PC: Chris Demke Sonoma preview

Maddern Team 'Taking the Gloves Off' in Sonoma Sonoma, Calif. -- 2008 Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin once said, "It's time to put on the heels and take off the gloves," in reference to her Democratic opponents. Although ...

Maddern Team 'Taking the Gloves Off' in Sonoma

Sonoma, Calif. -- 2008 Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin once said, "It's time to put on the heels and take off the gloves," in reference to her Democratic opponents. Although this catchphrase did not turn out all that great for the recently 'retired' Alaska Governor, the Jerry Maddern Racing Top Alcohol Dragster team will take on a slightly different version of this motto, (sans the heels) this weekend at the NHRA Division 7 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event held at Infineon Raceway located in Sonoma, Calif.

The Sunland, Calif. based team enjoyed a very successful outing two weeks ago at the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Kent, Wash. After crew member Adam Rhoades literally ripped the shirt of his back to clean up a fuel spill under the car in round two, the Peen-Rite sponsored TAD reached the final round, eventually losing a close race with Courtney Force. The weekend in Seattle also marked the return of 'Hamburger' Mike Demke to the bottom end crew position.

The Brother of driver, three-time Division 7 TAD Champion Chris Demke, suffered two broken wrists in a dirt bike accident this past March. The resulting damage hindered his ability to perform his tasks on the car, but his spirit and fun-loving attitude remained. After two surgeries, and constant rehabilitation, the casts came off for Mike Demke in Seattle, igniting a spark to the Maddern Racing team which may have been dormant in previous races.

"The other teams know him, the fans love him and it's great to see Mike 'take off the gloves' and get his hands dirty again," noted his younger brother, driver Chris Demke. "Having Mike back in the fold completes the chemistry our team is known for. I think we saw this chemistry begin to build in Seattle. Adam, Kevin, Mike and Jerry are a solid team. It provides me with solid confidence and makes my job as a driver much easier knowing 'the boys are back'."

The confidence Demke refers to goes back to a not-so-happy memory which occurred at this same facility in 2005. On July 1, 2005 Demke suffered a serious accident at Infineon, which side-lined him for six months until doctors cleared him to race again at the beginning of the 2006 NHRA campaign.

"I remember every detail about that accident. You can't put it out of your mind, you've just got to deal with it and apply what you've learned," concluded the always upbeat driver. "I know this car is safe and I'm hoping we can put this Jerry Maddern tuned beast in the winner circle at Infineon. Then we'll have happier memories of this place."

The Peen-Rite 'boys' will begin their racing efforts on Friday, July 31 with one qualifying session scheduled to begin at 3 P.M. They will have two more attempts to crack the eight-car field Saturday at noon and 4 P.M. Eliminations will begin Sunday at high Noon.

-credit: jmr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Courtney Force