Monday, July 22, 2024

Stafford Stands Above Competition during BTE World Footbrake Challenge XVIII $5K Thursday

Troy Stafford defeats Jerry Cline to claim $5,000 during Thursday’s Gamblers Race at the BTE World Footbrake Challenge XVIII.

Featured photo by Chris Simmons Photography

BRISTOL, TN – A year removed from the largest footbrake race in history, the much-anticipated eighteenth installment of the BTE World Footbrake Challenge returned to Bristol Dragway overflowing with excitement. Before the event, Coalburg Racing Promotions increased Thursday’s Gamblers Race payout to $5,000 in response to the large pre-entry numbers and racers did not disappoint with attendance on day number one.

Troy Stafford – Thursday $5K Gamblers Race Winner
Photo by Chris Simmons Photography

Footbrake racers must believe freedom is best celebrated an eighth-mile at a time as 284 entries motored down the legendary Thunder Valley during first round of the $5K Gamblers Race on Independence Day. The no double-entry or buyback format on Thursday forced the runner-up of each pair to watch from the sidelines until tomorrow.

Racers efficiently trimmed the field until the summer heat cooled into a comfortable evening with only five drivers remaining in the seventh round. Troy Stafford, Jerry Cline, Blake Combs, CJ Mulkey, and Jerry Hunt found themselves on the ladder where a $5,000 payday lingered three win lights away.

Mulkey fouls at the starting line while Stafford is .024 green and gets the free time run on the way to the semifinal round. Only 6 thousandths separated the pair on the tree, but Combs is unable to run his dial while Cline secures the win. Hunt launches red on his bye run and saves his fuel for the next round.

Jerry Hunt – Thursday $5K Gamblers Race Semi-finalist

Stafford earns the bye into the final where he will face Jerry, but which one is yet to be determined. Hunt has the better reaction time by two hundredths but finds himself 9 thousandths behind at the finish line as the win light shines in Cline’s lane.

In a Florida versus North Carolina $5,000 final round both drivers carefully deep stage and wait for the third amber bulb. Cline ends his day with a red light while Stafford launches .023 green and runs dead on with a five for the win.

Stafford’s winner’s circle celebration was animated with fireworks in the background as he expressed what this win meant to him. He said, “Are there other races? This is the one I want to win, maybe not the Gamblers Race, but there’s still Saturday.”

Troy Stafford – Thursday $5K Gamblers Race Winner
Photo by Chris Simmons Photography
Jerry Cline – Thursday $5K Gamblers Race Runner up
Photo by Chris Simmons Photography

The winner’s bounty quadruples as the first of three $20,000 main events begins on Friday. Every entry will receive one time trial at 8:30 am followed by the first round of eliminations and, if time permits, a $3,000 Gamblers Race will also be contested tomorrow.

Motormaniatv will stream the action live from Friday to Sunday thanks to the support from Affordable Elegance Limo, MAXX Performance, Big Pair Sportswear, and Southern Maryland Mat Co.

For more information about Coalburg Racing Promotions events, visit www.worldfootbrakechallenge.com.

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