TOPEKA, KS (May 25, 2016) – A strong qualifying effort and semifinal finish was the result for Top Alcohol Dragster pilot Chris Demke at the NHRA Kansas Nationals last weekend. The Maddern Racing team kicked off the Midwest portion of their 2016 season at the Heartland Park Topeka event, where Demke qualified number two with a 5.26 et at 272 mph.
“We were happy to start off the weekend with a 5.28 off the trailer for the provisional number one spot. The blower belt came off for reasons other than the blower belt failing on its own on the second run. Then to run the 5.26 and holding on to the number two spot behind Megan [Meyer] after final qualifying, we couldn’t have been happier – well, unless we were number one,” Demke laughed.
The Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products blown alcohol dragster moved on to the first round of eliminations to face Kansas local Gary Cooper. Demke again lost the blower belt, but Cooper handed the win to the Peen Rite team when he left before the green light came on. Demke’s second-round opponent, James Stevens, also red-lit, but Demke was ready for a race with a 5.324 at 268 mph performance.
“Luck was a big part of going rounds, but then we were able to lay down low et of the round on Sunday morning. Once again, we had more mechanical issues and we were thrashing to get back to the starting line for the semifinals against Joey Severance. We did get everything back together, but we didn’t get a chance to look closely at how the car had ran the run before to make any tuning modifications. The car ran the same number, a 5.32. We just got beat. Joey stepped up and that’s just the way it goes sometimes,” Demke said of the 5.291-to-5.329 loss to his rival.
Though they came up one round short of adding a fifth Topeka final round to Demke’s career total, the California-based team was impressed with their first Midwest showing of 2016.
“I’m amazed at [car chief] Kevin Watson’s ability to step up and tune the car as well as he has. The weekend exceeded our expectations. We made six runs without tire shake this weekend. That’s one of the things we’ve been lacking. While the car has been running quick since the start of the year, we didn’t have consistency. This weekend we were running fast, consistent times. If we didn’t have those few mechanical bugs, there’s a good chance we could’ve been holding the Wally at the end of the day.”
Demke and the Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products team will have three weeks off before jetting back to the Midwest for NHRA Lucas Oil Series regional events in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Denver, Colorado.
“Tulsa is a track we’ve never raced at before. We don’t know anything about the surface. We’re going back to Denver, where we actually set the track record in 1999 with Darren Nicholson driving. The track record is much lower now. We haven’t been back there since 2005, so we’re looking forward to being back on the Mountain.”
Fox Sports 2 will air their Lucas Oil Series sportsman coverage from the NHRA Kansas Nationals on Thursday, May 26 at 9 PM. A re-air date is set for 9 AM on May 28th on Fox Sports 1.
Maddern Racing is a family-owned and operated NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster team based in Southern California. The team’s Chris Demke-driven Peen Rite/Boost Performance Products blown alcohol dragster is owned by Jerry Maddern and crewed by Kevin Watson, Aimee Maddern, Mike Demke, Greg Rice, Robert Hadaller, and Ryan Miller. For more information on Chris Demke and Maddern Racing, please visit www.Facebook.com/MaddernRacing.
Maddern Racing receives support from the following companies: Peen Rite Inc., Boost Performance Products, B-G Detection, Afco, LA X-Ray, Hoosier Racing Tires, Motorsports Unlimited, VP Racing Fuels, and Morningwood Energy Drink.