Nataas Breaks Through With First Career NHRA Win At NGK Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals
Julie Nataas entered the NHRA NGK Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals with teammate Megan Meyer, and both women had high hopes of continuing the potent Randy Meyer Racing Team’s win-streak that carries on from 2018 into 2019. After coming close on several occasions, Nataas broke through in Charlotte, earning her first career NHRA win in Top Alcohol Dragster.
“I was very excited to be racing at the Four-Wide Nationals for the first time,” Nataas said. “I came into this race with the thought of having fun but being calm once I’m strapped in knowing that this was the NGK Spark Plugs national event.”
Driving for the family-owned business Oslo Tapet & Gulvbelegg AS, a floor covering and carpeting company based out of Norway, Julie qualified with a 5.27 at 274 mph to claim the fifth position. NGK Spark Plug’s primary driver, Megan Meyer, clinched the top spot with a stout 5.19 at 283 to set low ET and top mph of the class. The duo kicked off first round of eliminations with a bye-run for Meyer, while Nataas defeated Frank Schuster with a 5.30 at 273.
A strong 5.28 at 270 for Nataas and 5.26 at 280 for Meyer moved them into the head-to-head semifinal round. Nataas nailed the tree with a .040 reaction time to get the starting line advantage over Meyer, with her 5.32 holding off Meyer’s 5.31 by about five feet at the finish line.
It gave Nataas lane choice against Duane Shields in the final round and her first win against her teammate.
“I was really excited to beat Megan for the first time,” Nataas said. “The other times we have raced against each other I’ve been nervous because she has a fast car and great reaction times, so I knew I had to stay on top of my game to get around her. This weekend I was more calm going into each round and not focusing on getting a Wally but to just do my job.“
As the Christmas tree lights dropped, Shields had the holeshot start this time, but Nataas quickly made up the difference and rolled to the win with a 5.26 at 277, giving Nataas her first Wally.
“I’m going to try to continue the mindset I had coming into this weekend for my next race in Columbus,” Nataas said. “I can’t stress about winning too much or else I will get too nervous. The wins will come when they come.”
Team owner and tuner Randy Meyer is content with both cars taking the low qualifier and win for the NGK Spark Plugs event at zMAX Dragway. This is the ninth straight final round for the team, and they hope to continue their success into Columbus this weekend for the 17th annual NHRA Buckeye Nationals.
Tune in to FS2 on Thursday, May 9th at 9pm ET to catch the first airing of the NHRA NGK Spark Plugs 4-Wide Nationals, with multiple re-airs on FS2 and FS1 until June 8th.