JACKSONVILLE, N.C. -- The $20,000 Footbrake Thanksgiving Tradition continued with the Fall Footbrake Frenzy IV at Coastal Plains Dragway, November 23-24, 2012, hosted by Michael Beard and Anthony Walton of Loose Rocker Promotions. The country's highest-paying Footbrake race awarded the $20,000 check to William Roberts, while Richard Alford bookended the weekend's $5K's. In addition to the three main racing events, many racers shared in over $5,000 in other cash and prizes, plus a Friday night Racer Appreciation Barbecue and Cornhole Tournament, plus coffee and Bojangle's biscuits Saturday morning.
Bojangle's $5K Warmup
Alford returned to the seat of his familiar yellow Chevelle at the Fall Footbrake Frenzy, with a fresh motor from Dean's Performance. He didn't miss a beat.
"For several years now, going back to '96, it seems like from August on are my good months. I'm real satisfied with my new motor. I called Chris Dean and he said after three runs, it would be broken in. I have never had to go test and tune after putting in a new motor. Dean builds a great motor, and Larry Chapman and Danny Lawson have had a hand in every championship my brother Steve and I have won. I've got to give them props!"
During eliminations, Alford employed an unconventional staging technique, rolling in an extra chunk just before the tree was activated. Still, he was able to do so consistently.
"I used to stage like that back in the '90s when my car was slow. I'm just used to it," said Alford. "I made 31 passes all weekend, and my 60' and half-track numbers were right on. Everything did what I wanted."
In the semifinals, brothers Richard and Steve Alford were on opposite sides of the ladder. Kris Bunch overcame an .035 to .002 starting line deficit against Steve Alford by a narrow .007 seconds, 7.500 (7.48 dial-in) to a 6.689 (6.63). Richard Alford made the finals with a holeshot over Eric Aman by .015, 6.440 (6.42) to a 5.967 (5.95).
In the finals, Alford and Bunch matched evenly at the line, .020 to .021, but Alford rolled off to the win with a 6.458 (6.42) when Bunch couldn't cover, 7.563 (7.49).
Alford's only hitch of the weekend was a leaking transmission line. In a great display of sportsmanship, opponent Jesse Betterton waited for him while they affected repairs.
"I really want to thank everyone involved: Jamie Holston, Robbie and Tabitha Draughon, and there were people up there I didn't even know," said Alford. "I am so humbled that people come to your rescue in a time of need. A man and his wife and kid even came to my trailer to check on me after the round. It was an amazing weekend. It turned out to be real good.
"I'd also like to thank my brother Steve. He always gives me good info to work with. There's always some people behind you that make it possible," concluded Alford. "I appreciate Michael and Anthony for putting on the race, and Lisa King for her hard work."
$20K Main Event
The Roberts clan nearly had a chance at a family feud, as both William and Clayton Roberts had advanced to the semifinals. Terry Rucker, who stopped Richard Alford's roll in the quarters, also stopped Clayton Roberts, however, when Clayton turned it -.003 red. William Roberts had his hands full with Dave Harvey, Jr. Last year, Harvey had two entries in the semis, and won the $20K. He presented a stellar effort once again with a .006-backed 7.022 (7.03) breakout, but Roberts' .014 light and dead-on 5.984 (5.98) left him little room.
"I was hoping Clayton would get through," admitted William. "It would have been great to have two Roberts in the finals!"
Rucker enjoyed a slight headstart over Roberts in the final, .036 to .049, but in a virtual replay of the semis, Roberts was dead-on. This time, his perfect 5.980 (5.98) pushed Rucker under 6.627 (6.63).
"He had me on the tree, but went out by one. I knew I had to get rid of one. I tapped the brakes twice and ran dead-on with a zero," reported Roberts.
"I had a rough start, but once I got adjusted, it was good," he said. "The track seemed to work great. The last four passes I was dead-on. It was a good day of racing. It was tough competition! There were a lot of tight passes.
"I'd like to thank the Good Lord for his blessings that allow us to compete in this beautiful sport, Ronnie Roberts Racing and my whole family, Larry, Danny, and Moon, Redline Speed Shop, and all the racers for being supportive and keeping this sport going. I'd also like to thank Phillips Auto Body for the helmet paint job award, and Michael and Anthony for all the time and effort they put into all the prizes."
BOJANGLE'S FRIDAY $5K FINALS WIN - Richard Alford .020 6.458 (6.42) R/U - Kris Bunch .021 7.563 (7.49) SEMIS W - Kris Bunch .035 7.500 (7.48) L - Steve Alford .002 6.689 (6.63) W - Richard Alford .037 6.440 (6.42) L - Eric Aman .055 5.967 (5.95) Watkins Flooring Dash for Cash 1st $250 - Joel Warren .004 pkg 2nd $150 - Nicole Talbert .008 pkg 3rd $100 - Kevin Render .014 pkg Best Losing Package Rnd 1 - Tesz Powell .021 pkg - Free Re-Entry & Re-Entry Bye Rnd 2 - William Roberts .033 pkg - $400 Abruzzi gift cert Rnd 3 - Tesz Powell .023 pkg - M/T Tires Rnd 4 - Rodney Lundsford .052 pkg - $150 Summit gift cert Rnd 5 - Randy Biddle .047 pkg - 3 mo. subscription ThisIsBracketRacing.com Rnd 6 - Tesz Powell .035 pkg - Weekend Entry Jim Harrington Footbrake Classic Coastal Beverage Cornhole Tournament WIN - Jesse Betterton & Kevin Pollard $500, custom FFF IV cornhole set by Eddie Longhany Cornhole Boards and Staging Light Graphics, plus Biondo Pocket Tree to Betterton for good sportsmanship SATURDAY $20K MAIN EVENT FINALS WIN - William Roberts .049 5.980 (5.98) R/U - Terry Rucker .036 6.627 (6.63) SEMIS W - William Roberts .014 5.984 (5.98) L - Dave Harvey, Jr. .006 7.022 (7.03) W - Terry Rucker .030 6.660 (6.63) L - Clayton Roberts -.003 5.565 (5.58) Biondo Quick Reaction Shootout (Best R/T 1st 10 pair of cars 1st Time Trial) WIN - Curly DeLee .003 - Biondo Pocket Tree Watkins Flooring Dash For Cash 1st $250 - Jeff Stewart .013 pkg 2nd $150 - Ross Willard .0180 pkg 3rd $100 - John Rendes .0189 pkg Best Losing Package Rnd 1 - Chuck Morris .021 pkg - Free Re-Entry & Re-Entry Bye Rnd 2 - Mick LeCompte .018 pkg - Free Abruzzi Torque Converter Rnd 3 - Adam Davis .027 pkg - Free weekend entry World Footbrake Challenge Rnd 4 - Wesley Roberts .043 pkg - $200 Summit Gift Cert Rnd 5 - Scott Macy .028 pkg - 1yr subscription ThisIsBracketRacing.com - - - SATURDAY $5K FINALE Split at 6: Richard Alford (2 entries), Mike Barber, Marty Flegal Jr., Tyler Brayton, Jesse Betterton. Drivers drew chips for the big check and Iron Tree trophy, won by Alford. Best Losing Package Rnd 1 - Kevin Pollard .024 pkg - Free Re-Entry & Re-Entry Bye Rnd 2 - Jay Woodward .042 pkg - $400 Abruzzi gift cert Rnd 3 - Tesz Powell .029 pkg - M/T Tires Rnd 4 - Denny Macloskey .044 pkg - $150 Summit gift cert Rnd 5 - Dave Harvey, Jr. .054 pkg - 3mo. subscription ThisIsBracketRacing.com Phillips Auto Body Best Appearing Car - Mike Barber Redline Speed Shop Best Engineered Car - Jared Pennington