Four straight days of high dollar bracket racing and it all comes down to Day Last at the K&N Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries. After a night of no doubt partying, it’s doubtful the newest member of the Spring Fling Million Dollar Club, Randell Reid, might be sleeping in at the luxury suite at the Cosmopolitan Resort, part of his winnings from last night’s event.
Regardless of him not being there, the day began with the ‘Fling’s patented $20,000 Reaction Time Challenge where 20 randomly selected drivers are chosen to take one hit at the ‘tree. Any .00X reaction time earns the driver $100 cash, while a perfect .000 awards $1,000 and the chance to come back and do it again. Do for the second time and the driver gets $10,000. There were no perfect reaction times yet seven drivers recorded .00X with each; Kalim Menzel, Jeff Devey, Jeremy Hancock, Dale Taros, Aaron Marcum, Mark Yeager, and Andy Taylor; getting a $100 bill for their efforts.
After the Fling Family Photo, a group shot of every driver, crew, family, taken in front of the track’s iconic tower, eliminations began. Four hundred and twenty cars made the first round call and down to the ladder round with ten left, the combatants were Pro 38 Saturday champ Brian Cireddu, Gary Williams, Courtland Carter, Darrel Contreras, Logan Warr, Ryan McClanahan, Ted Kellner, Vinny DiMino, Jason Schade, and Johnny Ezell.
Round seven, Williams took out Carter; DiMino bested Schade; Warr took out Contreras; Cireddu defeated Ezell, and McClanahan used a perfect reaction time to defeat the Top Sportsman car of Kellner. With five returning for round eight, McClanahan picked a good time for a .000 reaction time as it gave him the odd car bye to move him directly into the semifinals.
Quarterfinal round and Cireddu racing off the bottom bulb defeated Williams, and DiMino took out Warr, while McClanahan took his bye run. With a .007 reaction time, Cirredu earned the semifinal round bye and an invitation to another Spring Fling final round. It was last year’s ‘Fling Saturday final where he was defeated by Marko Perivolaris. Two door cars and the lone dragster of DiMino, all vying for $30,000 to win.
Semifinals and DiMino might have picked a bad time to miss the ‘tree as McClanahan was .001 and DiMino an .039. But it was DiMino’s dead-on the dial with a “4” that was too much for McClanahan to judge as the win light shined in DiMino’s lane to move him into the final round with Cireddu.
For the final, it was DiMino all the way with the reaction time advantage and a 4.744 on a 4.73 dial to take the money back to New York with him.
“This week didn’t start off that good for us,” DiMino said, “as the car was having problems but my crew, Howie, Wink and my brother did a great job fixing it. But the competition here has gotten so tough in all the years we’ve been coming here. I’m just lucky to have done well today.”
In a move last year to bring even more fun of sorts to the event, a Swear Jar was instituted in the tower for those using “questionable language” after a loss. Last year, the money was donated to DRAW, the Drag Racing Association of Women. This year, the same Swear Jar was utilized and it just might be that drag racers might not have the cleanest of vocabularies. Lose a round and you’re expected to visit the tower with any kind of donation. This year $1,326 was collected and donated to Racers For Christ, a true credit to the ‘Fling family giving back.
“We can’t thank each and every one of the racers, crew and family who attended and we’re happy to include each as part of the ‘Fling family,” said co-promoter Peter Biondo. “We hope all had a great time and we look forward to an even bigger Spring Fling Million in 2019.”
Next up on the ‘Fling schedule is the K&N Spring Fling presented by Optima Batteries in two weeks at Galot Motorsports Park in North Carolina, May 1-5 followed by the Fall Fling in September at Bristol Dragway. Stay tuned to www.bracketraces.com for continued news and results.