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Mon, 22 Oct 2001, 02:46 PM

Richardson scores $200,000 payday at B&M Million
Courtesy George Howard Productions

Commerce, Ga. - Reigning NHRA Federal-Mogul Super Comp champ Ed Richardson of Bradenton, Fla., scored the biggest victory of his career when he drove his Mullis Race Cars dragster to a $200,000 victory in last night's sixth annual B&M Million Dollar Drag Race at Atlanta Dragway. Richardson finished the ten round marathon with a final round victory over 20-year-old Jeff O'Neill of Pennsdale, Pa. Richardson ran a 4.863 on his eighth-mile dial in time of 4.85 in the final to beat O'Neill, who broke out with a 4.925 on his dial in of 4.93-seconds.

"I've been fortunate enough to have a lot of success in racing, but this is really the ultimate," said Richardson. "There's so many talented racers here and the pressure is so intense. Today was just my lucky day. I drove pretty well, but I also had all the breaks go my way when I needed them to. This is pretty special."

The win continued a recent hot streak for Richardson. He opened the weekend with a win in Thursday's $50 gambler's race. That victory was good for a free Million Dollar Drag Race entry and $2,000 in cash. Richardson also advanced to the late rounds of Friday's $20,000 to win race. All told, he has won 25 of his last 26 elimination rounds over the weekend.

Last year, Richardson, scored a $20,000 victory during the B&M Million Dollar Race in Montgomery, Ala. He was also the car owner for 1998 B&M Million Dollar Race champion Troy Williams Jr.

"Yes, this race has been pretty good to me over the last few years," Richardson continued. "When Troy won this race in 1998, I wasn't even at the track. He called me in the middle of the night to tell me he'd won. I'll tell you, it's much more exciting to be here, and to win it in person. Everyone dreams of winning this race, and not just for the money. The level of competition is what appeals to me the most.

A total of 201 of the best E.T. bracket racers from across the country posted the $2,000 entry fee required to compete in the Million Dollar Drag Race, and more than $393,000 was paid out to the racers. In addition to Richardson's $200,000 first place check, runner-up O'Neill pocketed $50,000 for his efforts.

"I think I had a shot to win it, but Ed just did a little better job than I did," said O'Neill. "I still made more money than I ever have in bracket racing, so it's hard to be too disappointed."

Scott LaBudde of Freeport, Ill., was the lone semifinalist and Brad Cole of Douglasville, Ga., and Marty Wiles of Tyrone, Ga., were the quarterfinalists.

The weekend's other big winner was 20-year-old Luke Bogacki of Arlington, Texas, who won Friday's Barker Trailer Sales $20,000 to win race. The sixth annual B&M Million Dollar Drag Race will conclude on Sunday, October 21, with the second Barker Trailer Sales $20,000 to win race.

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