Julie Nataas and her Randy Meyer Racing (RMR) Oslo Tapet & Gulvbelegg (OTG) Top Alcohol Dragster team made a final round quad appearance at the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway while teammate Hunter Green and his Bond-Coat Boxo USA battled to the second-round quad race.
Julie started eliminations qualified in the No. 2 spot off her 5.232-second pass at 278.92 mph from qualifying, and Green started from the 11th spot with his best of a 5.321-second pass at 256.31 mph. Julie advanced to the second round with her quickest pass of the weekend at 5.226 seconds and 279.38 mph. Hunter also advanced to the second round running a consistent 5.326-second pass at an improved speed of 274.50 mph.
On Sunday, lined up with Mike Coughlin, Jeff Veale and teammate Hunter Green, Julie Nataas handled the OTG dragster to a 5.269-second pass at 277.09 mph to advance to the final elimination quad with Coughlin and his 5.242 at 275.06, unfortunately knocking out Hunter.
“Charlotte was a giant step up from Gainesville where the car shook the tires in our only two qualifying runs,” said Hunter. “So these were my first full runs of the year and my first round win of the season. Still, my crew and I made some mistakes and we didn’t perform as well as we should have. I made plenty of mistakes last year in my first year competing, that I learned from and will not repeat. I have 10 more races planned this year and that’s key. I’m going to have much more and consistent seat time. I take away something from every race and each one makes me a better driver. The crew and Randy also have more opportunity to get everything dialed in. Slow start, but I’m really just getting started this year with plenty of season left.”
In the final quad, Julie would cross the finish line at 5.269-seconds and 276.35 mph with a .055 reaction time to come up third and finish as a semifinalist. Coughlin won the event with a .014-second reaction time and 5.302 pass at 275.67 taking the victory on a triple holeshot win over runner-up Tony Stewart’s 5.260 at 272.61 with a .060 reaction time.
“We had another great weekend at zMAX Dragway. We got to debut our 2023 wrap and the car ran consistently through the weekend,” Nataas said. “We were in a good position to take home the win, but we slowed down a little in the final round. We know we have a good car going into our race next weekend in Indy.”
Julie, Hunter, and the RMR Top Alcohol Dragster team will continue their season with the Lucas Oil Regional event at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in Brownsburg, Indiana May 6-7, after the event in Great Bend, Kansas, which was originally on their schedule for that same weekend, was cancelled.