K&N Spring Fling Vegas - Complete Results & Photos
Las Vegas, NV
K&N SPRING FLING MILLION – TUESDAY RESULTS
With a potential of a $1,000,000 payday to one lucky racer, racers from all over the country including Mexico and Canada, flocked to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with the hopes of being that one fortunate person at the K&N Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries.
The gates opened yesterday and by the time they closed at 9:00 last night, over 500 entries rolled through the gate to take part in the week’s festivities. Three separate $30,000-to-win races bookend Friday’s Spring Fling Million race. Typically, a lot of people will enter the auxiliary races with hopes of earning enough money to enter the separate Million with its progressive payout that guarantees $250,000 to the winner regardless of car count. The payout increases according to the entry count with only 475 entries required to pay the full $1,000,000.
“Judging from the number of cars we have on the property as of today,” says co-promoter Peter Biondo, “the Million will definitely be our biggest Million Dollar race since we began that type of payout four years ago.”
Today’s schedule called for a free Test & Tune session sponsored by FST Carbs. In addition, a limited 48-car field raced for a brand-new American Race Cars dragster complete with Brando Custom Paint worth $40,000. However, what is not typical for the Las Vegas race is the uncertainty of weather. For a city which boast 122 casinos and therefore keeping a great majority of its visitors indoors, Las Vegas claims an average of 294 days of sunshine each year. Today began with bright sunshine but turned wet before the first round of the Dragster Shootout eliminations. Several hours of wet followed by attention from the staff at LVMS brought the track back in shape and by 6:45, we were underway once again with time trials and eliminations.
After the second round of the American Race Cars and Brando Custom Paint Dragster Shootout, falling temperatures; another thing which isn’t typical for Las Vegas in April; forced officials to postpone eliminations until Wednesday morning. The remaining 12 racers will be paired on a ladder in the morning; of which the weatherman has assured will be a much better day.
K&N SPRING FLING MILLION – WEDNESDAY RESULTS
Sunshine and warmer temperatures greeted racers today at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Maytag/Silverstate Refrigeration Wednesday of the K&N Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries. The plan for today was a single time trial for new entries only followed by eliminations for the Maytag $30,000-to-win day. However, first up was the American Race Cars/Brando Custom Paint Dragster Shootout to finish their eliminations leftover from Tuesday night.
With three cars left in the Shootout, Jeff Burns received the odd car bye run to advance him directly to the final round where he would face either Shane Thompson or Gary Williams. While the win in the final would earn that person a brand-new dragster, the semifinalist receives a free three-day entry to the 2020 Spring Fling Million event. The runner-up receives a free entry to the Million Dollar portion of the 2020 Spring Fling event.
In that semifinal round, the importance of a good reaction time was pretty evident when Williams left with a .004 reaction time to Thompson’s .030, leaving Thompson on the outside when it came to the finish line. For his bye run, Burns left the line with a red-light which gave Williams lane choice for the final round.
And in that final, Williams left first by virtue of his 4.66 dial-in with a .005 reaction time, but Burns’ .012 and dead-on the dial with “3” was enough to reward him with a new race car to take home to Tennessee.
Eliminations for Maytag Wednesday’s main event then began at roughly 10:00 in the morning and by the time the first round was complete at around 2:50 in the afternoon, 562 entries had competed in the first round. “We are so thankful for all our customers who had the faith in us to put on a great event,” said co-promoter Kyle Seipel. “This is our biggest event since we began here in Vegas seven years ago. We’re so excited in that as of today, we are on line to have the largest payout ever for Friday’s main Million race.”
With ten cars left laddered for round seven, the remaining drivers were Pro 38 winner off the footbrake Brad Burton; former Fling winner Peeps Pennington, perennial champ Scott Richardson; Michael Pennington; Bryson Scruggs; Kevin Thorp; NHRA Top Dragster world champ Paul Nero; Mike Rock; former Fling winner John Labbous; and Johnny Carter. The winners of that round moving into round eight were Michael Pennington, Scruggs, Labbous, footbraker Burton and Thorp. With five cars remaining, the bye run in the quarterfinals by virtue of the best reaction time of the round was Michael Pennington.
Round eight and the remaining drivers for the $30,000-to-win race were Thorp and Labbous, with Labbous using a .005 reaction time to earn the last remaining bye run into the final, while Pennington took his quarterfinal bye run.
Thorp and Pennington battled it out for their chance to face Labbous in the final, but Pennington turned on the red-light by -.005 to advance Thorp. Labbous took his bye run with a .004 reaction time which gave him lane choice for the final against Thorp. And then there were two.
For a man who has a number of Spring Fling trophies to his credit and had been killing the ‘Tree all day, Labbous dropped it red by -.004 in the final to hand the trophy to the man from Knickerbocker, Texas. “So unbelievable,” said Thorp. “I was good when I had to be good and lucky when I needed to be lucky.”
K&N SPRING FLING MILLION – THURSDAY RESULTS
There was price on Kevin Thorp’s head after his win last night in the Maytag/Silverstate Refrigeration Wednesday portion of the K&N Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries. The person who beat him in any round of eliminations today earned themselves a Racepak Sportsman Data Logger. That person ended up being Dane Ward who took out Thorp in the very first round.
Once again, a time trial session was held for new entries only and by 8:30 in the morning, eliminations began for Racepak Thursday. Maytag/Silverstate Wednesday had 562 entries making the first round. Today, that number increased to 586 entries making the first-round call, which precipitated another five-hour first round.
It was four years ago when co-promoters Pete Biondo and Kyle Seipel instituted a Pro38 footbrake class to the line-up in the Spring Fling Million. The select group of footbrake racers race each other until a winner is crowned, after which that person advances to the sixth round of the Super Pro class in addition to receiving a $500 bonus over and above whatever round money they earned. Last night’s Pro38 winner was two-time NHRA Stock Eliminator champ Brad Burton who advanced to the quarterfinal round against a sea of delay box racers. Tonight’s Pro38 winner was many-time big money race winner “Nasty Nick” Hastings who dispatched another heavy hitter in Ryan Mangus with a .019 package for the win.
The remaining ten racers set on a ladder for round seven were Wes Anderson, John Labbous, Donny Burleson, Trevor Larson, Kurt Gross, Paul Lofton, Tim Wurtz, Johnny Ezell, Scott Hern, and of course Hastings. Survivors of that round were Larson, Ezell, Burleson, Hastings hanging tough off the bottom bulb, and Labbous who used a .005 reaction time to earn the odd car bye run in the quarterfinals.
Transferring into the semifinals with wins in round eight were Ezell, Larson and of course Labbous on the bye run. For the semis, Ezell will advance into the final with the bye run based on his .006 reaction time and dead-on the dial with a “0”.
For the semis, Larson and Labbous faced off for the right to run Ezell for the Racepak Thursday trophy and accompanying $30,000 that goes with it. Looking to add a fifth Spring Fling trophy to his impressive resume, it was not to be as Labbous turned on the red-light to advance Larson who left the line with a .030 reaction time. On his bye run, Ezell scored a .009 reaction time to give him lane choice in the final based on reaction time.
Ten rounds of racing, 586 entries and some 13 hours later, the Racepak Thursday final was set with two tough competitors. By virtue of his dial-in, Ezell left the line first with an .010 light and never looked back, running a 4.754 on a 4.74 for an .008-second advantage at the finish line over Larson.
K&N SPRING FLING MILLION DOLLAR RESULTS
The day arrived. Maytag/Silverstate Refrigeration Million Dollar Friday, the main event of the K&N Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries. A day which will certainly change the life of one person.
This being Vegas, what better “casino” to place a bet than The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and first up today was the Brodix Run For The $50,000. For a $50 “bet,” place a dial-in on your car, “pull the handle,” leave the starting line with a perfect .000 reaction time and run dead-on your dial with a “0” gets you a perfect run and a $50,000 check. If no perfect runs are recorded, the best package earns that driver a set of Brodix SR20 cylinder heads. Second place gets a $2,000 check and third place a free entry into the 2020 Spring Fling Million main event. If no one hits the $50K perfect run, the first perfect run in Friday’s elimination will earn that driver $20,000.
No perfect runs but Sean Page used a two-thousandths package to take home the set of Brodix cylinder heads. Cassie Pennington and Wes Anderson tied for second with a “five-pack” to respectively take home $2,000 in cash and a free 2020 Spring Fling Million Friday entry.
And so began the first round of eliminations for the main event, the one everyone wants to win, Million Dollar Friday. When the first round was complete almost three hours after it began, 344 entries had taken their shot at the win. According to the progressive winner’s share, someone was going to walk home at the end of the night with a $375,000 check, possibly the largest amount of money paid to date for the win of any single drag race, regardless of class.
Because no one hit the Run For The $50K, co-promoters Kyle Seipel and Peter Biondo chose to roll $20,000 over to the first person who lays down a perfect run in Friday’s eliminations, which never occurred, albeit still an admirable effort and the reason so many racers like the Spring Fling brand of races.
The PRO38 class of footbrakers once again battled down to a final round where Andy Schmall battled Dustin Henry with Schmall getting the win. The win included a bonus of $500 and the advancement to the Super Pro round seven with the remaining Super Pro competitors.
Round six competitors included Val Torres Jr., Jason Lynch, Chris Northrup, Aaron Gee, Kenny Underwood, Peeps Pennington, Jeremy Maples, Brandon Jamall, Dan Northrop, Dan Lafferty, Shane Carr, Dustin Dee Long, Lane ****en and John Labbous. Winners that round included Carr, Gee, ****en, Schmall, Lynch, Pennington, Dan Northrop, Jarrell, in addition to PRO38 winner Schmall.
Quarterfinal round and the winners were Carr, Northrop, Pennington and while Pennington is technically in a door car, his roadster, the lone remaining PRO38 door car of Schmall is still hanging tough with the delay box crowd.
Four cars and four tough competitors. First up was Carr and Northrop, with Carr using a .003 reaction time to Northrop’s .022 for the win. Next up were the two remaining “door cars,” Pennington and Schmall with Pennington taking the win while Schmall ran .004 under his dial. And with that, the final was set with former Vegas Fling winner Pennington looking for his second Fling trophy, while Carr, driving Shane Thompson’s 4.4-second car at this race, has won at just about every big money race all acro ss the country.
In the final, Pennington had the reaction time advantage and held on for the win to add his name to an impressive list of Million Dollar race winners, earning a record amount of money for his efforts, taking it all the way back to Three Rivers, Texas. The one question he asked after the final? “Can I still race tomorrow on the last day?” Not a good idea. But he’ll be enjoying a two-night stay at the Cosmopolitan Resort as part of his winnings.
K&N SPRING FLING MILLION – SATURDAY RESULTS
Day last of the K&N Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries has come. Five days of racing, over 5,000 runs down the track, countless thousands of dollars given away and it all came to a close today with one more day of eliminations in a $30,000-to-win, FTI Saturday.
“We are so overwhelmed with the support we received from each and every racer that had the confidence in us that we would give them everything they asked for and more,” said co-promoter Peter Biondo. “There aren’t enough thank yous we could offer to show our appreciation. Myself, my wife Emily and my partner Kyle Seipel are so honored by the presence of each racer, crew, family and fans. We had a blast this week and can’t wait to do it all again next year.”
First up today was the Reaction Time Challenge for 25 randomly picked racers to take a shot at either a double “0” or perfect triple “0” reaction time. Any .00X earned the driver a crisp $100 bill, with a perfect light ten crisp $100 bills. No one was able to score that perfect .000, but five racers walked away with a piece of paper with a photo of Ben Franklin.
The PRO38 final of footbrake cars was an all-Schmall affair with brothers Andy and Brandon going at each other with brother Andy taking the win back home along with the $500 bonus and advancing into round seven.
The remaining nine cars were Schmall, who carded a semifinal round finish yesterday; John Labbous; Vinny DiMino, Gary Williams, Bobby Dye, Dale Taros; Jeremy Rupp; Donny Burleson; with Courtland Carter receiving the odd car bye run.
Survivors of round seven were Labbous in Anthony Bertozzi’s Super Gas car, the lone remaining door car, with Labbous already having a runner-up and semifinal appearance this week; former Vegas Fling winner Dimino; Burleson; and NHRA national event winner Dye.
Quarterfinals had Dimino on the bye to advance to the semis, while in a classic two for one where a win also earned you the semifinal round bye run, Dye turned on the red-light to advance Labbous to his second final of the week. In the other half, Carter used a .017 package to defeat Burleson, which left Carter to battle it out with DiMino to see who faces Labbous.
In that semi, Carter had a .042 reaction time while DiMino left with an .015, a deficit Carter couldn’t make up, advancing DiMino to face Labbous in a battle of former Fling winners.
It was the 2018 version of this same event when Vinny DiMino seemingly couldn’t get out of his own way let alone win a round of racing. But by the final day, Saturday, he turned on ten win lights to take the trophy back to New York with him. Flash forward one year, and as he said, “I was really getting beat up all weekend here. But whatever it was, we turned it around for the win.”
As the box score shows, Labbous dropped it red in the final with DiMino scoring a .016 reaction time and a dead-on the dial with a “4” for the win.
Our sincere congratulations go out to each of the winners, Tuesday’s Dragster Shootout winner Jeff Burns; Maytag Wednesday’s Kev in Thorp; Racepak Thursday’s Johnny Ezell; Maytag Friday’s Million Dollar winner Peeps Pennington; and of course, today’s FTI Saturday winner Vinny DiMino.
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