Dave Harvey Jr Wins Largest Footbrake Event in History at Labor Day $250k
Clear skies and sunshine welcomed racers and staff for the second day of the BTE Labor Day $250K. Breakfast was replaced with burnouts as drivers made one time trial at 8:30AM in preparation for day full of footbrake racing at Bristol Dragway.
The car count climbed as 322 entries filled the staging lanes for first round of eliminations during Friday’s $10,000 main event. Drivers were defeated through rounds of rigorous racing as some of the best off the bottom bulb showcased their skills.
The quarterfinals had eight entries but only seven drivers: Brandon Michaels, Gage Burch, Zach Combs, Lucas Walker, Phil Combs, Mason Fix, and Devin Dudley still doubled.
Michaels is .011 total to leave Walker’s .020 bulb mathematically ineligible while Dudley turns on the red light in his first entry beside Burch who was .013 green to advance. Both Combs are locked out at the hit with Fix eliminating Zach and Dudley coming back to defeat Phil.
Michaels returns to his second semifinal in just as many days as he lines up beside Fix. Michaels is .021 and one above to turn on the win light and move into the final. Dudley lays down a .005 package to eliminate Burch and earn a spot in his first Coalburg Racing Promotions final.
It was a classic Camaro versus Mustang battle with $10,000 on the line as both Michaels and Dudley roll in deep on the starting line. Michaels leaves just a little too soon, but Dudley is .015 green to wheel himself into the winner’s circle on Friday.
As the main event began to win down, Friday’s Gamblers Race rolled into the staging lanes for one more chance to get paid on Day 2. Once again, the payout rose to $4,000 to win instead of the originally advertised $3K.
By round six, the 213 entries were narrowed to only seven remaining: Charlie Lockhart, Matt Ricchezza, Dave Dissinger, Lucas McKinney, Bryan Walker, Tony Mattera, and Kalieb Cordill.
In the first pairing, Dissinger is .033 on the tree beside Lockhart who is .033 total to turn on the win light. Walker has an .022 starting line advantage but finds himself 9 thou behind at the stripe when Ricchezza runs dead on for the win. Mattera is .006 red to advance McKinney while Cordill takes the bye run into the semifinal.
Both drivers turn on the red light but Lockhart leaves first which sends Cordill into the $4K final round. Ricchezza is .024 and one above to take the win beside the .038 light and breakout pass of McKinney.
Matt Ricchezza of New Jersey staged up against Virginia native Kalieb Cordill during the Friday $4K Gamblers Race just after midnight on the mountain. Cordill was in control from the launch and runs .023 above his dial to leave Ricchezza mathematically ineligible with an .035 reaction time.
Year after year, Coalburg Racing Promotions continues to dismiss whispers that “footbrake racing is dead” by packing the pits and elevating payouts at Bristol Dragway. Just one year removed from dishing out the first six-figure footbrake payout, the BTE Labor Day $250K increased the ante.
Saturday officially became the highest paying footbrake race in history when 277 entries crossed the starting line in round number one. Co-promoter, Jared Pennington, said, “Thank you to the racers, our fantastic sponsors, and everyone who has worked so hard for this event to come together. Because of your support, we have once again made history and are racing for $110K on the mountain!”
As the sun began to fade, the competition only intensified as seven drivers remained eligible for the record-breaking riches. Nasty Nick Hastings earned the bye into the semifinal while Ryan Butler, Michael Beard, Caleb Ellison, Brandon Michaels, Lucas Walker, and David Harvey, Jr. battled in the quarterfinal.
Harvey is .019 on the tree and takes .009 stripe to leave Beard mathematically ineligible during the first pairing. Butler is .005 and takes .001 at the finish line to eliminate last year’s champion, Ellison. Michaels had the starting line advantage but breaks out 7 thou while Walker runs dead on with a seven to take the win.
The first semifinal pair turns into an epic matchup when Hastings is .003 and dead on with an eight to be behind 1 thousandth at the finish line. Harvey is .000 and one above the dial putting together an .010 package to earn his spot in the final. On the other side of the ladder, only 6 thou separated the pair at the tree as Walker runs dead on with a seven again to take the win over Butler.
In an all-Hoosier Racing Tire final, Lucas Walker and David Harvey Jr. fill the air with smoke as they roll towards the stage beams with $110,000 on the line. Walker turns on the dreaded red light by .002 while Harvey is .019 green to add the title of highest paid footbrake race winner to his legendary list of accomplishments.
One day removed from completing the highest paying footbrake race in history, the BTE Labor Day $250K wasn’t quite finished yet. When everything is said and done, one driver left Bristol Dragway with $10,000 to wrap up the weekend.
A light breeze swept through the valley making Sunday a comfortable day to chase win lights. A few racers were already winning before the official start of competition.
Eric Tenney’s 1969 Dodge Dart earned the RBZbillet.com Best Appearing Car award, JJ Cook picked up the BRODIX Long Distance award for traveling over 1,000 miles from Texas, and Thomas Borgia fought back against transmission issues to win the JEGS Performance Hard Luck award.
During first round, 307 entries launched from the starting line feeling confident in claiming the final $10K of the event. Six rounds later only seven drivers remained: John Cira, Rodney Finchum, Daniel Young, Brian Cireddu, Howie Adams, Daniel Riddle, and Daryl Hamlin, Jr.
In true Bristol fashion, the air cooled down as evidenced by a few breakout runs in the quarterfinals.
Cira had a 6 thou starting line advantage but runs too quick while Riddle runs dead on with a five to advance. Young’s .009 light and .007 breakout takes the win over Hamlin’s .007 bulb and .009 breakout.
Finchum had a 4 thou advantage at the tree but runs 8 thou under his dial beside Cireddu, who is only 5 thou under to turn on the win light. Adams earned the bye into the semifinal, courtesy of his previous .019 reaction time.
In the semifinal, Cireddu uses an .016 light and runs three above his dial to take the win over Riddle who breaks out 7 thou. Young is .027 on the tree but has no chance as Adams lays down .021 total to earn his spot in the final.
With only one pair left to battle, Adams turns it .003 red while Cireddu is .018 green and coasts across the finish line knowing he has just earned $10,000.