Tucker Kanselaar Wins 27th Annual Million Dollar Bracket Race
The 27th Annual Mickey Thompson Performance Tires and Wheels kicked off at Capital City Motorsports Park with Nick Folk of Durand, IL being crowned Wednesday’s Summit Racing Equipment Triple 50’s winner as he defeated Brad Clark in a “no-split” final round. That’s right. No Split. Folk cashed in on the entire $50,000 as there was zero negotiations with the structure of the purse, adding pressure to both drivers at the start of the weekend.
613 entries completed the Volcano Manifolds/AutoMeter Products, Inc first round of Wednesday’s Summit Racing Equipment Triple 50’s.
A substantial advantage on the starting line helped Folk secure the Summit Racing Equipment 50K victory over Clarke.
Folk said “when you’re getting in the car, it’s a little different knowing there is no split for the $50,000 but we’ve all done this so many times. The situation was no different and there was no pressure once I pre-staged the car.”
“I was my normal .020 on the tree like I have been lately, but the no-split doesn’t affect 90% of us racers when we put our helmet on.”
“I have one bad hotrod. I’ve never dialed this close for that many rounds in my life. I want to thank everyone that helps us out with these cars. This is Car number one of the new Folk Race Cars built dragsters.”
Josh Jarrell was the lone semi-finalist, turning it red against Brad Clarke in the semi-finals.
In Tuesday’s Race to the Million Warm-Up Race, Derek Fuller of Prattville, AL defeated Joe Hoskins in a four-thousandths margin of victory race as both drivers went dead on the dial with the advantage being at the Christmas Tree. Fuller’s .022 reaction time was enough to park his 1968 Camaro into the winner’s circle.
Fuller said “I want to thank my friends, family, Fuel Tech, and my dad. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be able to race. Also, thanks to Ben Willis and Capital City Motorsports Park for giving us a great place to race.”
Due to cold mornings and evenings, Folk Promotions has elected to combine Thursday and Saturday’s Summit Racing Equipment Triple 50’s into one $100k to win race starting on Thursday and finishing on Saturday. The Million Dollar Race main event, as always, will stand alone on Friday as we crown our 27th Annual Million Dollar Race Champion.
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The 27th Annual Mickey Thompson Million Dollar Race saw a record 496 entries in competition, making it the highest payday in the history of the event. When the dust and smoke cleared, 23-year-old Tucker Kanselaar of Iowa was crowned the 27th winner of the historic and prestigious Million Dollar Drag Race. Kanselaar defeated Rayce Tarleton of Salem, AL, the last remaining door car left in the race.
The hype of the Million was at its peak as thousands tuned into MotormaniaTV, racers crowded the starting line, and families cheered on their loved ones as first-time champion Tucker Kanselaar was added to the prestigious list of past Million Dollar Race Winners.
Tom Stalba was the lone semi-finalist. Jason Lynch, Wayne Gibson, and AJ Ashe were the quarter-finalists.
Kanselaar said “I’ve been in a lot of final rounds at home and just could not turn on the last win light. I’ve also been here at the Million a couple of times and made the Big Split and couldn’t get it done. Today was different. I told myself that I’m not going to worry about the money and the split, I’m going to win the entire race.”
“I managed to make it to the split, a couple of rounds after the split, I told myself it’s game on. I fortunately defeated Shane Carr, Johnny Labbous Jr, and that gave me extra confidence. I knew that if I kept doing my thing and stayed on the tree, things would work out.”
In an emotional runner-up celebration, Rayce Tarleton revealed the gender of his expecting wife in a “gender reveal” winner’s circle, stating that he and his wife are expecting a baby girl in May. Tarleton carried his bye-run for five straight runs and into the final round where he cashed in on a mega payday.
Tarleton said “the competition here is very tough and I knew I needed to lay down good laps without going red. We were able to pull it together today and keep the rounds going. I was a little nervous throughout the rounds, but we all know that routines help in these kinds of situations and I stuck to my routine.”
Folk Promotions elected to combine Thursday and Saturday’s Summit Racing Equipment Triple 50’s into one $100k to win race and completed the remaining rounds on Sunday.
With $100,000 on the line, Peeps Pennington of Three Rivers Texas delivered and cashed in on the big pay day after defeating Aaron Disinger in the final round of the last Summit Racing Equipment Triple 50’s at the Mickey Thompson Million Dollar Race. Both racers are no stranger to the winner’s circle. In the final round, Pennington was .014 on the tree and 4.594 on his 4.58 dial-in. Disinger was .023 on the tree and broke out by 2-thousandths of a second, making the margin of victory only .007.
Bryson Scruggs was the lone semi-finalist.
Pennington said “This is unreal. I’ve been struggling and was probably the worst racer here on the property Friday. To be standing here in the winner’s circle is pretty dang cool.”
“I had several people texting me to keep my head up because they obviously knew that I could race better than I did. So, I just kept digging pulled my chin strap tight, and figured it out,” Pennington added.
Aaron Disinger had one of the most incredible weeks of racing that anyone could ask for and won more rounds than any racer throughout the last two weeks at Capital City Motorsports Park. He won the $20K Mike Smith Memorial Race last Sunday, finished deep in Tuesday’s Warm Up Race and the first Triple 50’s, made the big split of the Million Dollar Race Main event, and then took home runner-up in the $100K today.
Disinger said “It’s been an incredible week of racing. Everything off the track seemed to be a mess but we managed to keep things together on the track. I made about 62-63 passes this past weekend and this ole girl (Malibu) has been good to me. The JR1 oil keeps her running good.”
“I can’t put it into words how it feels to be standing here. Telling you that I did a wonderful job is just mind-blowing because I sat at home for years watching Folk Promotions put this race on. I was dreaming of being here and just having a chance to make the split. This has been that dream week and I conquered it all. “
Folk Promotions thanks all racers, families, fans and sponsors for their continued support of the Mickey Thompson Million Dollar Race. The 27th Annual Winner Tucker Kanselaar was crowned on Saturday and will be added to the list of racers who’s name will go down in history for winning this prestigious bracket racing event.
PHOTO CREDITS to Chris Simmons Photography