Murakami Scores Big; May, Albritton, Clarke, and Cummings Also Cash in at GABR

Friday, September 12, 2014

Memphis International Raceway played host to the 6th annual Moser Engineering Great American $50,000 Bracket Race, welcoming over 200 of the top E.T. racers in the land throughout the weekend of September 5-7. Weekend action kicked off Friday with a pair of $7500-to-win events in Super Pro, as well as a Footbrake contest. In the opener, Louisiana racer Jason Albritton drove his brand new dragster to the $7500 triumph over fellow Cajun competitor Wayne Henry. Kenny Bomar took the first Footbrake victory of the weekend with a final victory over Opie Pearce.

Friday’s nightcap saw Mississippi racer Brad Clarke win the second half of the Super Pro double header, as he emerged from a tight matchup with professional bracket racer Jason Lynch. Saturday’s $50,000-to-win main event featured one of the richest purses in sportsman dragracing. When the dust cleared, just fivecars remained in competition. Missouri based Mark Murakami drove his Undercover dragster to a quarterfinal win over Florida contender Jason Folk. In the next pairing, Arkansas’s Levi Toye knocked off Jesse Rogers Tennessee entry. The win was a big one for Toye, securing his bye run into the $50,000 final. Reigning NHRA Super Comp world champion Luke Bogacki rounded out the quarterfinal field with his bye run.

In the semi-final, Murakami continued his assault on the field by knocking off Bogacki in a tight double breakout affair, setting up a final round matchup with Toye. There, Murakami etched his name alongside previous GABR $50,000 winners Stephen Hughes, Brian Hughes, Todd Ewing, Gary Williams, Tadd Gates, and AJ Ashe when he secured the richest victory of his long career.

As has become tradition at the GABR, racers did not have to win the $50,000 to walkaway with something. The best losing package in each round of the main event was awarded with a lucrative prize. Round prizes included:

1st Round - Mikey Thompson Tires - Colton Chapman
2nd Round – Milodon Oil Pan and Pick Up - Rachel Henderson
3rd Round - Quick Fuel Carb - Randy Folk
4th Round - Hoosier Slicks - Kenny Kelly
5th Round - Weldon Sportsman Fuel Pump - J.R.Barclay
6th Round - Moser Axle and Spool Package - Billy Fuller, Sr.
7th Round - Auto Meter $100 Gift Certificate andNitroPlate $350 Gift Certificate – Jason Folk

In addition, each racer who bought back into main event competition received a compensatory Wrench-Off Oil Filter courtesy of K&NFilters.

Although Murakami was the big winner, he was not the only winner in Saturday’s action. Longtime Tennessee racer Greg Rushing earned the Footbrake victory over Travis Eaton. Late Saturday night, Wes May defeated an all-star field of 32 entrants to claim the American Race Cars Dragster Shootout victory. May, who made the trip from Indianapolis, drove one of the few door cars entered in the shootout all the way to the win with a final round victory over Alabama racer Todd Ewing. With the win, May took home a new AmericanRace Cars dragster valued at over $27,000!

Sunday, the on-track action wound to a close with a final $7500-to-win event for the Super Pro category. Stock and Super Stock standout Slate Cummings put his versatility on display by driving his Moser Engineering dragster to the victory over Byron Jordan. Jordan earned the weekend points championship on the strength of his runner-up performance. In the Footbrake category, Travis Lipscomb drove his Pontiac Sunfire tothe victory over Alabama competitor Todd Berry.

For the first time in event history, the Great American Bracket Race honored the top five weekend points finishers in the Super Pro category with great prizes. The final Super Pro points standings:
1.) Byron Jordan – FREE Entry to the Palm Beach International Raceway 5-Day event this November
2.) Slate Cummings – Set of headers courtesy of X-Headers
3.) Mark Meadows – AirTek Pressure Monitoring System
4.) Cody Graham – Flo-Fast Fluid Transfer Pump
5.) Luke Bogacki – Weldon Fuel Pump

In addition,the top two finishers in the Footbrake category were also rewarded. Those prizes went to:
1.) Greg Rushing – FREE Entry to the 2015 BTE Southern Footbrake Challenge
2.) Stephen McCrory – Milodon Oil Pan, Pump & Pickup

Specialty awards were also rewarded for the best wheelstand and best burnout of the event, thanks to High Gear Enterprises and California Car Cover. The best wheelstand was an easy call, as Travis Eaton’s half-track bumper dragging performance ended with thereplacement of a timing marker! The best burnout went to Mia Tedesco, as she used some of the skills developed in her A/Fuel dragster experience to perform the longest burnout of the weekend in her bracket dragster.

GABR promoters Gaylon Rolison and Britt Cummings would like to once again thank all racers for attending. Stay tuned for details of the 7th Annual Moser Engineering Great American Bracket Race, which will return to Memphis International Raceway next September.

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