2018 Sparco Fall Fling - Complete Results & Photos
Bristol, TN
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The first day of the Sparco Fall Fling presented by Optima Batteries began a little later than expected as the amount of rain this area received in the last week upset a lot of the race track surface. With a Test & Tune session scheduled to allow racers to become acclimated to the race track, along with the Super Tuesday American Race Cars/Racetech Dragster Shootout, it was still going to be an ambitious schedule. Bristol Dragway crew worked diligently to scrape the entire eighth-mile and re-prep it to the standards both they, along with the Fling staff expects.

With a limited 32-car field for the Dragster Shootout, the winner receives his or her choice of either a new American Race Cars or Racetech dragster with the runner-up receiving what’s left, which in either case is not too shabby a prize. Both of the semifinalist… runner-ups, receive $500 each.

In the quarterfinal round with eight cars left, the combatants are Josh McDaniel, Corey Gulitti, Bug McCarty, John Labbous Jr., Tanner Miller, Thomas Bell, Jeff Taylor and Tim Markoglu. In that round, Markoglu used a dead-on the dial and an .017 reaction time to dispatch McDaniel, Gulitti had a better reaction time to defeat Miller, McCarty turned on the red-light to advance Bell and finally Labbous defeated Taylor.

Semifinal round and with a dragster on the line go ing to both finalists, Gulitti dispatched former Fling winner Labbous and Bell took out another Fling winner in Markoglu.

And before the clock struck midnight, it was young versus old in the final with the 17-year old Gulitti coming off two big wins previously at another event. But Bell was not to be denied, as he used a .006 reaction time to take the win over Gulitti, choosing to go home with the new American Race Car’s dragster. Gulitti earned his keep by taking the Racetech dragster with him back to Texas.

thomas bell drag racer 2018 fall fling

cory gulitti 2018 fall fling drag race

Yukon Gear & Axle Warm-up Wednesday begins bright and early with a single time run for all competitors. All of the action is being streamed live as it happens on MotorManiaTV.com thanks to JEGS and Mickey Thompson Tires. 



It was a long night yesterday before a winner… and a runner-up… both walked away with a new dragster in the American Race Cars/Racetech Super Tuesday Dragster Shootout, but we’re sure Thomas Bell and Corey Gulitti didn’t mind the late night as both walked away winners.

Today began with a single time trial for all competitors followed immediately by eliminations on Yukon Gear & Axle Wednesday, a day where by the end of the night one lucky, and most assuredly talented racer will walk away with $15,000 after his or her win. In addition to the win money, as is always the case at any Fling event, a fair amount of round money and prizes are given away.

One unfortunate incident reared its ugly head this morning when Delaware racer Danny Bastinelli’s tow truck was stolen from a local hotel overnight. Thankfully his trailer was safely parked at the track and racers being racers, a donation fund was set up to assist Danny with his needs. Just another fact of the Fling family helping one another.

California, Washington State, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona and others, along with obviously all places in the east, but they all came to experience the Fling. And when Friday rolls around this week and the big announcement is made as to the tenth anniversary event in 2019, there is no doubt it will be epic. But we still have a lot of rac ing to go this week.

When the smoke cleared after the first round of eliminations, 333 entries had made the call. As is Fling tradition, random pairings exist until 16 cars or less after which they are paired on a ladder by way of reaction time. By the time the round before the quarterfinals rolled around the remaining racers included Leon Robertson, Allen Byrd, Rocky Pintavalle, Brian Nolf, Trevor Denton, Joe Barush, John Taylor, Paul Campanella, Shane Maddox, Jeff Serra, Johnny Ezell, Bob McDonough, Tony Pruett, Chris Cadle and Ian Woods.

Round six survivors were Barush, McDonough, Serra, Campanella, Woods, Cadle, Pruett, and the lone door car of Pintavalle. Quarterfinals and Barush dispatched Serra with an .018 package; Pruett turned on the red-light to advance Cadle; McDonough used a .005 package to send Campanella packing; and finally, Pintavalle and his Duster survived over Woods.

A spot in the final for $15,000-to-win awaited the four semifinalists and it was two red-lights which decided the round with Cadle and Pintavalle surviving to battle for $15,000. Door car versus dragster, Virginia versus Kentucky for all the marbles on Yukon Gear & Axle Wednesday.

rocky pintavalle 2018 fall fling drag racer

In the final, the all-conquering, all-Mopar of Pintavalle was not to be denied with a .006 reaction time and a dead-on the dial with a “0” for the win over Cadle, closing out a great day of racing.

Racepak Thursday dawns bright and early tomorrow with only new entries receiving a time run before eliminations. Thursday night will also be the site of the Hoosier Tires Door Car Shootout. MotorManiaTV.com has been streaming the entire event with sponsorship help from Mickey Thompson Tires and JEGS.



On Yukon Gear & Axle Wednesday, Rock Pintavalle used his all-Mopar Duster to take home the $15,000 prize and placed a bullseye on his car as the Bounty on Racepak Thursday. Unfortunately, Pintavalle’s last win light was on Wednesday night as Chad Axford defeated Pintavalle in the very first round today to earn himself the Bounty Award of an Altronics Weather Station. Despite having to make a trip to the Buyback Divas window, we doubt you could knock the smile off Pintavalle’s face with a body grinder.

Today was also the Hoosier Tires Door Car Shootout set to take place later in the day. With a number of new entries showing up today, each were the only ones given a time trial before eliminations began. Survivors of round six advancing into round seven were Brendan Jarrell, Jared Pennington, Cameron Manuel, Turtle Brannon, David Georg, Jamie Holston, Jeff Burns, Michael Shoop and Jeff Serra.

Winners from that round included, Jarrell, Burns, Serra, Holston and Brannon taking the odd car bye run to advance. Quarterfinals and Burns took out Brannon, while Holston turned on the red-light to advance Jarrell in his truck, and Serra advanced on the bye run, making it two doors against the lonely dragster.

jeff burns 2018 fall fling drag racer

In the semifinals, the lonely dragster received the bye run to advance to the final while the two door cars battled it out to see who w ould face Burns in the final. Serra used a .003 package to turn back Jarrell and take his shot against the fast dragster of Burns. In the final though, it was Burns with the reaction time advantage which he carried all the way through for the $20,000 win.

tracey guffey 20018 fall fling drag race

Still left to complete was the Hoosier Tires Door Car Shootout. In the semifinals, the combatants were Garrett Griffith, Ronnie Horwath, Tracey Guffey and Bennie Ulmer. By the time the final rolled around, it was Guffey against 16-year old Griffith who had the reaction time advantage, but it was Guffey dead-on the dial with a “6” which sealed the deal for him.

The ante goes way up on ATI Performance Products Friday with $50,000 going to the winner, but before eliminations begins, a big announcement is scheduled to take place regarding the tenth anniversary Fall Fling in Bristol.



The big news this morning was the announcement of the 2019 Fall Fling 500K with a half-million dollars going to the winner of the 2019 Fall Fling Friday race. It will be the celebration of ten years of Fling racing at Bristol Dragway, the place where it all started.

“Because 2019 will be the tenth anniversary of our brand in Bristol,” says co-promoter Peter Biondo, “we wanted to do something really special.”

“The racers have supported us behind belief and we just wanted to give back,” said Biondo’s partner Kyle Seipel. “And there was no better time or place to do this than where it all started, Bristol Dragway.”

As for today’s ATI Performance Products Friday, some lucky and talented racer will be walking away with $50,000. However, things are pretty tough here as for the second day in a row, the previous day’s winner was beaten in the first round the next day, having to visit the “Divas Help Desk” in order to buyback into eliminations. Last night’s Racepak Thursday’s winner, Jeff “Slushy” Burns, must have hit his slushy machine a little hard last night as in the first round this morning, Michael Davis defeated Burns and earned himself the Bounty Award, a set of Lindsay Racing Products front wheels.

At the round of nine left were Wednesday winner Rocky Pintavalle, Seth Phillips, one of the “voices of the Fling” and a former Fling winner Jared Pennington, Sugar Shane Carr, former NHRA world champ Kevin Brannon, second generation hitter Wes Seigel, G-Dub Gary Williams, Jamie Holston and John Brown; definitely a who’s-who of hitters.

In that round, Wednesday’s winner Pintavalle rolled on defeating Pennington with a perfect .000 reaction time which earned him the bye run the next round. The remaining survivors were Carr, Siegel, Williams and Brown. While Pintavalle rolled through by virtue of the bye, Seigel took out Williams and Carr survived a double red-light with Brown. Semifinals had Seigel on the bye and door car versus dragster in Pintavalle and Carr for the right to face Seigel for $50,000.

Semifinals and Pintavalle with his all-Mopar Duster, complete with a three-speed Torqueflite transmission certainly an oddity in this field, had the reaction time advantage over Carr and survived a double breakout affair to move him to his second final of the week against Seigel.

rocky pintavalle drag racer fall fling bristol 2018

In the final, once again Pintavalle had the reaction time advantage over Seigel and carried it through to what just might be the biggest win of his career. When the stunned Pintavalle exited his car in the winner’s circle, about all he could say was, “I’m exhausted,” but certainly $50K richer.

JEGS Saturday will close out another year of Fling racing with a $20K to win affair while MotorManiaTV.com will continue streaming all the action live as it happens thanks to Mickey Thompson Tires and JEGS.



One week ago, it’s doubtful anyone would have imagined the great weather which has graced the ninth edition of the Sparco Fall Fling presented by Optima Batteries. While Hurricane Florence was wreaking havoc on the Carolinas, the Bristol Dragway and Fling staff were hard at work to ensure the Fling came off as planned. A little later start on Tuesday’s schedule than anticipated, but Mother Nature shined all week on the hundreds of racers, crew and family who chose to spend their time at one of the biggest bracket races in the world.

Yesterday’s announcement of the tenth anniversary 2019 Fall Fling with its accompanying $500,000-to-win race surely rocked not only those in attendance but across the world as MotorManiaTV.com carried the announcement streamed live thanks to JEGS and Mickey Thompson Tires.

The week had not have been kind to the previous day’s winners though as Wednesday’s winner Rocky Pintavalle lost in the very first round on Thursday. Thursday’s winner Jeff Burns also lost in the first round on Friday and Friday’s $50,000 winner Pintavalle was dispatched in the first round today.

rocky pintavalle sparco fall fling mvp 2018

Speaking of Pintavalle, not since John Labbous Jr. won three days in a row at the very first Bristol Fling in 2010 had someone be as dominant as Pintavalle this year. Besides the shock of two wins, Pintavalle wheeled his way through the sea of dragsters with his door car Duster powered by a true Mopar engine and three speed transmission, all of which earned him the distinction of Todd’s Extreme Paint’s MVP Award, rightfully shutting out any of the hundreds of other great racers in attendance. 

At the ladder round, it was Randy Biddle, Leon Robertson, Tommy Plott, Jeff Serra, Jeremy York, Corey Manuel, Sherman Adcock, Gary Ingold and Cameron Manuel. Survivors of that round and going into the quarterfinals was Plott against Robertson with Robertson coming out on top; York and Manuel with York getting the nod while Serra took the bye run.

For the semifinals, a runner-up at the Fall Fling last year, York will be looking to take it one step further with the bye run to advance to the finals. The two remaining door cars of Robertson and Serra went at each other with Robertson taking the reaction time advantage and the double break-out win to face York in the final.

jeremy york sparco fall fling winner 2018

As for York, it was the year of redemption, completing what he started last year with a runner-up finish, taking it one step further with the win after Robertson turned on the red-light by -.007, which wraps up another year of Fling racing.

“We could never say it enough,” said co-promoter Peter Biondo, “but thank you to each everyone who attended the ninth edition of the Fall Fling. We could never have done it without the support of the racers and their families. We look forward to see everyone in 2019 at the Vegas Million, Spring Fling at Galot and of course, we’re really excited for the Fall Fling 500K next year in Bristol. Please stay tuned to www.bracketraces.com for more information. Thank you once again.”

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