No Box Racers Dominate 20th Annual Firecracker Nationals at Byron Dragway. Gary Williams makes two final rounds.
BYRON, IL – For the second consecutive year, Byron Dragway has promoted their own version of high dollar big buck bracket racing. The 20th Annual Firecracker Bracket Nationals went off without any major issues.
The inaugural event was capped at 400 entries and this year was brought down to 256. Split evenly between door cars and dragsters the capped entry made the event a huge success in my opinion.
The final rounds were contested with sunlight still on the horizon and more importantly friends and family still awake. Byron Dragway’s staff prides itself on a fun family atmosphere and they delivered in a huge way. The benefits of the low car count format played out throughout the weekend.
“Two Seater” Takes Friday $30K
Friday kicked off with a $30,000 to win event with “Two-seater” Doug Foley Jr. getting the win over a final round regular David Davis. The nickname “Two-seater” comes from Doug’s day job.
When he’s not out winning big dollar bracket races around the country, Doug spends his time taking customers down the dragstrip in his two-seat dragster.
Trans-brakes are violent and not suited for customers not accustomed to them, so instead he footbrakes his two-seater. Why is this important? In the final round of competition Doug flinched on the top bulb.
What most racers would do is get back on the button and let go immediately, then proceed to smack the bump down button as many times as humanly possible still resulting in a terrible light, ultimately losing the round.
Doug instead goes to work foot-braking his high four second dragster off the bottom bulb and grabs the win. Just another day at the office for Doug.
Bousman Wins Saturday $100K
Saturday’s main event had racers competing for a $100,000 top prize. Jeremy Bousman a local No Box racer from Commanche, Iowa got the win in his Chevy S-10. Jeremy’s last two opponents were arguably the best two racers to ever put on a helmet.
Jeremy beat Scotty Richardson in the semi-finals and waiting for him in the final was none other than Gary “G-dub” two-time million dollar race winner Williams.
Jeremy, a 35 year old concrete finisher had a rough start to the day though. Losing first round and not wanting to fork over the $375 re-entry fee on the extremely hot and humid day he went into his motorhome and kicked on the air conditioning and fell asleep.
Jeremy’s uncle and fellow racer Ed Bousman decided to re-enter Jeremy on his own and the rest as they say is history.
Mason Claims Sunday $30K
The final race of the weekend was a $30,000 to win event. 20 year old EMT and volunteer firefighter Kamryn Mason who took her No Box Camaro to the win over, stop me if you heard this name before, Gary Williams.
Gary’s record in final rounds of over $40,000 is something like 9-2, he’s won the million twice. Just to have reached 11 finals of that caliber is an unbelievable accomplishment. Gary had an amazing weekend with back to back runner ups.
Kamryn was strong all weekend on the tree and her car was deadly when she needed it. The win was special because it was her first, and only second final she’d ever been in.
Final Thoughts – 2019 Firecracker Nationals
If you are keeping score at home, all winners were letting go off the bottom in some way or another. As a Byron Dragway regular I can’t say enough good things about the track staff, the format of the race and the racers who competed.
For more great bracket racing news and race results on DragChamp, click here.
About the Author: Ryan Fasano is a Division 3 bracket racer who competes weekly at Byron Dragway in Illinois. Competing in the Box class, Ryan captured the 2014 Track Championship at Byron. Like a true weekend warrior, he eats, breathes, and sleeps with bracket racing on his mind. Look for more Midwest Bracket Racing updates from Ryan on DragChamp. Click here to connect with Ryan on Facebook.