With Julie Nataas returning for her 7th consecutive year of driving for the Randy Meyer Racing (RMR) Team in 2023, they are preparing to work together to win another regional and national championship, and they are doing just that with a #1 qualifier and a win in the first two races.
The 2023 season kicked off for RMR and Julie in Belle Rose, Louisiana on February 24 where they secured the no. 1 qualifying position with a 5.23 elapsed time (ET) in the quarter mile at 281 mph. RMR also introduced rookie Scott Dean to their Top Alcohol Dragster where he qualified 5th of the 8-car field running a 5.78 ET at 269 mph.
Julie had a competition bye in the opening round of eliminations running quicker and faster than her best qualifying time, but was taken out in the semifinals due to a loss of power with cylinders not firing. Scott hoped to get his first competition round win, and although he had the holeshot advantage, his dragster slipped and smoked the tires defaulting to a loss of traction.
Moving onto race #2 of 2023, Julie entered the next Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series regional event known as the Baby Gators held at Gainesville Raceway in Florida. Julie’s OTG nitro dragster struggled to put power down the track and was on the outside of the field looking in. During the last chance qualifier Randy figured out the perfect tuning combination and powered Julie to a 5.24 ET at 279 mph to take the 4th position. This paired Julie against rookie Summer Richardson where she ran a tick off her qualifying time for the round win.
The semifinal round paired Julie against Jackie Fricke. Julie launch hard and stayed consistent with her elimination time running a 5.25 ET at 280 mph for the round win, and moved onto the final round against rookie Cody Krohn. Julie got the holeshot and never trailed for the win running the best time and speed of the weekend for the entire class with a 5.20 ET at 280.89 mph. This is Julie’s second win at the Baby Gators, her 14th NHRA win, and RMR’s 8th win at the Gainesville drag strip.
“Coming into this race we knew it was going to be a tough field with 19 cars trying to qualify for an 8 car field,” said Julie. “Our 3rd and last qualifying round was nerve wrecking! We got bumped out of the field, we knew we had to perform and run our quickest ET of the weekend to get in. And we did! This regional race is probably the hardest and most difficult to win considering the high car count and there’s no “easy” win around any of these cars. So on race day we stayed consistent and kept improving until we were able to lock it up. We can see the off season work paying off and for that I’m so proud of this team!”
Julie and teammate Hunter Green will compete next at the NHRA Amalie Oil GatorNationals held at Gainesville Raceway.