Thursday, June 13, 2024

16th Big Bucks Bracket Race at Carolina Crowns Winners

The 2020 domination of door cars at big money bracket races continues during the Big Bucks Bracket Race at Carolina Dragway.

Feature photo credit: J Denise Spink

AIKEN, SC – Carolina Dragway, aka “The House of Hook” held the 16th Annual Big Bucks Bracket Race the first weekend in November. The two day event featured three races for top bulb competitors to claim high stakes prizes.

Saturday’s main event winner would claim $20,000 and an NHRA Wally trophy, while Sunday’s winner would earn $10,000 and a Wally.

Saturday evening a 32 Car Shootout winner would collect a Level 5 FTI Powerglide transmission.

carolina big bucks drone photo. pictures by lou
Carolina Dragway had a large crowd for the 16th Annual Big Bucks Bracket Race
Photo credit: Pictures by Lou

Saturday $20K Semifinals

203 entries would roll through the waterbox during first round on Saturday. Four drivers still remained in round eight: Kip Maddox, Joe Gary, Ken Batchelor, and Shelby Miles.

The first pairing of Maddox and Gary would determine which door car would advance into the final round. Gary is .019 on the tree, but Maddox picks up the win by letting go .017 and running dead on with a two.

The dragster semifinal battle ends with Batchelor taking the win over Miles with a .011 margin of victory.

Saturday $20K Final Round

Saturday’s final round would come down to a classic dragster versus door car match up. Ken Batchelor, who is a familar face at big money bracket races, stages up in his 2012 American Race Cars dragster. Kip Maddox, who recently claimed the Top ET win at the IHRA Division 9 Bracket Finals, rolls to the starting line in his Mustang.

Maddox was set up tight as he’s .005 on the tree and runs dead on- laying down a .007 package for the $20K win. Batchelor runs dead on with an eight to settle for the runner up honors.

Kip Maddox saturday 20k winner circle carolina big bucks
Kip Maddox earns the $20,000 payday at the 16th Annual Big Bucks Bracket Race
Photo credit: J Denise Spink
ken batchelor (far lane) pictures by lou
Ken Batchelor (left) is runner up in Saturday’s $20K
Photo credit: Pictures by Lou

Saturday 32 Car Shootout Finals

Saturday’s event wasn’t over just yet and Ken Batchelor wasn’t finished either. He earns his way into another final, this time facing Terry “Turtle” Brannon in the 32 Car Shootout. The winner would claim a Level 5 FTI Powerglide transmission.

Batchelor wasn’t going to settle for second place again as he was .003 on the tree and takes .001 at the finish line for the win. Brannon’s .024 reaction time was left mathematically ineligible by Batchelor’s .014 total package.

Ken Bachelor carolina big bucks. pictures by lou
Ken Batchelor wins the 32 Car Shootout after earning runner up in the $20K main event
Photo credit: Pictures by Lou
turtle brannon carolina dragway pictures by lou
Turtle Brannon is runner up in the 32 Car Shootout
Photo credit: Pictures by Lou

Sunday $10K Main Event

Sunday’s $10,000 event came down to three drivers in the semifinal round: Lee Desist, Cameron Manuel, and Bryan Butler.

Desist earned the bye run into the finals and is .002 and dead zero on the solo pass- just because he can. Manuel leaves the starting line .003 too soon, advancing Butler into the final round while he runs dead on his 4.77 dial in.

The third door car versus dragster final round was set and Lee Desist in the Camaro would take on Bryan Butler in the dragster.

Desist lets go .008 and runs dead four, putting together a 12 pack, for the $10,000 victory over Butler. It’s worth mentioning that Lee Desist also won Sunday’s portion of the Big Bucks Bracket Race last year.

sunday 10k winner Lee Desist
Lee Desist wins $10K two years in a row at Carolina Dragway’s Big Bucks Bracket Race
Photo credit: This is Bracket Racing Facebook page
Bryan Butler sunday 10k runner up Carolina Big Bucks
Bryan Butler is Sunday’s $10K runner up

Although elimination rounds are over for the 2020 season, Carolina Dragway will still be having Thursday test-and-tune sessions, weather permitting. You can stay up to date by checking their Facebook page.

Thank you to Lou Crouch from Pictures by Lou and J Denise Spink for providing photos from the event.

For the latest in bracket racing news from DragChamp, click here.


Jessica was born into a family of drag racers and fell in love with the sport at a young age. She began competing at 13 and has been hooked ever since! She even met her husband at the World Footbrake Challenge VII. Jessica works full time as an Ultrasound Technologist but spends almost every weekend chasing win lights at IHRA and NHRA bracket races.

You can contact her at Jessica@dragchamp.com or on her Facebook page.

Leave a Reply

Click here to join our newsletter.