PEAK RACE COVERAGE
Duane Shields Goes to Final Round at Brainerd
Brainerd MN - While it might have been a short field where just ten cars entered the Top Alcohol Dragster class at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, it wasn’t a short field on Duane Shields’ side of the ladder as he had a tough opponent every round before he was eventually stopped by Joey Severance in the finals. “Everyone there was tough so you had to bring your A-game to this race. You couldn’t take anyone lightly” Duane said. Duane’s PEAK A/Fuel Dragster qualified third with a highly competitive 5.29 at 273 MPH.
In round one, Duane took on Mia Tedesco who is enjoying a respectable season going into this race. At the launch Tedesco had the better reaction time but she immediately lost traction and shook the tires giving Duane an easy trip to the finish line. Duane won the round with a 5.28 at 276 MPH to move on to the second round. “These A/Fuel Dragsters are very touchy and we all have to go out there with a very competitive tune-up. But that also increases your chances of overpowering the track and losing traction like Mia did” Duane said.
In the second round, Duane met up with Robin Samsel. As the cars rocketed off the starting line, it was Duane who was out first with an 0.065 to Samsel’s 0.091. Duane shook violently but was able to maintain his lead and take the stripe. Duane clocked a 5.55 at 274 MPH to Samsel’s off pace 5.98 at 269 MPH. “That was our lucky round win. The car shook really hard and I had to pedal twice but we still won the round” Said Duane.
In the semi-finals, Duane raced new comer Megan Meyer who is the daughter of former World Champion Randy Meyer. Duane was out first with an 0.074 to Meyer’s 0.083 but once again traction problems played into the race. Meyer had to coast as she blazed the tires while Duane made his best pass of the weekend with a sizzling 5.25 at 279 MPH to Meyer’s 10.24 at 74 MPH.
In the final round, Duane faced the reining World Champion Joey Severance. As the lights came down Severance got off the line first with an 0.045 to Duane’s 0.071. Duane was on the start of another great pass while out of nowhere he smoked the tires and had little choice but to concede the race. Severance recorded a winning 5.27 while Duane idled to the finish line. “We were totally shocked since the car never smoked the tires all weekend and here we were in the final round and it did it. We had a short turn around time before the finals and we never changed a thing from the prior run. Joey will probably win the Championship this year so it would have been nice to have made a good run against him” Duane said.
While the team was obviously disappointed, Duane remained optimistic that the final round appearance will make for a good springboard into the historic US Nationals held on Labor Day weekend. “This was our first national event final of the year and the PEAK Dragster is running consistent so this should give us some momentum going into Indy” Duane said.
Duane would like to thank his sponsors PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil, Final Charge, Blue Def, NGK, GRP and Brad Anderson Enterprises for their continued support in 2016.
Duane Shields Goes to Semis at Atco After Dramatic Qualifying Start
Atco NJ - It was one of those do or die situations as Duane Shields was on the outside looking into an eight car field that so far didn’t include his PEAK A/Fuel Dragster. On the third and final qualifying session the PEAK team did what Champions do and that is overcome adversity and make it into the field on a Hail Mary pass. The PEAK team put together a 5.36 at 275 MPH package to qualify 5th at the NHRA Lucas Oil Regional event at Atco Dragway. “It was a nail biter and a little bit stressful but we got our car into the show in the final session” Duane said.
In round one, Duane faced Dan Mercier who qualified fourth. As the tree lights came down, it was Mercier out first but Duane had him covered by over a tenth of a second. At the finish line it was Duane taking the win with a decent 5.34 at 274 MPH to Mercier’s respectable 5.45 at 260 MPH.
In the semifinals, Duane drew another tough competitor, Josh Hart who qualified on the pole with a strong 5.27. As the dragsters rocketed off the line, it was Duane out first with an 0.049 reaction time to Hart’s 0.063 but Hart had a slightly quicker ET and was able to take a very narrow four foot victory as he stopped the clock with a 5.33 at 270 MPH to Duane’s valiant 5.36 at 272 MPH. “We lost a another close race which seems to be the story of my life this season. The car ran good, we just needed a little bit more. I felt confident going into the semis and would have liked to have won it since we need all the points we can get for the Eastern Regional Championship” said Duane who is currently second behind Rich McPhillips in the points standings.
Next, the team heads to Brainard for the Lucas Oil Nationals, August 18-21. “Our schedule switches over to mostly national events now and I’m hoping we can get a win at some of them beginning in Brainard” Duane said. Duane would like to thank PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil, Final Charge, Blue Def, NGK, GRP and Brad Anderson Enterprises for their ongoing support.
Duane Shields Experiences a Rare First Round Loss in Epping
Epping NH - Duane Shields suffered a rare first round defeat in spite of making a competitive run and leaving the line on time. Duane qualified third with a 5.34 at 275 MPH and faced Dan Page in round one. Page had qualified sixth with a 5.45 at 265 MPH.
At the hit, Page played with fire and deep staged to cut an impressive .10 light. Duane in the other lane played it safe and had a decent .068 light which in most cases is right in the ball park. However, in this particular case Page was able to step it up by nearly a tenth and when combined with the quick reaction time, Page had the right combination. Page was able to stop the PEAK A/Fuel dragster with a 5.38 at 271 MPH to Duane’s very competitive 5.34 at 274 MPH. “We went into first round confident and the car ran the ET we expected and wanted it to run. What we didn’t count on was his good reaction time and that he ran better than he had all weekend by almost a tenth. It just didn’t go our way this time, even though we made a good run” Duane said.
The PEAK team will take a couple of weeks off and will return to action in Atco, NJ on August 5-7. Duane would like to thank his sponsors PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil, Final Charge, Blue Def, NGK, GRP and Brad Anderson Enterprises for their valued support in 2016.
PEAK Team Scores Quickest ET of the Event at the K&N Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Chicago
Chicago, IL - The K&N Route 66 NHRA Nationals and the Jegs All Star race is a special event for Duane Shields and the PEAK A/Fuel Dragster team. Not only is the Jegs All Star event important, but the race itself is in the same market as the headquarters for Old World Industries the parent company of PEAK, so naturally Duane would have liked nothing better than to score a big win in front of his marketing partners in their home town.
Duane started the weekend off with a dinner on Thursday night with PEAK’s executive team before qualifying and racing simultaneously in the Jegs All Star race on Friday. In the first round of the Jegs All Star event, Duane faced Mia Tedesco from Pittsburg, PA. At the launch, Duane was out first by a tenth of a second over Tedesco. But Tedesco was on a great pass and scored the win with a 5.22 at 277 MPH to Duane’s valiant 5.34 at 274 MPH. “We struggled a little bit but ran okay. The car shook and Mia was on a good run. We were very disappointed we didn’t go further in the Jegs All Star race but we still had a shot at the national event competition the following day“ Duane said.
In round one of the K&N Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Duane who qualified third with the 5.34 he posted in the Jegs All Star Race faced Randy Meyer who qualified ninth. At the hit it was Duane out first with his best reaction time in recent memory. Duane cut the tree down with an 0.008 light! Meyer in the other lane trailed immediately with an 0.081 light. The PEAK machine went on to dominate the race as Duane had a perfect run as he scored a nearly unbeatable 5.20 at 276 MPH when packaged with his 0.008 reaction time. Meyer posted a 5.36 at 257 MPH in a losing effort.
Moving into the second round, Duane appeared to be the favorite after scoring low ET for the event in round one. His opponent would once again be Mia Tedesco. As the lights came down Tedesco got the starting line advantage with a 0.059 to Duane’s 0.076. Tedesco was able to extend her lead down track and took the win with a 5.27 at 276 MPH to Duane’s 5.36 at 274 MPH. “Our car fell off a little bit and she outran us. It was a tough match up. Overall, The PEAK Dragster ran good this weekend but we didn’t get the results we were looking for. We will take a week off and try to rebound at our next regional event in two weeks” Duane said.
Duane would like to thank his sponsors PEAK Antifreeze and Motor Oil, Final Charge, Blue Def, NGK, GRP and Brad Anderson Enterprises for their support in 2016.
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