Jay Meyer Gainesville Wrap Up

GAINESVILLE, FL-Federal Mogul Dragster driver Jay Meyer took the national points lead back from Rick Santos with a win at the Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida this weekend. Meyer came out of the number five qualifying spot to...

GAINESVILLE, FL-Federal Mogul Dragster driver Jay Meyer took the national points lead back from Rick Santos with a win at the Mac Tools Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida this weekend. Meyer came out of the number five qualifying spot to defeat Mark Hentges in a rematch of the Ennis Division 4 race finals a few weeks earlier, in the final, 5.462/ 254.18 to Hentges' motor exploding 5.645/ 206.92.

Meyer did not have an easy road on his way to the winner's circle, due to the moratorium placed on the C model PSI Supercharger. Meyer had to fly in a D model blower from fellow racer Billy Bybee to compete this weekend.

"We found out that we couldn't run our blower while we were getting on the airplane in Houston coming down here. I got on the phone on the airplane, called around and found that Billy Bybee had an extra one, and flew it out here. We also got one from Tim Baxter, but we couldn't use it because it got here late. Hat's off to Billy [Bybee] for letting us use the blower, Norm [Drazy] (maker of the PSI blower) had one of his [Bybee's] blowers in his shop and shipped it out here to us. We had no tune-up, nothing," said Meyer.

"We missed the first qualifying pass waiting for the new blower to get here. We put it on, came up with a tune-up, with basically our setup from Houston last year. The first run we blew through the clutch because of the new Hoosier tires, we put more clutch in it the next pass and ran that .59 to qualify," Meyer said.

Meyer then went into eliminations Saturday to face Artie Allen and stepped up into the 5.40's. "For the first round we had a little tune-up time to step it up. Thanks to Tom Conway, can't say enough about him, we emailed him after every run. He called us back and told us what to do, and that helped us get into the .40's."

In the semifinals, Meyer had the huge challenge of running number one qualifier Art Gallant, who had been in the low 5.30's all weekend. "With those A/fuel cars, there really isn't much you can do. You just try to cut the best light you can, hope he doesn't cut a good one, or he breaks or something. Those A/fuel cars, we just can't deal with them if they hit on all 8. Luckily, he had a .572 light, and I had a decent light (.447), not a great light, but a decent light. I got to the finish line first, but I heard him all the way down the racetrack, he was right there."

Meyer then moved on to the finals where he would face Hentges, a rematch of the Ennis final, just two weeks earlier. "We stepped on the main jet a little bit to try to get it to run a little faster, and here we go again like Dallas, it wouldn't go any faster," said Meyer. Meyer went on to take the win, when Hentges kicked the rods out past half track, running his third 5.46 in a row, a 5.462.

With the win, his third of the year, Meyer takes the national points lead back from the defending three time World Champ Rick Santos, who also has three wins on the year. "We are just going to take it one round at a time. To be honest, with the blower controversy, it may be good thing for the class. It draws attention to the Federal Mogul classes, and maybe we will get some good exposure out of it," said Meyer. The win was his first national event win since 1983.

Meyer will move on to the third Division 4 race in the series at Memphis Motorsports Park next weekend, where he will try to make it three wins in a row, and gain his fourth win on the year. The only race Meyer hasn't won that he has attended this year was the Checker's-Schuck's-Kragen Nationals in Phoenix, which Santos won.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Rick Santos