Byron Dragway, widely known as “The Birthplace of Big Money Bracket Racing” hosted its Firecracker Bracket Nationals for the 20th consecutive year on July 5-7, 2019.

“As the birthplace of big money bracket racing, we take great pride in continuing this tradition with the Firecracker Bracket Nationals,” said Byron Dragway general manager Randy Simpson. “While big payouts are commonplace at Byron Dragway as part of our Big Bucks Bracket Bash Series, the Firecracker Bracket Nationals has certainly set itself apart as one of the majors.”

There was $100,000-to-win on the line on Saturday and was bracketed by Friday and Sunday’s $30,000 prize.

Limited to 128 dragsters and 128 full-bodied entries, registration opened in mid-January, and within seven days all 256 spots were filled by racers from across the United States and Canada. Racing against many local bracket hitters were several touring pros and national sportsman champions, including Luke Bogacki, Nick Folk, Mia Tedesco, and Scotty Richardson.

With all eyes on Saturday’s big payout and seven rounds of close racing in the books, the Door Car Final came down to Camanche, Iowa’s Jeremy Bousman with his family’s Chevy S-10 (5.85 dial-in) and past NHRA and IHRA Sportsman Champion Scotty Richardson in the Strange Engineering S-10 (6.47 dial-in). Both drivers left with nearly identical reaction times with a .002 advantage to Richardson. But Bousman, a regular in bracket competition at Byron and throughout the Midwest, caught Richardson and turned on the win light with a 5.864 ET to Richardson’s 6.487. Bousman’s margin of victory was a very close .0018 and would advance him to the $100,000 to win final.

The Dragster class produced some incredibly close racing on Saturday, and when all was said and done Bradenton, Florida’s Gary Williams (4.81 dial-in) in the Overkill Motorsports Phantom Chassis car would face Alabama’s Jason Enfinger (4.38 dial-in) in the Miller Race Cars dragster. With nearly a half-second head start, Williams hit the tree with a .013 RT, but Enfinger mowed it down with a .004 RT and gave chase. In the end, it wasn’t enough as Williams hit his number with a 4.814 ET, while Enfinger went over his dial-in, recording a 4.401 ET. Gary Williams’ margin of victory is .008 seconds. He faces Bousman in the $100,000 final.

In Saturday’s $100k Final, a conventional assumption would say the no-box doorslammer of regional competitor Jeremy Bousman wouldn’t stand a chance against the high-tech dragster of touring pro Gary Williams. That assumption would be a mistake; however, as Bousman prevailed over similar box equipped door car competition. Williams would again choose the left lane and dial a 4.81. Bousman would predict a 5.84 out of his S-10 and would be placed in the right. When Bousman’s lights came down, he chopped the tree with a .005 light. Nearly a second later Williams left the line with a .038 reaction time. That starting line difference was too much for Williams to overcome, and as Bousman’s S-10 crossed the finish line .020 seconds before William’s dragster, the partisan crowd on the Byron Hill shouted their approval.





Saturday’s $100,000 Winner Jeremy Bousman, his family team and many supporters. Bousman also collected a $1000 bonus for being the last No-Box Car standing on Saturday, then won another four rounds on Sunday before bowing out in Round 5.

 Saturday Dragster Winner and overall Runner-Up Gary Williams with his family and the Overkill Motorsports team (Chris Simmons photo)
In hot and humid opening day conditions, Doug Foley Jr. of Mooresville, NC prevailed over all comers to win the Friday $30,000 Final.
Toledo, Ohio’s David Davis was the last Door Car standing on Friday. He runner-upped to Foley in a close finish in the $30,000 final. 
Kamryn Mason lives just up the road in Winnebago, IL and regularly competes at Byron Dragway in her bright pink Camaro. She advanced to Sunday’s $30,000 Final by first defeating all opponents in Door Car, and then prevailed over two-time finalist Dragster Gary Williams. Mason also scored a $1000 for being the last No-Box Door Car racing that day. (Chris Simmons photo)
For the second consecutive day, Gary Williams mowed through the Dragster field and advanced to an overall final round, this time in the FTI Transmissions dragster. Unfortunately for him, he gave up .002 seconds at each end of the track to Kamryn Mason’s Camaro. Despite that, 16 winning rounds is very impressive.

With this incredible accomplishment, a memorable weekend at Byron Dragway was complete.

“We changed the format of the 20th Firecracker to make it more manageable from an operations and racer perspective,” Simpson said. “In doing so, we attracted many of the best drivers locally and nationally. We finished each day in a reasonable amount of time, and as a result, the cars and drivers were fresh and ready to race each day. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”