RIVENBARK, BRUDER EMERGE VICTORIOUS IN SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST SWEET 16 2.0 EVENT
Winning a Sweet 16 Drag Radial event demands as much physical toughness as it does driving skill.
On Saturday, two drivers executed superior examples of both.
Kevin Rivenbark lasted through 11 qualifying sessions and won four rounds of competition to pocket $101,000 in winning Radial vs. The World at the Sweet 16 2.0.
Rivenbark, still smarting from a semifinal loss at last month's Lights Out 10, left no stone unturned this time. He even drove his Procharger-equipped Camaro from the finish line to the winner's circle.
"If I would have messed up this race, I would have never lived it down," Rivenbark said. "It would have been nice to win last month and this one, but it didn't work that way. I just did my best to make sure I had good and decent lights. It turned out to be outstanding."
This season, Duck X Productions promoter Donald Long, added X275 to the special event, posting a record $50,000 to win the 16-car race.
There were over 80 entries in the historic event, but by late Sunday there was only one winner.
Richard Bruder and the Bruder Brothers Mustang pocketed the big bucks in defeating Craig Walls in the final round.
Bruder, who set the record in qualifying only to have it swiped by Rob Goss and his potent Mopar, saved his best for last in resetting the class record at a 4.235 for the monumental victory.
"We came out and put a tune-up in it, the track was good during the day and we got the record back," Bruder said. "Now we are here in the winner's circle.
"We were going [for the record in the final] for it, we just had to get the front half of the track worked out. I wasn't worried, I knew we would be there."
Because of an abundance of non-qualifiers, Long threw in an extra $15,000 for a second-chance race for the competitors of the marquee classes. Steven Fereday (Radial vs. The World) and Shane Heckel (X275) took home wins.