Demke Experiences Roller Coaster Weekend In Chi-Town Joliet, Ill- The Peen-Rite sponsored, Jerry Maddern Racing Top Alcohol Dragster team will head back to the friendly confines of the Pacific Division, after a weekend of both success and...
Demke Experiences Roller Coaster Weekend In Chi-Town
Joliet, Ill- The Peen-Rite sponsored, Jerry Maddern Racing Top Alcohol Dragster team will head back to the friendly confines of the Pacific Division, after a weekend of both success and failure at the United Association Route 66 Nationals held in Joliet, IL.
The Sunland, CA based team headed to the 'Chicago-land' area after earning a spot in the National Hot Rod Association's sportsman all star competition, sponsored by Jeg's Performance Parts. "We gathered enough points during the past year in the Lucas Oil Divisional Racing Series to represent our home division at this event," commented Chris Demke, the 43 year old driver of the Maddern Racing Top Alcohol Dragster. "To be included in the top eight cars in the country, in the sportsman division's quickest category (Top Alcohol Dragster) is an enormous honor."
After defeating Division Six competitor Joey Severance by 0.018 seconds in the opening frame, Demke took out Division One racer John Finke in the semi-finals. Demke's final round opponent would be three-time world champion Bill Reichert from Owosso, MI. Both cars were wired at the launch, only separated by 0.002 seconds. Demke held the lead near the 1000 foot mark, until the power of Riechert's A/Fuel Dragster took the lead, handing Reichert his second Jeg's All Star victory and leaving Demke wondering if he'd ever win the 'big one'.
"I was late on the starting line in the finals," said a dejected Demke on Saturday night. "I couldn't hold the engine rpm consistent during staging and had a brain fade moment at the wrong time. The crew gave me a consistently quick car all day. I feel horrible but we hope to rebound tomorrow in eliminations of the Route 66 National Event."
Demke and his Jerry Maddern lead crew headed into the eliminations of the NHRA National Event in Joliet qualified in the fifth spot, setting up a round one match-up against number twelve qualifier, Malcome Wahle from Claremore, OK. Demke took out his frustration from the previous evenings loss by recording a 5.362 second elapsed time at a speed of 260.51 miles per hour and handing him a round one win. The round one victory set up a huge round two battle against Grand Junction, CO driver Jim Whiteley.
In the second round, both drivers were ready at launch. each reacting well to the green light- Whiteley's 0.020 to Demke's 0.036 second reaction time (0.000 is perfect). The Peen-Rite dragster was charging hard in the first sixty feet, however a supercharger explosion at 100 feet into the run caused the Maddern Racing Top Alcohol Dragster to loose power, handing Whiteley an important round two victory. Whiteley went on to win the event.
Demke and the Maddern Racing team made seven runs during the weekend and their crew, known as the 'Circus Clowns', were up to the task. "The boys did great this weekend," stated Demke. "They gave us a very consistent race car all weekend and we are proud of the professionalism they showed at this event. They are the best in the business and I'm glad they are on my team."
The Division 7 team will complete their tri-fecta of racing this upcoming weekend at the LODRS event in Fallon, NV where they hope to return to their winning ways.