Memphis: Jay Meyer wins AutoZone Nationals

Meyer comes through for big win in Memphis MILLINGTON, Tenn. - After suffering a disappointing first round loss at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, NHRA Federal Mogul Dragster driver Jay Meyer rebounded with a dominating win at this past weekend's...

Meyer comes through for big win in Memphis

MILLINGTON, Tenn. - After suffering a disappointing first round loss at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, NHRA Federal Mogul Dragster driver Jay Meyer rebounded with a dominating win at this past weekend's AutoZone Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park.

Meyer, from Freeport, Texas, qualified his Blown Alcohol Dragster second with a 5.452 second pass at 253.36 mph. In the first round, he took out a redlighting James Thompson with a 5.459 at 256.06 mph, then recent Indy runner-up Bill Reichert in round two with a 5.469 at 256.99 mph. In the semifinals, he ended Joe Fuentes' return to competition with a 5.490 at 257.28 mph.

Meyer's final round opponent would be Tony Bartone, who drove Jerry Tolliver's WWF sponsored Funny Car earlier in the year, and recently started driving his brother, Michael's, A/Fuel Dragster. Meyer ripped off yet another 5.4, a 5.461 at 257.19 mph to put away the former Federal Mogul Funny Car Champion, Bartone's cylinder-dropping 5.636 at 237.67 mph.

"We got pretty lucky," said Meyer. "It came right out of the trailer and ran pretty good. We put the same tune-up we had on it in St. Louis, and it worked right up until the semifinals. The track started to really come around, and tugged the motor down. I wrestled around with the idea of making a transmission [ratio] change, whether to do it or not. I remember when my tuning consultant Tom Conway used to agonize over a two-thousandths jet change. I would laugh at him and think it was funny. I don't think it's funny anymore, because when you get one of these things this close, you're scared to death to do anything that might make it smoke the tires, or do something stupid. We went ahead and made the change, and it worked."

"We pretty much left a raceday tune-up on it all weekend," continued Meyer. "We saw where [Art] Gallant ran that .41 in the first session, and I didn't think that we could better that, so we decided to work on our raceday setup and keep it consistent. We stayed in the .40's all weekend except for one pass when we ran a .53, but we know what caused that. My crew really did a great job."

The win was Meyer's fourth national event win of the year, and eighth of his career. The win moved Meyer to third in national standings, and was an event that the team nearly did not go to.

"We weren't going to go," stated Meyer. "We've been so busy at work, that I didn't think that we could get free to go. We decided to go at the last minute, since it's only an 11 hour drive. I woke up Thursday morning and told my son Bruce, 'let's load up and get out of here.' I'm sure glad we did, it worked out real good."

Meyer hopes to take the momentum from this win into his next race, the final Division 4 event at Thunder Valley Motorsports Park in Noble, Okla., where he and his team will be vying for his second straight Division 4 title. With current points leader Shelly Howard losing in the semifinals at this past weekend's Division 5 meet in Denver, all Meyer has to do is go to the finals to clinch his third career Division 4 crown.

"Noble has never been kind to us," commented Meyer. "I don't know what we do wrong there, but we just can't ever seem to get all of our stuff together there at one time. At least we still have a shot. Our destiny is in our own hands. That's the way I like things. We'll just go out there and take it one round at a time, and do the best we can do each round, and see how we do. I thrive on this kind of stuff, I just love it. To be able to come from behind, and possibly win another division title, I just love the competition, and I can't wait to get there."

For more news about the team, visit their newly redesigned website at www.JayMeyerRacing.com

For more Federal Mogul racing news, log on to InsideFMRacing.com.

-JMR-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Bartone , James Thompson , Shelly Howard , Bill Reichert