CHICAGO (July 9) -- Running two big events in the same weekend seemed to suit Mia Tedesco just fine as the reigning Super Gas world champion starred in her "other" ride, the CARS Vehicle Service Contracts/Schepel Motors/NGK/Lucas Oil Top Alcohol dragster, with a runner-up result in the 33rd annual JEGS Allstars race and a semifinal finish in the 20th annual Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals.
"I'm always really excited when we have weekends like this," Tedesco said. "Some of the divisional races have two events in one so you get used to running a bunch of rounds, especially when you're running more than one car. I love it because I love to race so the more seat time I can get, the happier I am.
"This whole weekend was a very good one for us. We went rounds in the alcohol car and learned a lot. Making it to the JEGS Allstars is an accomplishment in itself but to make it to the finals was very humbling. On top of that, to turn around and have a semifinal finish today in the regular national event was a huge confidence booster."
One of the select qualifiers for the elite JEGS Allstars race, which was contested Saturday, Tedesco opened elimination action with a win over Dean Dubbin, 5.286 at 278.00 mph to a dead-late Dubbin's 8.466 at 97.55. She then beat a red-lighting Megan Meyer with 5.429 at 269.13 mph to earn a final-round date with Joey Severance.
After nearly identical reaction times, Severance was able to inch away and take the Allstar trophy with a 5.258 at 267.75 mph to Tedesco's game but trailing 5.342 at 268.01 mph.
"We’ve been working out some kinks in the dragster so to make it to the JEGS Allstars final made us pretty happy," Tedesco said. "You know when you go up against Joey, a guy who has won two world championships in a row, that he'll be ready. He doesn’t make mistakes and we knew that so we put together the best run we could. We fell a little short but we were happy to be there and make him earn it."
Riding the momentum of her runner-up result in the JEGS Allstars, Tedesco powered into Sunday's eliminations for the Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals as the No. 2 qualifier.
She quickly dispatched Kris Krabil, 5.328 at 273.55 mph to Krabil's 5.562 at 243.68 mph, and then downed Duane Shields with a 5.307 at 280.19 mph to Shields' 5.391 at 274.66 mph to draw Meyer in the semifinals. This time Meyer was able to exact revenge from Saturday's loss to Tedesco with a 5.355 at 268.76 mph to Tedesco's laboring 5.970 at 206.29 mph. Tedesco’s 280.19 mph pass against Shields was best of the meet.
"We have been testing with the new dragster chassis this year so to go rounds both days and make solid runs feels good," Tedesco said. "It's also promising for the future.
"The sportsman cars are running well too. My CARS Vehicle Service Contracts/VP Racing Fuels Super Gas Chevrolet Cavalier is running really well, I just have to have some luck fall my way. We also are learning a lot about Jason (Lynch, (crew chief and teammate's) Top Sportsman car so I feel good about our team. I’m ready to be back at the track and I haven't even left yet."