Julie Nataas entered the NHRA NGK Spark Plugs 4-Wide Nationals with teammate Megan Meyer, and both girls had high hopes of continuing the potent Randy Meyer Racing Team’s win-streak that carries on from 2018 into 2019. Julie went on to make that goal happen and earned her very first NHRA victory in the Top Alcohol Dragster category.
“I was very excited to be racing at the 4-Wide Nationals for the first time,” said Julie. “I came into this race with the thought of having fun but being calm once I’m strapped in knowing that this was the NGK Spark Plugs national event.“
Driving for the family-owned business Oslo Tapet & Gulvbelegg AS, a floor covering and carpeting company based out of Norway, Julie qualified with a 5.27 ET at 274 mph to claim the fifth position. NGK Spark Plug’s primary driver, Megan, clinched the top spot with a stout 5.19 ET at 283 mph to set low ET and top mph of the class. The duo kicked off first round of eliminations with a bye-run for Megan, while Julie defeated Frank Schuster with a 5.30 ET at 273 mph. A strong 5.28 ET at 270 mph for Julie and 5.26 ET at 280 mph for Megan moved them onto the semi-final round, but they once again had to go head-to-head to see which Randy Meyer Racing dragster would have a spot in the finals.
Julie nailed down the tree with a .040 reaction time to get the starting line advantage over Megan and crossed the finish line with about 5 feet to spare. Julie’s 5.32 ET took down Megan’s 5.31 ET and secured her lane choice against Duane Shields in the final round of eliminations.
“I was really excited to beat Megan for the first time,” said Julie. “The other times we have raced against each other I’ve been nervous because she has a fast car and great reaction times, so I knew I had to stay on top of my game to get around her. This weekend I was more calm going into each round and not focusing on getting a Wally but to just do my job.“
As the Christmas tree lights dropped, Duane had the holeshot start this time, but Julie quickly made up the difference by the time they went by the tree and never trailed for the win. Her 5.26 ET at 277 mph was no match for Duane’s 5.33 ET, and Julie is now one of the few women who compete in the A/Fuel class to have a Wally.
“I’m going to try to continue the mindset I had coming into this weekend for my next race in Columbus. I can’t stress about winning too much or else I will get too nervous; the wins will come when they come.“
Team owner and tuner Randy Meyer is content with both cars taking the low qualifier and win for the NGK Spark Plugs event at zMAX Dragway. This is the ninth final round that the team has appeared in a row, and they hope to continue their success into Columbus this weekend for the 17th annual NHRA Buckeye Nationals.
Tune in to FS2 on Thursday, May 9th at 9pm ET to catch the first airing of the NHRA NGK Spark Plugs 4-Wide Nationals, with multiple re-airs on FS2 and FS1 until June 8th.