Corey Michalek Qualifies the KAG A/fuel Dragster into Stout Norwalk Field
Michalek Brothers Racing catches tough break from mechanical gremlins
Corey Michalek rockets down the Norwalk quarter-mile in the KAG/Dreher Motorsports A/fuel dragster en route to a 5.445 second, 257.73mph lap to qualify 11th for eliminations.
The MBR/Dreher Motorsports A/fuel dragster entry sponsored by the Kenan Advantage Group (KAG) and Champion Spark Plugs qualified #11 amongst a field of 21 of the nation’s premier Top Alcohol Dragster drivers at the 8th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, OH. Taking place over the course of a picture-perfect 4th of July weekend, this was the team’s third NHRA national event appearance as competitors; all of which MBR has successfully made the qualifying field.
Rookie driver Corey Michalek returned to the seat for the second time this year, and the team started the weekend out with a strong 5.455 second elapsed time at 262.03mph during Q1. During the second round of qualifying, the team had an aborted run due to tire shake and ended day 1 in the #10 qualifying spot. The 3,500 horsepower KAG A/fueler took the track one last time early Saturday afternoon and improved on its initial qualifying time by running a 5.445 second lap at 257.73mph to secure the #11 spot in the ladder. Unfortunately, during the process, parts attrition took its toll and MBR’s weekend came to an end before contesting the first round of eliminations.
Fresh off his second event of NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster competition, rookie driver Corey Michalek evaluated the team’s performance.
“Obviously we want to do well every time we show up at the track,” said Corey. “There is definitely a sense frustration when we don’t do well because Kyle and I have such an intense desire to win, just like our teammates, Randy and Jared Dreher. But we’re also realistic because we have been around the sport long enough to fully understand that sometimes there is only so much that is in our control. When you put nitro inside of a race car, parts are going to malfunction and weekends like this are going to happen, unfortunately.”
Michalek wasn’t totally down on the final outcome of the weekend, however.
“On the positive side, though, we persevered enough to rise above the mechanical issues in order to solidly qualify the KAG / Dreher Motorsports A/fuel dragster in the #11 spot. Considering the competition that was on the property, and the fact that the current national points leader was unable to make the show, that was quite the accomplishment.”
The KAG/Champion Spark Plugs sponsored A/fueler blasts off the Summit Motorsports Park starting line during Q1 at the 2014 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.
The 8th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals also marked the first time that the younger Michalek had piloted a race car down the esteemed Norwalk racing surface. Corey happily recalled his experience of finally getting an opportunity to race at his home track in front of a capacity crowd filled with friends and family.
“Turning the corner in front of the huge Summit Motorsports Park grandstands for the first time was an awesome moment.”
“After standing along those fences for years, to moving behind the car on the starting line as a crew member, it was great to finally be in the position to make a lap down the Norwalk quarter-mile,” said Corey. “Having a huge contingent of family, friends, and MBR supporters on-hand in the stands and in the pits all weekend long was the icing on the cake. Kyle and I are beyond grateful to have the backing of such an awesome support system.”
With 2014’s three scheduled races in the books, Michalek Brothers Racing now shifts their focus to next season and beyond.
“Each year MBR strives to move forward and 2014 has been a year of great progress,” said Kyle. “With the addition of KAG to our team, and the continued support of Champion, Fel-Pro, Sealed Power, and Speed Pro we were able to bring home a National Event win at the Charlotte NHRA Four Wide Nationals. This provides momentum and inspiration to continue building our program so we can increase our participation within the class. We’re confident our team has a lot to offer both on and off the track. We will take the next couple months off to focus on building relationships with current and future business partners, and look to come back strong in 2015. But, if an opportunity comes up to hit the track again this year we won’t think twice about it!”