Brian Yerger Jr. Collects Massive Payday During BTE Labor Day $250k
Bristol, TN
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Only nine weeks after the record-breaking BTE World Footbrake Challenge XVII, the Coalburg Racing Promotions crew returned to Bristol Dragway with plans to send someone home with a six-figure payday.
Harvey Hoists $3,000 Check on Thursday during BTE Labor Day $250k
The 4th Annual BTE Labor Day $250K kicked off on Thursday with a track-operated test and tune session under clear blue skies. Eventually, the time to practice was exhausted and drivers were dialed in for the $3,000 gamblers race.
Although double entries were permitted, the no-buyback format allowed the 216 entrants to dwindle down to only 7 rather quickly. The quarterfinal round consisted of Nick Bowman, Jordan Wilhelm, Taylor Bowling, Gage Buch, David Harvey Jr, Jason Ford, and Devin Dudley.
Bowling had a one-hundredth reaction time advantage but ran under his dial while Bowman was one above to take the win. Only four-thousandths separated the second pair on the starting line while Harvey runs dead on with a nine to advance over Wilhelm, who breaks out one tiny thou.
Ford was another racer who ran too quickly for the loss as Burch was .018 on the tree and dead on with a four to win. Dudley coasts into the semifinal courtesy of his bye run.
In the semifinal, Burch uses the starting line advantage to package up Bowman while Dudley turns on the red bulb by .006 to advance Harvey who runs dead-on with a zero.
david harvey jr foot brake racer
Although wheeling two atypical drag racing rides, a Chevrolet Vega Wagon and Plymouth Valiant, both finalists are frequent flyers in the winner’s circle. Harvey cuts a better light at the tree and illuminates the final win light over Burch for $3,000 and the first celebration of the weekend.
Prewitt and Boyce Find Winner's Circle on Friday during BTE Labor Day $250k 
The racers and staff at Bristol Dragway started September with burnouts and big money bottom bulb racing during day two of the BTE Labor Day $250K. The first order of business was to give every entry one time trial for Friday’s $10,000 main event. After everyone had a chance to see how well their cars ran on the mountain, eliminations would begin following the invocation and national anthem.
268 eager entrants staged up in round one of the $10K. By the seventh round, only 7 drivers were still in the running: Jake Prewitt, David Bell, Brian Cireddu, Trish Witt, Laine Blackburn, Jesse Betterton, and Chris Plott.
Cireddu leaves one thousandth too soon to send Prewitt into the semifinal. Betterton puts together a .024 package to take the win over Bell who was .023 at the tree. Plott is .007 up front and runs two above to leave Blackburn mathematically ineligible while Witt earns the solo pass into round number next.
In the semifinal, Witt is .009 red to end her night beside Betterton who is .016 green to advance. Only 2 thou separated the pair on the starting line and both drivers run dead on their respective dial-ins when Prewitt takes the .001 margin of victory over Plott.
jake prewitt 2023 labor day 250k
Prewitt wheels his neon green Super Bee into the water box next to Betterton’s solid white Chevy II with $10,000 up for grabs. Prewitt launches with a 9 thou advantage and runs dead on with a four to earn the win over Betterton. Perhaps there is something to bringing a Mopar on the mountain with two wins in two days.
After the well-deserved winner’s circle celebrations, the remainder of the gamblers race drivers were itching for their chance to park in front of the tower. What started with 174 entries eventually came down to only 6 drivers: Nick Bowman, Devin Dudley, Dan Caissie, Brian Hendrickson, Brent Hyatt, and Ron Boyce.
Hendrickson runs dead on his dial but can’t make up for the .004 bulb of Bowman who turns on the win light. Both drivers in the second pairing run dead on but Dudley’s .023 light falls just short next to Boyce’s .018 total package. Hyatt has the starting line advantage and takes the win over Caissie in a double-breakout race.
Bowman and Hyatt had previously earned bye runs and would face off in the semifinal. The race was over at the launch with Bowman turning on the red light by 5 thou while Hyatt’s green bulb advances him another round. Boyce utilizes the solo shot to get dialed in for the final.
Shortly after 11pm, the gamblers race comes down to Hyatt in the S-10 versus Boyce in the Mustang. Hyatt is .003 red to settle for runner up but Boyce was ready to win with a triple zero reaction time.
Brian Yerger Jr. Collects Massive Payday During BTE Labor Day $250k
Any race during the BTE Labor Day $250K would be considered a bucket-list victory for most, but the atmosphere on Saturday transforms the event into a unique experience of its own. Consistency becomes crucial and the footbrake competition becomes absolutely cutthroat when there are six figures at stake.
After everyone had received their one-and-only time trial, eliminations began with 231 entries first round. Half the field picked up their buyback ice cream and squared off in the re-entry round where the winners then returned to the second round of competition. That’s when the pressure increased as two drivers went down the eighth mile but just one would return for round number next.
By the sixth round, only eleven drivers were still eligible for the $100,000 payout. Since the inception of the BTE Labor Day $250K, co-promoters, Jared Pennington and Steve Stites have welcomed the remaining racers into the Bristol Dragway conference to negotiate “the split,” whenever they decide to discuss money. Today that discussion was held in private between Nathan Sexton, Cole Mason, Jake Prewitt, Richard Alford Jr, Adam Davis, Doyle Kay, Ron Boyce, Brian Yerger Jr, Chris Strange, David Bell, and Justin Holston.
Only six racers emerged from the split round to find themselves in the quarterfinals. During the first pair, Boyce had a 7 thousandths reaction time advantage but breaks out while Sexton runs one above his dial for the win. Kay has a one hundredth advantage over Holston and gets the .007 margin of victory at the finish line. Only 6 thou separate the last pair at the tree where Yerger earns the .004 margin of victory to advance.
A couple of borrowed Mustangs make their way into the water box as Yerger is wheeling Ernie Humes’ foxbody while Sexton is behind the wheel of his sister’s hatchback. Yerger launches with .012 in his pocket and runs dead on with a nine to take the win over Sexton who drops to run three above. Kay cruises into his third career $100,000 final round courtesy of the bye run.
brian yerger jr 2023 labor day 250k winner
Both finalists carved their own unique paths to get to this moment, such as the young and talented Yerger seemingly unfazed by transitioning from junior dragsters to dominating in full-size rides.
In the opposing lane, Kay has been a force to be reckoned with by wheeling the same Chevy II for decades, but just coming back from an 11-year racing hiatus. A crowd of onlookers gather near the starting line to see if the young gun or seasoned pro will earn the win.
In the $100,000 final round, both drivers run one above their respective dial ins, but the 7 thou starting line advantage is enough to illuminate the win light for Yerger while Kay settles for the runner up honors.
Congratulations to Brian Yerger Jr for becoming the youngest main event winner in Coalburg Racing Promotions history at just eighteen years old. Did we also mention that the first time he drove this car was last weekend?
Pollard Parks in $10,000 Winner's Circle on Sunday during BTE Labor Day $250k
Just one day removed from crowning a $100,000 champion, Coalburg Racing Promotions and Bristol Dragway staff prepped for the final day of this year’s BTE Labor Day $250K. Sunday opened with a church service under the bleachers and a handful of new entry time trials before diving right into the last $10,000 race of the weekend.
As with all multi-day events, a few racers may decide to hit the road early or save a few bucks by the time Sunday rolls around, but it seemed like most were enjoying their time on the mountain. First round saw 244 entries make their way down the eighth mile at Thunder Valley with hopes of leaving with $10K.
A few hours later only six drivers remained in the seventh round: Trish Witt, Scooter Hamlin, Kevin Pollard, Seth Lancaster, Jake Clayton, and John Dunn. The first pairing was a battle of first-generation Camaros when Witt lays down .020 total to leave Lancaster’s .026 bulb locked out.
Dunn turns on the red light by 6 thousandths to send Pollard into the semifinal who runs one above on the time shot. The closest race of the round came down to a .0007 margin of victory when Clayton’s .001 and one above pass took the win over Hamlin’s .006 and dead-on-eight run.
In the semifinal, another first-generation Camaro pair rolled to the starting line to see who would face off with Clayton in the final. Pollard has a better light by 6 thou and runs one above his dial to take the win over Witt who finds herself .01 behind at the stripe.
kevin pollard 2023 labor day 250k
Not only would this be the last pass of the weekend but perhaps one of the most entertaining when Pollard and Clayton both perform exhibition-style dry hops over the starting line after completing their respective burnouts.
After the pre-race excitement both drivers illuminate stage up for a shot at $10K. Pollard has an .013 starting line advantage and runs 5 thou under his dial to earn the double-breakout win over Clayton.
Coalburg Racing Promotions would like to express their gratitude to every person who chose to spend their weekend racing or spectating, as well as the sponsoring companies that make events like the BTE Labor Day $250K and World Footbrake Challenge possible.

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