Team DFS Hosts Practice Tree Race to Help Ease Winter Blues
The sport of drag racing is typically a warm weather sport, but attendees of the third annual DragstersForSale.Com Practice Tree Race Presented by TEAM DFS were able to get a taste of competition despite the winter weather. Over 150 drag racers from the Midwest and Tri-State regions converged on VFW Post 1114 in Evansville, Indiana in January to fight for $4,500 in prize money in the Top Bulb event, while the Bottom Bulb racers chased over $1,500 in prize money. Participants also had the chance to win weekend race entries to events promoted by the Dillman family and their No Box Nationals, taking place at I-57 Dragway this summer. Loose Rocker Promotions supplied a weekend entry for a skilled racer for their racing series. If that is not enough to get a bracket racer’s blood moving, the event also pitted 32 racers against each other for entries to the Spring Fling Bracket Race Series and The Million Dollar Race for the mere cost of $50 and $100, respectively.
“We put this event on to get people back out with their racing families that they see at the race track eight months out of the year on a weekly basis. The sight of racers winning one of the $8,000 in prizes that we give away as door prizes while getting a chance to compete at a race that the entry fee is $700 or $2,000 really makes me happy,” said Top Sportsman racer Don O’Neal (pictured above), who is responsible for the event.
The event consisted of six events, five of which racers had to pay to enter, with the sixth event being a Shootout Race sponsored by Racepak. This event included the quarter-and-semi-finalists from the events squaring off for the ownership rights of a Sportsman data logger from Racepak and the runner-up taking home a Racepak-branded pit mat. Scott Carmen walked away with the logger, taking the win over David “Bird” Jones.
The first event to lead off the night of cash and prizes was the Racing RVs Bottom Bulb event. Starting with 238 entries, just a few hours later only two were left fighting to claim the title of the baddest off the bottom bulb. When the tree activated, it was Neil Posey claiming victory over Shawn Rissler for the win. Carson Griffith had the potential to sweep the event, as he was carrying two entries into the quarter-finals, only to lose both by the semis.
This year over 356 entries let go of the trans-brake button on the stylish Richardson Boyz Steering wheels in the Top Bulb event presented by Law Chevrolet. Hitters with last names like Adkins, Crick, Bohannon, and Beard, along with big personalities such as “Disco Dean” Karns and David “Bird” Jones, squared off against past winners Jarrell and Mascaro, divisional champ Al Peavler and numerous racers chasing $3,000 in cash to the winner. As the time drew closer to midnight, which is when most big-money bracket racing events start heating up, that is exactly what happened. Dylan Winters, Tyler Moffitt, Tyler Jarrell, Brock Smith and Blake Webb were the ones battling for the cash. The final round came down to a battle of the Bs between Brock and Blake. Webb was the winner of the Mulligan, which was awarded to a racer to be used to re-enter the race after losing before the round of 16. He utilized it, and that was all he needed to catch fire to take home the big payday.
The final hours of the evening concluded with two entries to The Million Dollar Race promoted by Randy and Jennifer Folk. Sixty-four of the best racers of the night competed for the prize of having their entry for the October race paid for in January. The winners, Brandon Jarrell and Tyler Bohannon, stood proudly when the LED lights flashed in the final. Jarrell became the first repeat winner as he won the Top Bulb race in 2014. The runner-ups were Lester Adkins and Josh Statts taking home a little cash.
Kyle Seipel and Peter Biondo, promotors of the hugely successful Spring Fling races in Bristol, Tennessee; Benson, North Carolina; and Las Vegas, provided free entries to their races as prizes for the DFS Practice Tree Race. None other than David “Bird” Jones, known for his STREET OUTLAWS-famous Camaro, made moves all the way to the finals. On the other side, there sat a tractor puller who loves drag racing named Cody Wiggins. Jones and Wiggins put on a great show in the finals, with double-oh lights on both sides, but it was Wiggins who came out on top.
After 12-straight hours, 74 pizzas and 30 cases of beverages were consumed, and 800 times a trans brake button clicked as the bright LED lights lit up on Porta Trees. O’Neal and the event organizers at DragstersForSale.com predict an even bigger evening in January 2018 as the new winter tradition continues to pick up participants and supporters.
Photographs by Megan Strassweg