Former Champ Chris Gibson, Dad Charlie Both Win $1,000 Shares in Footbrake
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. – Goldsboro’s Brandon Lane claimed the biggest share of the purse in the 21st annual “Big John” Memorial Weekend Bracket Nationals at Rockingham Dragway. Lane capped his Top Eliminator success with a victory in Sunday’s National Dragster Challenge.
Lane’s march to a $10,000 payday included a perfect run in the fifth round that took down Saturday winner Michael Spencer of Raeford. Lane was triple zeroes on reaction time and dead-on his 4.810 dial-in. It took every bit of that performance to turn back Spencer, who countered with a .012 reaction time and a run that was only .005 off his 4.670 dial-in.
After getting past Spencer and advancing on a bye run, Lane stopped Clayton’s Blane Parrish in round seven and beat Rowland’s David Rowe in the semifinals before dispatching Kale Hoffman and his crowd-pleasing 1970 Ford Maverick in the final.
Facing off with Sunday Footbrake winner Allen Furr of Richfield in one of the weekend’s three National Dragster Challenges, Lane used a .005 reaction time to forge an early lead that enabled him to grab one of the coveted “Wally” trophies typically reserved for winners of NHRA national and divisional races.
Sharing the Top Eliminator bounty with Lane and Spencer in the holiday event honoring the late “Big John” Leviner, a popular official at The Rock, was Ken Batchelor of Leland, who snatched up the final $5,000 share on Monday.
Bookending Furr’s Sunday Footbrake victory were the racing Gibsons. Former “Big John” winner Chris “Hot Rod” Gibson of Lexington got the first day win while his dad, Charlie Gibson, celebrated a win on Monday, beating his son in the semifinals when the latter missed the tree by .003. Each of the Footbrake winners took home $1,000.
Skyler Bustle of Sherrills Ford won Sunday’s $1,000 Jr. Dragster prize but it was Brandon Sullivan of Radford, Va., who claimed the Jr. Dragster “Wally” in Monday’s three round shootout.
The other Jr. winners were Sullivan, who prevailed on day one and Connor Caulder of St. Pauls, who won on Monday, using a sensational .001 of a second reaction time to turn back Skyler Bustle’s sibling, Sayler, in the final.
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