BRISTOL, Tenn. --
The success of this event over the years has led to this year's opening day race, FTI-sponsored Warm-Up Thursday to host over 500 racers competing for the $12,500 winner's share of the purse.
Beginning with time trials starting at precisely 8:30 am, it took five hours to complete the one and only time trial session. Competitors lined up for the first round beginning with the Spring Fling tradition of running door cars against door cars and dragsters against dragsters until they're down to less than 16 cars.
At 16 cars, there remained racers representing 10 different states. At the round of four, Tommy Plott faced off with Steve Witherow with Plott laying down a .001 reaction time and a 6.314 on a 6.30 dial for the win. In the other half of the semifinal round, Chelsea Spence from Rockville, Maryland took the best of Charlie Patterson with a .019 package for the win.
In the final, Spence was not to be denied; taking the win light from Plott with a .002 reaction time coupled with a dead-on the dial with a "7" to become the first woman to score a win in the history of the K&N Spring Fling 20s. Spence said, "I have to thank Peter Biondo and Kyle Seipel for a great race. I look forward to coming to this event every year."
With this many race cars, attempting to complete the event could potentially cause a problem. But as racers themselves, promoters Peter Biondo and Kyle Seipel have decided to change the program slightly due to the amount of cars entered. Friday's Nitroplate-sponsored $20K to win event will be rolled into Saturday's JEGS-sponsored race making Friday's race a whopping $40,000 to win with the balance of the payout doubled all along the way. Saturday will host Sunday's JEGS $20K to win race. As for Sunday, Biondo and Seipel have decided to host a Racer Appreciation Race with no entry fee and $10,000 to win.
Biondo said, "We've always dreamt this event would get this big but in reality, who could ever had thought it would come to this. We can't thank the racers, our customers, enough and this change in the event is just to show our appreciation."
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