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K&N SPRING FLING SHOOTOUT DAY
The weather wasn’t typical “Vegas-style,” except for the
wind, but the racing prevailed. The dreaded R-word (rain)
came through for a brief period but never really slowed the
action for long.
Day 1 of the K&N Spring Fling Vegas event at The Strip At
Las Vegas Motor Speedway was reserved for a free test ‘n’
tune day sponsored by Yukon Gear & Axle. By the end of the
day, over 400 tech cards were sold coming from 18 states,
three Canadian provinces and Mexico. With more entries
expected in the coming days, it will once again set Spring
Fling Vegas attendance records.
The day also included the Ultimate Shootout reserved for the
first 48 door cars and 48 dragsters to enter the high roller
event. Each category ran separate until the final round
where the winner of each squared off with the winner
receiving a brand new Don Davis Race Cars roadster and the
runner-up receiving a new Racetech dragster.
With two cars left to run in each class and nightfall upon
the track, the decision was made to complete the race on
Thursday morning. The remaining combatants are Mark Simonian
in his ’89 Firebird and will race Zak Clark in his Nova for
the right to go to the final against either Shane Thompson
or Aaron Steinky.
K&N SPRING FLING THURSDAY RESULTS
Thursday’s Baldwin Racing Alzheimer Awareness Day dawned
with bright Vegas sunshine and one time trial for each of
the competitors before eliminations. Presently there are
over 450 cars entered and
First order of business for Thursday was the completion of
the Don Davis Race Cars/Racetech Ultimate Shootout. Two
doors and and two dragsters remained with the door car
combatants being Zak Clark from Canada and Mark Simonian
from Sanger California. In their race, Simonian ran under
the index to hand the win to Clark.
As for the two dragsters, Shane Thompson and his Silverstate
Refrigeration team from nearby Henderson, Nevada faced Aaron
Steinky, just another of the many Canadian racers to make
the trip south. For the Canadian contingent, Steinky turned
on the red light handing the win to Thompson, who has been
on fire this year with a win also at the Carquest Auto Parts
NHRA National earlier this year.
For the final Thompson put a 6.23 dial on his car for the
1,000 distance run at the ‘Fling while Clark carried a fast
6.37 on his Nova door car. It was all for naught though has
Clark turned on the red bulb. Thompson showed just how tough
he was going to be anyway, as his .007 reaction time coupled
with a 6.243 on his dial earned him the Don Davis Race Cars
C5 Corvette roadster with Clark taking the Racetech dragster
back to Canada.
For Thursday’s Warm-Up race, with three cars left in Super
Pro, Glen Kern earned the bye run by virtue of his low
reaction time while Chris Forsyth faced off with Steve
Casner. When the tree came down, their reaction times were
near identical but at the finish line the win light turned
on in Casner’s lane but shortly afterward, both cars were
involved in a crash. While both cars suffered significant
damage, the most important fact is the drivers walked away
without a scratch. The result handed the final round win to
Kern but it sure wasn’t the way he wanted to accept it.
Nonetheless, due to the incident, the last thing on anyone’s
mind was a winner’s circle photo but Glen Kern is your
Thursday Super Pro winner.
In Pro Eliminator, at three cars, the bye run went to a
winner from last year, Garrett Parsons, with another winner
from last year, Brad Burton racing Dan Coss for the final
round birth. Burton left first by virtue of his dial-in but
I was Goss with the better reaction time and the win. In the
final, Coss turned on the red bulb by .006 which made
17-year old Parsons the first two-time winner of the Vegas
K&N SPRING FLING FRIDAY RESULTS
Maytag Silverstate Refrigeration Friday opened first with
the winner’s circle photo for Thursday’s Super Pro winner
Glen Kern. Kern soled in the final Thursday night when his
opponent was unable to return after a top end collision. At
that point no one was in the mood for a winner’s circle
celebration so it was held Friday morning.
Kern said, “I didn’t necessarily want to win this way but it
was a great race nonetheless.”
With no time trials today, eliminations began immediately at
8:00 am sharp with the Pro class. By the time the Pro class
was down to the semifinals, last night’s Pro winner Garrett
Parsons faced off with Howard DeVore with Parsons streak
coming to an end as DeVore took the win. In the other half,
Greg Dreher raced James Kirkman with Dreher running dead on
his dial with a 1 to take the win. The final was started off
with the reaction time advantage going to DeVore, but at the
finish line it was all Dreher for the win.
Dreher said, “I’m just overwhelmed. So many people have
helped me to get to this point. My father gave me an engine
block a while ago and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for
In Super Pro, four cars remained in the semifinals with Gabe
Torres besting NHRA Winternationals Super Comp winner Don
Meziere. The other half had two door cars facing off with
one another as Rodney Snider took the win over Sean Shaffer.
In the final, a runner-up from last year, Rodney Snider took
it one step further. The Grand Junction, Colorado racer used
a better reaction time to take the win over Torres.
Snider said, “It feels great and I’m at a loss for words. I
have to thank Kyle Seipel and Pete Biondo for putting on a
great race. The purses are great and this is a great venue
Two more days of racing left including the patented Spring
Fling $20,000 Challenge on Saturday morning where 20
randomly selected drivers are chosen. The drivers are a
given a shot at the ‘Tree whereby each one that records a
.00X reaction time is awarded $100 cash. If any happen to
record a perfect .000 reaction time, they receive $1,000.
K&N SPRING FLING SATURDAY RESULTS
Besides have over 450 cars in attendance; a K&N Spring Fling
Vegas record; it finally came to pass that there was the
first ever $1,000 winner in the Spring Fling $20,000
Challenge. The concept is 20 randomly selected drivers are
given one chance at the ‘Tree with a .00X reaction time
awarded a crisp $100 bill. If any driver record a perfect
.000 reaction time, they receive ten of those crisp Ben
In four past Spring Fling Bristol and last year’s Vegas
event, no one has yet to collect the ten “large.” It didn’t
take long here as Kevin Heffington from Moxee, Washington
reacted his way to the $1,000 win.
Besides the obvious round money and purse, over $40,000 in
prizes and awards from various sponsors are given away
throughout the weekend. Promoter Kyle Seipel said, “Both
Pete [Biondo, co-promoter] are extremely thankful for the
support we receive from not only the racers but our sponsors
as well. It’s because of each that has made the ‘Fling
series of races as successful as they are.”
Eliminations began promptly at 8:00 am and with this many
cars they ran well into the night. Last year, the locusts
(yes, the actual bugs) descended on The Strip at Las Vegas
Motor Speedway one night creating havoc. Today it was the
wind which blew tornado-type winds and deposited some
valuable Nevada sand onto the track surface resulting in
considerable downtime. And when the “smoke” cleared,
eliminations continued on.
In Pro Eliminator semifinals, Jesse Adams faced off with
Paul Russell. Russell, from Alabama turned it red and gave
the win to Adams. The participants in the other half were
Mark Faul and Dan Goss with Faul taking the lead at the
green light and never looked back for the win. In the final
round, Faul left the starting line a tad too soon and lit
the red light handing the win to Adams.
Adams said, “I had some problems this weekend but today
can’t get any better than this.”
The Super Pro class semifinals consisted of Larry Spitalli,
Stan Essery, Jeremy Sears and Bart Smith. Spitalli fouled
against Essery and Sears went dead on the dial with a 7 to
defeat Smith. Sears turned on the red light in the final by
.007 and the Canadian contingent celebrated Essery’s win.
Essery said, “We fought a lot of problems to get ere but
this all makes up for it. I have to thank everyone who
helped us and Kyle and Peter for putting on a great race.
K&N SPRING FLING SUNDAY RESULTS
Day “Last” began with a Racers for Christ chapel service and
continued with round one of Baldwin Racing Cancer Awareness
In Pro, tree cars remained in the semifinal with Ryan Mangus
receiving the bye run to the final while Robert Strong
paired off with Chris Vels. Strong had the reaction time
advantage and held it on for the win. Mangus is also a
‘Fling champion from last year, and was looking to add to
that win. The final round went down tough as Strong left the
starting line with a .002 reaction time but Mangus was not
to be denied and earned his second ‘Fling victory.
Mangus said afterwards, “We’ve been having some problems
with this car and almost didn’t come. But we went to the
NHRA national event here last week and I lost in the final
to Pete [Biondo-‘Fling co-promoter] and it feels good to
take some of his money now.”
The Super Pro Eliminator class was also down to three in the
semifinals. Mark LaLonde faced off with Larry Richardson
while Mark Yeager took his bye run and made his way to the
final round to face Richardson. For the third night in a
row, we have had a door car versus dragster final round.
Competing lately on a steady diet of “super” class racing
and hasn’t bracket raced since 1992, Yeager tried valiantly
to off Richardson but it was not to be as the Alamosa,
Colorado, racer took the win and the $10,000 that
accompanies the win.
Richardson said, “We broke a lifter on the first day here
but we persevered and it couldn’t get any better than this.
It feels awesome to hold this check.”