Richmond: Juniors get special treat at Spring Open

DINWIDDIE, Va.- An idea from CompetitionPlus.com Photo Director Roger Richards to give the winner of a special shootout $50 blossomed into a full-blown purse that equaled over $3,200 in cash and contingencies. Announcer "Staging Steve" LeTempt...

DINWIDDIE, Va.- An idea from CompetitionPlus.com Photo Director Roger Richards to give the winner of a special shootout $50 blossomed into a full-blown purse that equaled over $3,200 in cash and contingencies. Announcer "Staging Steve" LeTempt advertised the special shootout over the PA system and challenged the spectators at the CompetitionPlus.com Spring Open presented by Lizzard Racing Engines to contribute to the pot. When it was all said and done, the Junior Dragster drivers split a purse of $1,635 in cash and a full-service website from Allen Cook at 1320 Web Services that was worth $1,600. Being a kid was never more fun.

The big winner was 10-year old Richie Williams from Dinwiddie, Va. Williams, a fourth grader at Rohoic Elementary School, had problems getting the car to idle correctly and missed their first run. The carburetor was serviced and determined the fuel to be bad. That reparation was all it took for Williams to defeat Robbie Dowdy in the final round. Williams pocketed $494 for his victory.

Williams began his march to Winner's Circle with a bye run, then defeated Brian Mane before topping Dowdy.

Dowdy, a 16-year old high school student from Chesapeake, Va., defeated Travis Maine and Todd Wilkins.

Williams was the longshot to win.

"This feels good," remarked Williams. "We had some problems at the start and I really didn't think we were going to be able to make it because we had some problems with the car. We fixed them and everything fell into place."

On this particular day, Junior Dragster racers Todd Wilkins, Kelli Bennett, Robbie Dowdy, Travis Maine, Brian Maine, Holly Dowdy and Richie Williams were part of something special - the first-ever CompetitionPlus.com Junior Dragster Shootout. A grandstand full of fans and racers including Pro Modified's Steve Vick, Pro Stock's John Montecalvo and veteran tuner Tom Anderson were among the hundreds of people that chipped in to help the kids.

Each kid left with a minimum of $164.

CompetitionPlus.com editor Bobby Bennett, Jr., was quick to point out that the magazine has always felt that junior dragster racing has been a great addition to the sport.

"We wanted to do something special for the kids and if the truth be known, these kids got to race for a larger purse than the professionals did a day earlier," explained Bennett. "We're happy that the kids got a glimpse of what it is like to be a professional drag racer. The racing community made me proud on this day by their support of these kids. These children will remember this day for a long time."

Bennett continued, "So will I."

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Series Drag
Drivers Tom Anderson
Teams Williams