After the heartbreaking loss of Randy Meyer’s oldest brother Joe the day prior to the 40th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Southern Nationals, Rachel Meyer and Julie Nataas set out to score the race win in memory of Joe Meyer.
Coming into raceday, Rachel qualified No. 2 with a 5.193-second pass at 278.92 mph in the NTK Sensors dragster, and that landed her a first round matchup against Will Smith. As they staged up for the first time in NHRA national event competition, Rachel had a .027-second reaction time and took her starting line advantage over Smith all the way to the win with a 5.271, 277.03; Smith clocked in with a 5.311 274.50.
Following two pairs behind Rachel, Julie Nataas qualified No. 5 with a 5.279, 273.39 and had a first round pairing against rookie Megan Smith. Smith had the initial starting line advantage over Nataas, but Julie’s Randy Meyer-tuned OTG/Right Trailers dragster had already made up the difference as they drove by the tree. Nataas clocked in with a 5.203, 278.75, her fastest run of the weekend, over Smith’s 5.806, 220.15.
Moving onto Sunday for second round, Rachel and Mick Steele faced off. Rachel ran a cool 5.309, 266.11 but was defeated by a minor holeshot as Steele crossed the finish line first with a 5.328, 277.60. Nataas remained consistent with the starting line advantage this time over second round competitor Rich McPhillips Jr. Julie remained ahead of McPhillips until the 1,000-foot mark of the racetrack. Nataas clocked in with a stout 5.272, 271.57 but McPhillips’ 5.244, 277.77 would advance to the semifinal round and eventually get the event win for his NHRA debut.
The next event for the Randy Meyer Racing Team will be the NGK Spark Plugs/NTK Sensors 4-Wide Nationals in Charlotte, NC. This will be Rachel’s first time competing at zMAX Dragway where the team has scored multiple wins, including the 2019 NGK 4-Wides in Spring with Julie and NTK Nationals in the Fall + the World Championship with Megan.