Indianapolis: Meyer wins U.S. Nationals

CLERMONT, Ind. - Federal Mogul Dragster title contender Jay Meyer kept his national championship title hopes alive with a win at the biggest race of the year, the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana. Meyer defeated close friend Dave Hirata...

CLERMONT, Ind. - Federal Mogul Dragster title contender Jay Meyer kept his national championship title hopes alive with a win at the biggest race of the year, the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana. Meyer defeated close friend Dave Hirata in the final with an elapsed time of 5.497 at 254.23 miles per hour over Hirata's up-in-smoke 6.30 at 207 mph.

Meyer qualified No. 2 with an e.t. of 5.553 at 253.75 mph and defeated Greg Roberts, Steve Federlin, and Shelly Howard on his way to the finals with successive e.t.'s of 5.58, 5.52, and 5.49.

"We were on top for the first two days, then fell behind trying some things to make the car run faster," said Meyer. "After the first round, we found that our gear ratios in the transmission had been put in backwards [2nd gear reduction unit where 1st gear unit should be]. Once we figured that out, we knew we were going in the right direction. Then Tom Conway [Meyer's tuning consultant], our crew chief Stacy McLemore and myself put our heads together and came up with a game plan on what to do with the clutch settings, and every run it ran faster, right along with our plan."

In the final, Meyer was to square off with A/Fuel powerhouse Hirata who had reset both ends of the track record in his semifinal bout with World Champ Rick Santos at a blistering 5.384 at 267.16 mph.

Meyer commented, "Our plan was the same as it had been all year, not to beat ourselves. Just do our own thing."

Meyer took the starting line advantage with a .445 to .486 holeshot (.400 reaction time is perfect), and pulled away for the victory when Hirata's machine lost traction at around the 300' mark. The win was Meyer's third national event win of the year, and his first career win at the race known as the "Big Go," the U.S. Nationals.

"We got the breaks all day, luck was on our side, but that is what it takes to win one of these races," Meyer said of the win. "I drove the car horrible in the final. I hit the rev limiter at the top of both of the gear shifts. Tom [Conway] told me it would have been a .39 or .40 had I hit my shift points."

Meyer is now one step closer to catching current points leader Rick Santos in his quest for the World Championship. Now Meyer only needs two more national event wins, and a crucial must win at his final division race, the Division 4 closer in Noble, Oklahoma.

"We really want to bring the Championship home to Freeport [Texas]," Meyer added. "The support from the fans back home has been tremendous. My brother Gary told me that everyone back home was either listening on the computer or watching the television to see how we were doing. They have been really great."

www.JayMeyerRacing.com.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Rick Santos , Shelly Howard