The Million Dollar Race

The Million Dollar Race

Hey there and welcome back! It’s Brandon – back again this week to talk about the week I got to spend with Rachel and her dad Mike in Alabama for “The Million Dollar Race”.

A bit of a back story, in 2018, Rachel and I began dating earlier that year and had always talked about what it would be like to race at “The Million Dollar Drag Race”. As the year went on, I began to find success on the racetrack. What would turn out to be somewhat of a dream season, the running joke became that going to the million only made sense for us to attend. At that point, we were just rolling to the track in my pickup truck and trailer, so not the optimal set up for a 21-hour drive to Alabama! Mike and I had spent many hours throughout the summer talking about the possibility of making the trip at the end of October, but it would obviously be a long haul and huge expense to take on.

It was late September and we were headed to ICAR for the Canadian Bracket Finals. Rachel was not racing because her parents were on a trip to Ireland and we were staying with my parents. It was a great weekend; Saturday I won the $10K race which also won me the Bracket Super Tour Super Pro Championship. After we finished up Sunday it worked out that Mike and Vicki got back from their trip in good time, so we planned to meet them for dinner in Brockville, ON.

We arrived at dinner and got caught up on all the cool experiences they had. Now came the awkward part for me. If you know Rachel, then you know she is not afraid to say almost anything. So, she looks at Mike dead straight in the face and says, “So are you taking Brandon to the million or what?” out of no where, complete jaw dropper. It took a minute for Mike to realize what she asked and to put together a response. After a more in-depth discussion we decided to try and make the trip! A couple weeks go by and we were in Jasper loading Mike’s trailer for what will be one of the coolest racing trips of my life.

The plan was to head out Monday night since racing started Wednesday and we did have quite the haul ahead of us. After work I went for dinner with my buddy Trevor for a prerace pep talk. We discussed a game plan and the goal for the week was to “make it to the split” round to get paid.

Mike picked me up around 7pm and we hit the road. Rachel was still in university in London, ON so we made a quick pit stop to pick her up and then we were really rolling. We got close to the US border before we stopped for the night. When we woke up Tuesday morning the three of us took off for Alabama. After hours on the road as we were nearing the end of Ohio, and we stopped for some food and fuel when I hopped behind the wheel of the toterhome. I got to drive through Kentucky and Tennessee which was a wild time getting to roll the big unit down the interstate.

After we arrived at the track it was an unbelievable sight. We walked around Wednesday morning and I had to take a moment to comprehend where I was. It was something I had dreamed of experiencing, and to be there was unbelievable.

The results from Wednesday – Friday were not exactly what we had hoped. I had yet to get out of round 2 with my dragster, but luckily, I was also entered with my brother Daniel’s dragster and was able to make out a bit better. Friday night between rounds Mike, Rachel and I head up to pay our entries for the million race which was set to start Saturday morning. If you are wondering what the entry for something like that might be, $2k USD per entry. Since we had made the trip and brought 4 cars with us, we figured why not go for it and put all 4 in, so I will let you do the math on that.

Saturday morning, we wake up to a rainy forecast, so they were forced to switch the million to Sunday. This under normal circumstances would be no big deal. But we had planned to head home Sunday because Rachel had an exam on Monday.

After careful consideration, Rachels exam was pushed to the back burner and we were going racing!

Saturday night we raced for another $25K, where I took Daniels car to round 5, but tomorrow was the race we were there for.

So here we are, Million Sunday, the most prestigious bracket race ever. Mike and I started out awesome winning both entries for each of us in round 1 and 2. I continued with both entries into round 5 through some of the toughest competition anywhere. I lost my first entry in round 5 but came back around with my second entry, getting down to 14 cars – we started with over 300.

This should be the round of the split, exactly where we wanted to be. But, unfortunately for me, and the eventual winner Kenny Underwood took a chance and decided to say no split right then and I went on to red light against Scotty Richardson that round. We were still able to cut a deal with Scotty that would help us get paid for a hard week putting in the work on the track.

We headed home Monday morning together telling stories and reliving our week and how much fun we were able to have.

I have to thank Rachel, Mike, and Vicki for allowing me the chance to live out this dream. And to every single friend and competitor who was watching and cheering me on through the live stream. And to Trevor for being a badass Crew Chief – even when he was 21 hours away!

I can not wait to go back some day and give it the best I have got once again.

See you next time, 

Brandon Barker


1 comment

  • Life Experiences are priceless !

    Karen Hinze

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