ST. LOUIS — One day after Nick Hastings proved that you don’t need a delay box to collect a $50,000 prize, drivers had another opportunity to cash in during Thursday’s installment of the Summit Triple 50’s.
The 28th annual Mickey Thompson Million Dollar Drag Race witnessed even more racers roll through the gates of World Wide Technology Raceway as the new entrants received a time trial prior to eliminations.
Buybacks were canceled to compensate for the crowd which soared to a staggering 774 entries during the first round of competition. The support from racers produced the highest car count during the 28-year history of the Million Dollar Drag Race.
As a gesture of appreciation, the Folk family has announced a $28K Giveaway that will take place during the Million main event. On Friday, 28 tech cards will be randomly selected, followed by a live contest on the starting line where various cash prizes will be distributed via sealed envelopes with a combined value of $28,000 as a nod to the 28th annual Million Dollar Drag Race.
Diving back into the action on Thursday, the field eventually dwindled to seven drivers in round number eight: Greg Sesti, Kenny Underwood, Josh Luedke, Jason Lawrence, Rayce Kidd, Daryl Patton and Tyler Roach.
Patton had an issue with the delay box and went red while Lawrence was .024 green to advance. Luedke had the starting line advantage but broke out one-thousandth beside Roach who ran one above his dial for the win.
Sesti missed the tree while Kidd was .012 up front and one above, taking the win in his father’s dragster after experiencing fuel pump issues in his own ride. Underwood earned the bye run courtesy of his previous .002 reaction time.
Two Camaros, a Vega and one dragster gathered for the semifinal round as they inched towards claiming a $50,000 payout. Lawrence was in control with his .008 bulb and illuminated the win light while Roach broke out four-thousandths. Underwood was uncharacteristically late up front, while Kidd took full advantage of the situation and put together an .029 package for the win.
The Summit $50K final round on Thursday was a cross-country battle with the West Coast Kidd taking on the New Jersey native, Lawrence. The better light of .015 was produced by Lawrence who then wheeled his Camaro to an .017 margin of victory over Kidd.
A pair of unique stories and impressive winner’s circle interviews polish off the race day starting with Lawrence who explained his unconventional trip to the 28th Annual Million Dollar Drag Race.
“I got in on a free entry that I won through a practice tree league, but then our Duster caught on fire. They pushed the free entry back to this year, which was really nice of them, so I could be a part of this,” Lawrence said. “Like for a lot of people, this has been a bucket list race…it’s a dream come true just to be here. This is the best of the best in the country.”
Kidd used his interview as an opportunity to discuss the importance of his faith.
“This racing stuff is really cool, but my purpose here is to know God and make God known. I just want to use this outlet to share the gospel…God first always, all this stuff comes after that,” Kidd said.
The last bottom bulb racer left in competition Thursday was Nick Curl, who picked up the $1,000 No Box bonus after defeating Michael Crass.