Over 400 racers showed up today and were greeted with outstanding Chamber of Commerce weather on the first day of the K&N Spring Fling Vegas event. Today called for a free Test & Tune session for all competitors sponsored by Yukon Gear & Axle.
The day also called for the Maytag Silver State Refrigeration $50K To Win Shootout. And when you're in Vegas, there's no reason not to gamble. Open to only 32 racers, each ponied up $2,000 to compete for a $50,000 payday. With four cars left, the two semifinal round losers were set to receive $1,000 with the runner-up earning $5,000.
The semifinals represented four different states with Vinny DiMino traveling the furthest from Maspeth, NY. The other combatants were Greg Hicks from Las Vegas, Cecil Hankins from Roswell, NM and Duston Wurtz representing Nampa, ID.
At the round of four, Hankins and Hicks battled it out with a double break-out win going to Hankins. In the other half, DiMino and Wurtz both had double-zero reaction times with DiMino running dead on his dial-in and a five-thousandths package for the win.
The two remaining racers represented opposite sides of the country. With both racers dialed close to one another, DiMino received a .003 head start and never looked back, running a 4.722 on a 4.72 dial-in while Hankins ran a 4.709 on a 4.69 dial. And so "What Happens In Vegas, isn't going to stay here today as DiMino will be taking his $50K back to New York.
Stay tuned to Bangshift.com for the live Internet video feed of the event. And visit www.bracketraces.com for further info and results from the last two years.
Yesterday's big $50,000 winner of the Maytag Silver State Refrigeration Shootout, Vinny DiMino, might have celebrated on "The Strip" here in Las Vegas, but this morning Super Pro and Pro class racers showed up to compete on the only "Strip" that matters to them, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
While the Shootout was contested yesterday as was the Yukon Gear & Axle Free Test & Tune, Thursday opens up the first official race of the K&N Spring Fling Vegas event, Baldwin Racing Alzheimer's Awareness Thursday, just a warm-up event for what is to be an exciting weekend. With competition in the two classes, the winner of the Super Pro class will receive $5,000 while the Pro winner will see a $3,000 check made out in his (or her) name.
After the first round, 126 Pro drivers made a pass, while Super Pro consisted of 300 racers, 137 of which were door cars.
With eight cars left in the Pro class, the combatants were Jeff LaSalle, Walter Gordon, Daniel Pizana, Stephanie Paz, Wesley Eisenga, Todd Zamora and NHRA Stock class eliminator standouts Jody Lang and Brad Burton. Once the dust settled after the quarterfinals, Gordon, Eisenga, Burton and Lang remained.
In the semifinal, Lang used a .010 reaction time to defeat Gordon and Burton defeated Eisenga to make up a final round of two competitors who are no strangers who have raced each other due to their famed NHRA Stock eliminator forays. Lang has been a perennial NHRA top ten finisher and in fact won this year's NHRA Winternationals. Burton is a former world champion and also a past Spring Fling winner.
For the final round, only .002 separated them at the starting line, but Burton's car slowed to hand the win to Lang.
In Super Pro, five cars remained in the quarterfinals, Butch Warner, "Peeps" Pennington, Dan Bain, Kevin Heffington and Nathan Thornsley coming down from Alaska and earning the bye run due in part to his winning .005 reaction time the round prior. With the quarterfinal round completed, Warner, Pennington and Thornsley remained.
For the semis, Warner received the bye to the final, while Pennington battled it out with Thornsley. In that race, Thornsley left with the reaction time advantage, but it was Pennington who took .007-second win at the finish line to move to the final against Warner.
For the final, Pennington stepped up his reaction time with a .003 to defeat Warner who in addition to his $1,000 runner-up money received a complete rear end third member courtesy of Mark Williams Enterprises.
Continue to tune into Bangshift.com for the live Internet video feed of the event. And visit www.bracketraces.com for further info and results from the last two years.
The patented Spring Fling $20,000 Challenge started off Maytag Silver State Refrigeration Friday where 20 randomly selected racers are given one chance at the Christmas tree to score either a .00X or perfect .000 reaction time. A .00X gets you a one hundred dollar while perfect earns you $1,000. Only two drivers managed a .00X, Ty Ishibashi and Trent Umberger.
With no time trials, racers were eager to get down to business and 142 Pro class drivers and 333 Super Pro competitors did just that starting at 8:00 in the morning.
In Pro class action, seven cars remained in the quarterfinal round, a rather tough group of racers. Former 'Fling winners Ryan Mangus and Scott Parsons, last night's winner and runner-up Brad Burton and Jody Lang, Rob Harrison, Phil Hardlow, and Tony Marconi.
As the semis unfolded, there will be no repeat winner in Pro as Lang was defeated by Harrison and Parsons, Burton and Mangus moved on. In the round of four, former ‘Fling winner Burton defeated Parsons to go to his second final round in as many days. And Mangus couldn't quite get it done as Harrison took out the former winner.
Final round, Pro class, Burton looking to better his last night runner-up finish and Harrison attempting to thwart that effort but it was not to be as Harrison turned on the red light handing the win to Burton and marking his destiny to celebrate with the famous Vegas Showgirls in the winner's circle.
"I was pretty pumped up to better last night's effort," said Burton. "But my mom and dad put me a good place all day and I'm happy to put last night behind me with this win."
Super Pro quarterfinal round had eight cars remaining, Brad Pierce, Kacee Bootsma-Morris, Jeg Coughlin Jr. in his Chevy II wagon, Wesley Eisenga, Dave Deadman in his door car, Blu Hayball, last night's Super Pro winner Peeps Pennington and Brian Fritz in his street roadster.
In the semifinals, the dragster contingent led by Pennington was out-numbered by the three remaining door cars of Coughlin, Pierce and Deadman, guaranteeing at least one door car in the final round. Coughlin, coming back to his roots after some time off from his NHRA Pro Stock career, faced off with Pierce, and the flat black wagon of Coughlin prevailed. In the other half of the semis, Deadman and his door car faced the only remaining dragster of Pennington with the "Peeps Show" of Pennington making his way to another final round with the win.
The final was an epic battle with both racers recording identical "double-0" reaction times but it was the Peeps Show taking the win away from Coughlin. A man of few words, Peeps said, "I hope the live feed is still on because I want to thank my Dad at home for making this all possible."
Continue to tune into Bangshift.com for the live Internet video feed and stay tuned for a major Spring Fling announcement to be made on Saturday morning.
With the cat out of the bag as far as the 2016 and beyond plans for the K&N Spring Fling Vegas event; now the Spring Fling Million; racing continued on Maytag Silver State Refrigeration Saturday. The highlight day of the weekend, Pro class racers will be competing for a $10,000 to win payday, while Super Pro drivers race for $20,000.
In Pro class action, a set of Wiseco pistons was up for grabs as a Bounty Award for the person who defeated last night's Pro winner Brad Burton. In the first round, that honor went to Steve Maas who forced Burton to have to visit the "Window of Forgiveness" to buy his way back into competition via the Buyback round.
Thursday's weather forecast called for a 50-percent chance of rain while the balance of the weekend was only 20-percent. The Sun never left on Thursday so if that was what 50-percent looked like, the rest of the days should have been a cinch. Las Vegas gets roughly six-inches of rain a year so it's a good bet (if we could use that analogy in this town) that the weather should be good. Unfortunately, this rain-deprived desert town received at least its monthly rain allotment at the beginning of the third round of Pro, putting a halt to the program temporarily.
Once the rain stopped, the staff at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway went right to work drying the track, but the four-a-half hour wait might have slowed the program somewhat but it did little to dampen the competitive spirits of the remaining racers left in the program.
The Bounty Award in Super Pro went to the third round when the winner of the last two nights, Peeps Pennington, was defeated by Bob Halina who also earned himself a set of Wiseco pistons for his effort.
Round four of Pro was completed, while round four of Super Pro had yet to be completed at ten minutes past midnight when Mother Nature decided to add to the Las Vegas rainfall amount ending the day's activities. The plan for Sunday will be to finish the Saturday event and then complete Sunday's race.
Chad Reynolds and his Bangshift.com team are still at it providing a live Internet video feed of every single run at the K&N Spring Fling Vegas event. Visit www.bracketraces.com for more info.
Now that the city of Las Vegas has gotten their monthly allotment of rain yesterday, eliminations continued this morning for yesterday's Maytag Silverstate Refrigeration Saturday beginning with the fourth round of the Pro class.
Obviously the delay did little when it came to racers concerned with their dial-in this bright, sunny Sunday morning, as five out of the seven pairs of Pro racers resulted in dead on the dial winning runs. With the conclusion of that round, Justin Lamb, Tony Marconi, Willie DenBoer, Tommy Dutcher, two-time finalist so far this weekend Brad Burton, Thursday's winner Jody Lang, Wesley Eisenga and Tim O'Moore remained.
Making their way into the semifinals was Dutcher, DenBoer, Lang and the guy who's looking to go to his third final in as many days, Brad Burton. The semifinals also set up a possible repeat of Thursday night where Lang defeated Burton. Burton faced off with Dutcher but turned on the redlight to move Dutcher into the final round for a $10,000 payday. Lang then faced DenBoer and a seven-thousandths package by the foot-braking Lang moved him into a meeting with Dutcher.
Lang has had an impressive run this weekend with one win Thursday and a semifinal appearance on Friday and now this. In the final, the NHRA Winternationals champ Lang suffered trans brake problems forcing him to "flat-foot" it off the starting line which ultimately handed the win to the Ramona, California racer Tommy Dutcher. Super Pro had seven cars remaining in the quarterfinals with Scott Hearn receiving the bye into the semifinals. The other combatants were Tom Malicki, Duston Wurtz, Chuck Hawk Jr., Michael Otis and from the "senior tour," Richard McFarland and Ted Seipel.
At the round of four, Hearn, Wurtz, Otis and McFarland attempting to hold up the "senior tour," battled it out. Hearn defeated Wurtz and McFarland "drilled" the ‘tree with a .009 reaction time to defeat Otis.
When Richard McFarland began racing, Scott Hearn had yet to be born. And that's what makes drag racing; and in this case bracket racing; so great. Forget the "senior tour," anyone has a chance when the green light shines. In the final, when the green light did shine, both Hearn and McFarland left with double-0 lights but it was McFarland who ran closer to his dial-in for the $20,000 victory in a car he and his buddies built themselves in their garage based around a Pontiac engine.
"Thanks to Peter and Kyle for putting on a great race," said McFarland. "I've been to the Bristol ‘Fling and both races are fantastic. I'm going to have to go home and talk to my other half but I just might be going to Bristol now too." And now he has the traveling money to do it.
With Saturday's eliminations completed, the final day, Baldwin Racing Cancer Awareness Sunday began with racers still eager to score last chance wins in both classes. In the quarterfinals, six remained; Jesse Adams, Todd Zampese, Mark Faul, Gregory Harrison, Stan Deming and Bill Kidd. Deming, Zampese and Faul all survived the cut with Deming earning the valuable bye run in the semis guaranteeing him a spot in the final.
With those three left, Zampese defeated Faul with Zampese and his dragster, still also into the quarterfinals in Super Pro with an identical car. Deming with the bye, tested the ‘tree with an .028 reaction time and a dead-on the dial with an "9" run.
In the Pro final, Zampese made the first step toward a double-up win with his defeat of Deming on a double break-out.
Super Pro action in the quarterfinals had Kevin McClelland, Brad Pierce, Todd Zampese, Dan Wheeler, Aaron Steinkey, Mark Kidd and Kevin Houmard outlasting over 300 others.
Houmard received the last bye run of the night in the quarters and Zampese continued in his quest to double-up by defeating Wheeler. Former NHRA national event winners Pierce and McClelland tangled with "K-Mac" McClelland taking the win. Steinkey and Kidd ended the round with both drivers recording double-0 reaction times but Steinkey prevailed for the win.
Semifinals? Zampese used a .020 package to defeat McClelland and Steinkey turned on the redlight to move Houmard into the final and attempt to thwart Zampese's double-up victory. But that wasn't to be, as Zampese became the very first Spring Fling victor in two separate classes in the same race… and with the same car; legal according to Spring Fling Vegas rules.
"I feel very blessed this weekend," said Zampese. "This was a great race and I had a great time."
With the 2015 version of the K&N Spring Fling Vegas event in the books, everyone is looking forward to 2016 and the K&N Spring Fling Million next year where even more money will be awarded to racers.
"We'd like to thank everyone who participated this year and all the sponsors who help to make our events successful," said co-promoter Kyle Seipel. "Both Peter [Biondo] and I can't thank everyone enough and we're really excited for the future of the Spring Fling brand. Please stay tuned to the Spring Fling website (www.bracketraces.com) and our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/springflingbracketraces) to keep up to date on our announcements and we'll see everyone in Bristol for the K&N Spring Fling 5-Day on May 12-17."
The patented K&N Spring Fling $20,000 Challenge pits 20 randomly selected drivers against the Christmas tree reaction timers. Any driver that records a .00X reaction time receives $100, while anyone with a perfect .000 reaction time earns $1,000 bill complete with a photo of former president Grover Cleveland.
In the past history of the ‘Fling both in Bristol and Vegas, only one driver has earned that $1,000 distinction. If a driver should hit that perfect light, they're welcome to come back for another hit of the ‘tree and another possible grand.
This year's participants were Mike Burris, Theodore Logan Sr., Larry Pittenger, Todd Ishibashi, Michael Furiani, CW Hoefer, Edwin Teemly, John Kidd, Ty Ishibashi, Chris Veis, Glen Kern, Disco Dean Karns, Jaime Villalobos Jr., Trent Unberger, Dennis Bauer, Sam Northup, Mark Simonian, Dvid Myhre, Kelly Bailey and Gary Christensen.
When the smoke cleared, only Ty Ishibashi and Trent Unberger were able to both pull off "double-0" reaction times to earn them each a crisp Ben Franklin $100 bill.