The action continued into JEGS Performance Thursday where the stakes grew higher at a $25,000 purse. Racers were greeted with a persistent headwind that grew stronger into the afternoon at the RAD Torque Spring Fling presented by Optima Batteries.
The previous night saw the all-Texan final of Chris Gulitti and Donny Burleson, two RAD Torque sponsored American dragsters. Burleson’s .012 package planted him in the FST Carburetors winner’s circle for the $15,000 check.
The ripple of the American flag atop the grandstands persisted as the sun began to dip below the mass of trees framing the dragstrip. Jerry Brewer, Scotty Gibson Jr., Mike Bloomfield Jr., Jeff Verdi, Jason Lynch, Shane Maddox, Scott Albrecht, Caraline McCarty, Gary Eitel, Wesley Roberts, Bryan Balducci, Austin Brown, Shane Carr, Nick Womack, Jeff Serra, and Chad Duke were the 16 drivers that made up the ladder in round six.
Verdi came out on the better side of a double breakout against Bloomfield, while Albrecht advanced past McCarty’s redlight. Gibson’s .010 package locked Brewer out, and Maddox tightened it up .005 at the stripe against Lynch to move on. Balducci put down .010 total against Brown for the win, while Serra moved into the quarterfinals after Duke’s .002 redlight. Carr’s .014 package knocked out Womack, and the last match-up for round six was decided by Eitel’s redlight to advance Roberts.
Verdi and Serra led the quarterfinal pairings and were separated by just one thousandth on the tree; though Verdi took .003 at the stripe, Serra was the lesser of the two breakouts being .002 under the 4.52. Maddox’s .001 move over Balducci put him in the semifinals opposite Serra. Scott Albrecht put up .010 total against Gibson, taking .009 at the stripe. Shane Carr managed to drive around the .000 light of Roberts with a .007 stripe and broke out by just two thousandths versus the .009 breakout of Roberts. On the other side of the ladder, it would be Carr and Albrecht in the semis.
The wind began to calm as the number of competitors dwindled down to four. Carr used a .022 packaged to earn himself a place in the final, while Albrecht was a few thousandths behind on the tree and broke out by .005 in his ‘85 S-10. Serra’s .013 and .015 above the 4.56 dial was enough to advance past the .018 light and .025 above the 4.47 of Maddox.
Carr and Serra’s dragsters came to life to pull into the water box for their monster match-up of a final round. Both drivers flickered into the bottom pre-stage, Carr leaving with a .020 and Serra with a .014. Serra’s .024 stripe proved to be just three thousandths too much, and Carr ran .015 above the 4.51 dial for the $25,000 JEGS Performance Thursday win.
Friday brings our main event — the Silver State Refrigeration $100,000. The Spring Fling Reaction Time Challenge will precede the beginning of eliminations, with 25 randomly selected drivers staging up to hit the tree. Any driver with a double “O” reaction will receive $100 and for every perfect light there is a $1,000 reward. If a racer is perfect they can come back for another look at the tree, and if they post a .000 a second time they will be paid $10,000 on the spot.
You can follow all the action from the RAD Torque Spring Fling presented by Optima Batteries live at www.MotorManiaTV.com thanks to JEGS Performance and Hoosier Racing Tire.