2023 Fall Fling Race Recap
THURSDAY RESULTS - The weather proved to work in the racers’ favor during ATI Performance Products $30,000 Thursday at the RAD Torque Systems Fall Fling presented by OPTIMA Batteries at Bristol Dragway. Exactly 425 drivers staged up for Round 1 to chase after the first main event big check of the weekend.
In the quarterfinals six racers remained - half door cars and half dragsters including Michael Paschal, Mike Barber, Chris Ferguson, Josh Baker, Matthew Holmes, and Michael Jackson. Ferguson was .008 and took .003 at the stripe to move past Baker, while Barber was .005 with a substantial advantage on the tree for the win over Holmes. Paschal continued a dominating streak as he was .009 and dead-on eight against Jackson to earn a spot in the semifinals.
At three cars, Ferguson ended Paschal’s streak by laying down .010 total for the win. Barber took a solo trip down the track with a .012 light.
In a final where either competitor would be a first time Fling event winner, Barber won by way of a double breakout after running just three-thousandths under. Ferguson, who had the advantage off the starting line with a .009 light, ran five-thousandths under. Not only did Barber collect the $30,000 payday, but he will start the Fall Fling Points chase off in the lead.
FRIDAY RESULTS - Moser Engineering $100,000 main event Friday was slated to be the most action-packed day of the week at the RAD Torque Systems Fall Fling presented by OPTIMA Batteries at Bristol Dragway where 425 drivers battled head to head for the biggest payout of the weekend.
At round seven, ten cars remained including Dustin Smiley, John Labbous, Steve Dunn, Joe Meece, Shelley Elrod, Josh Baker, Noah Lewis, Cory Gulitti, Stephen McCrory, and Steve Witherow. Labbous was behind Smiley by .003 on the tree but put it dead-on five for the win, while Dunn was perfect to the .004 redlight of Meece. Elrod earned the door car bye and Witherow had the bye on the dragster side. Baker was .014 to knock out Lewis, while McCrory fouled out by eight thousandths to Gulitti.
As racers gathered at the trackside Laris Motorsports Insurance steak dinner, the six remaining drivers agreed on the split and rolled into the quarterfinals. Baker won on a double red after being -.003 to the five red of Labbous, while Witherow also turned it five thousandths red to the .008 of Elrod. Dunn and Gulitti were separated by just two thousandths and Dunn ran dead-on eight getting to the stripe by .010 to earn the bye to the final round.
In a door car versus door car final round, Dunn laid down .016 total taking .010 for the win over Elrod to win his first ever Fling event on Moser Engineering $100,000 Friday in his ‘67 vinyl top Camaro that received the 2022 Fall Fling Best Appearing Award.
After the conclusion of the $100,000 main event, the 18 remaining drivers in the Advanced Product Design 15K event pulled into the lanes to wrap up the Warm-Up race that previously rained out on Wednesday. The last six standing included Matt Cooke, Jesse York, Paul Moore, Jeremy York, Todd Barton, and Brian Thompson.
In the semifinals, Jesse York had a three thousandths advantage on the tree and took .006 to run dead-on nine over Cooke to meet his brother Jeremy in the final round. The all-York final saw Jesse redlight by two thousandths, and Jeremy scored his third Fling event win for the APD $15,000 just two weeks after a $30,000 win at the Summer Fling in Ohio where he also earned the MVP award.
SATURDAY RESULTS - JEGS Performance $30,000 Saturday at the RAD Torque Systems Fall Fling presented by OPTIMA Batteries at Bristol Dragway would see the final winners circle celebration of the year for the Fling Race Series. At the conclusion of the evening another winner would be crowned, and the Fall Fling Points Championship presented by Hubbard Heating and Cooling would be determined.
At the ladder round six cars remained including Robert Hindman, Ken Batchelor, Donny Burleson, Ernie Humes, Dan Davies, and Michael Jackson. Batchelor won with the lesser of the breakout against Hindman after running just one-thousandth under, while Burleson turned it .001 red against Humes. Davies was .001 and four-thousandths under to bow out against Jackson.
At three cars, Batchelor put it dead-on eight against Humes, who broke out by two-thousandths. Jackson took the green and would return for the final round between two North Carolinians.
In a classic door car versus dragster matchup, Batchelor dialed in at 4.40 to the 6.10 of Jackson’s ‘71 Nova. By way of Batchelor’s redlight, Jackson secured the biggest victory of his career and his first Fling event win for $30,000. Earlier in the week, Jackson had qualified for the Brodix Runoff after putting down a .001 package in eliminations.
To cap off a dominating week, Michael Jackson won the Fall Fling Points Championship presented by Hubbard Heating and Cooling. He earned a $5,000 bonus, championship trophy, and a Todd's Extreme custom-painted Impact Racing helmet. Mike Barber placed second, Josh Baker third, John Labbous Jr. fourth, and Dan Davies fifth, each driver receiving a bonus as well.
Tim Markoglu was selected to receive the Todd Barton Design Fall Fling Best Appearing Award with his brand new Todd's Extreme painted UltraTech dragster! He received $500 and a signature piston trophy. Peter talks with Markoglu and UltraTech owner John Parkes about the brand new build.
Images, Videos and Info Courtesy of Spring Fling Bracket Races, LLC