Joliet, IL – If facing seven of the best Top Alcohol Dragsters in the country was not hard enough, the Maddern Racing Team and Chris Demke had plenty of other formidable foes thrown at them during the Jegs AllStars competition. The torrential rains and extreme temperatures made a tough task even more difficult. They also had to make an engine swap in just over an hour in order to make it to the lanes. But rounds they did go, and in the end, came away with the big win and more.
“To win the Jegs AllStars in Top Alcohol Dragster as the last Division 7 representative is really something special,” said Demke. “On top of that, to help win the first ever Jegs AllStars Team Championship for Division 7 really was the topper. As I stood with Division 7 Director Mike Rice and held the Jegs Team Trophy, I realized it was a victory for every Drag Racer in our part of the country.”
In the first round of the Jegs AllStars, Demke faced Karen Stalba. They left the line together and Demke had to pedal through some spin, while Stalba was fighting dropping cylinders. Demke recovered enough to take with win with a 5.468/262.39 to Stalba’s 5.756/232.95. That run advanced them to the next round, but at a cost. The motor had given it’s all and needed to be replaced. Time was short, and Chris Demke and the crew thrashed and made it just in time. Waiting for them in the staging lanes was Jim Whiteley, who has been on a tear of late. With a freshly swapped and un-tested motor behind him, Demke rocketed off the starting line with the advantage. At the finish line, the Peen Rite / OSI / 801 Racing Dragster held off Whiteley to claim the holeshot victory with a 5.332/270.81 to a losing but quicker 5.323/270.16. After servicing the car, it was on to the finals against Randy Meyer. The Jegs AllStars title and the Team Championship was at stake. The tension was as thick as the humidity in the air. It was over in an instant, as Randy Meyer’s red light sealed the victory for Chris Demke, Maddern Racing, and Division 7.
At the top end, driver Chris Demke didn’t know he had won. “I heard a big pop when it banged the blower, and then thought it was strange my win light was on,” said Demke. “As the Safety Safari crew was assisting me, they said that Meyer had gone red. I was so excited! I really have to hand it to my amazing crew of Kevin Watson, Adam Rhoades, Mike Demke, Ronald Mann, John Rogers and crew chief Jerry Maddern. They earned this victory through their hard work and never-say-die attitude.“
The story does not end there. After the victory celebration in the staging lanes, it was back to the pits to change motors for a second time that day. Sunday’s eliminations still needed to be prepared for. A quick chicken dinner served on back of a golf cart was the treat, as the crew worked late into the night swapping motors.
Sunday saw the Maddern Racing Team go into eliminations with their last engine. The first round match up with Jerry Powell went well, with Demke taking the victory with a 5.355/268.12 to Powell’s 5.499/267.32. In second round action, Demke’s 5.345/267.75 was enough to dispatch Sidnei Frigo. It was then on to the semi finals with a re-match with the previous day’s Jegs opponent Jim Whiteley. This time the results were different, as Whiteley’s 5.319/267.16 overpowered Demke’s 5.351/267.06.
Chris Demke and the Maddern Racing Team earned more than the 2012 Jegs AllStars Top Alcohol Crown in Joliet this past weekend. They earned the respect of fellow racers from across the country, earned the cheers and admiration of the fans, and most importantly, they earned an end of an era prize. With the new Regional system, being the last Divisional Champion is the win of a lifetime. This victory will stay with them forever as a testament to the power of Teamwork.
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