Unfortunately for Rucks, another late run in the big show would come to an end in round 6, as he fell opposite fellow Alabama competitor Joe Kittle.  A deep main event run by 16-year-old Mia Tedesco would also come to an end in round six, as she was upended by 2011 U.S. Nationals Super Stock winner Shane Carr.  Carr posted a stellar .003 reaction time and coasted to a 4.56 on his 4.52 target to get the win.  Tommy Plott and Chris Johnson locked horns in a battle of competitors who had both seen deep rounds in the Million before; both Johnson and Plott were semi-finalists in 2008.  Plott would get the edge this time, using a .009 reaction time and dead-on 4.709 to earn the victory.  Shannon Justice used a .004 reaction time to dispense David Collins and advance to the quarterfinal round, where he would be joined by Alabama racer Jim Rowland who received the bye run with nine cars remaining.

Justice’s .004 reaction time earned him the bye run into the semi-final round, leaving the other four competitors to fight for the other two semi-final spots. In the first quarterfinal pairing, Carr defeated Rowland. Seconds later, Plott won the most critical matchup of the round: with Carr and Justice having already received bye runs, Plott and Kittle knew the winner of their quarterfinal matchup would earn a bye run into the final round of the Nitrofish Million. The duo matched .014 reaction times, but the North Carolina veteran outmaneuvered the Alabama resident at the finish line, guaranteeing himself a berth in the final round.

Carr then dispensed Justice in the lone semi-final matchup, setting up a final round with Plott that featured a total purse of $225,000! 

Carr won the final and staked his place in Million Dollar Race history with a .015 reaction and .01 above 4.53.

Following the 16th annual Million Dollar Race, racers enjoyed a complimentary cookout and racers appreciation party. Event promoters treated the 300+ race entrants and their crews to a complementary filet mignon dinner complete with homestyle sides beneath the big top tent near the MMP starting line. The delicious meal was prepared by noted racer (and chef) Anthony Bertozzi in conjunction with the Million Dollar Race staff. 

Sunday: “Triple 20” #3

The 2011 Nitrofish Million weekend concluded Sunday with the Abruzzi Transmissions Triple 20, the final $20,000 payday of the event.  As the rounds went on, and racers began the task of packing up and leaving the Montgomery Motorsports Park facility after a rigorous weekend, seven competitors still had their eye on the prize as the race made its way into the seventh round. 

There, Todd Ewing kicked off quarterfinal action as he drove his Huntsville Engine & Performance backed dragster to a dead-on 4.63 run to defeat Justin Caraway.   NHRA sportsman standout Peter Biondo followed, as he defeated Mike Ridge’s Vega by a mere .002 of a second to join Ewing in the semi-final round.  Troy Coughlin, Jr. posted a great .010 package to defeat Stephen McCrory in the final pairing of the round, while Jason Folk took the solo to round out the semi-final field.

In the semis, Ewing used a telepathic .001 reaction time to defeat Biondo, and Coughlin lit the red light to advance Folk into the $20,000 final round. 

There, both drivers would uncharacteristically foul, but Folk left the starting line first with a -.012 reaction time, giving Ewing’s -.010 the victory and the $20,000 winner’s check.

In addition to the $400,000+ purse, and thousands of dollars in round sponsor awards, the Nitrofish Million also provided racers with an array of prizes courtesy of K&N Engineering, ISC Racer’s Tape, and Lucas Oil Products.  BRODIX Cylinder Heads and Mullis Race Cars sponsored a pair of gamblers races (one for an engine, one for a dragster), but those events were unable to be completed due to the cold evening weather.  The racers remaining in competition split the entry money.