Julie Nataas and her Randy Meyer Racing (RMR) Oslo Tapet & Gulvelegg (OTG) Top Alcohol Dragster team picked up their fifth win of the 2023 season Sunday at the betway NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway taking back the national championship points lead. They now lead the Top Alcohol Dragster standings by 21 points over Tony Stewart with 3 national event races left on the schedule.
Nataas pulled the OTG dragster up to the 16th national event final round of her career to face Earl Nichols Jr. The two competitors, who faced each other for the first time, had nearly identical reaction times, Nataas with the slight advantage, and she would never trail. The OTG dragster would reach the finish line in 5.190 seconds at 275.28 mph taking down Nichols’ 5.212 at 278.06
“Our performance this weekend at the Carolina Nationals has probably been our best of the year so far. The hard work this OTG team has been putting in is paying off,” Nataas said. “I have been in the ‘one round at a time mindset’ and it’s paying off, treating each run exactly the same, they are all equally important. We need all the points we can get. We had the opportunity to get around Tony Stewart this weekend and we did it. zMAX Draway here in Charlotte continues being a RMR favorite track, that’s for sure.”
Newcomer to the team, Mike Lewis with support from Scag Power Equipment / Versatran / JCM Racing, got the upset in first round from the No. 14 position over Corey Michalek. Michalek smoked the tires as Lewis has a solid 5.263 at 272.34mph run. Lewis advanced to face the previous world champ, Joey Severance. Lewis had the starting line advantage and ran a 5.296 at 272.34mph but was defeated with Severance’s 5.267 second pass.
Nataas entered eliminations in the No. 1 qualifying position after laying down an impressive 5.124 pass at 277.37 mph in the final session on Friday night. Nataas earned a first-round bye where the OTG dragster quickly rattled the tires coasting to 13.699 seconds and 53.71 mph on Saturday. In the second round she’d line up against Dan Dietrich. Nataas would have a clean 5.219 pass at 278.35 bettering Dietrich’s 8.776 at 108.39 after he had to shut off early.
In the semifinals, Nataas would pick up the victory before leaving the starting line with Matt Cummings going red by .081-seconds. For the record, Nataas would run the quickest pass of the day at 5.206-seconds and 279.61 mph and Cummings crossed the line at 5.225 at 276.69.
Nataas and her RMR OTG Top Alcohol Dragster team continue their championship campaign at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas just outside of Dallas for the JEGS AllStars and the NHRA FallNationals October 13-15. Joining Nataas for the Randy Meyer Racing Team will be teammates Hunter Green and Matt Sackman.