It may have taken 41 years, but what started out as two competitors at a sand drag race in Hanford, Calif., in 1979 has now given birth to a powerhouse two-car A/Fuel Dragster team in 2020.
Rick Henkelman and Mitch Myers own numerous NHRA wins, a world championship, and multiple other accomplishments to their credits. Henkelman's accomplishments come as both as a driver and team owner in multiple classes including Alcohol Funny Car, Alcohol Dragster and Top Fuel. Henkelman has been a force to be reckoned with for over 40 years with numerous top 10 standings and wins in five decades of racing.
Myers, on the other hand, took a 15-year hiatus from the sport after winning the championship in 2004. Myers , who shocked the world with quarter-mile elapsed times of 5.109 and 5.118 during the 2004 Auto Club NHRA Finals, is often credited with being the catalyst to cause NHRA officials to alter the rules for injected nitro-burning combinations in Top Alcohol Dragster beginning in 2005.
After 15 years away, Myers was presented with the opportunity and returned in 2019 behind the wheel of an A/Fuel Dragster owned by Larry Miersch. "Having been 15 years since I retired from drag racing it was a bit surreal to return," said Myers of the opportunity to blow off the dust and drive for Miersh Racing in 2019 and wished Miersh the best of luck in the future with his team.
The new two-car team will each host separate title sponsors with numerous joint associate sponsors displayed on both cars.
Henkelman's car will continue to be driven by veteran driver Garrett Bateman and sponsored by Boost Performance Products and associate sponsor Advanced Auto Parts. Myers’ car will carry the EPHA Hose Protection Products title banner with Seattle based Electrical Hub as an associate. Both cars will also carry NGK and Carrillo/CP as product support sponsors along with numerous others partners. A schedule of nine-10 national/regional events will be attended by both cars with the exception of the Winternationals, which Myers will sit out due to scheduling and preparation. Myers will debut at the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in April after some testing in March.
For both, the chance to work together as a team has them both excited with the potential. Crewmembers and crew chief responsibilities are being worked out and some familiar faces from the sport will be seen on both cars. Henkelman, who has been friends with Jim Rizzoli and who worked with Myers on the Miersh car in 2019, will be joining the team in support of both cars. Henkelman stated that he has wanted to work with Rizzoli for years and was able to convince him to come out and play with us and this effort in 2020. “We have good chemistry, are well funded, and will have competitive cars,” said Henkelman. “The brain trust is the best I ever had to deal with.”