HAGAR MAKES HISTORY BY CONQUERING 28th ANNUAL MILLION DOLLAR DRAG RACE WITHOUT DELAY BOX
Donnie Hagar is crowned the 28th Annual Million Dollar Drag Race champion at World Wide Technology Raceway
ST. LOUIS – The line lock is off, and we are rolling out of the water box for the day everyone has been patiently waiting for…Friday at the 28th Annual Mickey Thompson Million Dollar Drag Race. The largest payout of the event is awarded on Friday as someone is guaranteed to leave with six figures.
Before deciding who will make their way toward the winner’s circle, all drivers receive a time trial to get dialed in for the day. The more lucrative purse calls for a higher entry fee that always lowers the car count from the surrounding $50K races. Since World Wide Technology Raceway is packed with eager racers, the decrease benefits drivers by providing time for a re-entry round if they fail to turn on the win light in round one.
The atmosphere changes on Million dollar Friday which creates an amplified excitement as the stakes continue to rise. Drivers and families not participating in Friday’s race stay to watch alongside the return road or in the grandstands, because everyone wants to know who will win it all. After the playing of the National Anthem, invocation, and moment of silence for the Million Dollar Drag Race creator, George Howard, the first pair of No Box racers make their way through the tunnel and onto the racing surface.
A striking 471 entries take that same path from the staging lanes and past the finish line during the first round of eliminations. As advertised on the flyer, this 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. They were Donnie Hagar, Braden Bowden, Jeff Serra, Isaac Wilde, Trevor Moore, Chad Branum, Rocky VanNote, Mikey Bloomfield, Shane Carr, Hunter Whitehead, Wes Neely, and Hal Blevins.
Both Wilde and Branum are .002 red to advance their opponents Hagar and Carr, respectively. Moore breaks out 1 thousandth beside Neely who is .018 total for the win, followed by Bowden’s breakout sending Bloomfield into the next round. VanNote lays down .015 total to eliminate Whitehead. Blevins is .008 on the tree but Serra is .006 and runs closer to his dial to advance.
The crowd of fellow racers and friends gathering near the starting line multiplies as the number of cars still in the race halves. Neely turns on the red light by 4 thou in his roadster while Carr is .004 green and coasts across the finish line. Hagar is .018 up front and takes the double breakout win running 1 thou under beside VanNote who runs 4 thou too quick. Only 8 thou separate the pair on the starting line and Serra gets to the stripe first but is 6 thou under his dial while Bloomfield runs .013 above for the win.
Carr secures an appearance in his second Million final round courtesy of the bye run while Bloomfield and Hagar face off in the semifinal. Both drivers are eager for the win with Bloomfield putting together a .009 package for the loss. Hagar launches with a .004 light and runs dead on with a zero to take his bottom bulb Vega into the Million dollar final round.
The 28th Annual Mickey Thompson Million Dollar Drag Race champion is merely one pass away from their celebration as the $2,000 No Box bonus winner, Donnie Hagar, stages up next to Shane Carr, who claimed the coveted Million title in 2012.
As Carr reverses from his half-track burnout, Hagar smokes the tires and rolls towards the starting line. Both drivers carefully bump into the stage beams and Hagar leaves first with a .005 reaction time followed by the .001 red light of Carr. Hagar makes history by becoming the first No Box racer to compete in the OG Million final round, much less conquer it.
A man of few words during the winner’s circle interview, Hagar is still in disbelief of what he has just accomplished. He says, “I’m super thankful and happy, obviously. 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 takes a moment to praise the OG Million in his post-race interview by saying, “I want to thank Donny Burleson for giving me such a good hot rod. 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.”
Saturday will conclude the Million Dollar Drag Race with one more $50,000 race sponsored by Summit Racing Equipment. Registration opens at 8 AM and only new entries will receive a time trial at 8:30 AM, followed by eliminations. The $1,000 No Box bonus will be awarded to the last bottom bulb driver left in the competition.
Viewers at home can watch the MotorManiaTV live feed thanks to the support from Lucas Oil and Vintage Trailers.
For more information on The Million Dollar Drag Race, visit our website at www.themilliononline.com.
Winner’s circle photos provided by Chris Simmons Photography.