Photo Credit: Cengiz Basu
At this past weekend’s Mopar Express Lane NHRA Reading Nationals, Megan Meyer earned her first runner-up finish at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pennsylvania with support from NGK Spark Plugs, Lucas Oil, and Jiffy-tite Connections. Also competing with the Randy Meyer Racing Team was Julie Nataas in the Dot’s Homestyle Pretzels dragster, who clinched the top qualifying spot and finished in the semi-finals.
With the tuning knowledge of Randy Meyer, Julie and Megan ran 5.17 and 5.19 ETs respectively with only two qualifying sessions available. Julie, from the no. 1 spot for the first time this season at a National event, raced against Richard Bourke in first round before moving on to defeat Brandon Greco. Megan Meyer, from the no. 4 position, won first round on a solo pass as Dan Dietrich couldn’t get the car to fire. Megan then went on to beat Josh Hart by approximately 7 inches, .0015 of a second across the finish line, running a 5.28 ET at 274 mph.
“This was the first year that we’ve been able to move past first round at Reading,” Megan stated. “We’ve had bad luck at the Grove in the past, but we finally got that monkey off our back, and even though it was on a bye run, we will take it.”
Megan and Julie were set for another semi-final match up, and although Julie had the starting line advantage, Megan drove around her and won with a 5.23 ET to Julie’s 5.30 ET. Megan went on to her sixth final round this season, and her 17th career final round at a national event. This time Megan had the better reaction time; however, Troy Coughlin Jr. had the quicker car on race day and was able to inch out Megan for the win in the final round. TJ’s 5.21 ET was approximately 5 feet ahead of Megan’s 5.26 ET across the finish line.
Megan earned 64 points with her Runner-Up finish and is now 12 points ahead of Shawn Cowie in the National standings. She has two races left this year but must win at least 1 of the events to clinch the elusive National Championship.
“We are just trying to focus on one round at a time,” said Megan. “We’ve had our best year as a team this season and we want to keep it up. Our crew guys are doing an amazing job at making sure the cars won’t have any accidental mistakes to slow us down and we’re double and triple-checking everything before sending them down the track. We’ve been very efficient between rounds and have a maintenance routine for the motors and chassis to keep us on the same pace every time we show up at the track. We are taking this points chase very seriously and we don’t want to lose our points lead now from a small mistake.”
Fox Sports 2 coverage of the Sportsman Reading Nationals will air on Thursday, September 26 at 8pm ET. The Randy Meyer Racing Team will next visit St. Louis for their final Regional race before going to the NTK Nationals at zMAX Dragway. Julie and Matt Sackman will compete at St. Louis, and will finish up the rained-out Earlville, IA event. Julie is the current North Central Regional points leader and has the chance to clinch her first championship.