Las Vegas, NV
K&N SPRING FLING MILLION – TUESDAY RESULTS
And so it began, the third edition of the K&N Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries. Once again, the site is The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the newly crowned four-wide facility, with this event contested on only two of the lanes.
Tech inspection continued today with a free Test & Tune session sponsored by Yukon Gear & Axle in addition to the American Race Cars Dragster Shootout with the winner of the exclusive 48-car field receiving a brand new ride. The gates opened for parking and tech inspection yesterday and by the time it closed for the night, over 400 entries had been sold, especially noteworthy given the ‘Fling rules which state a car can only go down the track one time per round.
With three auxiliary races each paying a guaranteed $30,000 to win in addition to hefty round money, the main event, the Spring Fling Million to be held on Friday carries with it a $2,000 entry fee. Co-promoters Pete Biondo and Kyle Seipel want as many to enter as possible and as such began today what will turn out to be many Million Dollar Raffles. Beginning with a $50 raffle and only 40 entries followed by a $100 raffle with 20 entries, a couple of lucky individuals will win their way into the main event. In addition, a Practice Tree Race was held Tuesday night as well with the winners receiving a Million Dollar Race entry.
In the American Race Cars Dragster Shootout with six remaining in the quarterfinal round, the combatants were Kevin Heffington, Trevor Larson, John Lobner. Lori Warden, Jeremy Rapp and Lori Warden’s husband, James.
For the quarters, James Warden defeated Heffington, Lori Warden used a .004 reaction time and a dead-on the dial with a “9” to defeat Rapp and Larson went red to move Lobner into the semifinals to face James Warden. Lori Warden’s reaction time earned her the semifinal bye run into the final round.
In that semifinal, Lobner turned on the red-light to make it an all-Warden final, husband against wife, both driving Tom Bayer’s School of Drag Racing cars. Winner receives the dragster and the runner-up earns them self an entry into the main event, the Million Dollar Race on Friday. For his efforts, Lobner received a three-day entry into the 2019 event.
For James’ sake, he’s thankful he isn’t going to have to sleep on the couch tonight as it was his wife Lori who used a .009 reaction time to force her husband into running out, giving her the win. “We’ve raced two other times before and he won both times, so I’m happy,” said Lori. “But he’s an amazing racer and I have to thank him and Tom Bayer for all the coaching.”
K&N SPRING FLING MILLION – WEDNESDAY RESULTS
With one day in the books at the K&N Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries, Maytag Silverstate Refrigeration Wednesday got underway early in the morning with a single time trial run afforded to all entrants. When you have well over 400 entries, that one shot can take quite a while.
Today’s guaranteed purse awarded one winning individual $30,000, in addition to a healthy amount of round money along with over $60,000 in prizes and awards randomly handed out all day. It was the first of two more auxiliary races with the main event, the Million contested on Friday where the actual win money is closely attached to the car count. Regardless of the number of cars though, the win money is guaranteed to be at least a hefty $200,000, with all the rest of the round money starting with a 3rd round win earning $1,000. “Should over 400 cars enter the Million, the guaranteed win money jumps to $500,000 and only grows from there,” said co-promoter Peter Biondo.
Typically in the past, high-dollar bracket races were laden with the long cars; more specifically dragsters. In standard Spring Fling innovation, co-promoters Pete Biondo and Kyle Seipel instituted separating door cars from dragsters until later rounds at the very first Spring Fling race in Bristol, TN. The result has almost single-handily brought quite a few door cars to the party and started a trend which has spread to most every other bracket race in the country. With over 439 race cars making the first round of eliminations, roughly 40- to 50-percent of them are door cars.
Buybacks are as big a part of bracket racing as anything else. Lose in the first round and it allows you the opportunity to “buyback” your way into the program. The problem with them is that they usually will add time and another round to the event. Because of the size of the field today along with some breakage along the way, officials made the decision to suspend buybacks for the day. As it was, the first round of eliminations wasn’t completed until 5:30.
It wasn’t until 10:00pm when the Maytag Silverstate Refrigeration Wednesday field was reduced to round six, the ladder round of 15 cars, seven of which were door cars. The remaining racers were Andy Schmall, Brian Vader, John De Jonge, Peeps Pennington, Troy Williams, Dom Meziere, Bradley Johnson, Monte Rice, Jack Sadler, John Labbous, Marko Perivolaris, Dennis Lithgold, Buddy Ferrell, Nathan Martin and George Lewis.
The remaining racers after round six were Schmall, Pennington, Meziere, Johnson, Sadler, Perivolaris, Ferrell and Lewis. With eight cars left for round seven, the split was even between door cars and dragsters. In that round, Sadler turned on the red-light to advance Johnson, Meziere took the win light against Lewis, Pennington ran out to move Ferrell ahead, and Perivolaris used a better reaction time to advance over Schmall. Three dragsters stacked against the one door car of Meziere for the semifinals.
In the first half of the semis, Johnson; who was the big winner two weeks earlier at the Four-Wide NHRA Nationals; turned it red against former ‘Fling winner Perivolaris, while on the other side, Meziere; an NHRA national event winner himself; and his fast door car used a better reaction to take the best of Ferrell. And so, the final was door car vs. dragster; two California drivers who know where the winner’s circle is.
With Perivolaris receiving the head start, both drivers had g ood reaction times, but it was the Perivolaris who in his first three rounds of eliminations today had a .000, .000, and a .001 reaction times to start his day. Perivolaris won the last day at the 2017 version of the Spring Fling Million and with this the first day of the event, he has stretched his wins at the ‘Fling to 19 straight wins.
“I have to thank my family, my sister and mom and dad for all the support they give me,: said Perivolaris. “It’s an honor to race with them.”
K&N SPRING FLING MILLION – THURSDAY RESULTS
Yesterday was a particular long day with time trials starting at 8:00 in the morning and the final round not taking place until the witching hour of midnight with Marko Perivolaris repeating his K&N Spring Fling win from last year. Racepak Thursday was a financial duplicate of Wednesday’s race with $30,000 going to the winner.
When the Spring Fling brand came to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway six years ago, it included racing in two categories; Super Pro and Pro; or Box and No Box for lack of a better explanation. When the event changed to the Spring Fling Million with a potential payday of $1,000,000 two years ago, co-promoters Peter Biondo and Kyle Seipel opted to race just one category, Super Pro due to the increasing number of cars. However, not wishing to forego the support of the Pro racers who have long supported the brand, the decision was made to include an elite 38-car Pro field. Just as door cars are kept separate from dragsters in the Super Pro class, so do the Pro 38 racers who run to a class winner and then that person is inserted into the following Super Pro round in addition to earning an extra $500 from W.W. Williams Racing.
In addition to the win last night, Perivolaris earned a bounty on his head courtesy of Racepak. The person beating Perivolaris today earned themselves a Racepak Sportsman Data Logger. That lucky person turned out to be Tony Farmer from Midland, Texas, using a dead-on the dial with a “3” to defeat Perivolaris in the second round of eliminations.
Another long day but at the ladder round, round seven, 11 racers remained; Scott Stockton, moving into the Super Pro field after winning the Pro 38 class; Jim Shelton; Al Quigley; Paul Lorton; Wes Barnard; Dustin Wurtz; Luke Bogacki, last year’s million dollar winner, Gary Williams; Lane Dicken; Kevin Thorp; and Sean Shaffer. The survivors from that round were Quigley, Wurtz, Williams, Bogacki, Dicken and Stockton.
For the quarterfinals with six cars remaining, the two door cars of Quigley and Stockton were hanging in there with the remaining dragsters. When the smoke cleared from the round, Quigley, Bogacki and Dicken remained and for the semifinals, based on his .002 reaction time, Dicken will receive the odd car bye run to move him directly into the final against either Bogacki or the lone remaining door car of Quigley.
In the semis, Quigley picked the wrong time to miss the ‘tree with a .057 reaction time to Bogacki’s .011 which ultimately found the win light in Bogacki’s lane. Dicken took his bye run by hitting the ‘tree with a .006 and shutting off early, but the .006 gave him lane choice in the final. Interesting final round would find Dicken, who was a runner-up in the 2016 Million to Jeff Verdi, facing off with last year’s Million dollar man Bogacki.
For the finals, Bogacki left the line first with a .008 reaction time and it was Dicken’s fate to miss the ‘tree with a .021 which gave Bogacki room at the finish line for the win.
“I didn’t start off today driving that well,” said Bogacki, “but it came around for me. And I think I like this place.”
K&N SPRING FLING MILLION – FRIDAY RESULTS
It’s been a year in the planning since Luke Bogacki turned on the win light at last year’s Million Dollar Race at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and today was the day. Former winners Jeff Verdi and Bogacki can attest to the life-changing experience it is to win a Spring Fling Million and by the end of today, one more person joined that exclusive Spring Fling Million winner’s club. But before that happened, there was one more opportunity for racers to earn some cash.
First up was the Brodix Run For The $50K where a combination of a perfect reaction time along with a dead-on the dial with a “0” earns that driver a cool $50,000. Everyone on the property was eligible for the time trial run where even the three best packages, had no one hit the perfect run, earning prizes. First place received a set of Brodix SR20 cylinder heads, second $2,000 in cash and third, a free three-day entry to the 2019 Spring Fling event.
Prior to the run, co-promoter Kyle Seipel said, “We’ve already had three perfect runs made prior to this point and I have an intuition this morning that there’s probably a 60-percent chance we’ll be handing over $50K to someone. If a perfect run doesn’t happen, I still believe it would take at least a .002 package to win the Brodix heads.”
So much for Seipel’s intuition… or his prediction, but it was quite a round with three racers setting the mark tied at .003 package. Those three; Larry Webb, Dan Northrop and Mike Bloomfield; shared the number forcing a “run-off” of sorts. Each name was put into a hat with the first pulled out; Bloomfield; receiving the heads, while Northrop walked away with $2K and Webb a three-day entry to the 2019 Spring Fling Million.
As for the main event, the Pro 38 class final, which was no-box category of cars, included many-time NHRA national event champ Dan Fletcher and Wednesday’s Pro 38 winner Andy Schmall, with both moving into round six for the class win before they integrate with the Super Pro field.
The survivors of round five, moving into round six would be naturally Schmall and Fletch, but also JR Lobner with two entries left, Dylan Stott, Aaron Kinard, Randell Reid, Dan Lafferty also with two entries, Trevor Harkema, Johnny Ezell, Peeps and Phillip Pennington.
Round six started off with the Pro 38 final where Schmall wasn’t intimidated by the 100+ NHRA national event winner Fletcher, defeating him to move into round seven of the Super Pro field. The other survivors were Lobner still with two cars, Stott, Ezell, Kinard and Reid.
In other festivities of the day, the Racer Appreciation Party included a raffle drawing for a Racetech dragster. If winning one car in the American Race Cars Dragster Shootout on Tuesday wasn’t enough, Lori Warden’s name was pulled out of the out to win another dragster. Two dragsters in one week. A Calcutta was also held where for $75, you chose a Million Dollar race entry’s name out of a hat. If your racer went the furthest, you received $10,000. Darrell Long must be also happy as his man, Aaron Kinard earned him the $10K.
For round seven, Lobner received the bye with his first entry to move that car into the semifinals, while Stott and Kinard also advanced with Lobner’s second entry defeated by Reid.
Semifinal round, first up was Stott and Reid with Stott turning on the red-light by -.001. Lobner then made the best of his chances with a reaction time advantage to defeat Kinard. Texas vs. Kansas, Lobner vs. Reid and despite both men’s success on the NHRA side of the fence, there’s little doubt that neither has won more money for a final round.
Final round and it was Texas all the way as Reid held the starting line advantage and never looked back. “It’s really unbelievable,” said Reid, “as this was the first actual time I’ve raced all year. I want to thank my dad and my wife back home who is probably going crazy.” And with that, Reid and his crew were whisked off to a suite at the Cosmopolitan Resort in a custom limousine.
K&N SPRING FLING MILLION – FINAL DAY RESULTS
Four straight days of high dollar bracket racing and it all comes down to Day Last at the K&N Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries. After a night of no doubt partying, it’s doubtful the newest member of the Spring Fling Million Dollar Club, Randell Reid, might be sleeping in at the luxury suite at the Cosmopolitan Resort, part of his winnings from last night’s event.
Regardless of him not being there, the day began with the ‘Fling’s patented $20,000 Reaction Time Challenge where 20 randomly selected drivers are chosen to take one hit at the ‘tree. Any .00X reaction time earns the driver $100 cash, while a perfect .000 awards $1,000 and the chance to come back and do it again. Do for the second time and the driver gets $10,000. There were no perfect reaction times yet seven drivers recorded .00X with each; Kalim Menzel, Jeff Devey, Jeremy Hancock, Dale Taros, Aaron Marcum, Mark Yeager, and Andy Taylor; getting a $100 bill for their efforts.
After the Fling Family Photo, a group shot of every driver, crew, family, taken in front of the track’s iconic tower, eliminations began. Four hundred and twenty cars made the first round call and down to the ladder round with ten left, the combatants were Pro 38 Saturday champ Brian Cireddu, Gary Williams, Courtland Carter, Darrel Contreras, Logan Warr, Ryan McClanahan, Ted Kellner, Vinny DiMino, Jason Schade, and Johnny Ezell.
Round seven, Williams took out Carter; DiMino bested Schade; Warr took out Contreras; Cireddu defeated Ezell, and McClanahan used a perfect reaction time to defeat the Top Sportsman car of Kellner. With five returning for round eight, McClanahan picked a good time for a .000 reaction time as it gave him the odd car bye to move him directly into the semifinals.
Quarterfinal round and Cireddu racing off the bottom bulb defeated Williams, and DiMino took out Warr, while McClanahan took his bye run. With a .007 reaction time, Cirredu earned the semifinal round bye and an invitation to another Spring Fling final round. It was last year’s ‘Fling Saturday final where he was defeated by Marko Perivolaris. Two door cars and the lone dragster of DiMino, all vying for $30,000 to win.
Semifinals and DiMino might have picked a bad time to miss the ‘tree as McClanahan was .001 and DiMino an .039. But it was DiMino’s dead-on the dial with a “4” that was too much for McClanahan to judge as the win light shined in DiMino’s lane to move him into the final round with Cireddu.
For the final, it was DiMino all the way with the reaction time advantage and a 4.744 on a 4.73 dial to take the money back to New York with him.
“This week didn’t start off that good for us,” DiMino said, “as the car was having problems but my crew, Howie, Wink and my brother did a great job fixing it. But the competition here has gotten so tough in all the years we’ve been coming here. I’m just lucky to have done well today.”
In a move last year to bring even more fun of sorts to the event, a Swear Jar was instituted in the tower for those using “questionable language” after a loss. Last year, the money was donated to DRAW, the Drag Racing Association of Women. This year, the same Swear Jar was utilized and it just might be that drag racers might not have the cleanest of vocabularies. Lose a round and you’re expected to visit the tower with any kind of donation. This year $1,326 was collected and donated to Racers For Christ, a true credit to the ‘Fling family giving back.
“We can’t thank each and every one of the racers, crew and family who attended and we’re happy to include each as part of the ‘Fling family,” said co-promoter Peter Biondo. “We hope all had a great time and we look forward to an even bigger Spring Fling Million in 2019.”
Next up on the ‘Fling schedule is the K&N Spring Fling presented by Optima Batteries in two weeks at Galot Motorsports Park in North Carolina, May 1-5 followed by the Fall Fling in September at Bristol Dragway. Stay tuned to www.bracketraces.com for continued news and results.