Gordon's Help Demke Advance to Finals Kent, Wash. -- Many times when you're down and out for the count, help can appear out of thin air. Thanks to the generosity of the Gordon family from Paso Robles, Calif., Chris Demke and his Peen-Rite ...
Gordon's Help Demke Advance to Finals
Kent, Wash. -- Many times when you're down and out for the count, help can appear out of thin air. Thanks to the generosity of the Gordon family from Paso Robles, Calif., Chris Demke and his Peen-Rite sponsored Top Alcohol Dragster team were able to reach the final round this past weekend during the NHRA Northwest Nationals held at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wash.
During a first round victory against Doug Hegge from Vancouver, Wash., the Jerry Maddern Racing Blown Alcohol Dragster suffered what could be best described as a 'nuclear meltdown' of their PSI supercharger as they crossed the finish-line. Unfortunately the Sunland, Calif. based team did not have a spare 'blower' in their arsenal. "We got back to the pits, looked at what was left of the blower and were ready to fold our hand and head home," stated Demke, a three-time NHRA Division 7 Top Alcohol Dragster Champion. "Then, while they were still in competition, Mike and Doug Gordon (who campaign a very competitive Top Alcohol Funny Car in NHRA Division 7) graciously offered to loan us their spare supercharger. And we were instantly dealt back in the game."
The Maddern Racing team thrashed all night to prepare their rail for a round two match-up against Ashley Bart. During the burnout, team clutch specialist Adam Rhoades noticed an intense fuel leak coming from a fuel line attached to the recently replaced supercharger. After searching for a rag and coming up empty, Rhoades literally ripped the shirt off his back in order to sop up the excess fuel and repair the leak. The repair worked, as Demke laid down a solid 5.391-second elapsed time at 262.54 miles per hour to defeat Bart. Demke then defeated Brandon Johnson's A/Fuel Dragster in the semi-finals to advance to a final round once again.
On the other side of the ladder, the Force sisters; Brittney and Courtney, tangled for the right to face Demke in the final round. Brittney's red-light gave Courtney the win, setting up a match-up where the winner would claim their first NHRA National Event Wally. For the young Yorba Linda, Calif. based driver, Force, it was her first final round appearance at a NHRA National event. Demke had been to this rodeo seven-times prior in his career, with three of them coming this season.J As the two cars left the starting line, Force grabbed a 0.025-second reaction time advantage, but the quick accelerating Peen-Rite car passed her sixty-feet into the run. Demke was pulling away from Force at every incremental and held the lead until Demke felt lightning strike twice at 1000 feet. With only 320 feet separating him from his first NHRA National Event Wally, the supercharger popped the burst panel, killing the engine and permitting Force to ease on by at the stripe for the win.
"Under most circumstances I'd be upset at not being able to seal the deal," said Demke. "But I just can't be upset this weekend. After what the Gordon family did for us this weekend, I am very humbled and honored to have been in another final round. Our boys did wonderful and I could not be more proud of the effort they put forth. We would like to congratulate Courtney on her first Wally. We will get ours soon enough. "
The best part of the weekend for the Demke came right before his final round, when he saw Doug Gordon capture his third NHRA National Event Wally in the Top Alcohol Funny Car category. "I am glad the Gordon family won. It goes to show you that karma can often work well for you and nice guys don't finish last."
The Peen Rite team will head towards their next event, the NHRA Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event in Sonoma, Calif. in two weeks.