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Sun, 21 Oct 2001, 09:58 AM

Sixth Annual B&M Million Dollar Drag Race Underway
Courtesy of George Howard Productions

COMMERCE, GA - The sixth annual B&M Million Dollar Drag Race, the richest E.T. bracket event in drag racing, is underway at Atlanta Dragway. The event, which could pay as much as $1 Million to a single winner, has attracted more than 400 entries from all over the United States.

In order to enter the sport's premiere E.T. bracket event, competitors must be willing to invest a $2,000 entry fee. Those who are defeated in the first or second round of competition may also opt to take advantage of the $500 buy-back option, which enables them to re-enter the field. The race is being held on an eighth-mile course and it is expected to take ten rounds of competition to determine a champion.

Included in the field for today's race are former Million Dollar Race winners Troy Williams Jr., T.J. Tracey, Sherman Adcock, and last year's champion, Stephen Hughes, who pocketed more than $200,000 for his final round win over former NHRA champ Scotty Richardson.

The event got off on Thursday evening as reigning NHRA Federal-Mogul Super Comp champ Ed Richardson claimed the first title of the weekend. Richardson, of Bradenton, Fla., concluded a grueling nine round marathon by driving his Mullis Race Cars dragster to a final round victory over Florida neighbor Gary Williams.

For the victory, Richardson won $2,000 in cash, and a free entry into the Million Dollar main event. It was the second-straight year that Richardson cashed in at the Million Dollar race as he won one of the $20,000 to win companion events last year.

Richardson's good fortune continued during Friday's $20,000 to win event presented by Barker Trailer Sales. He advanced to round seven of that event extending his win streak to 16-round wins before finally being defeated by Jason Lynch's Summit Racing dragster.

"I won 16 rounds yesterday, but I'd trade them all for just ten rounds today," said Richardson. "I feel pretty good, though. I'm driving well and my car is running well. There's a lot of pressure in this race, but I'm looking forward to it."

As impressive as Richardson's feat was, it couldn't compare to the performance turned in by 20-year-old Arlington, Texas sensation Luke Bogacki on Friday. Driving his Texas Supercars dragster, Bogacki won a total of 17 rounds. He began the day by winning the Barker Trailer Sales $20,000 event and for an encore, he came back to claim a second victory in the special Mullis Race Cars All-star Shootout. For that win, he won a complete Mullis Race Cars dragster chassis, bringing his take for the day to over $40,000 in cash and merchandise.

In the $20,000 final, Bogacki won a double breakout battle against reigning NHRA Federal-Mogul Super Gas champ Dan Northrop of Doylestown, Pa. Bogacki ran a 5.413 on his dial-in time of 5.42 to beat Northrop, who drove his S&W Cars dragster to a 4.936 on his 4.95 dial-in.

In the Mullis All-stars race, which is open to all drivers who scored a win in the B&M Racer's Appreciation Series this year, Bogacki defeated past Million Dollar champion Troy Williams Jr. in the final.

"I've won some big races, but I've never had a day like this," said Bogacki. "At my home track, I won a race for a dragster and then got to the semifinals of a $15,000 race, but it wasn't against the level of competition that we have here. I also won a $20,000 to win race at the 1999 B&M Million, but I'm going to have to go a long way to top this."

Friday's activities also included a special 16-car invitational event for Footbrake or Non-electronics racers. Doyle Kay of Ashville, Ala., won the final round over Chip Horton of Jesup, Ga.

In addition to today's main event, the sixth annual B&M Million Dollar Race will conclude on Sunday with a second $20,000 win race.

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