The day following the conclusion of the NHRA Nevada Nationals in Las Vegas, Lyle Barnett and Jacob Mcneal jumped in the pair of Top Alcohol Dragsters (TAD) owned and tuned by Randy Meyer to earn their NHRA TAD licenses.
Lyle Barnett, current Pro Modified driver and also winner of the 2022 U.S. Nationals, is ready for the challenge to go from a door car to a dragster, haven’t been in a dragster in a long time, and the last one I was in was like a 4.70 index bracket dragster, but this is gonna’ be a little different, you know? No brake pedal, got a hand brake, clutch pedal, so there’s a lot to get used to,” Barnett explained. “But Randy’s got a bang-up program. They’ve got some fast cars, they’re multi-time world champions, and I’m excited to learn from them.”
“You know, these things are low-five-second, quarter-mile cars going 270, 280 miles an hour, so you know, they’re no joke. And that will be the fastest I’ve ever been. I’ve been 5.58 in the Pro Mod before, but this thing should go my personal best on both ends–on the first lick! So yeah, man, I’m excited.”
Barnett achieved just that, running a best time of 5.349 seconds at 271 mph in the quarter-mile.
When the Randy Meyer Racing Team wasn’t running one car, they were busy in the pits refreshing the other so Mcneal could license before his first race this weekend in Las Vegas.
“The experience from transitioning over to a TAD car from my normal bracket racing was a huge curve!” said Mcneal. “Instead of just letting go of a Transbrake button and the electronics doing the rest it’s all on the driver from staging procedure cutting a light is way harder! But tolerable with consistency! Having to be the one doing it all manually put more of the responsibility on me doing the right thing every time do to the critical clutch work.”
“But with how Mr. Randy walked me through everything and talked with me it was pretty smooth and I got it down quick. He is definitely the best guy to do this with, and helping me learn a clutch car for my transition over to top fuel starting the next season. I’m loving this seat in this nitro ride!”
Mcneal will join RMR driver Matt Sackman this weekend following the SEMA Show in Las Vegas for the final NHRA regional race of the year. Matt is in his 5th consecutive season of driving one of Randy’s TAD and won his third regional event this year with the team. He is currently third for points in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series North Central region and is looking to capitalize, “There’s a lot on the line coming into the last regional race of the season,” said Matt. “We have an outside chance of winning the regional championship; we need to win to do so. This regional race is one of the toughest all year with it being the last one. We have our work cut out for us, but I have confidence in Randy to give us a great car.”
Qualifying starts on Friday with two sessions followed by the final session to set the 8-car field on Saturday. Eliminations will begin Saturday night and finish on Sunday. You can watch the 3-day live streaming on NHRA.tv.