ST. LOUIS — Approximately five hours after Wes May claimed the first big check of the 28th Annual Mickey Thompson Million Dollar Drag Race, the rumble of race cars returned to World Wide Technology Raceway for Wednesday’s Summit Racing Equipment $50K.
Drivers who rolled in the gates later than the rest of the competition were given a new entry time trial to get dialed in for a daunting day of drag racing. Another increase in car count resulted in the second day without forgiveness from a buyback round to crown a winner at a reasonable time.
A mix of no box, door cars and dragsters totaled an impressive 680 entries launching off the starting line in round one of Summit $50K Wednesday. In the fifth round, the last two bottom bulb racers staged up to see who would claim the $1,000 No Box bonus.
John Ratulowski left first with his 6.26 dial, but Nick Hastings had the reaction time advantage and chased him down taking a .006 margin of victory.
Round number eight consisted of six drivers: Wayne Gibson, Marco Abruzzi, Charlie Hamma, Brian Folk, Nick Hastings and Brent Vincent. Up first in a brutal quarterfinal round is Folk who puts together an .013 package, but Abruzzi lets go .000 and runs one above to take the win by two-thousandths.
The second perfect light in just as many pairs comes from Hastings as he leaves Gibson mathematically ineligible. Vincent launches with a .001 light and runs dead on to lay down a .003 package to shut down Hamma’s .011 bulb.
In case you overlooked the arithmetic, out of three remaining drivers there were two triple zero lights which left a .001 bulb at the bottom of the ladder. In a battle to see which door car would line up next to Abruzzi, Hastings is .009 and runs dead on to take the win over Vincent who breaks out seven-thousandths.
The Summit $50K final on Wednesday comes down to a clash of two titans with a footbraking Hastings taking on Abruzzi in the dragster. Abruzzi has the starting line advantage with his .005 light but breaks out one-thousandth while Hastings is .015 on the tree and one above for the win.
During the winner’s circle interviews, Abruzzi expresses that his opponent is probably the greatest of all time while a humble Hastings had just mentioned that lately he is a little rusty around the edges.
Speaking of his victory, Hastings said, “After the kind of year I’ve been having it really feels good. I’ve been taking a little bit of time off to spend with my new son, Jett, but we are finding our way back.”
In addition to thanking his sponsors, Hastings then elaborated on the significance of competing during the Million Dollar Drag Race.
“Especially the OG Million, that’s a big deal. I watched this as a kid and a lot of my heroes now I’m racing against them,” Hastings said.