Andy Schmall experienced a range of emotions after realizing he won the high-stakes Million Dollar Friday final round at the Moser Engineering Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“When I left the starting line, I wasn’t quite sure how my reaction time was and didn’t feel great about it,” confessed Schmall. “I just drove [the car] down to the finish line, carried out the plan, and then the win light came on. It was like, no, this didn’t just happen.”
Schmall was .008 ahead at the stripe to run dead-on four for the win over Kyle Cultrera. Even though Schmall felt disbelief after his victory, the 2018 Drag Illustrated 30 Under 30 alumni was also excited about what was waiting for him back in the winner’s circle.
A check for $400,000 was presented to Schmall, alongside his wife, Jamie, and two daughters, Rylee and Olivia. Additionally, Schmall was awarded the Kyle Seipel Never Give Up Award presented by Ivey Hutto’s Golf Cart Sales And Service as the Division 6 (or 7) driver to go the furthest in the Million main event. He earned $5,000 and a custom plaque.
“Winning by yourself is cool and fun, but to have people there to share it with, makes it even better,” said Schmall.
When asked about plans for the $400,000, Schmall answered, “We’re going to see what we’re doing this summer, maybe expand our racing program.”
Although Schmall’s ’88 Chevrolet Beretta, powered by a big block Chevy, was running great, he admittedly worked on his performance throughout the event.
“It wasn’t a stellar performance, but it was enough to work with the pairs that I got,” Schmall said, referencing his strategic movements after losing early on Wednesday. “First round of the million, I let go perfect. Then bumped it red again, and so I ended up taking the bump down button. I moved it and changed it to a bump up and then started pulling delay out of the box to try and make the lights better and just let go and let it ride instead of trying to bump down, thinking I was late because I was obviously wrong a couple of times there and seemed to help.”
Like the historic number of 364 entries at the Moser Engineering Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries, Schmall wrote his name on the Fling Million Wall of Fame as the eighth Spring Fling Million Champion.
Schmall races with the support of Fastronix Wiring, Digital Delay, Kidd Performance and G&S Racecars.