Thursday, February 22, 2024

KB Crushes Competition to Collect 25th Anniversary Million Dollar Race Victory

Kevin Brannon, aka KB or Rabbit, has claimed many titles throughout his racing career. Today he adds Million Dollar Race Champion to the list.

MONTGOMERY, AL – The main event of the 25th Anniversary Mickey Thompson Performance Tires and Wheels Million Dollar Race was contested on Friday at Montgomery Raceway Park.

After a $15K Warm Up and two $50K races so far, everyone was eager to see who would claim the title of Million Dollar Race winner.

Aside from numerous rounds of racing action, there were plenty of giveaways and prizes up for grabs.

Folk Promotions even handed out a free Million Dollar tech card to one driver who came to the staging lanes before 9:15 am for their time trial.

Kenny Dixon was deemed the new owner of a 2020 golf cart customized by Overkill Motorsports when his tech card was randomly selected.

The Million VIP Club grand prize was an American Race Cars Stage 1 base chassis, an estimated value of $13,500, and Justin Fury was the lucky winner.

A Look Back Through History

For the 25th Anniversary of the Million Dollar Race, a special ceremony acknowledged the history of the event. George Howard, founder behind the Million Dollar Race back in 1996, was remembered as well as honoring each of the winners over the years.

Every former Million Dollar Race Champion received a custom painted trophy by Todd’s Extreme Paint.

ray miller iii champion trophy the million dollar race

25 Years of Million Dollar Race Champions:

  • TJ Tracey
  • George Tamasi, Sr
  • Troy Williams, Jr
  • Sherman Adcock, Jr
  • Stephen Hughes
  • Ed Richardson
  • Joel Reynolds
  • Johnny Labbous
  • Gary Williams (2004 & 2007)
  • Jeff Rucks
  • Greg Setsi
  • Dave Triplett (2008 & 2019)
  • Ron Lane
  • Larry Strickland
  • Shane Carr
  • Ray Miller III
  • Kenny Underwood (2013 & 2018)
  • Rodney Phagan
  • Nathan Martin
  • Jeff Verdi
  • Johnny Ezell
25 years of champions at the million dollar race
A tough group of Million Dollar Race Champions in attendance at this years event

A Moment for Those No Longer With Us

Just prior to first round, twenty five seconds of silence were observed in memory of Donnie Jones and Mike Smith as this was the first Million Dollar Race event since their passing.

Folk Promotions took a moment to honor both of these influential men and their impact within the drag racing community.

Timmy Smith hoodscoop in memory of Mike Smith
Timmy Smith raced in memory of his father, Mike Smith, using his car number- 2183
hoodscoop in memory of Don Jones
The team of Ricky Jones and Dave Brown raced in memory of Donnie Jones

Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

The Mickey Thompson Performance Tires and Wheels Main Event was underway Friday with 337 entries strapping in for their chance at high payouts.

The winning purse turned out to be $350,000 based on the car count, as advertised on the event flyer.

In round six, 16 drivers remained in tight competition with a lot of money on the line. Half of the field included Ricky Adkins, Gary Williams, Nick Folk, Hayden Smith, Hunter Patton, Tucker Kanselaar, Tom Dauber, and Kevin Brannon.

Staging up against them were Brody Quick, Kevin Rodden, Scotty Richardson, Bennie Ulmer, Colton Chapman, Jason Rich, Will Holloman, and Shanna Stone.

Adkins is .024 total to package up Quick, while Williams takes .005 stripe to take out Rodden. Folk is dead on with a six to get to the finish line 8 thou ahead of Richardson.

Smith lays down a .008 package to defeat Ulmer. Patton is .015 total to lock out Chapman while Kanselaar is .000 and dead nine to send Rich to the trailer.

Dauber has a three thou starting line advantage and wins over Holloman with a .004 MOV. Stone is .005 to Brannon’s .011, but Brannon is dead on with a seven to turn on the win light.

25 anniversary million dollar race staging lanes dragsters
The Million Dollar Race at Montgomery Raceway Park
Photo credit: Drag Coverage

Getting Down to the Wire

Eight drivers remained and three out of four pairs were won with dead on passes. Nick Folk lets go .009 and runs dead eight to package up Hayden Smith’s .025 bulb. Tom Dauber is .016 and dead one to end Hunter Patton’s day.

Kevin Brannon is .012 and dead on with a six to leave Gary Williams’ .023 light mathematically ineligible. Ricky Adkins and Tucker Kanselaar both break out by six thousandths, but Adkins illuminates the win light into the next round.

In the semifinals, Brannon is .005 and takes the win over Adkins who runs .055 above his dial in. Only one thou separate Folk and Dauber on the starting line and the .002 MOV goes to Dauber when both drivers run two above their dials.

kevin brannon million dollar winner comes back down track
Kevin Brannon heads back towards the starting line

Two Top Bulb Titans

Aside from the $350,000 payday, a few bonus prizes were at stake during the final round. The winner would receive a custom jacket, hat, and trophy, as well as a custom Alliance Racewear firesuit.

Finally, the champ would earn a Riggeal’s Performance Scoop painted by Todd’s Extreme Paint.

The talented and tough remaining drivers, Tom Dauber and Kevin Brannon, are accustomed to high stakes final rounds with multiple big money bracket racing wins in their history.

Brannon is not only a former IHRA Top Dragster and NHRA Super Comp World Champion, but has won big at both SFG and ‘Fling events. He’s looking to claim this win after his quarterfinal finish in the Million Dollar Race main event last year.

Dauber has already claimed a $20K win at Numidia Dragway as well as a $30K runner up at the K&N Spring Fling Million this season. Two years ago at the Million Dollar Race he used a .001 package to win $25,000 on Sunday.

tom dauber 25 anniversary million dollar race runner up check2
Tom Dauber and his runner up check

The Final Lap

In the final, Kevin Brannon lets go .000 and runs .021 above to take .006 at the stripe for his most valuable win to date. Tom Dauber is .020 and runs dead on with a seven to settle for the runner up position.

Brannon takes a moment to himself on his way back down the track to step out of his wife’s Maddox Race Cars dragster and thank God.

When asked about this moment he says, “I have to give all the glory to God. I said if I ever win something big like this, I’m going to stop and show him that’s he’s number one. So, that’s what I did.”

kevin brannon 25 anniversary million dollar race winner circle2
The winner’s circle celebration for Kevin Brannon

Speaking of his monumental win Brannon said, “It feels great…Both Tom and Gary Williams are tough to beat and are racers that I respect. I knew I had to be on my game and be as tough as I could be in both rounds.”

tom dauber 25 anniverary million dollar race runner up
The Million Dollar Race runner up: Tom Dauber

Everyone’s A Winner…Or At Least Is Treated Like One

Although Kevin Brannon picked up the biggest check as well as the champagne and confetti shower, everyone was invited to celebrate like winners Friday night.

Laris Motorsports Insurance presented the Racer Appreciation Party where everyone received a complimentary steak dinner, refreshments, music, and a firework show.

The MotorManiaTV live feed was sponsored by Vintage Trailers, Ltd and the Jumbotron in the staging lanes was thanks to Glynn Smith Chevrolet.

The action is scheduled to continue on Saturday with the final Summit Triple $50K race.

Update: after battling with Mother Nature both Saturday and Sunday, Folk Promotions made the difficult decision to call off the final day. They are looking forward to 2021!

To read the Million Dollar Race results from earlier this week click on Thursday or Tuesday/al Wednesday.

Confetti flies for the newest Million Dollar Race Champion

DragChamp has all the results from multiple million dollar events in 2020.

You can read about the JEGS-SFG $1.1 Million in Michigan, the Great American Guaranteed Million in Memphis, and the Spring Fling Million in Bristol.


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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