In drag racing, it matters most how you perform in two positions - the beginning and end. Last Fall, Competition Eliminator racer Don Thomas found his groove when it mattered the most, winning the Rooftec Comp Eliminator Cash Clash. 

Thomas pocketed the largest single-day payout in Competition Eliminator history, winning $30,000 from the Rooftec Cash Clash, a race within a race for those in the top 16 points earners in the Division 4 Competition Eliminator Bonus. 

 While most of Thomas' momentum came in the second half of the 2023 season, he carried it over into the 2024 season and delivered a stellar performance on the first day of the 2024 Rooftec Competition Eliminator Bonus Fund. 

Thomas was the quickest qualifier after three qualifying sessions at the NHRA Division 4 season opener at Thunder Valley Motorsports Park, located outside of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 

His first session 6.892 elapsed time was enough to run -.708 under the C/Dragster Automatic index. 

"We were making progress last year by the end," Thomas said. Definitely from Indy on, it was getting better, and then we just took that and worked on it some more this winter. We had a good test session the other day in Dallas, and that really helped a lot. It was just that we felt like we found some power, and then we got stuff better in the car. Yeah, I think we're even better. 

"That pass today was corrected back the best run we've made. That even beats the .94 we went in the final at Indy. Yeah, even better than last year, but it was getting better towards the end."

This season's Rooftec Competition Eliminator Bonus Fund pays $250,000 to the champion. 



"I don't know how [Rodger Brogdon] does it," Thomas said. "I just thank goodness for Roger Brogdon and all the people that pitch in. That'd be a tremendous undertaking to try to get that much money rounded up and grouped up and everybody on board pulling in the same direction to get that. I can't thank him enough. Yeah. Hopefully, we're in the mix. Hopefully, by the end, we're in the middle of it."

It was a fast Friday, with many racers unveiling new combinations. The first 19 of 29 qualifiers were -.525 or better. 

Allen Wilson, like Thomas, found solid footing in the first session by pushing his AA/Altered Modified (supercharged Pro Modified) to a 6.332 elapsed time, -.678 under the 7.01 index. Taylor Chomiski (-.673) and Jarrod Granier (-.647) put their C/Super Modifieds in third and fourth, respectively. Rodger Brogdon unveiled a new B/Altered Planetary combination that was fifth with a 7.243, -.627.

Tyler Cassil set the pace for Super Stock by running -1.053 under the FSS/H index, a 9.297 elapsed time. Another Factory Super Stock racer, Darrell Brown, running in the C division, was -1.027 under with a 8.623. Craig Gaultiere was third with a -.999 run with a 9.401 in GT/GA trim. 

Charlie Ford was the front-runner in Stock as his H/Stock Automatic Duster was -1.025 under with a 10.825. 

Parker Devore, Gary Emmons, Tyler Cassil, and David Latino rounded out the top five.

Wayne Landry (Top Dragster, 6.070) and Jim Thorp (Top Sportsman, 6.249) were the top qualifiers in the fast brackets.