Lane Dicken, Trevor Hayes, Mattie Grayson, and Cole Grayson visit the winner’s circle during the Jim Sweet Memorial Ole School Bracket Race.
Feature photo credit: Donnie Jones
CROSSVILLE, TN – Joining the big money bracket race scene in 2022 as a new promotion team could seem daunting, but Baby Rat Promotions, arose to the challenge. Founded by Jimmy Sweet, Baby Rat Promotions, has the whole Sweet family involved from planning, coordinating, and executing the successful first-time event.
Named after the patriarch who passed away last year, the Jim Sweet Memorial Ole School Bracket Race was the family’s way of honoring the legacy of a lifelong racer, but undoubtedly more importantly in their eyes, a “Pa.”
After years of talking about putting on a race with his father, Jimmy knew there was no better time than now. His goal was to bring back that old school feel while also sharing the wealth among more participants, not just the winner.
Baby Rat Promotions may have been newbies as far as putting on an event, but those in attendance wouldn’t have guessed it, considering all the bells and whistles this race had to offer.
Attention to the details
The Jim Sweet Memorial Ole School Bracket Race featured all of the finishing touches of other larger events including round prizes, a MotorManiaTV.com live feed, and coveted announcer, Ryan Gleghorn.
Friday and Saturday each featured $5,000 to win top bulb races while the last No Box competitor would earn $500 and advance in the main race. Junior dragsters were also contested both Friday and Saturday.
Over one hundred entries made their way down Crossville Dragway each day of the Jim Sweet Memorial Ole School Bracket Race but eventually there could only be one winner.
Timmy Elliott swept the No Box class over the weekend and claimed both $500 bonuses. On Friday he defeated Eric Roysdon in the final round and on Saturday Elliott took the win over Ryan Richardson.
Friday Junior Dragster
The first junior dragster final was a sibling rivalry between Mattie and Cole Grayson. Mattie had the starting line advantage and runs one above her dial to secure the win over Cole who was a bit late and breaks out at the finish line.
Friday $5,000 Main Event
By sixth round of competition, only seven drivers remained eligible for Friday’s $5,000 prize. They included Jason Lynch, Chad McKee, Doug Moles, Lane Dicken, Matt Grayson, Anthony Short, and Randy Rice.
Moles misses the tree, giving the opportunity for Lynch to leave him packaged up for the win. Short turns it red beside Dicken who was .003 green to advance another round.
Grayson is 4 thou red which sends Rice into the semifinal with his .011 reaction time. On the bye run, McKee is .005 red and dead on with a nine to earn his spot in the semifinal.
The all door car semifinal starts with a heartbreaking red light when it appears McKee launches without the crossover in his delay box and runs dead on with a zero for the loss. Dicken makes a solid pass in the left lane with an .015 light and runs .006 under his dial for the win.
Lynch lays down .018 total which leaves Rice’s .023 bulb mathematically ineligible.
Lynch has problems leaving the starting line in the final but Dicken was going to be tough to beat as he lets go .001 and runs one above, putting together a winning .019 package for the $5,000 win.
Saturday Junior Dragster
Cole Grayson returned to the Junior Dragster final round looking for redemption on Saturday and faced off with Adeline Porcho.
Porcho runs one above her dial in but cannot overcome Grayson’s reaction time advantage who wheels into the winner’s circle.
Saturday $5,000 Main Event
Saturday’s quarterfinal came down to eight entries but only seven drivers: Tyler McMillan, Steve Parks, James Crabtree, Kole Pritchett, Tony Lafeuer, Trevor Hayes, and the double-entered Frankie Denton, Jr.
McMillan has a hundredth starting line advantage and runs dead on for an .014 package which locks out Denton’s .021 bulb. Parks is 4 thou better on the tree but Hayes runs dead on to take the .021 margin of victory.
It wasn’t pretty, but Pritchett packages up Lafeuer to move into the semifinal round. Denton has and .019 reaction time advantage but breaks out 3 thou while Crabtree runs one above for the win.
In the first semifinal matchup, both drivers run one above their respective dial ins but Hayes .011 light gives him the edge to take the .015 MOV over McMillan.
At the tree, Pritchett had the advantage with a .007 bulb but finds himself 2 thou behind at the finish line while Crabtree is .017 and dead on with an eight to take the win.
The last pair of the weekend would be a dragster versus door car final with James Crabtree piloting the rail and Trevor Hayes behind the wheel of the Chevy II originally built by the late Jim Sweet.
Crabtree has issues at the launch and creeps down the racetrack while Hayes coasts across the finish line to secure not only his first win since moving to the East Coast, but also continues the Sweet legacy with another win at Crossville Dragway.
Hayes is married to Jim Sweet’s grand-daughter, Tambra, who details the emotional win through a Facebook post. She writes, “There are some things that happen in life which make you take a step back and know without a doubt that God was with you. At Pa’s memorial race, Trev turned on the final win light in Pa’s favorite car…he finally sealed the deal and it makes all those time we got so close [to winning] just make sense. This is for you, Pa and Granny!”
An Abundance of Gratitude
The entire Sweet family; Jimmy, Angie, Tamara, and Destiny extends their gratitude to each racer who chose to participate in the Jim Sweet Memorial Ole School Bracket Race over the weekend.
They also appreciate the sponsors who made the event possible: ATM Carbs, BTE, Gearhead Solutions, Goodyear, Jake’s Mufflers and Brakes, K&N, Lokar Motorsports, K&R Performance, Maggart Specialty Sales, Renegade Race Fuels, Spears Motorsports, Sweet’s Auto Parts, Wild Willy’s Products, and Wooden Arrow Boutique.
The late Jim Sweet used to call his son baby rat, therefore leading Jimmy to choose the unique name Baby Rat Promotions. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates as the Sweet family plans on putting on another event in 2023.
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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.