FALL FOOTBRAKE FRENZY IV
2012 Event Highlights
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will receive a set of trading cards featuring the three
FALL FOOTBRAKE FRENZY III
Event T-Shirts are
available through 1/4-Mile T's, while supplies last!
Harvey, Jr. Dominates Revived Thanksgiving $20,000 Footbrake Tradition; Wideman and Powell Pocket $5K Wins
November 29, 2011
Thanksgiving weekend in North Carolina became the home of $20,000 Footbrake racing in 2003, enjoying seven years history-making battles on the eighth-mile. Management changes saw the $20K event fade into memory in 2010, however, prompting footbrake racers Anthony Walton and Michael Beard to carry the torch.
“It’s been a tradition,” explained Beard. “When the $20K went away, Anthony and I decided that somebody had to do it, and if no one else was going to, I guess it was going to be us!”
Walton, had already tried on the promoter’s hat, having partnered with Coastal Plains Dragway, in Jacksonville, N.C., to host multiple big money races since 2009.
“Anthony laid the groundwork for this with his other events, and established a good working relationship with the staff at Coastal Plains,” said Beard. “Since it’s on the coast, it’s a little further for some people to get to, but having that comfort level with the staff and the warmer weather in November helped make the track a natural choice. He started the Fall Footbrake Frenzy two years ago as three $5K races, the first weekend in November, but it was on top of another big race in Virginia, and it wasn’t enough to draw racers from ten hours away.
“When this opportunity presented itself, we jumped at the chance,” continued Beard. “It’s the right format, on the right weekend. We were able to use the Thanksgiving holiday weekend to pack three races into two days, while leaving racers plenty of travel time so they wouldn’t have to miss work. We also front-loaded the round money to get as much gas money back into people’s pockets as quickly as we could. We hoped to put together a complete package that would make the extra drive worth it to our customers.”
The Fall Footbrake Frenzy III paid out an impressive $51,720 in cash, plus over $5,000 in prizes from an array of sponsors. All told, racers recorded nearly 1,100 pairs down Coastal Plains Dragway in just two days, and in the process proved that it was possible to complete two big car count races in the same day. Walton and Beard also treated participants to a Racer Appreciation Barbecue sponsored by Piggly Wiggly supermarkets and Coastal Beverage, homemade cookies, and live entertainment from the Band of Oz, presented by United Rentals.
“The massive support from the racers, the great Coastal Plains staff, our lovely (and take-charge) wives, and an incredible weather forecast all came together to make this event a tradition that we are not only going to keep going, but intend to make even better for the racers,” Beard concluded.
Bojangles Friday $5K
A high of 66 degrees and unending clear blue skies greeted 191 entries for Friday’s $5,000 to win opening event, sponsored by Jacksonville area Bojangles restaurants. Some new faces joined the honor roll of big money racing, with North Carolina drivers Kevin Wideman and Brett Miles squaring off for the $5,000 big check in the final round.
Wideman, driving a Plymouth Duster offered up by car owner David Stebner, defeated Ohio’s Bubba Black in the semifinals, with a .007 to .036 holeshot, allowing him to pedal to a 6.340 (6.29 dial-in) over the 6.384 (6.34) from Black’s Chevy S-10. Miles, a big buck race rookie, made it an all-Mopar affair with the semifinal bye run, posting an .052 bulb and a 7.785 (7.80) behind the wheel of his Dodge Dart.
Wideman’s perfect .000 reaction time set the stage in the finals. Miles’ .060 light left him no choice but to break out, 7.758 (7.79), leaving Wideman to collect the victory with a 6.339 (6.30).
There were plenty of familiar faces among the 171 racers who made possible the return of the $20,000 main event to Thanksgiving weekend. New Jersey drivers reclaimed dominance when the dollars were on the line, none more spectacularly than Dave Harvey, Jr. Harvey’s Plymouth Valiant is no stranger to the Thanksgiving winner’s circle, but his series of impressive finishes have always presided over the satellite races bookending the $20K weekend. Harvey solidified his already acknowledged superstar status by keeping two entries alive to the round of four. Ironically, Harvey lost both entries in the opening frame (one of them on a -.001 red light), but revived each in the re-entry round. After that, Harvey was on a mission, recording eight lights .018 or better.
His first semifinal opponent was recently crowned Farmington Footbrake Nationals winner Scott Macy, but Macy quickly determined the outcome of the race with an -.012 foul behind the wheel of Ernie Humes’ Plymouth Volare, wasting a dead-on 6.779. Harvey left little on the table, however, with an .013-backed perfectly dead-on 6.990. Six minutes later, Harvey was on the starting line again, facing fellow Jersey racer Anthony Fetch, who was runner-up in the first Thanksgiving $20K in 2003. Fetch was driving the same rent-a-ride Camaro that carried Bob Mullaney to the $20K title in 2009, and it helped him see the finals once more. Fetch unleashed a devastating .002 package: a .002 light and a perfectly dead-on 6.990 to match Harvey’s previous run. This time, however, Harvey’s .035 “miss” and 7.004 drop (6.99) was ineffectual.
Back for the finals, Harvey took his other entry into the rubber match with Fetch. Harvey’s clutch .004-initiated 7.008 (6.99) was enough to force a narrow breakout from Fetch’s otherwise admirable .015 and 6.971 (6.98) effort. Although he missed an opportunity to score an elusive double, Harvey’s win and semi in the $20K is a stunning feat that will be long remembered.
Second generation racer Tesz Powell etched his name on the list of big money footbrake winners with a driving clinic in the final $5K event, rivaling Harvey’s. Powell reeled off eight bulbs .019 or better in his North Carolina based Chevelle between his two entries, and kept both alive into the fifth round. Even when he dropped one entry, his .015 and .01-over pass was good enough to earn the best losing package of the round.
In the semifinals, Powell faced the aforementioned 2009 $20K Champion, Bob Mullaney of New Jersey, driving Paul Thimm’s Camaro. Mullaney offered an .030 bulb and dropped to a .02-over 6.492, with nowhere to go against Powell’s .010 package (.008, dead-on 6.702). Meanwhile, Maryland’s David Meador took the bye run.
Powell’s .029 to .058 holeshot told the tale in the finals. His 6.725 (6.70) covered Meador’s dead-on but tardy 6.533. It won’t be long before the footbrake community at large recognizes the name Tesz Powell as a threat to win an event of any magnitude.
BOJANGLES FRIDAY $5K
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