First up on Strange Engineering Friday were seven lucky racers who turned on a .00X reaction time in the Spring Fling Reaction Time Challenge, each receiving a crisp $100 bill for their efforts. Twenty random racers were chosen for the chance and just those seven; Mark Pittman, Todd Osting, Kent Hanley, Rocky Pintavalle, Kale Hoffman and Troy Williams; were able to escape with some Spring Fling cash before the day even got started.
Tonight was also the Sparco Racer Appreciation Barbeque with cooking by famed Chef Anthony (Bertozzi), fresh off his Super Stock win at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals last weekend. As is always the case and following one of the ‘Fling’s principles; fun for the whole family; the night provided face painting and a magic show for the little ones and maybe even some of the big ones too.
With no time trials today, eliminations for $50,000-to-win began bright and early with the bounty, a set of Wiseco Pistons, placed on last night’s winner, Mia Tedesco. John Labbous was the recipient of that award when he bested Miss Mia in the very first round today.
With an extra $1,000 on the line going to the Pro 32 No Box class survivor, the final consisted of Seth Phillips and Kevin Pollard with Pollard taking the win and moving into round six of the main event along with the added cash.
Round seven consisted of Million Dollar man Jeff Verdi taking out Dennis Helman. Pollard hanging tough off the bottom bulb to defeat Steve Dweck. Carol McCarty defeating Larry Martin, Dalton Pearsall taking out Clayton Roberts and Don Kosanka with the odd car bye run.
Quarterfinal round survivors were Pollard, Verdi and Pearsall, representatives from the three different classes run this weekend; No Box (Pollard), door cars (Verdi) and Pearsall the lone dragster left. In the Pollard versus Kosanka match-up, another Spring Fling innovation, TruSTART, changed the outcome. Leaving first, Pollard was -.001 red which typically would have advanced Kosanka. Unfortunately for Kosanka, he was -.012 red which handed the win to Pollard.
In the semifinals, both Pollard and Verdi had prior bye runs which left Pearsall to take the odd car bye. Verdi then used a 10-pack (.010 reaction time and dead-on the dial with a “0”) to not give Pollard much room, moving the two-time Million Dollar Race winner into the final against Pearsall.
For the final, neither racer was giving anything to the other as Pearsall left the line with a .001 reaction time, while Verdi wasn’t far behind with his own .003. But it was Pearsall running closer to his dial to earn himself his very first big trailer check.
One more day left, Wiseco Pistons Saturday, just another $20K-to-win race. MotorManiaTV.com has been broadcasting the entire event from start of day until winner’s circle celebrations thanks to sponsors JEGS and Hoosier Tires. Visit www.bracketraces.com for results, info and a link to the live feed.