In a thirty day span, Larry Demers made his presence known in the NHRA Top Sportsman world by winning the Lucas Oil Nationals, the U.S. Nationals, and the LODRS race in Great Bend, Kansas.
At the age of 64, Larry Demers is making it seem to all the Top Sportsman racers out there that winning really isn’t as hard as it looks.
In a span of 30 days, Demers took home three Wally’s, one being the first ever Top Sportsman Wally from the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. Larry and his son Jeremy, who races Super Comp, travel as a two-man team, so these wins were all very special to them.
In June of 2018, Demers suffered an accident at Summit Motorsports Park which caused him to sit out the remainder of the season in order to get the car rebuilt. The two of them rebuilt the car and debuted it at the beginning of the 2019 season, not knowing how incredible of a season it was going to be for them.
Demers’ first win came at the Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainard, Minnesota. After that, they packed up and headed to Indianapolis for the prestigious U.S. Nationals. This was the first year Top Dragster and Top Sportsman were able to compete, so it was the talk of the town the weeks coming up to it.
A record-setting bump spot left him on the outside of the qualified field, but to his luck, another racer broke allowing Larry to move into the field as an alternate. After multiple days of rain and schedule changes, Top Sportsman was finally racing and Demers found himself in the winner’s circle again Monday night earning the first ever U.S. Nationals Top Sportsman trophy.
For the third time in a month Demers found the winner’s circle, this time at the Great Bend, Kansas LODRS race. After an amazing thirty day run, Demers topped off his amazing season by winning the Las Vegas LODRS event, his last race of the year.
Demers started racing when he was 16 years old on the streets during the muscle car era. Throughout his years at the racetrack, he competed in bracket racing, Quick 16, Super Comp, Super Gas, Top Dragster, and now Top Sportsman, where he seems to be comfortable.
Larry and his family first started racing at local tracks on a regular basis. When his boys became old enough, they started to travel more.
Jeremy and his dad took about a ten year break from racing to start an engine business, which they still have. Larry spends most of his time in the engine shop building all different types of motors that range from bracket racing, tractor/truck pulling, and mud racing.
“The hardest part of drag racing is the preparation, in my opinion,” Demers stated. “Trying to run a business and race at the same time is demanding. Without my son working with me, there would be no way we would get it all done.”
Demers enjoys the people at the racetrack the most. The families and friends built at the racetrack are something that can never be replaced.
“The motivation to continue comes from my family,” Demers said. “Without them it wouldn’t be possible. It truly is a team effort. Without everyone it couldn’t be done.”
Larry wanted to take a moment to thank EVERYONE that supports Demers Performance & Machine! You are the reason he keeps going!
About the author: Megan Strassweg is a 22 year old Super Comp racer from Louisville, Kentucky. She races a 2015 American Dragster sponsored by Coolshirt Systems. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May of 2020 with a degree in Photojournalism and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Megan works at Jim Butner Auto in the Finance Department. Growing up at the racetrack, drag racing is all she has known and never plans to give up on it.