Inaugural Independence Showdown Shines Bright

The Independence Showdown had a full house with over 400 entries each day. Bodmer, Bracuto, Barber, and Belot leave Maple Grove Raceway with the big checks.

MOHNTON, PA – FRBR Promotions is a drag racing event group that offers big money racing to the Northeast bracket racing community, using Maple Grove Raceway as the host venue. FRBR literally means “for racers, by racers” and was created by Andy Anderson and Shane Sweigart with their first event, Door Wars: A Footbrake Experience, four years ago.

In 2020, FRBR Promotions chose to try their hand at a multi-class event and the Independence Showdown was born. The event offered four days of racing for Top Bulb, No Box, and a Junior Dragster class.

Racing action began on Thursday with test and tune and bonus shootouts for the three classes. Top prizes for the shootouts were $5,000 in top bulb, $2,500 in no box, and $700 for junior dragsters.

Thursday Junior Dragster Shootout Results

Justin Handwerk defeated Logan Anderson in the finals of the junior dragster shootout to take home $700. Handwerk ran a 7.989 off his 7.97 dial in while Anderson was .032 above his 8.94 dial.

junior dragster independence showdown shootout winner Justin Handwerk
Justin Handwerk wins the Junior Dragster Shootout
Photo credit: BME Photography
No Box 64 Car Shootout Results

It was a Camaro versus Camaro final round when Kurt Holland claimed victory over Greg Myers in the no box shootout. Holland used the reaction time advantage to claim his $2,500 check.

friday nobox runner up and thursday shootout winner kurt holland independence showdown
Kurt Holland cashes in for $2,500 in his Camaro
Photo credit: BME Photography
Thursday Top Bulb 64 Car Shootout Results

Mark Beideman took the win over Mike Barber during the $5,000 top bulb shootout. Beideman runs dead on with a 7 in his dragster against Barber’s one above pass.

independence showdown top shootout winner mark beideman
Mark Beideman picks up a win in the Top Bulb Shootout
Photo credit; BME Photography
Huge Car Counts Alter Racing Plans

Friday’s race had 413 total entries when FRBR Promotions made the wise choice to adjust the weekend schedule. The decision was to continue Friday’s race on Saturday and then began what would be the second and final main event of the weekend.

All the prize money from Saturday and Sunday would be combined into one race making the new purses doubled to ensure a smooth running event. The combination race would now pay $20,000 in top bulb, $10,000 in no box, and $2,000 in junior dragsters.

Anderson and Sweigart told DragChamp, “We at FRBR focus on making it a memorable experience where everyone who enters feels appreciated, and let the racing take care of itself.”

Staging lanes during the Independence Showdown
Friday Junior Dragster Results

Greiner Bros. Heating and Cooling sponsored the junior dragster class as 54 entries raced towards the $1,000 top prize.

In the semifinals, Amber Bell from Hershey, PA had the reaction time advantage over Alan Miles but was .008 under the dial, sending Miles to the final round. Jacob Wilson from Lincoln University, PA took the bye run into the finals.

Miles from Honey Brook, PA was .011 above his dial in to take home the big check over Wilson with his breakout run.

friday junior dragster winner alan miles independence showdown
Alan Miles is all smiles in the winner’s circle
Photo credit: BME Photography
Friday No-Box Results

There were 190 entries in Friday’s C2 Competition Converters no-box class. The semifinal round saw three Chevrolets and a Pontiac battle on the bottom bulb for their chance at $5,000.

Kurt Holland used an .025 package in his Camaro to outlast Scott Smith’s .043 pack in his Monza. Andrew Bracuto was 6 thou behind at the starting line, but the Firebird ran closer to the dial in, overtaking Richard Seidele’s Chevelle.

Holland found himself in his second final of the weekend to face off against Bracuto. Holland has to settle for a runner up this time as Bracuto’s .008 reaction time and .010 closer to the dial earns him $5K.

friday nobox winner andrew bracuto independence showdown
Bracuto drives his ‘bird to victory
Photo credit: BME Photography
Friday Top Bulb Results

Roadrunner Race Fuels top bulb class had 169 entries during Friday’s $10K. Round seven find the competition down to the semifinals with Scotty Bodmer, Eric Peterka, Cole Francis, and David Wing.

Bodmer’s .011 reaction time and .019 above the dial gives Peterka .005 to work with but he breaks out .001 instead. Francis catches a lucky break when Wing flies down the eighth-mile to go .015 under the dial.

That leaves a pair of Maryland racers, Scotty Bodmer and Cole Francis, staging up in a door car versus dragster final. Francis is .005 on the tree in his Mustang to Bodmer’s .016 light, but the dragster runs closer to the dial in to pick up $10,000.

friday top bulb winner scotty bodmer independence showdown
Scotty Bodmer collects $10K
Photo credit: BME Photography
Sunday Junior Dragsters

For the final race, 53 junior dragsters rolled into the stage beams first round for their chance at $2K. The semifinal round consisted of Danny Spotts, Autumn Huber, and Damion Waters.

The lone Pennsylvanian, Spotts, overcame Maryland native Huber, during a double breakout race. Waters took a free shot at the tree on his bye run where he was .001 red to advance to the finals.

Danny Spotts had the reaction time advantage but ran .018 under his dial, allowing Damion Waters to take the big check back to Maryland.

independence showdown junior dragster winner sunday damion waters
Damion Waters wheeled the “Silent Killer” to victory on Sunday
No Box $10K Results

Three additional no box entries rolled into the gate for the final race, increasing the car count to 193. Round eight brought the competition down to three cars; Brandon Skelly, Jake Knarr, and Nelson Belot, Jr.

Knarr earned the bye run into the finals, leaving Skelly and Belot to battle. Skelly’s ’86 Camaro had mechanical issues, advancing Belot’s ’63 Oldsmobile Cutlass into the final round.

Nelson Belot’s .001 reaction time and eventual .038 package won over Jake Knarr from Boyertown, PA. Belot picks up the $10,000 check to take back to Dalton, Massachusetts.

saturday nobox winner nelson belot independence showdown
Nelson Belot, Jr. brings home $10,000
Photo credit: BME Photography
Top Bulb $20K Results

After starting with 170 entries, by round seven there were only four left in the running for $20,000. Scotty Bodmer was the odd man out from Maryland against three Pennsylvanians; Mike Barber, Barry Sauder, and Josh Wilson.

Wilson (.007 RT and .016 above) and Barber (.011 RT and .012 above) see all zeroes at the finish line with Barber getting the win. Bodmer takes the reaction time advantage and .012 above the dial to outlast Sauder’s breakout pass.

Scotty Bodmer must feel déjà vu as he stages up for his second door car versus dragster final against a Mustang.

This time Mike Barber lays down .026 total against Bodmer’s .026 light to take the $20,000 win for door cars. Both Barber and Bodmer leave with two finals

saturday top bulb winner mike barber independence showdown
Mike Barber collects $20K
Photo credit: BME Photography
Final Thoughts from FRBR

Following an overwhelmingly successful inaugural event, FRBR Promotions states, “We were humbled by the amount of racers who decided to spend their holiday weekend with us, especially considering the other great races going on. We had great sponsors to help provide water in the lanes all weekend, buyback ice cream cones, a July 4th cookout, and an overflowing prize vault.”

Aside from tons of great racing action with big payouts, the Independence Showdown also had a lot of fun. According to Andy Anderson, “The accidental win was the Safeco/Access Insurance Agency Reaction Time Challenge. Normally done during Saturday’s time run, it was moved to the conclusion of Saturday racing, providing a platform for racers to get creative. We had synchronized staging, a perfect hit, and a vintage match race style performance by one driver- who’s antics sent the crowd into a frenzy.”

You can see videos of the racing action, as well as winner circle interviews, on the FRBR Promotions Facebook page. Don’t forget to add Door Wars: A Footbrake Experience at Maple Grove Raceway to your calendar on October 9-11.

For more race results from the holiday weekend, check out the World Footbrake Challenge or the Star Spangled Banger, courtesy of DragChamp.


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.

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