Jeff Serra defeated Todd Senseney in the Great American Guaranteed Million final round to claim the $1,000,000 winners purse. Serra parked his Chevy II in the winners circle after Senseney ran under by .001 at the finish.
MEMPHIS – After two years of planning, a four-month delay due to COVID, and a two-day rain delay the Great American Guaranteed $1,000,000 finally crowned a champion. Jeff Serra drove his Richard Dukes owned Chevy II to the $1,000,000 victory on Monday afternoon under gorgeous skies. To claim the top prize, Serra had to endure and ever changing schedule over the last week as persistent rains forced the GABR team to constantly adjust the schedule.
In addition to the weather challenges, the Chevy II wounded an engine during the Moser Engineering $80K on Thursday. With the Million delayed due to rain on Saturday, Serra and Dukes took advantage of the additional time and swapped engines. Although the new engine was down on power and significantly slower than the original (5.90s vs 5.30s), Serra used his driving talents to race through the field.
The Guaranteed $1,000,000
The field of 450 entries at the Guaranteed Million included some of the biggest names in the sport. This was evident by the monster matchups that occurred seemingly every other pair. Paired with the intense competition, racers also faced significant challenges when rain halted eliminations on Friday after only a few pair had been down the track. With Friday washed out, racers awoke to even more rain on Saturday which pushed eliminations to Sunday.
Sunday brought drier weather and the first full round of competition along with the re-entry round. Racers rolled into the first round of the Million blind after not seeing the track for almost two full days. Once the re-entry round was complete, promoters Britt Cummings and Gaylon Rolison pulled the plug for the night setting up a Monday race for the $1,000,000.
All the hype and all of the anticipation finally came to fruition on a beautiful Monday afternoon in Memphis as racers rolled through eliminations in search of life-changing money. As the rounds clicked off, one by one, racers took to social media telling their stories from the weekend and how their day ended while those remaining remained focused on the prize.
Moser Engineering Round 7
After six rounds of competition, only eleven cars returned for the Moser Engineering Round 7. Those still in contention included Hunter Patton, Scotty Richardson, Nasty Nick Hastings, Jeff Serra, Greg Hicks, JR Barclay, Ron Lane, Mike Buckwalt, Scooter Hamlin, and Todd Senseney. The first pair of the round saw Patton, the hottest racer in the country, square off against Buckwalt.
Hunter was .014 dead eight (4.618) to move past Buckwalt whose .012 take .017 put him -.007 under his 4.53 dial-in. Senseney was .004 take .006 to be .012 above (4.782) to move past Hicks’ .022 initiated dead zero lap (4.690).
In a monstrous matchup, Hastings edged out recent million dollar race winner Scotty Richardson. Hastings, the only remaining footbraker in contention, was .010 take .010 on the drop to be .02 above (6.100). Richardson’s .010 and .03 above (6.000) ended his chances of winning two million dollar races in a row.
Texas based racers Chris Gulitti and Scooter Hamlin both turned it -.004 red in the next two pair advancing Ron Lane and JR Barclay respectively. Jeff Serra took the bye at 11 to move to the quarterfinals.
Meziere Enterprises Quarterfinals
With six cars remaining and a butt load of cash in play, tensions ran high. Sensensey came into the round carrying the bye. If he could turn on one more winlight, he would punch his ticket to the Guaranteed Million final round. The round opened with two of the most talented young drivers in the country going at it as Serra attempted to keep Patton from his second million dollar semifinal appearance of the season. Patton missed the tree and Serra pounced as he was .011 take .020 to go dead seven (6.027). Hunter’s .039 light forced him wondering what if as he once again got within striking distance of a massive payday.
Hastings used a .009-pack to stop Barclay in the quarterfinals. Nick swapped feet to a .004 light paired with a dead-on five lap (6.075) which left Barclay mathematically ineligible with his .014 initiated dead four lap (4.484). In another great matchup, Senseney and Lane both posted .010 reactions. At the stripe, Senseney took .002 to go dead two (4.772) to edge out Lane’s dead-on four lap (4.704) by the smallest of margins.
Great American Semifinals
By turning on the winlight at six cars, Todd Senseney earned the bye run in the semifinals. This left the two remaining doorcars to battle for a spot in the $1,000,000 final round. The race was over at the hit as Hastings left -.007 too soon sending Jeff Serra to the final round. Although it didn’t matter, Serra was -.018 red behind Hastings and legged it through to an .08 under 5.94. This setup up a classic dragster versus doorcar final for a cool million.
The Great American Guaranteed Million Final Round
With everyone watching at the track and thousands watching the Motormania TV live feed online, Jeff Serra and Todd Senseney put on a show. After picking up eight hundredths in the semifinals, Serra dialed down four to a 5.98 from his earlier 6.02. Senseney left his dial along staying with the 4.77 he had used all afternoon. When the tree fired, Serra grabbed a .009 to a .021 advantage off the line.
As they moved down track, Serra, who admitted to messing up the stripe, started grabbing the brakes early allowing Senseney to drive by. Senseney, who got there first by .023, posted a gut-wrenching 4.769 on his 4.77 dial handing the win to Serra who posted a .034 over 6.014 to claim the biggest victory of his career.
Now the party begins for Serra, who is well known for his wild adventures, as he etched his name in the record books as one of only two racers that have won a drag race that actually paid $1,000,000 to win. He also joins a select group of racers who have won advertised million dollar races.
Congratulations to Jeff Serra along with the Great American Bracket Races team for a memorable race. It was well worth the wait!