Drag Illustrated Issue 179, November / December 2022 - Page 46

Dirt

Bracket Racing Jackpot

Multiple winners leave Montgomery with big money after 27th annual Million Dollar Drag Race By Jessica H . Spears

Truthfully , is there anything better than the original ? If asked winning which event would highlight their career , numerous bracket racers across the country will quickly exclaim , “ The OG Million !” Of course , they are referring to the longrunning Million Dollar Drag Race that just concluded its 27th installment .

Folk Promotions has been at the helm of the prestigious event for the last 14 years , but this time they were thrown a few curveballs . The 27th Annual Mickey Thompson Million Dollar Drag Race held the largest crowd in history , with the Million main event car count soaring to 496 entries , while the surrounding races drew in more than 600 entries each . This incredible crowd required long hours of on-track action to complete each race , but time was scarce due to an unusual Southern cold spell creating record-low temperatures in Montgomery , Alabama .
“ We are ecstatic to see hundreds of racers continuing to support this event year after year ,” said Jennifer Folk , co-promoter . “ The cold morning and evening temperatures were a bit of a challenge , which is why we decided to combine Thursday and Saturday ’ s Summit $ 50K races into one $ 100K . After the necessary schedule changes , all the races were completed with four winners crowned . Additionally , a lot of money and tons of prizes were given out at the track and to those at home in the Million VIP Club .”
TUESDAY RACE TO THE MILLION WARM-UP The Race to the Million Warm-Up event concluded with Alabama native Derek Fuller securing the win over Joe Hoskins , driving to a . 004 margin of victory on Tuesday . Fuller earned the $ 18,000 check along with an entry into the Million Dollar main event , bringing his winnings to a lucrative $ 20K .
round . Clarke had issues leaving the starting line while Folk eased off the throttle to collect his $ 50,000 victory . Clarke earned $ 7,000 for his runner-up performance .
FRIDAY MICKEY THOMPSON MILLION DOLLAR MAIN EVENT Friday ’ s record-setting 496 entries created a $ 640,000 winning purse , $ 50,000 runner-up prize , and $ 10,000 semifinalist earnings as written on the flyer for the Million Dollar Main Event . Eventually , the intense competition whittled down with only six remaining wheelmen : Tucker Kanselaar , Wayne Gibson , Jason Lynch , AJ Ashe ,
Tom Stalba , and Rayce Tarleton .
Lynch and Gibson both illuminated the red light by just a few thousandths , which advanced their respective opponents , Kanselaar and Stalba , into the semifinals . Ashe was . 015 on the tree but was left mathematically ineligible beside Tarleton , who was . 007 green and ran dead-on with a four to take the win .
Impressively calm under pressure , Tarleton ’ s quarterfinal win light secured the last bye run of the race , which he had carried for five rounds prior . At that point , all drivers had negotiated how the prize money would be split up , meaning Tarleton knew that winning the round guaranteed
WEDNESDAY SUMMIT $ 50K Wednesday featured the first $ 50,000-to-win race sponsored by Summit Racing Equipment . The ninth round of competition included three drivers : Nick Folk , Josh Jarrell , and Brad Clarke . In the semifinal , Jarrell let go a little early with a red light , handing the win over to Clarke , who put together an . 023 total package . On the bye run , Folk was . 006 red and coasted across the finish line saving his machine for the final round .
To increase the already high-stakes nature of big-money bracket racing , Wednesday ’ s final pair stayed true to the flyer in a no-split final
PHOTOGRAPHS BY CHRIS SIMMONS
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