ET Drag Racing

Top ET Challenge at Rockingham, NC

Thomas, Paschal, Carpenter Claim $20,000 Victories

Although he came up short of the big money, “Nasty Nick” Hastings of Shelby, Ohio, got the “iron man” award by taking his 1981 Pontiac T1000 to the round of seven on all three days. His best finish, though, was runner-up to Carpenter on Saturday.

Rockingham Dragway’s return to big money bracket racing drew a weekend field of almost 350 bracket racers from 20 states but, when the tire smoke cleared Sunday, the bulk of the purse stayed in the host state with Michael Paschal, Shawn Carpenter and Tim Thomas.

Each of those Carolinians took home a $20,000 winner’s check from The Rock’s inaugural Top ET Challenge, its first big money event since track owner Steve Earwood and the late George Howard collaborated on several popular projects including the original Million Dollar Drag Race and the B&M Racers Appreciation Series.

The Top ET Challenge was co-produced by Tony Saraceni and 1320 Race Promotions.

Thomas, a past winner at Rockingham, claimed the last of the “20s” on Sunday when he edged 2015 Rockingham track champ David Lowe of Rowland in the final round. Racers earned more than $150,000 over the three days. In addition to the $20,000 paid to each day’s big winner, each runner-up earned $5,000 and the semifinal losers $1,500.