Randy Meyer Racing’s Julie Nataas scored her first national event win of 2022 and third of her career this weekend at the 33rd annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by PetArmor after defeating Shane Conway, Jasmine Salinas, James Stevens, and Mike Coughlin. Newcomer Travis Shumake qualified for the field as well and proved himself to be a force behind the wheel of his dragster.
Coming into eliminations, Nataas was qualified No. 10 with a 5.392-second pass at 277.60 mph while Shumake qualified No. 11 with a 5.418, 269.13.
First round, Travis lined up against Jasmine Salinas for his first round of national event competition. With a .041-second reaction time at the hit, Travis had .039-second advantage over Salinas at the hit. Travis clocked in with a solid 5.456, 263.41 but couldn’t turn on the win light against Salinas’ 5.341, 263.41. Following in the next pair, Julie and competitor Shane Conway had identical reaction times and then it was a battle of who’s horsepower would cross the finish line first. Julie took the win with a 5.326, 276.41 over Conway’s 5.345, 264.03; the margin of victory for Julie being seven feet.
Second round, the heat on track was starting to heat up as it reached almost 130 degrees on the racing surface. Julie had an outstanding .009-second reaction time and used that major starting line advantage to secure a holeshot victory over Jasmine Salinas. Nataas crossed the finish line with a 5.402, 267.59 to Salinas’ 5.382, 265.48.
In the semifinals, Julie used her quickest pass of the weekend to secure a win (5.311, 275.51) over James Stevens’ 5.510, 229.20 and advance herself to her 12th career national event final round.
For the finals, Julie staged up against Mike Coughlin for the first time in eliminations. At the starting line, Julie grabbed .063-seconds advantage over Coughlin and drove it all the way to another holeshot win with a 5.343, 274.61 over Coughlin’s 5.326, 268.76. This victory was her third national event win of her career in Top Alcohol Dragster and her first of the 2022 season.