Indianapolis: Jay Meyer preview

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind - Federal Mogul Dragster title contender Jay Meyer will be looking to accomplish two of the biggest feats in drag racing at this weekend's U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana. His first is to win the most prestigious...

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind - Federal Mogul Dragster title contender Jay Meyer will be looking to accomplish two of the biggest feats in drag racing at this weekend's U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana. His first is to win the most prestigious event on the NHRA schedule, and second, to take out points leader Rick Santos to keep his national title hopes alive.

The Freeport, Texas, construction company owner clinched the Division 4 Championship with a runner-up finish at the Division 4 Federal Mogul Race in Hallsville, Texas two weeks ago, giving him his second career Division 4 Championship. With the runner-up finish, Meyer must win three out of his final four national events, and win the Division 4 closer in Noble, Oklahoma to tie the defending champ Santos with a perfect season [5 national/5 divisional wins].

Meyer said, "We have an outside shot at catching Santos. It is going to be a lot tougher now that I redlighted in Hallsville, but that's drag racing. That's how racing goes, there is ups and downs, and we are not going to get down about it. Everyone on the team is still working real hard towards the goal of beating Santos for the National Championship."

Meyer has competed at the U.S. Nationals many times over the span of his 18 year Federal Mogul Dragster career, but has yet to win the event. A win in Indy would not only bolster his championship hopes, but put his name among an elite list of drivers that have won the U.S. Nationals. Santos is the only driver in the 18 year history of the class to win the event twice.

"Indy is a tremendous racetrack. The bite there has always been really good," Meyer commented. "In years past I have always been down on power and money. We still aren't quite where we want to be money wise, but not as bad as we used to be. Now we are hooked up with Tom Conway, so we have the power. After about the third day, the track really comes around and it has plenty of teeth in it. Now that we have the power, we are going to try to unleash it and see what happens. NHRA really does a great job with this track."

"This is the U.S. Nationals, so you have to throw everything you have at it," Meyer added. "I believe we have the power to make it down the track without any problems. Of course, you always have the race figured out until you fire the car up, then its a whole different story."

In addition to winning three out of his next four national events to win the championship, Meyer must defeat Santos at least once to even his record with Santos in head-to-head matchups. Santos defeated Meyer in their only meeting at the Castrol Nationals at the Texas Motorplex in the semifinals. Meyer has gone on the record in the past as saying that he wasn't ready for Santos. Meyer has other plans for this weekend.

"I think after learning what we did in Bristol, we do have the power to compete with Santos now," Meyer said. "After being out of the car several years, my driving is really starting to come around. I'm more comfortable in the car, and can feel what it is telling me. We, as a team, have learned a tremendous amount this year on what to do in certain conditions. I'm not going to go as far to say that we are going to beat Santos, but I think we have our best shot that we have had all year."

"Also, not only is there Rick Santos to deal with, but there is going to be a lot of heavy hitters here this weekend. [Dave] Hirata, [Jeff] Wilson, [Billy] Bybee, and [Michael] Gunderson just to name a few. There's a lot of guys that can run a number. We're happy just to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys," said Meyer.

Qualifying begins on Thursday for the Federal Mogul Dragsters, with eliminations starting on Sunday. Final eliminations will be ran on Monday.

For more info on the Meyer team, visit their website at www.JayMeyerRacing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Rick Santos