BTE WORLD FOOTBRAKE CHALLENGE - FINAL DAY RESULTS
FINAL DAY RESULTS
The connotation has been used before but we have come to Day Last of the 13th BTE World Footbrake Challenge at Bristol Dragway. Yesterday’s Lopez Motorsports $10K vent had its – excuse the pun – challenges as Mother Nature set the day back several hours forcing eliminations to be halted at the curfew of 1:00 this morning with 22 racers still left in competition.
Today’s plan was to complete round six and then go into first round of eliminations for Sunday’s race with the remaining Saturday rounds worked in until a Saturday winner is named.
Survivors of round seven going into the quarterfinals are Thursday’s Gamblers Race winner Jimmy Reeves, Seth Phillips, SFG $525K winner last week Gage Burch, Jay Norris, Jon Seigel and Edmond Ellison.
Quarters and Reeves defeated Seigel, Phillips ended Burch’s day and finally Ellison put a stop to Norris. Next round, Phillips received the semifinal round bye run to move him into the final while Ellison and Reeves squared off, with Ellison turning on the red-light to move the man who suffered a severe heart attack last September and came back to win Thursday’s Gamblers Race into his second final of the weekend.
Reeves drove a Ford into victory Thursday, Epperson drove a Ford into Friday’s $10K win… Can you see a pattern? When the ‘Tree dropped, Reeves was .001 from a perfect reaction time on the green side to collect his second big check of the weekend.
Back to Sunday’s race, down to five cars left, it was David Bell, Bob Walsh, Terry Neiman, Seth Lancaster and Jake Ball. Based on his reaction time of the quarterfinal round, Bell received the bye run to move into the semis. Neiman took .005 win stripe to send Walsh home and Ball turned on the red-light to advance Lancaster.
Semifinals, Neiman on the bye while Bell and his Mustang used a .008 package to send home Lancaster. And the storylines began to flow. We’ve had two Fords win the past two races. We’ve also had Jimmy Reeves win last night’s race which finished this morning. Reeves came back from a severe heart attack last year and Bell’s opponent in the final, Neiman, also has come back from a heart attack earlier this year.
Identical reaction times for both in the final, but Neiman’s dead on the dial with a “3” forced Bell to take too much win light and break out in the process. Sixty-eight years old and still as good as anyone out here, Terry Neiman did what he has done best driving the only race car he has ever driven since 1970.
“We are so very pleased for each of those who chose to spend their 4th of July weekend with us,” said co-promoter Jared Pennington. “Both Steve [Stites], and I along with our families and staff, can’t thank each one of you enough for the support you have given us. We’re already gearing up for an even bigger WFC next year and can’t wait for Labor Day weekend, 2020, and the biggest check to be awarded to a footbrake racer.”
DAY 3 RESULTS
Saturday at the BTE World Footbrake Challenge dawned bright with a time run allotted to new entries only. However, as she has done so many times this year so far, Mother Nature had something to say.
Prior to the first round of eliminations, Coalburg Racing Promotions co-promotors Steve Stites and Jared Pennington announced what has probably been the worst kept secret in the footbrake community. Their “official” announcement of the Labor Day 100K where one footbrake racer will walk away with a $100,000 check, was met with extreme enthusiasm amongst those in attendance this morning.
“We’ve been so excited about that event for months and to see the support we’ve received from the footbrake community here at the WFC with a record number of entries is phenomenal,” said Pennington.
With the announcement that pre-entries for “The 100” would start immediately, almost without question racers lined up in the tower to get their name on the list.
Back to today though and another Lopez Motorsports $10,000-to-win race. Mother Nature decided to “rain on the parade” with only a couple of cars run in the first round of eliminations. A couple of short but heavy showers wet the track enough causing Bristol Dragway officials to go hard at work for a couple of hours, returning the track surface to its “pre-rain” condition when eliminations continued.
Yesterday set a new all-time entry record at the WFC with 478 entries but after today’s first round was completed, that record took another hit with 484 entries to set the new mark.
Saturday night also marked the Racer Appreciation Dinner. If you were on the property in any capacity, you were fed by Justin Eades the typical Fourth of July fare which he cooked for everyone and enjoyed by all while the racing took place.
Mother Nature did have a couple of other things to say during the running of the race which set the schedule back by a couple of hours. As such, and with a 1:00 am curfew, round four began at 11:35, ending at 12:15 when the survivors of that round were called back to staging for round five with 44 racers left. With round five completed, the action stopped and will continue in the morning for $10K with 22 racers left.
DAY 2 RESULTS
After a long day with a record number of entries in yesterday’s WFC Gamblers Race, today began with even more entries showing up at the gate. Today’s schedule began at 8:30 with one time run allotted all entries followed by eliminations in the first of three Lopez Motorsports-sponsored Triple 20s, and finally another WFC Gamblers Race.
Because of the record number of entries, co-promotors Jared Pennington and Steve Stites were forced to make the executive decision to not run the Friday Gamblers race and concentrate on the Friday $10,000-to-win race. It would have been almost impossible to attempt to complete both races without running until the wee hours of Saturday morning, which not only makes the racing tough but also puts a big strain on the Coalburg Racing Promotions and Bristol Dragway crew.
Prior to eliminations on this Fourth of July weekend, a special salute to all our veterans both present and in spirit by the local VFW Post 6945 included playing of Taps and the firing of rifles along with the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.
The count of entries after the first round was complete set a new WFC record. The previous entry count was 459 and this one re-set the mark to 478. “We can’t thank everyone enough for their support,” said Pennington.
After a long day which started with eliminations beginning at 12 noon, the quarterfinals found six remaining; still left in with two entries, Jesse Betterton; Lauren Lockhart; Chad Brewer; former WFC winner Josh Epperson; and son of former Funny Car champion Shirl Greer, Van Greer.
First up for the quarters was Betterton who turned it red to advance Brewer. Next up was Epperson and Lockhart with Lockhart going to the finish line with a .010 package… not good enough though as Epperson carded a .004 package to end her day. And finally was Betterton with his second entry looking to avenge his earlier loss with a transmission that was probably equal in temperature to his dial-in of 6.06. Facing Greer, it was Greer leaving first with a somewhat tardy .052 reaction time giving Betterton room to work with for the win to move to the semifinals.
And in the semis, Epperson’s 4-pack was good enough to give him the odd car bye run to his second WFC final, no doubt looking for his second WFC “big check.” Betterton and Brewer faced off with both rather tardy off the line, and both breaking out with Brewer the least offender for the win.
Twelve hours after eliminations began, we were down to only two left. Past WFC winner Josh Epperson and NMCA champion Chad Brewer. When the two went through the finish line, it was Epperson’s win light which shined due in part to his .035 reaction time and .03 off the dial to more than handle Brewer’s .042 and five off his dial.
DAY 1 RESULTS
While much of America was celebrating our roots and thanking those who gave all for the freedoms we receive each and every day, some of the best footbrake racers in the country were celebrating by swapping feet off the starting line at the famed Bristol Dragway in the 13th version of the BTE World Footbrake Challenge.
Day 1 of the famous event began with a test and tune session followed by the first of two WFC Gamblers Races, with the second scheduled to take place on Friday night. Early arriving drivers took the opportunity to get some hits on the track before the main events take place and first round of the Thursday Gamblers Race set a WFC record with 234 separate cars taking part. While double entries are accepted for the three Lopez Motorsports Triple 10s to take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Gamblers Races are strictly single entry only with no buybacks.
Last year’s Thursday Gamblers’ winner Jamie Holston also had won the 2017 version on the same day, which would seemingly make him the odds on favorite for tonight’s affair. However, proving just how tough this crowd is, Holston never had a chance in the fifth round when Dan Caissie laid down a perfect package (.000 reaction time and dead-on the dial with a “0”) to end Holston’s reign for the night.
With eight drivers left, the combatants were Josh Green, Caissie, Jerry Hunt, Roger Bridges, Kalieb Cordill, Jimmy Reeves, Troy Morgan and Ernie Humes. Quarterfinal survivors moving into the semifinals were Caissie, Humes, Reeves and Hunt.
Humes and Hunt up first with Hunt’s roadster taking the reaction time advantage and the win into the final. Next up, Reeves and Caissie, with Caissie running under his dial to advance Reeves.
And then there were two which was over rather quickly when Hunt turned it red. But the man who suffered a severe heart attack last September was going to be tough anyway. Reeves had his own .005 reaction time to prove he’s back, taking $3,000 to open up his WFC weekend.