First time the race is held at WWTR:
A total of 774 weekend entries – the biggest Million Dollar Drag Race in the
28-year history of the five-day event
Donnie Hagar of Clarklake, Michigan towed his green Vega on an open trailer to World Wide Technology Raceway — roughly 480 miles — to compete in the 28th annual Mickey Thompson Million Dollar Drag Race. Surrounded in the pit area by pricey motorhomes and enclosed trailers, Hagar slept in a tent each night. He proved you don’t need to go broke to strike it rich in drag racing.
A total of 471 entries competed in the first round of Saturday’s eliminations.
As advertised on the flyer, this car count meant the winner’s purse climbed to $590,000 and $50,000 to the runner up. Twelve drivers outlasted the next six rounds of grueling competition with hopes of earning the cash and notoriety that comes with a Million Dollar Drag Race victory. They were Donnie Hagar, Braden Bowden, Jeff Serra, Isaac Wilde, Trevor Moore, Chad Branum, Rocky VanNote, Mikey Bloomfield, Shane Carr, Hunter Whitehead, Wes Neely, and Hal Blevins.
The crowd of fellow racers and friends gathering near the starting line multiplies as the number of cars still in the race halves. Neely turns on the red light by 4 thou in his roadster while Carr is .004 green and coasts across the finish line. Hagar is .018 up front and takes the double breakout win running 1 thou under beside VanNote who runs 4 thou too quick. Only 8 thou separate the pair on the starting line and Serra gets to the stripe first but is 6 thou under his dial while Bloomfield runs .013 above for the win.
Carr secures an appearance in his second Million final round courtesy of the bye run while Bloomfield and Hagar face off in the semifinal. Both drivers are eager for the win with Bloomfield putting together a .009 package for the loss. Hagar launches with a .004 light and runs dead on with a zero to take his bottom bulb Vega into the Million dollar final round.
The 28th Annual Mickey Thompson Million Dollar Drag Race champion is merely one pass away from their celebration as the $2,000 No Box bonus winner, Donnie Hagar, stages up next to Shane Carr, who claimed the coveted Million title in 2012. As Carr reverses from his half-track burnout, Hagar smokes the tires and rolls towards the starting line. Both drivers carefully bump into the stage beams and Hagar leaves first with a .005 reaction time followed by the .001 red light of Carr. Hagar makes history by becoming the first No Box racer to compete in the OG Million final round, much less conquer it.
A man of few words during the winner’s circle interview, Hagar is still in disbelief of what he has just accomplished.
He says, “I’m super thankful and happy, obviously. And really tired as well. It just doesn’t seem real to be honest, I’m just super blessed…at a loss for words.”
Carr takes a moment to praise the OG Million in his post-race interview by saying, “I want to thank Donny Burleson for giving me such a good hot rod. All the Folk family for such a great race. I’m glad you came to St. Louis, I don’t think you could do much better.”