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Fri, 21 Sep 2001, 10:49 AM

Hyerstay has High Hopes for Medford in Chase for Division Title
Courtesy of NHRA Field Marketing





MEDFORD, Ore. - When Brian Hyerstay began racing a Volkswagen-powered dragster in Competition Eliminator 15 years ago, the Eugene, Ore., flyer couldn’t have imagined that one day he would pilot one of the fastest cars in the country.

“I’ve been running the same combination since the 1980’s but it’s only been in the past two years that we’ve really gotten it to work well. We’ve been very competitive with our 102-inch Volkswagen-powered dragster the past few years. At almost every race we’ve attended we’ve qualified number one, after a number of years of struggling just to qualify,” says Hyerstay.

Hyerstay attributes much of his success over the past several years to the purchase of a new chassis from Frameworks and the help of former Comp racer, Rick Houser. Hired last year as a consultant before the Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series event at Renegade Raceways in Yakima, Wash., Houser has helped Hyerstay become a more focused driver.

“I didn’t realize how poor a driver I was until I really started to run fast. Prior to that I would just go to the line feeling like I had nothing to lose. Chances were that I‘d get beat anyway, so it almost didn’t matter if I red-lighted. If I was lucky, I could beat someone on a holeshot. I was the one getting beat up on. I’d qualify well but couldn’t win a race because even though the car was consistent, my driving was not,” explained Hyerstay.

As soon as Houser came on board last year, the difference in Hyerstay’s driving was noticeable. After being eliminated in the first round at the Federal-Mogul Series event in Mission, B.C., and the second round in Woodburn, Ore., Hyerstay went on to win in Yakima, his very first race with Houser aboard. He then went on to win in Salt Lake City, Utah, and runner-up in Medford. This helped the Comp Eliminator driver clinch his first NHRA Northwest Division Championship title; a feat which Hyerstay hopes to repeat again this year.

“It was so exciting to win the Northwest Division Comp title last year. With a pair of runner-ups and a win at Renegade Raceways so far this year, I can’t believe that I’m in the position to do it two years in a row. If I win Medford that should lock it up,” said Hyerstay.

You can find Hyerstay trying defend his title at Southern Oregon Dragway Sept. 21-22, when the NHRA’s Federal-Mogul Drag Racing Series comes to Medford, Ore., the last of six events in NHRA’s Northwest division.



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