JULIAN, N.C. -- While Mother Nature turned a cold shoulder on the Fall Footbrake Frenzy VI initial kickoff at Piedmont Dragway in Julian, NC, warmer fortunes prevailed, and history was made on multiple fronts. Friday's Summit Racing Equipment $5K Warmup was cancelled due to steady temps below 40 degrees, but promoters Anthony Walton and Michael Beard of Loose Rocker stacked the $5K on top of Saturday's NitroPlate $20K Main Event, along with all of the round money and prizes.
Cold temps forced a similar combining of races last year, with Adam Davis of Eva, Ala. capturing Loose Rocker's first $25,000 payday, but with the substantial purse increase offered this year, Saturday alone bulged with a staggering total cash payout of over $50,000! Because of the loss of Friday, the $50 weekend entry discount was offered to the $25K entrants, and buybacks were not raised at all, remaining at just $100. Third round winners received $300, with an additional $250 per round after that.
By the quarterfinals, those 216 cars in the Summit/NitroPlate $25K Main Event were whittled down to multi-time Loose Rocker Big Check winner Dave Dissinger, Bracket Finals Champions Ken Myrick and Jeff Flood, former $20K winner "Big Bucks" Bob Mullaney, and multi-time Race of Champions and World Footbrake Challenge winner Steve Alford. Alford advanced to the semis with the bye run. Flood beat Myrick, and Mullaney dispatched Dissinger, each on the strength of a holeshot.
In the semis, Flood overcame Alford's .016 to .027 reaction time advantage when Alford dropped to get behind him, leaving Flood to take a 6.422 (6.39 dial-in) to 6.723 (6.67) win. Mullaney, from Rockaway, NJ, drove the clean green S-10 owned by another WFC champ, Denny Maclosky, and rolled into the finals on the bye.
Sunday's Abruzzi Racing Transmissions & Converters FAT $5K Finale was also bursting at the seams with money, prizes, and talented drivers comprising 192 entries. In the fourth round, an amazing seven drivers were still double-entered, including Jared Bargo, Ernie Humes, Jay Norris, Derek Harris, Terry Rucker, and twins William Roberts and Wesley Roberts. By the quarterfinals, however, only Norris still held two entries. The Campobello, SC-based Dodge Aspen that Norris has footbraked to Top ET wins, numerous Greer Dragway track championships, and number two in the 2013 IHRA Summit No-Box World Championship program wasn't in its prettiest state, with all the decals stripped, and plenty of primer as Norris prepares to paint it this winter. After Flood's $25K feat and the drubbing that Norris had been handing out all day, no one cared what the car looked like anymore!
Norris's .022-backed dead-on 7.153 got in on David Smith Jr.'s big wheelstanding Duster on his first entry, dropping Smith's otherwise solid .029 and 5.920 (5.91). On his second entry, Norris repeated his performance against Wesley Roberts in another brutally close race, taking the win with an .027 and dead-on 7.154 to Roberts' .039 and 5.890 (5.88). Saturday's runner-up Bob Mullaney was back in the mix once again, riding the bye to the semis.
Before heading to the Fall Footbrake Frenzy, Norris pondered the mid-bodywork look of his Aspen, "You watch, we'll end up winning, and they'll have to take a picture of it looking like this!"
"I want to thank Rhonda Norris who kept me pointed the right way all day, and Paul Mosley and Robert Bryan for all the help. Can't run a heap that many rounds without good stuff!" he concluded.
Ironically, Loose Rocker co-promoter Michael Beard managed the same stunt at the 2008 World Footbrake Challenge, running himself in the finals with his Plymouth Volare, a sister car to the Dodge Aspen. "As a promoter, you want to be impartial, but I admit you just wanted to see a little bit of history made. A number of racers have pulled off doubles, but to see it happen on the big stage with the depth of talent in this field is remarkable. I was more nervous on this side of the tower glass than I was in the driver's seat! If it was Mullaney that was doubled at three cars, you'd have to root for him, too. It shouldn't go unnoticed what Bob accomplished this weekend. A runner-up and a semi against this crowd is phenomenal. We saw some amazing racing this weekend, and we want to thank all of the racers and sponsors for their tremendous support."
Loose Rocker Free Re-Entry: Denny Maclosky, Matt Obertanec
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