Hastings Hoists $100,000 Big Check on Saturday during the BTE Labor Day $250k
Burch and Walker Battle on Day One of the BTE Labor Day $250k
Only eight short weeks after completing another successful World Footbrake Challenge, the Coalburg Racing Promotions team traveled back to Bristol Dragway for the 3rd Annual BTE Labor Day $250K.
A thick fog encompassed the mountain Thursday morning before fading away with the rising sun. After getting registration and tech taken care of, staging lanes opened for the Test n’ Tune session where drivers could get their rides dialed in for an exciting weekend of Footbrake racing. The first opportunity to print a winning ticket would come during Thursday’s Gamblers Race which featured an increased purse.
Co-promoters Steve Stites and Jared Pennington chose to reward their racers by raising the winning payout from $3,000 to $5,000 on Thursday, partly due to driver dedication with a healthy 192 pre-entry response.
Thursday’s Gamblers Race started with a strong 241 entries but without the luxury of buybacks, the field was quickly narrowed down to eight entries but only seven drivers. The tough lineup included Kyle Rumley, Matt Ricchezza, Lucas Walker, David Stebner, Nasty Nick Hastings, Brian Hendrickson, and Gage Burch with two entries.
Rumley is .002 red which advances Burch in his first entry, then Stebner misses the tree while Burch is .012 and runs four above to stay doubled. Hendrickson is .004 but breaks out beside Walker who runs dead on with a zero for the win. Both drivers run one above their respective dial ins as Hastings takes the 9 thou margin of victory over Ricchezza.
The first semifinal pairing is a double breakout race where Burch is only 2 thou under his dial to earn the win over Hastings. Burch rolls back into the staging lanes in hopes of ending the race a round early, but Walker plans to add another final round to his Coalburg Racing Promotions record. Walker is .012 and runs dead on with a seven to leave Burch’s .020 bulb mathematically ineligible.
Like a case of deja-vu, the pair of talented wheelmen return to the starting line once again although this time it is to see who will take home $5,000. Walker runs dead on his 6.07 dial again and lays down an .014 package, but it’s not enough beside Burch who is .005 and dead eight to take the .001 margin of victory.
McKinney and Dudley Cash in on Friday at the BTE Labor Day $250k
Bristol Dragway was blessed with another beautiful day for racing as two races were on tap for an action-packed Friday during the BTE Labor Day $250K. Early morning hours were spent warming up engines as the one-and-only time trial for today started at 8:30 AM. After everyone had a chance to figure out the mountain air and staging lanes were full of eager racers, it was time for the first $10,000 main event of the weekend to launch off the starting line.
As anticipated, the car count climbed on Friday to 312 entries during first round of eliminations. In a similar fashion to the previous race, by seventh round there were eight remaining entries but only seven drivers behind the wheel. The resilient racers still left in competition were Brad Plourd, Cody Spears, Todd McKinney, Nick Lucas, Scooter Hamlin, Trish Witt, and Nick Bowman with two entries.
$10k Main Event
The quarterfinal opened with a contest between two Nicks where Bowman’s .024 package is victorious against Lucas who turns it 1 thou red and runs dead on with a five to add insult to injury. The second pairing leaves with identical .025 reaction times as Hamlin runs dead on with a five to claim the .010 margin of victory over Witt. McKinney is .012 up front and runs two above to leave Plourd mathematically ineligible. Bowman secures his second entry in the semifinal with an .026 package beside Spears who turns on the dreaded red bulb by 12 thousandths.
Bowman managed to avoid himself on the ladder, but that means he would have to face Hamlin and McKinney back-to-back where a disappointing two thousandths end his night just shy of the final. In the first match up, Bowman lays down .016 total but doesn’t get the win light when Hamlin is perfect on the tree and .015 above to advance. Bowman returns to be .005 on the tree but breaks out by .001 after McKinney executes a drop at the finish line for the win.
Geographically, you probably wouldn’t find a more diverse final pairing with McKinney being the local Elizabethton, Tennessee driver staging up beside Hamlin who traveled all the way from Red Oak, Texas. Both drivers run dead on their respective dial ins but McKinney’s .007 starting line advantage gives him the winning edge over Hamlin.
It’s only fitting that McKinney is wheeling an AMC Spirit as this marks the first race win since the tragic passing of his son, Lucas, earlier this season. As a family that has attended many Coalburg Racing Promotions events, we continue to keep them in our thoughts.
$5k Gamblers Race
Emotions were high but the competition was not over yet! Friday’s Gamblers Race had begun eliminations between the late rounds of the Main Event to keep both races running smoothly. Before first round, co-promoters Steve Stites and Jared Pennington had announced an increase in the payout from $3,000 to $4,000, but after the official 206 car count the ante was raised once again to pay $5,000 to win.
Once again, no buybacks quickly halved the competition until there were only seven still eligible to win: Gage Burch, Charlie Lockhart, Devin Dudley, Brian Cireddu, Brandon White, Shannon Woodring, and Josh Sutton, Sr.
Two S-10s roll toward the starting line to kick off the quarterfinal round. White is .010 red while Lockhart is .012 green to take the wheel-standing win. Burch has a 9 thou starting line advantage and turns it into a win light over Sutton during a double breakout race. Woodring is unable to make the call, therefore Dudley earns a competition bye run while Cireddu earned the odd car bye run to round out the semifinal field.
Four of the finest Footbrake racers meet up in Friday’s semifinal with five thousand dollars up for grabs. Burch has an .020 starting line advantage but breaks out 1 thou while Cireddu drops at the stripe for the win. Dudley pairs an .017 light with a dead on pass to lock out Lockhart who breaks out 7 thou for the loss.
A classic Ford versus Chevrolet matchup would conclude Friday’s racing festivities as Dudley stages his Mustang beside Cireddu in the Camaro. It’s all over on the starting line as Cireddu turns on the red light by 14 thousandths, while Dudley is .028 green and runs dead on with a six for the $5,000 win.
That puts a bow on Friday’s event, but Saturday is the big one! One skilled Footbrake racer is going to leave Bristol Dragway with at LEAST $100,000 during Saturday’s Main Event. The payout rises along with the car count with a $250,000 maximum payout.
Hastings Hoists $100,000 Big Check on Saturday during the BTE Labor Day $250k
One year removed from the highest paying Footbrake event in drag racing history, the Coalburg Racing Promotions gang is back at it again for the 3rd Annual BTE Labor Day $250K. A light breeze rolled through Thunder Valley as Saturday began with one time trial session. The invocation and the playing of our national anthem took place before the first burnout of eliminations.
You may think drivers would be worn down on Day Three due to early mornings and late nights filled with laps down the racetrack, but this crowd brought their A game. The fierce competition was crystal-clear as early as the second pair of eliminations, when Todd Berry lays down .011 total for an unexpected loss beside Ryan Butler’s .009 package.
What kind of event would bring out the ruthless racing that we’ve witnessed today at Bristol Dragway? Only the BTE Labor Day $250K where racers were eager to get their hands on a six-figure big check. The official car count for Saturday’s Main Event would come in at 253, which kept the payout at an even $100,000.
By seventh round there were only six drivers left chasing the huge payout: Devin Dudley, Anthony Blackburn, Trey Scharf, Jesse Betterton, Nasty Nick Hastings, and Justin Hardman.
In the first quarterfinal match up both drivers light up the red bulb, but Scharf does it first to send Blackburn into the next round. Hardman launches with an .012 reaction time and runs two above to package up Betterton, who is uncharacteristically behind on the tree. Hastings has a 3 thou advantage at the hit and takes the 9 thou margin of victory over Dudley as they both run two above their respective dial ins.
In the semifinal, Blackburn is .018 and runs dead on with a two and creates and .020 package where Hardman’s .025 light has no room to win. Hastings was finally able to use the bye run he had carried for a couple rounds and gets set up for the final round.
Both drivers are looking to add another Coalburg Racing Promotions win to their resume as Blackburn advances to his second final round and Hastings is looking at his number seven.
Blackburn has a 9 thou advantage on the starting line but breaks out 5 thou beside Hasting’s finish line drop. Nasty Nick Hastings earns his fifth Coalburg Racing Promotions victory, which makes him the winningest driver in history, but also earns $100,000.
Two Round Challenge
In an effort to keep race cars rolling down the eighth mile, the popular Two Round Challenge returned on Saturday evening. Drivers paid $125 to enter and those who were able to illuminate two win lights would win their choice of either a weekend entry into the BTE World Footbrake Challenge XVII or a deposit for the 4th Annual BTE Labor Day $250K.
Six drivers were able to get it done during the Two Round Challenge and will be back at Bristol Dragway next year. They were Trish Witt, John Stelly, Caden Stites, David Bell, Daniel Riddle, and Wyatt Palmatier.
Foley Acquires First Win on Final Day of the BTE Labor Day $250k
Following three days of amazing weather, Sunday opened with wet grounds which proved the event was actually taking place at Bristol after all. The slightly delayed start allowed for a little extra time for Steve Riggins to deliver the church service before the roar of engines would echo throughout Thunder Valley.
Just as expected, the hardworking Bristol Dragway staff was well-equipped to handle a little rain and had the track surface ready for racing at approximately 10 AM. Six new entries were given a time shot to get dialed in for the final day of competition at the BTE Labor Day $250K.
A nice crowd of 278 entries stayed until Sunday for their chance to take home the final $10,000 check of the weekend. After fighting their way through six rounds of cutthroat competition there were six entries but only five drivers remaining: Todd Berry, Trish Witt, Joe Foley, Ryan Butler, and Nasty Nick Hastings still double-entered.
Hastings unfortunately finds both entries paired together on the ladder, but he secures the semifinal bye run with his .013 light. Witt is left mathematically ineligible when Foley is .014 and dead on with an eight for the win. Berry illuminates the red light which sends Butler into the semis with his .031 package.
In the semifinal, Butler goes .003 red while Foley is .015 green and coasts across the finish line as he advances to the final round. Hastings leaves with a .003 light just because he can and shuts off early to prepare for this eighth Coalburg Racing Promotions final round.
Hastings is looking for his sixth overall but second consecutive win while Foley is eager to earn that first Coalburg Racing Promotions win after his runner up early this season.
It’s all in Foley’s hands when they both launch with wheels up, as he pairs his .006 reaction time with a dead on four pass to leave Hastings’s .026 light mathematically ineligible. Joe Foley will leave Bristol Dragway with the $10,000 victory to add to his winning season.
The BTE Labor Day $250K has crowned five winners throughout four days of racing which means the event is officially complete. That also rounds out the Coalburg Racing Promotions schedule for the season, but the team is already preparing to return to Bristol Dragway in 2023.