17-year-old Caraline McCarty battled her way through nine rounds of tough racing to pick up the day 1 $30,000 win.
What was supposed to be Day 1 yesterday at the K&N Spring Fling Million presented by Optima Batteries for time trials along with the American Race Cars/Todd’s Extreme Paint Dragster Shootout, was rudely interrupted by Mother Nature. A persistent rain all day forced a total cancelation. Bristol Dragway staff began hard at work drying the track at 4:00 AM with the plan being to allow each competitor a single time trial followed by eliminations for the first of three $30,000-to-win races.
This race was originally scheduled to be run in Las Vegas in April, but COVID concerns forced Fling promoters Kyle Seipel and Pete Biondo to move it to the east coast, with at the time, no idea when the city of Las Vegas would allow a return to racing. Now with the country slowing reopening and not to forget their west coast customers, a Fall Fling West has been scheduled and will take place October 15-18 in Las Vegas.
Yesterday’s Dragster Shootout, which is a limited field of 32 pre-entered racers, will take place at some point during the week. The main event, the Spring Fling Million brought to you by Maytag/Silverstate Refrigeration will be contested on Friday, with a progressive payout that tops off at $1,000,000 depending on car count, but nonetheless having a guarantee of $250,000 to the winner regardless of cars.
Maytag/Silverstate Refrigeration Wednesday had 494 cars making their way down the track for the first round of eliminations. Due in part to that number along with getting started later than anticipated, Fling officials made the executive decision to cancel buybacks for today. The first round took slightly more than four-a-half hours to complete, so it had become a marathon.
And the marathon continued. With 16 cars left to go into round six, the survivors at this point were Noah Lewis, Justin Moser, Caraline McCarty. Kelly Smith, Chuck Roycraft, Ryan Arnold, Logan Diggs, Tom Dauber, Josh Owens, Cory Gulitti, Chet Dragon, Franklin DiBartolomeo, Tarrell Sinkler, Michael Carpenter, Corey Manuel and JR Hodges.
Round six winners were Sinkler, Hodges, McCarty, DiBartolomeo, Smith, Carpenter, Dauber and Manuel.
Quarterfinals, young McCarty defeated Hodges. Sinkler took out Carpenter. Dauber over Manuel, and DiBartolomeo broke to advance Smith.
Semifinals, McCarty over Sinkler and Dauber over Smith to set up a door car versus dragster final round.
And the person who has probably made more runs down Bristol Dragway in a Jr. Dragster than anything else, scored her biggest win when Dauber turned on the red-light by -.005. Seventeen years old and maybe still considered a “girl,” but Caraline McCarty has cemented her legacy as a very tough racer with a lot more wins in her future.
For more Spring Fling Million news from DragChamp, click here.