opponent Doug Kalitta, but he was awarded lane choice into round two based on the higher speed posted.
When Force pulled up beside Mac Tools teammate Doug Kalitta in the second round for her third consecutive semifinal appearance at the Dodge NHRA Nationals, Kalitta was already in motion when the tree dropped, earning a redlight disqualification and handing Force’s Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster the win. Force was so focused on her run that when her dragster shook she pedaled her race car leading to a massive motor explosion. It was a costly win for Force, but it moved her up to the No. 4 position in the Mello Yello point standings.
“When you are further down the track and you blow the tires off it is easier to handle. You know where you are at on the race track and you know what is happening. When it happens instantly it just rattles your head and it is just hard to focus on what is going on,” explained Force. “I didn’t notice that he red-lit beside me because I am trying to get this Monster Energy dragster to hook back up and get down the track. When I felt it blow up and there was nothing happening I saw him out the window and I thought he was going to get the win. At the same time I saw our win light and all that was happening in two seconds. There was a lot going on and that was a lot to wrap your head around. I wish I would have seen my win light sooner and maybe I wouldn’t have blown it up but hey it was a show for the fans watching on Fox.”
In the semifinals, Force was paired up with fellow Countdown competitor and No. 1 qualifier Leah Pritchett. Both drivers launched simultaneously, but Pritchett went up in smoke while Force made the strongest Top Fuel run of the semifinals. Force’s winning time of 3.731 seconds at 325.06 mph was the quickest and fastest of all four Top Fuel dragsters. The win set up a replay of the Brainerd Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals against Antron Brown where Force got her third win of the season.
“I was trying to do what I did first round and second round which was stay positive. I went up there thinking we are going to get this win. I said it with Dixon. I said it with Kalitta and I said it before the semifinal race. I used that positive energy to really drive myself. That is what I using to make sure I did my job every round today,” concluded Force.
This set the stage for one of the most exciting final rounds of the Countdown. Both Force and Brown left with nearly identical reaction times, running nearly identical E.T.’s at the finish line. But it was Brown who would take the win, by a mere 19 inches.
“This was still a great weekend for us. We would have obviously have liked to be in the winner’s circle but we still have a lot of positives. We moved from 5th to 3rd in the points. The tough part is we have to keep this momentum and keep moving up. The No. 4 and No. 5 drivers are right on our tail. We are going to have to stay on our game. Hopefully at the next race we will get all four of our qualifying passes and do exactly what we did this weekend to get the win,” added Force.
Buffalo, NY based drag racing driver Melanie Salemi and her Melanie Salemi Motorsports Pro Mod team entered the 2016 Shakedown at the Summit last weekend with high expectations to take home the richest Pro Mod purse in the history of the class. Summit Motorsports Park Owner Bill Bader Jr. vowed to make the “Shakedown” a race that everyone would place on their schedules for years to come because simply “you just can’t afford not to be there.”
Salemi started the Shakedown at the Summit strong, netting a No. 4 qualifying position in the rain shortened program with a 5.91 at 238 mph. The weather cleared on Sunday morning and sun was shining, so it was time to “Put up or Shut up” in true Shakedown lingo.
Melanie stomped through the 24 car field with a string of 5.87 second performances, eliminating fellow competitors RubenT, Bruce Boland, and Billy Harper in her wake. In the semi final round, she dispatched fellow Canadian and friend Wes Goddard with a 5.86 @ 242 mph to Wes’ 5.87 at a fast 252 mph.
This set the Shakedown at the Summit finals to be a blower vs. turbo battle for the money and the glory. Salemi would match up against the turbocharged entry of Kevin Fiscus, and the pair left almost dead even in reaction time on the tree. But Fiscus pulled away after Melanie experienced tire shake at the hit, trying to pedal and regain traction to no avail.
Although it was not Melanie’s day for the big Shakedown at the Summit win, she showed her skill on the track all weekend and was stellar on the tree to advance through 4 tough rounds of competition.
I am just really excited that I get to race with these guys a lot of them have way more experience than me in these cars and I’m really happy that I can class myself as one of them,” stated Melanie. “My guys send me down the track with a perfectly prepared car each time and it makes my job that much easier. I don’t know if there is a harder working bunch of guys in this sport. We have had a lot going on the past couple of weeks and I owed it to Jon, Jim, Mike and the rest of our crew to do my job on the tree and go rounds last weekend.”
Although Melanie didn’t take home the Shakedown 14 title, she took home more experience in the ¼ mile and posted one of her best racing weekends to date in the books.
Watch for the Melanie Salemi Motorsports team at their next outing at Virginia Motorsports Park, October 21-22 at the 2016 PDRA World Finals and then their final event of 2016 will be The Street Car Super Nationals in Las Vegas November 17-20.
Returning to the site of her first win in Top Alcohol Dragster, NHRA rookie standout Megan Meyer was ready to get back on top at the 9th Annual NHRA Carolina Nationals after a difficult 5-week race swing in her Racers Evolved A/Fuel Dragster.
This past weekend concluded our 5 week tour, from Brainerd to Charlotte. We struggled with some unexpected gremlins but we have made some necessary changes to get back to performing our best.”
The Randy Meyer Racing team has worked hard between the tough five-week swing to sort out the Racer’s Evolve Dragster. In the first round of qualifying, Meyers was up in smoke at the hit, aborting the run for a 14 second timeslip. Round 2, Meyer posted a 5.345 second, 275.17 mph performance, moving her up to the No. 9 position. In the third and final qualifying session, Megan Meyer was able to jump up the ladder with a 5.278 second, 277.49 mph pass which netted her the No. 3 final qualifying position for the event.
In eliminations, she faced Artie Allen in Round 1 of eliminations, taking an advantage at the tree with her 0.05 reaction and putting distance between them at every interval, with a 5.340 second, 278.69 mph performance.
Round two, she would face Shawn Cowie, but would not have lane choice. The first time these two competitors have met in competition, and Cowie would take a marginal lead at the tree. Meyer hazed the tires a bit, running an off-paced 5.433 second, 275.00 mph ET. Cowie would continue on for the eventual event win in Top Alcohol Dragster class for the NHRA Carolina Nationals.
We had 2 holes out at the hit, which slowed us down quite a bit.”
The Randy Meyer Racing team will next head to their final Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Regional event in Noble, OK at Thunder Valley Raceway Park October 7-9.