Rachel Meyer and Sean Bellemeur, two of the leading contenders for world championships in the Alcohol classes, greatly improved their odds of winning a title following their impressive wins at the Menards NHRA Nationals presented by PetArmor. Meyer extended her lead in the Top Alcohol Dragster class by winning her sixth race of the season, and Bellemeur seized the upper hand in Top Alcohol Funny Car following his fifth victory.
Meyer and Bellemeur shared the spotlight at Heartland Motorsports Park with fellow NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series champions Greg Kamplain (Comp), Wyatt Wagner (Super Stock), Chris Knudsen (Stock), Austin Williams (Super Comp), Collin Becker (Super Gas), Danny Nelson (Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers), and Dusty Meyer (Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers).
So far, Meyer’s plan to follow her sister, Megan, as the Top Alcohol Dragster champ is working to perfection, as she’s built a huge lead in the standings just past midseason. Meyer won her third straight race, all in her home state of Kansas, following a final-round win against Jasmine Salinas. Meyer came from the No. 3 qualifying spot to claim wins against Jackie Fricke and four-time champ Joey Severance. She ventured into the 5.1-second zone a couple of times during the event and ran a 5.25 in the final to seal the win after Salinas fouled. [video]
The Top Alcohol Funny Car final was also settled via a red-light start after Kris Hool left early, allowing Bellemeur to take his Hussey Performance Camaro to career win No. 23. Bellemeur, now tied with Doug Gordon for the class points lead, was the low qualifier and scored a crucial win against Gordon in the semifinal round with his best run of the event, a 5.49. [video]
Comp finalists Kamplain and Travis Gusso left with identical .018 reaction times, but Kamplain was able to pull ahead for the win with a (-.585) 6.955 in his C/DA to pick up his 10th national event Wally. Kamplain now has three wins and two runner-up finishes on the season and has closed to within nine points of current championship leader Peter D’Agnolo. [video]
Wagner has previously won Lucas Oil Series events and been the Division 5 champion, but he hadn’t won a national event until he took out five-time world champion Justin Lamb in the Topeka Super Stock final. Wagner drove his SS/GA ’68 Camaro to a 9.843 against his 9.83 dial to edge Lamb’s COPO Camaro by less than a hundredth of a second. Wagner also took out current title contender Anthony Bertozzi in the semifinal round. [video]
Stock winner Knudsen won his second national event title behind the wheel of his manually-shifted Camaro and in the process turned in one of the best driving performances in recent memory. Knudsen kicked off eliminations with a perfect .000 reaction time and also had lights of .004, .005, .004, and a .009 in the final against Randi Lyn Shipp, who fouled by .018-second. [video]
With his latest win in Super Comp, Williams now has 15 national event titles and six of them have come in Topeka. Paired with reigning world champ Christopher Dodd in the final round, Williams grabbed a narrow 8.944 to 8.947 victory to move into the Top 10 in the battle for the Lucas Oil Series title. Williams also won the first leg of the recent Division 5 doubleheader event in Topeka. [video]
The Super Gas class featured a first-time winner in Becker, who drove a very consistent race that culminated with a final-round win against Jarron Miller, who left five-thousandths of a second too soon. Becker, in his ’67 Camaro, would have been tough to beat with a final-round package that included a .014 light and a 9.901. [video]
Nelson, the 2019 Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers world champ, won for the sixth time at a national event when he defeated Prescott Dean in the final. Nelson was sharp on both ends of the track with a .002 light and a 6.124 against his 6.10 dial, and Dean was just a thousandth of a second behind with a 6.351 on his 6.34 dial. With the win, Nelson has moved into second place behind current leader Bertozzi. [video]
Dusty Meyer, the cousin of Top Alcohol Dragster champ Rachel Meyer, scored his fifth national event win following a final-round win against Kyle Firestone in Top Sportsman presented by Vortech Superchargers. Meyer left first in his Chevy S-10 and held on for the win with a 7.055 on his 7.03 dial. The win ended a frustrating string of early losses for Meyer, who won two national events last season, including the U.S. Nationals. [video]