Meyer's title hopes come to an end
Federal Mogul Dragster pilot Jay Meyer had his title hopes put to an end in his semifinal loss to eventual winner Bruce Bowler during the Division 4 finale at Thunder Valley Raceway Park in Noble, Okla.
Meyer, who qualified No. 2 with an elapsed time of 5.530 at 254.81 mph, defeated the No. 1 alternate Larry Traugott in the first round before meeting up with Division 5 A/Fuel powerhouse Bowler in the semifinals. Meyer's brakes would not hold, resulting in a red-light that disqualified his 5.588 at 251.11 mph to Bowler's winning 5.567 at 256.99.
"It was a combination of things," said Meyer of his loss. "I was trying to leave with the motor higher, the racetrack was getting really good. We thought we had a handle on it when we ran that .53 in qualifying. Then we broke a rear end, and the air changed on us. The track got really good when it got cold. We just got behind the eight-ball from there."
"I tried to leave at a higher rpm, the brakes wouldn't hold, and it started to creep through the beams. I never saw the top bulb go out or the red-light, or I never would have drove it all over the racetrack as bad out of shape as it was on that run. I never saw him, and I wasn't going to lift."
Even with the tough loss in Noble, Meyer still feels that the year has been a success for the team, and looks to get ready for the 2001 season.
Meyer said, "We will finish the season out in Dallas and Houston, and try to stay in front of Jeff Wilson for second place overall. Over the off-season we will send the motor up to Tom [Conway - tuning consultant] to put on the dyno, go out and do some testing and try some new things. We're going to race next year as hard as we did this year.
"I have to congratulate Rick Santos on the Championship. He did a great job, and is a great champion. We have enjoyed being mentioned in the same breath as those guys. This year has been a lot of fun. It has by far been the best year I have ever had.
"I have to thank my crew that has been behind me all year. Stacy McLemore my crew chief and Tom Conway for all the help they have given us this year. Also my son Bruce, my wife Dixie, assistant crew chief Jim Morrison, Will Hanna, and Stuart Herbst. This year has been a blast, and we all have enjoyed it. We didn't get Santos this year, maybe we will get him next year."
The Meyer team will finish their season in their home state of Texas, first in Dallas at the Texas Motorplex for the O'Reilly Fall Nationals, then back to his home track of Houston Raceway Park for the Matco Tools Fall SuperNationals.
"Every time I think we got this car figured out, it gets away from us," Meyer said. "But that just comes with more experience. We don't get down, we don't get aggravated, we just move on to the next race. We'll take what we learned in Noble, and put it in the book for next year. I doubt anything we learned the last time we were in Dallas in May will apply to the upcoming race because it was so hot then. We have raced there several times and done pretty good, so I'm sure we will come up with something."
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