ST. LOUIS — A striking 471 entries lined up at the staging lanes and past the finish line during the first round of eliminations of Friday’s 28th Annual Mickey Thompson Million Dollar Drag Race at World Wide Technology Raceway.
The car count meant the winner’s purse climbed to $590,000 and $50,000 to the runner up. Twelve drivers outlasted the next six rounds of grueling competition with hopes of earning the cash and notoriety that comes with a Million Dollar Drag Race victory.
In the final, it was Donnie Hagar staged against Shane Carr, who claimed the coveted Million title in 2012.
As Carr reverses from his half-track burnout, Hagar smoked the tires and rolled towards the starting line. Both drivers carefully bumped into the stage beams and Hagar left first with a .005 reaction time followed by the .001 red light of Carr. Hagar made history by becoming the first No Box racer to compete in the Million final round, much less conquer it.
A man of few words during the winner’s circle interview, Hagar was still in disbelief of what he has just accomplished.
“I’m super thankful and happy, obviously,” Hagar said. “And really tired as well. It just doesn’t seem real to be honest, I’m just super blessed…at a loss for words.”
Carr took a moment to praise the event in his post-race interview.
“I want to thank Donny Burleson for giving me such a good hot rod,” Carr said. “All the Folk family for such a great race. I’m glad you came to St. Louis, I don’t think you could do much better.”