Las Vegas, NV
With the call to the lanes over the PA system from co-promoter Peter Biondo and the roar of the engines, the first day of the K&N Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries began.
For the fifth straight year at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the first day of the event began with a free Yukon Gear & Axle-sponsored free Test & Tune session, in addition to the Poulsen Trailer Shootout where an exclusive 32-car field will race with the winner walking away with a brand new 24-foot Poulsen trailer. Runner-up receives an entry into the 2018 version of the Spring Fling Million Dollar Race, and the two semifinalists each receive a three-day entry into the 2018 Spring Fling event.
On January 1 of this year, people began sending in an entry to be a part of the Poulsen Trailer Shootout. A week before the event, all the names were placed in a hat and 32 lucky names were drawn along with eight alternates. Each of the entrants were given two time runs on Tuesday afternoon followed immediately by eliminations.
With eight cars left, all combatants were placed on a ladder with Dan Northrop set to face Sean Shaffer. Shane Thompson has Paul Nero, Cassie Pennington will face James Warden and finally Wade White is up against Kevin Heffington.
For the semifinal round, the winners were Northrop, Nero, Pennington and Heffington with the ladder looking as Northrop having to face Pennington for the rights to the final round, with Nero up against Heffington.
Coming off a $25,000 win earlier this year in Memphis, the Kamikaze Kid, Dan Northrop used an .010 reaction time to turn back the lady, Cassie Pennington, while Nero prevailed over Heffington to set up the final with the trailer going back to either Oregon (Nero) or the long trip back to Pennsylvania (Northrop)
For the final, Northrop used an .011 reaction time and another 4.859 on a 4.85 dial to defeat Nero’s none-thousandths under his dial. The real fact of the matter is Northrop ran five 4.85s during eliminations with his worst reaction time coming in the final, the .011.
SPRING FLING MILLION WEDNESDAY RESULTS
While The K&N Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries began yesterday with a free Test & Tune session sponsored by Yukon Gear & Axle along with the Poulsen Trailer Shootout that was won by Pennsylvania’s Dan Northrop, today began the official start of the event with Maytag Silverstate Refrigeration Wednesday a $20,000-to-win race.
The event itself is primarily a Super Pro only event, however as a way to include the many bottom bulb Pro-class cars that have previously competed in that class at the first four years of the Vegas ‘Fling, the event includes an elite Pro 32 field which included 32 bottom bulb cars. Those racers run separate from the Super Pro cars until a winner is crowned. That winner is then seeded into the sixth round of the Super Pro race and as such at that point is allowed to install a delay box if he or she chooses.
With Chamber of Commerce weather, the day began sharply at 8:00am with one time trial for all competitors followed by eliminations. As can be expected, it takes quite bit of time to pare down the field to the ladder round of 16 or less.
The Pro 32 final came down to ironically two Super Stock cars, former NHRA world champion Justin Lamb and RJ Torres, another hitter in the NHRA Division 7 Super Stock wars. In the final Lamb used an .014 reaction time and a dead-on the dial with a “3” for a .017 package to defeat Torres and move into the seventh round of the Super Pro class where they’ll be nine cars left after the sixth round of Super Pro for the $20K to win.
For the Super Pro round of 16, the winning players were Ken Sweo, Sean Shaffer, Blu Hayball, Mera Silvia in a door car, Jay Fitzgerald, Dan Lafferty in his fast Camaro, Lane Dicken, Courtland Carter, and of course the Pro 32 winner Lamb.
In the round of nine, based on his perfect reaction time in the previous round, Lafferty received the bye run to move him to the eighth round. The remaining players were Lafferty and Silvia with their door cars, Shaffer, Hayball and Pro 32 winner Lamb once again.
Five cars left and the dragsters were outnumbered three to two. Hayball received the bye to move him to the semifinal round. Lamb and Silvia faced off with Lamb advancing. Lafferty then defeated Shaffer to make up the round of three cars left with door cars still outnumbering the lone dragster. The rules are clear; if you’ve had a bye run previously, you’re not eligible for one except… All three remaining drivers had already had a bye run so the rights to the bye reverts to the best reaction time and the person will be… Hayball who had just received a bye the round before. When the luck is on your side…
For the semifinals, Hayball took his bye run with the two remaining door cars of Lamb and Lafferty facing off and what a race it was. Lafferty was .008 and dead-on with “5”, while Lamb shut him out with a .005 light and dead-on with a “1”.
In the final, the Pro 32 winner Lamb left first with a .004 reaction time to Hayball’s .031 but a .008 runout by Lamb handed the win to Hayball’s dead-on the dial with a “5”.
“This is a dream come true,” said the Fort Hall, ID, racer. “I’ve dreamt about winning one of these for a long time.”
SPRING FLING MILLION THURSDAY – WEATHER POSTPONEMENT
Racepak Thursday at the K&N Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries. Just another day in the paradise they call The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Another huge payday in store for not only the winner but dozens upon dozens of others as well. All of it leading up to the main event on Friday, the Spring Fling Million.
The city of Las Vegas receives annually 292 days of sunshine while April is also the windiest month of the year, a fact that racers have gotten used to at The Strip. Thursday’s forecast called for more brilliant sunshine but sustained winds in the 30-40 mph range. Bracket racers don’t mind one bit and know how to deal with the “breezes.”
Time trial sessions are now a thing of the past in this event except for Friday when the Brodix Run For The $100,000 prize takes place. Thursday dawned with eliminations beginning promptly at 8:00 am.
After ten hours, we were only down to the final two in the elite Pro 32 class, seven door cars and 10 dragsters with a lot more racing left. The Pro 32 class final pitted Wesley Eisenga from California and Ohio’s Nick Hastings with Hastings turning on the red-light by -.011 to allow Eisenga to advance into the seventh round of the Super Pro field where there will be ten cars left. Besides Eisenga, Jessica Bogacki, Johnny Ezell, Rayce Kidd, Glenn Dilday, Troy Williams, Don Bain and Gordon Boven while Sean Shaffer is still left in with two entries.
The survivors of that round were Boven, Kidd, Williams, Ezell and Shaffer bowed out with one of his entries.
Unfortunately, the wind really began to kick up and the decision was made with safety in mind to postpone the remaining rounds until later on Friday. Friday will begin with the Million Dollar Race festivities bright and early, first and foremost. “We’re sorry to have to do this,” said co-promoter Kyle Seipel, “but after checking the track it was apparent to us the wind had kicked up pretty good in addition to it swirling quite a bit. So with the safety of the remaining competitors in mind, and with the amount of money left on the line, it was decided the to put safety first and complete the event in tomorrow.”
SPRING FLING MILLION – BOGACKI WINS BIG
The day has come. By the time the moon hits its high point of the night later today, somebody’s life will be changed forever with their win on the Friday main event at the K&N Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries.
To start off the day, every racer on the property, regardless of whether they are Million Dollar race entrants or not, are eligible to take part in the special Brodix Run For The $100,000. With a dial-in on their car, the person with the best package; a combined reaction time along with the amount over their dial; earns that person a new set of Brodix SR20 cylinder heads worth $5,300. Second place receives $2,000 in cash and third place a free entry into the 2018 Spring Fling Million, a $2,000 value. However; and here’s where the good part comes in; the first person to score a perfect run (.000 reaction time and dead-on the dial) receives not only the Brodix heads but also $100,000 paid right on the spot.
As is usually the case, the action was heavy as door cars ran first which by the time they were done, the leader in the clubhouse was Matt Diamond carding a two-pack (.002 package) with David Beedy in second with a four-pack.
The continuation of Thursday’s Racepak eliminations began half-way through the Brodix Run For The $100,000 time run with Rayce Kidd receiving the bye run, Gordon Boven and Troy Williams battling it out with Boven using a .004 package to move on. With that run, Boven also earned himself the bye run in the semifinals to move him right to the final round. Finally Johnny Ezell and Sean Shaffer came to the line with Shaffer continuing on. Ironically all three racers hail from Idaho so they should be familiar with one another.
For that semifinal round, Shaffer and Kidd matched wits and cars with Kidd taking the win to advance to the final to face Boven where Kidd scored the win on a double-breakout affair and the $20K which goes along with it.
“I have been dreaming of this moment since I was ten-years old,” said Kidd, who received probably his best birthday present when he turned 21-years old two day prior.
Now back to the main event where the really big money will be divvied up with once again, one person receiving life-changing money. Besides the money; which at this point stands to be $230,000; the winner receives a great trophy, along with the accolades coupled with a limo ride for a night at the Cosmopolitan Hotel as part of their Million Dollar experience.
First up was the final for the Pro 32 racers after which that person will be seeded into the seventh round of the main event. Justin Lamb has another chance to improve on his runner-up finish on Wednesday as in the Pro 32 final, he’ll face off with Randy Biddle. In that race, Lamb’s hope ended with a red-light; actually there was a dual red-light with the Spring Fling TruSTART deciding the race with Biddle the less (if we can say it like that) red of the two.
For the quarterfinal round, six cars remained; Val Torres Jr., Bobby Dye Jr., Lane Dicken, Luke Bogacki, Michael Pennington and Biddle is seeded into that field. With the semifinals awaiting them, Biddle, Pennington and Bogacki advanced with Bogacki the lucky recipient of the bye run in the semis which puts him right into the final round against either Biddle or Pennington. A true footbraker off the bottom bulb, Biddle’s “bid” came up short against Pennington to move the Texas racer to the final to face Bogacki.
Like two great champions, Pennington left first with a .012 reaction time however, Bogacki wasn’t far behind with his own .014. And in true championship fashion, both racers ran dead-on their dial, with Bogacki .003 closer for the win. In an interview earlier this week, Bogacki said, “This is the one thing I’ve never accomplished in my career so far.” We guess he can cross this off the list now.
“Anyone who knows me,” Bogacki said afterwards, “knows I’m rarely at a loss for words, but I am right now. I had a feeling this morning it was going to be a good day.”
SPRING FLING MILLION – FINAL DAY RESULTS
For the fifth straight year, co-promoters Pete Biondo and Kyle Seipel have brought their Spring Fling brand of races to the west coast at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. What might be the gaming capital of the world plays very well to the hundreds of racers who have made the trek each year to race for big money; bracket racing style.
With the crowning of the second Spring Fling Million winner last night, Luke Bogacki, there still is one more day of the event. A day where someone will walk away with $20,000 for his or her efforts; and there are quite a few “hers” who are more than capable of winning.
First up for the day was the Spring Fling Reaction Time Challenge. Twenty randomly selected competitors were given one shot at the ‘tree. Any .00X reaction time gets that person a crisp piece of paper with a picture of Ben Franklin on it ($100). It gets even better for a perfect reaction time, where a Grover Cleveland photo is handed out ($1,000). Three people earned the $100; Christopher Northrup, Chris Borges and Kurt Gross. Steve Hayes put up a trip-zip perfect reaction time which got him ten $100 bills.
Down to two cars in the Pro 32 final and both hail from the state of Ohio. Brian Cireddu and “Nasty Nick” Hastings are certainly quite familiar with each other and Cireddu wasn’t taking any chances, using a .009 reaction time coupled with a dead-on the dial with a “4” preceded Hastings’ .022 light to win the class and move into the coveted seventh round of the Super Pro field where there remained nine cars left; Cireddu, Sean Shaffer, Greg Duffield, Alan Hoefer, Marco Perivolaris, Steve Casner, Mark Simonian, Thursday race winner Rayce Kidd and Greg Heaton.
After that seventh round, the survivors were Cireddu, Duffield, Perivolaris, and Shaffer, with Hoefer earning the bye run due to his .002 reaction time in the previous round. With the bye run based on the best reaction time, it would stand to reason that when Cireddu defeated Duffield with a .002 reaction time, he should have the bye except for the fact that he had already had a bye. However, when Perivolaris defeated Shaffer and Hoefer on a bye, each of the three drivers left had already had a bye run. The bye then reverts back to the best reaction time which indicates the Pro 32 winner Cireddu and his door car will be bottom-bulbing his way into the final against either Perivolaris or Hoefer.
The Pro 32 door cars have had quite a bit to say in regards to winning rounds this week as in the four races, the finals has consisted of two bottom bulb racers along with one of them in the semifinals of the Million. In that semi, Perivolaris used a .013 reaction to defeat Hoefer and end the hopes of a final with two door cars.
In the final, while Cireddu left first in part to his handicap advantage, it was the 22-year old Perivolaris who had the reaction time advantage and used it to score the big win.
“This is a dream come true,” said Perivolaris after the win. “It’s just amazing and I could not have done it without my sister Lela and mom Ellen and dad Nick.”
“Both Kyle and I,” says Biondo, “are very appreciative of the support we have always received from the racers. This was probably the best run event in terms of weather, car count and lack of incidents, and a lot of that is due to the quality of racers themselves. We know that a lot of them have traveled great distances to be here and we say this after every race but it can’t be overstated; we can’t thank each and every one of them enough.”
Next up on the Spring Fling schedule is the K&N Spring Fling presented by Optima Batteries on May 2-6 at Galot Motorsports Park in Dunn, North Carolina.
“We’ll be meeting with LVMS staff later in the year to announce the dates for the 2018 version of the K&N Spring Fling Million,” said Biondo. “Once again, we thank everyone, sponsors, racers and our staff, and we look forward to seeing everyone next year.
Stay tuned to www.bracketraces.com for future announcements and results from both the Spring Fling in Galot and the Sparco Fall Fling presented by Optima in Bristol, Tennessee on September 22-26.