The day arrived. Maytag/Silverstate Refrigeration Million Dollar Friday, the main event of the K&N Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries. A day which will certainly change the life of one person.
This being Vegas, what better “casino” to place a bet than The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and first up today was the Brodix Run For The $50,000. For a $50 “bet,” place a dial-in on your car, “pull the handle,” leave the starting line with a perfect .000 reaction time and run dead-on your dial with a “0” gets you a perfect run and a $50,000 check. If no perfect runs are recorded, the best package earns that driver a set of Brodix SR20 cylinder heads. Second place gets a $2,000 check and third place a free entry into the 2020 Spring Fling Million main event. If no one hits the $50K perfect run, the first perfect run in Friday’s elimination will earn that driver $20,000.
No perfect runs but Sean Page used a two-thousandths package to take home the set of Brodix cylinder heads. Cassie Pennington and Wes Anderson tied for second with a “five-pack” to respectively take home $2,000 in cash and a free 2020 Spring Fling Million Friday entry.
And so began the first round of eliminations for the main event, the one everyone wants to win, Million Dollar Friday. When the first round was complete almost three hours after it began, 344 entries had taken their shot at the win. According to the progressive winner’s share, someone was going to walk home at the end of the night with a $375,000 check, possibly the largest amount of money paid to date for the win of any single drag race, regardless of class.
Because no one hit the Run For The $50K, co-promoters Kyle Seipel and Peter Biondo chose to roll $20,000 over to the first person who lays down a perfect run in Friday’s eliminations, which never occurred, albeit still an admirable effort and the reason so many racers like the Spring Fling brand of races.
The PRO38 class of footbrakers once again battled down to a final round where Andy Schmall battled Dustin Henry with Schmall getting the win. The win included a bonus of $500 and the advancement to the Super Pro round seven with the remaining Super Pro competitors.
Round six competitors included Val Torres Jr., Jason Lynch, Chris Northrup, Aaron Gee, Kenny Underwood, Peeps Pennington, Jeremy Maples, Brandon Jamall, Dan Northrop, Dan Lafferty, Shane Carr, Dustin Dee Long, Lane Dicken and John Labbous. Winners that round included Carr, Gee, Dicken, Schmall, Lynch, Pennington, Dan Northrop, Jarrell, in addition to PRO38 winner Schmall.
Quarterfinal round and the winners were Carr, Northrop, Pennington and while Pennington is technically in a door car, his roadster, the lone remaining PRO38 door car of Schmall is still hanging tough with the delay box crowd.
Four cars and four tough competitors. First up was Carr and Northrop, with Carr using a .003 reaction time to Northrop’s .022 for the win. Next up were the two remaining “door cars,” Pennington and Schmall with Pennington taking the win while Schmall ran .004 under his dial. And with that, the final was set with former Vegas Fling winner Pennington looking for his second Fling trophy, while Carr, driving Shane Thompson’s 4.4-second car at this race, has won at just about every big money race all across the country.
In the final, Pennington had the reaction time advantage and held on for the win to add his name to an impressive list of Million Dollar race winners, earning a record amount of money for his efforts, taking it all the way back to Three Rivers, Texas. The one question he asked after the final? “Can I still race tomorrow on the last day?” Not a good idea. But he’ll be enjoying a two-night stay at the Cosmopolitan Resort as part of his winnings.