OLATHE, Kan. (Oct. 2, 2023) – Two-time NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster world champion Megan Meyer entered the final race of the inaugural DMP Awnings Nitro Chaos championship season in a thrilling championship battle. With just six points separating the top three drivers, there was no room for errors. A mechanical gremlin popped up in the semifinals, though, and Meyer had to watch as Garry Wheeler Jr. advanced to the final round and clinched the championship by just three points over Meyer.
“When I stepped on the gas for both the burnout and the run in second round, the car wanted to die because it wasn’t getting any fuel,” said Meyer, driver of the Gunk/Shop Squad “Nitro Queen Bee” A/Fuel dragster. “We know the Waterman pump isn’t bad, so we’re not sure where our issue came from. But it’s just one of those things that can happen in drag racing and we should have been more prepared for it.”
Though she was motivated to add another championship to her resume, Meyer is proud of the Randy Meyer Racing team’s effort to pursue a title in a completely different series. This season was more about having fun together as a family-based team and adapting to the smalltown dragstrips on the Nitro Chaos circuit.
“When we were racing in NHRA, it was all business and we were super serious about every little thing, but this year we were able to relax and not get too worked up with it,” Meyer said. “If we qualified well or won a round, that was great, but when we lost and didn’t run good, we didn’t get too worked up about it because we were just having fun.”
One of the highlights of the season came at Eddyville Raceway Park’s “Chaos in the Cornfield,” which was a combination race featuring Nitro Chaos and its sister series, Funny Car Chaos. Randy Meyer Racing fielded four cars: three A/Fuel dragsters driven by Megan, younger sister Rachel, and Matt Sackman, as well as the team’s A/Fuel Funny Car driven by Julie Nataas. Megan ended up winning the Nitro Chaos A-Field, beating Dale Creasy Jr. in his “big show” Nitro Funny Car on a holeshot in the final round.
“Eddyville was by far my favorite race,” Meyer said. “We really pushed our team to the limit by having all four of our nitro cars in the same place running together. I was able to race against Creasy’s Funny Car in the final round, which is the coolest thing I could have ever experienced in drag racing. And the fact that I get bragging rights because I won on a holeshot is just awesome.”
Over the course of the season, faced off against a wide range of drivers, cars, and engine combinations because the 2023 Nitro Chaos rules allowed any nitro-burning drag racing vehicle running on 80% nitromethane or more.
“We absolutely loved the fact that we got to race against the different cars and combinations in the series,” Meyer said. “It was refreshing to be able to meet new people and see what they were able to build at home. It’s not all carbon copies like you see in the NHRA.
“We were not the fastest car on the property at each race, but we were in the top three every time, which shows how great of a car we do have while running a small block and not 100% nitro,” Meyer added. “We did make some adjustments that are not NHRA legal to have more power. There was definitely room for us to do more, but we just don’t have that much experience with that. For example, running 100% nitro. But we know we can run quick and fast with 95% because we do have the records for 1/8th mile. So I am very proud of my team to be able to go up against the big hitters like ‘War Wagon’ and be able to actually run side-by-side with them.”
The 2023 season saw the Meyer sisters achieve a lifelong dream, as Rachel served as Megan’s main tuner and mechanic. Multiple Nitro Chaos races were on top of NHRA events where team owner and lead tuner Randy Meyer had to field the team’s other A/Fuel dragsters in Top Alcohol Dragster competition, so the two sisters and their mother, Mary, primarily worked together at all four Nitro Chaos races.
“I’d like to thank my little sister and mom for being the two that came to every Nitro Chaos race to help me out,” said Megan, who also thanked partners like Gunk, Shop Squad, NGK Spark Plugs, and Lucas Oil. “We had different help and trailers and parts at each race, trying our best to take messy action and put together a championship team.
“It’s so cool having my sister be my mechanic, tuner, and starter,” Megan added. “This has been a childhood dream of ours to run a nitro dragster on our own and we’re finally doing it.”
The 2023 season was just the beginning for Randy Meyer Racing in the Chaos organizations. The team is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to spend more time refining the RMR A/Fuel Funny Car, which made its debut at the 2022 Funny Car Chaos Classic.
“The team plans to run the Funny Car more next year in either one or both of the Chaos series with my little sister, Rachel, and we are still determining what the rest of 2024 will look like for our team,” Meyer said. “We are very grateful for all of the good relationships we have with our favorite Chaos racing teams and we want to cheer them on for next year.”
There’s a different championship still on the line for Randy Meyer Racing, though, as Julie Nataas is the NHRA Lucas Oil Series Top Alcohol Dragster national points leader after her win at the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway. The championship hunt continues Oct. 12-15 at the Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas.