Ohio native Andrew Adkins was the hero of the every-man at this weekend’s BTE World Footbrake Challenge after he drove his Plymouth Duster nearly 300 miles to the Bristol Dragway in Tennessee and scored a $10,000 payday.
Adkins outlasted 550 entries in an all-day and night marathon, defeating Kevin Blevins in the finale with an impressive .016-second package.
Adkins’ Duster was a gift from his cousin; a 360 Magnum was pulled from a church van in a junkyard, bored .040-inches over with an aftermarket camshaft, and paired with a rebuilt transmission from his father, Johnny. A bench seat was installed, and off they went.
“We’ve just always done it that way…we drive the cars everywhere, put the slicks on and, and go bracket racing on the weekend,” Andrew says.
Last week, Adkins and his father loaded up a mini-bike and a tent in the back seat, a pair of slicks, a cooler, an impact, and a floor jack in the trunk, and traversed south to Bristol for the World Footbrake Challenge. In the end not only did he win Saturday’s 10-grander, but also got down to six cars in Sunday’s race.
“Words cant describe how I felt when the win-light came on in that final round. This was a race I only dreamed about winning but wasn’t sure if it would ever become reality. We are low budget regular bracket racers that just love the sport. I thank everyone for congratulating me and telling me how they love my story. It means so much. It is possible to be the slower car, drive it to the track, swap to yours slicks and just tear it up. Lots of good rounds and lots of lucky ones but that’s racing. It was a weekend I won’t forget and I’m just truly blessed.
“I could not have done it without my father and brother…they have helped me day and night with the car, dad paid for this trip and has been my right-hand man. The car ran flawless…that’s a Mopar for ‘ya.
Adkins was double-entered in Saturday’s race — he lost one entry first round, re-entered and lost again. His other entry, however, netted him the biggest win of his young racing career, a night he says, “we’ll never forget.”
He was in the .020 to .030 range on the tree through the day, and as the rounds wore on — he says he lost count after seven rounds — tightened it up to between .010 and .015. In the final, he was .013 on the tree and dead-on his 7.93 dial with a 7.933, pushing Blevins under the dial.
Adkins calls Columbus’s National Trail Raceway home, but he’s already hauled to Kentucky and Tennessee twice this year, putting an estimated 1,500 to 2,000 miles on the car.
“Driving it to the track is honestly half the fun. We are low budget racers, and I’ll be honest, we don’t own a trailer, and if we did, it would only be in case something were to happen. But driving them to the track is just what we love to do.”