John Weaver Joliet preview

Weaver gets last minute invitation to Jegs All-Star event JOLIET, Ill. - Coming into this weekend's Ameriquest Mortgage Nationals held at Route 66 Raceway just outside of Chicago, the Meer Capital Partners NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car team had...

Weaver gets last minute invitation to Jegs All-Star event

JOLIET, Ill. - Coming into this weekend's Ameriquest Mortgage Nationals held at Route 66 Raceway just outside of Chicago, the Meer Capital Partners NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car team had plans of just racing in a race that usually produces the best conditions of the season. Then, last week, team driver John Weaver was selected to represent NHRA's Division 6 (Northwest Division) in the prestigious Jegs Sportsman All-Star event, which is a separate race held within the original race, pitting the best drivers from each of NHRA's seven geographic divisions against each other to see who is the 'best of the best.'

Weaver, from Orting, Wash., got the invitation at the last minute after current Division 6 competitors Bucky Austin, Clint Thompson and Brian Hough could not make the trip. Weaver and the MCP team have competed in NHRA's Division 7 (Pacific Division) this season, but Weaver competed in Division 6 in his family owned car last season, qualifying him to represent Division 6 this year. Jeg's Sportsman All-Star points are separate from the Division Championship points, and typically start late in the previous season.

"At the last minute, Bucky decided he couldn't make the trip," explained Team Crew Chief Bob DeVour. "They [NHRA] called Clint Thompson and Brian Hough to see if they wanted to make the trip, but it was just too much of a trip for them to make at the last minute; we're a long way from the West Coast here in Chicago. We had already scheduled this race, and John ran Division 6 last year, so we'll be the Division 6 All-Star representative this year."

"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to compete in such a prestigious event," added Weaver. "I'm honored to represent Division 6, and we'll certainly do our best to 'sub' in for Bucky. We were really excited just to come run this race since the track and conditions are usually so good here. Getting to run in the All-Star event makes it just that much better."

Team owner Ron Meer is happy to see his schedule change that was made after Indy has worked out so well.

"We originally planned to go to Dallas after Indy," Meer stated. "But we left the trailer here in Illinois with the Datweiler's over at T&E Trailers to have some modifications done, and just decided to run Chicago instead of Dallas. As a team, we're still riding on a high after going to the finals at Indy, and hopefully we'll go one round further and get a win here this weekend. It's definitely going to be tough as Indy, but we like the challenge. We're also thrilled to have the opportunity to run the All-Star event. We didn't win the spot so to speak, but we're going to do our best to give Division 6 an All-Star caliber car."

Qualifying begins on Friday for the alcohol cars with two sessions. Those two sessions will set the field for the Jeg's All-Star event which will be held on Saturday. Final eliminations for the Ameriquest Mortgage Nationals will conclude the event on Sunday.

-mcp-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bucky Austin