A little over a year ago, I57 Dragstrip and Luke Bogacki Motorsports joined forces to present the Racing RV’s Exclusive 150, featuring the largest single day purse in I57 Dragstrip history. That big payday stayed close to home, as Murphysboro, IL resident and former I-57 track champion Joe Davis took the $20,000 main event check in 2016.
Fast forward one year, and increase the top prize by another $5,000, and yet again the big cash stayed in the area. Mark Buttrum, who grew up in Murphysboro before a recent relocation to O’Fallon, MO, drove his Lumina past some of the biggest names in the sport to claim the $25,000 Advanced Product Design Main Event late Saturday night. Buttrum bested Georgia racer Bug McCarty in the final round. Indiana racers Denny Jones and Art Reed were semi-finalists.
The $25,000 APD main event was bookended by a pair of $10,000-to-win races. The big check in the weekend opening BRODIX Cylinder Heads $10,000 race went back to Canada with Jamie Bridge. Bridge won an all-dragster final round over Georgia-based Jim Brewer. Dave Mascaro finished the weekend when he defeated Jack Camden, Jr. in the final round of Sunday’s $10,000-to-win Renegade Racing Fuels Main Event.
In addition, racers who were defeated in round 2 of the APD $25,000 main event were automatically entered (for FREE) in a $2,500-to-win 2nd chance race, presented by ThisIsBracketRacing ELITE. The top prize in that event went to Chris Cadle, who made the trip from Michigan pay off behind the wheel of Ron Zeller’s S-10 pickup. Cadle defeated Brian Lauterbach in the final round.
As part of the BRODIX $10k event, all second round losers were entered into a drawing for a new set of BRX 20* Cylinder Heads. The lucky recipient was James Shown. Racers also took advantage of the unique 3rd round contingency program in the APD $25k and Renegade $10k events, as nearly a dozen racers earned cash prizes in each race, despite falling prior to the money rounds.
When the dust settled on Sunday afternoon, the weekend points championship ended in a 3-way tie. Missouri-based Dave McDonald turned on 11 win lights over the course of the weekend, the most rounds won by a dragster. That title earned him a free entry into the 2017 Moser Great American $50,000 Bracket Race, coming to Memphis International Raceway next month. Wes May and Travis Eaton matched that total on the door car side, with Eaton getting the nod via coin flip. Auto Meter sent Eaton home with a complimentary Ultimate DL tachometer for the most rounds won by a door car. McDonald, May, and Eaton then drew for the overall points championship prize, a custom embroidered Alliance Racewear -5 driving suit, which also went back to Tennessee with Travis Eaton.
Saturday night’s main event was highlighted by a huge spectator crowd, a staple of big buck competition at I-57 Dragstrip. Over the weekend, just over 1,000 spectators crammed into the southern Illinois facility to witness some of the best bracket action in the nation.
Luke Bogacki, Scott Bailey, and the entire I-57 Dragstrip staff would like to once again thank every participant and fan for attending the 2nd annual Racing RV’s Exclusive 150!