101,000 Reasons To Go Fast
How do you make an outlaw radial race even more prestigious than the Lights Out/No Mercy competitions? You make it exclusive by upping the payout to $101,000-to-win for Radial vs. The World and a cool stack of $50,000 for the X275 winner. And to top it all off, only 500 fans are allowed to buy tickets for the competition that has become known as the Sweet 16, creating a unique experience for both racers and fans.
Held at South Georgia Motorsports Park, the focus is on just the two racing categories, so the track surface is prepared perfectly using a blend of track spray and dragging it with tires to smooth the surface and apply rubber. Additionally, the racers have twice the amount of qualifying sessions to crush the record books and lock in to the quickest 16 cars for each class. As the tire smoke cleared out, the record books were rewritten for both X275 and Radial vs. The World.
After nearly ten rounds of qualifying, it was Daniel Pharris and his twin turbocharged 2017 Ford Mustang GT350 setting the pace with a record run of 3.578 at 214.11 mph in Radial vs. The World. He narrowly beat out Kevin Rivenbark for the top position as Rivenbark dropped a 3.582 at 205.79 mph with his ProCharger-powered 1969 Camaro. Sitting third was Marcus Birt, setting the all-time quickest run for a nitrous-powered door slammer, thanks to a 3.604 at 204.76 mph, proving the equality in the rulebook as the top three positions were held by a different power adder.
To crack the top 16 positions, a racer had to crank out a 3.694 at 201.31 mph, a spot held by Tom Blincoe and his flawless Pro Modified style 1963 Corvette. Several big names were locked out of the $101,000 field like Mark Woodruff, Taylor Lastor, Tim Slavens, and Dewayne Mills. Adding to the dramatics is the fact that the 16-car qualified field of Radial vs. The World is also marked as the quickest field in the history of door-slammer racing regardless of rules and regulations.
Pharris might have grabbed the top position on the Radial vs. The World ladder, but the picture was clear that the path to the $101,000 prize ran through Rivenbark and his ProCharger machine. He opened eliminations with low ET of the day thanks to a 3.629 at 205.35 mph. The run topped Marty Stinnett, who ran a career-best of 3.651 at 205.98 mph with his twin turbocharged small-block Mustang. The next round, crew chief Steve Petty of Pro Line Racing, dialed up another 3.60 hit—a 3.657 to take down the twin turbo Corvette of Ken Quartuccio.
Rivenbark and his team thrashed to fix a broken exhaust valve before entering the semifinals against Mike Stavrinos. The newly fixed HEMI engine didn’t miss a beat as it powered Rivenbark to a 3.664 at 203.19 mph, earning him a spot in the finals.
On the other side of the ladder, Norman Bryson used a bit of good fortune and skill to weave his way through the most stacked field in the history of drag racing. He took down the Texan Jeff Sitton and his PRS Racing 2017 Camaro to start his run to the finals, scoring a 3.721 at 196.44 mph run in the process. The next stop was a meeting with Stevie “Fast” Jackson, and Bryson got the win light thanks to consistency- this time going 3.737 at 197.57 mph to a tire-shakin’ run by Jackson. He continued the tour to the finals, this time passing the number one qualifier and current record holder, Pharris, in the semifinals.
The classic nitrous-power against a supercharged HEMI was the final round and $101,000 hung in the balance. The race was over as soon as it began when Bryson shook the tires and Rivenbark ran a clean run down track with a 3.635 at 204.91 mph, taking the money and the prestige that goes with winning the quickest door-slammer race of the year.
The X275 competitors carried an equally impressive display of performance. A month earlier, the top qualifying position for Lights Out 10 was a 4.349, and that run wouldn’t have gotten into the Sweet 16 field. The competition was fierce as the finesse to extract more from their boosted and nitrous-injected small-tire cars showed on the qualifying sheet.
The top three qualifiers all ran under the previous X275 record, and it was Rob Goss who held the top position thanks to a 4.237 at 169.40 mph run from his 2009 Dodge SRT Challenger Drag Pak—complete with a Gen III Hemi under the hood. He was followed closely by Rich Bruder, who’s ProCharger-pumped Mustang ran 4.268 at 163.29 mph and Manny Buginga, who slid into the field with a 4.270 at 167.53 mph. The gorgeous 1969 Chevy Nova of Kenny Hubbard nailed down the 16th position when he posted a 4.340 at 165.88 mph run.
The Bruder Brothers are no strangers to big money shootouts or competitive fields, and they were on their game during eliminations. The New Jersey racers eliminated Clint Downs, James Lawrence, and Shane Fischer, and pulled up next to Craig Walls for the final big money round. It was ProCharger against Vortech with $50,000 hanging in the balance and the Bruder Brothers reached up and grabbed the suitcase of cash thanks to a 4.258 run against Wall’s 4.358!
The Winner’s Circle at South Georgia Motorsports Park was more festive than usual with the ceremonial presentation of the suitcase of cash to Rivenbark and Bruder as well as golden hats made from 14-carat gold. With a solid Sweet 16 in 2019, the Duck X Productions group plans on increasing payouts, continuing to solidify its position as the craziest outlaw race of the year.
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