Demke Wins 2014 Winternationals Championship


POMONA, Calif. (February 10) – Top Alcohol Dragster championship hopeful Chris Demke opened his 2014 season with a dominating win at the NHRA Circle K Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway last weekend. His Peen Rite/OSI/Boost Performance Products blown alcohol dragster was the quickest TAD all weekend, running 5.21 in Q3 and staying in the twenties through eliminations.

Demke Wins 2014 Winternationals Championship

“It was a surprise but it was a great feeling,” Demke said of his car's performance. “Testing before Pomona didn't go so well but I knew the car had potential. I was confident in the information we acquired last year and the tune-up decisions we made in the offseason.”

The weekend started slow for the California driver, as he smoked the tires on Friday's only qualifying run. The Adam Rhoades-tuned dragster made up for it on the next two runs, 5.34 and 5.218 at a booming 276.46 MPH, tied for the fourth-quickest blown alcohol run and second-fastest blown speed. That run made Demke the No. 1 qualifier by six hundredths.

“Qualifying was a challenge – tire smoke on Q1 then I messed up on Q2. It all came together on Q3 when we ripped off that 5.21, which we really didn't expect. It was a great feeling knowing that we had all of our ducks in a row going into eliminations,” Chris stated.

With only fifteen cars in attendance, Chris was given a first round bye run. The Peen Rite team used the opportunity to test the track and go for E2 lane choice, running 5.22/275.9 MPH. Demke ran another low twenty in the second round, 5.23/275.51 MPH to beat Megan McKernan's 5.57. The Maddern Racing entry slowed slightly to a 5.276 in the semifinals, but it was enough to defeat Casey Grisel's 5.57.

“Each round had it's challenges,” Demke said. “I never take the competition lightly. I stay on the offense mentally and we do the same with the tune-up. Certainly racing Megan McKernan on Sunday morning had me worried. She ran her career-best in first round and her reaction times were improving. I have a sizable win/loss record over Megan and I knew she would be coming after us.”

Chris Demke also had his guard up as he went into the final round, where he would meet Canadian A/Fuel driver Don St. Arnaud.

“St. Arnaud is a great leaver. His car shows extreme power, as he had top speed of the meet. I have great respect for his tuner, Javin Marvsich. He had a solid tune-up and Don was doing his job on the starting line. Though we had the performance advantage going into the final, I knew we had to bring our A-game if we wanted to win the race.”

Demke and St. Arnaud put on one of the better races of the weekend, but Chris' reaction time advantage and blown alcohol power were too much for Don's A/Fuel charge. Demke won, 5.251/275 to 5.32/276.

“I know that I'm the favorite to win the championship this year. One race win doesn't win a championship but it helps my chances to start the season with a win. We'll try to keep it going as we head to the Phoenix regional race in a few weeks,” Chris concluded.

Maddern Racing is a family-owned and operated NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster team based in Southern California. The Chris Demke-driven Peen Rite/OSI/Boost Performance Products dragster is owned by Jerry Maddern and crewed by Adam Rhoades, Kevin Watson, Mike Demke, Greg Rice and Robert Hadaller. For more information on Maddern Racing, please visit www.MaddernRacing.com

Maddern Racing receives support from the following companies: Peen Rite Inc., Operational Solutions Inc., Boost Performance Products, B-G Detection, Afco, and LA X-Ray.