There is a new champion at the Mickey Thompson Tires Million Dollar Drag Race and his name is John Ezell. Known to his friends as “Johnny Bracket Racer”, Ezell, of Ventress, La., defeated “Racin’ Jason” Lynch in the final round. Ezell earned $325,000 for the win. In an all-dragster final, Ezell was first off the starting line .003 to .015 and held on for the win in a double breakout. Ezell drove to a 4.879 on his 4.89 dial while Lynch was further under his 4.36 dial with a 4.539.
“This is unbelievable,” said Ezell, echoing the sentiment of most Mickey Thompson Million Dollar Race winners. “All of my rounds were tough, especially the first four. It was hard to pick out one that was harder than the others. I can’t believe I just won The Million.”
Success in bracket racing is nothing new to Ezell. Over the last few seasons, he’s become one of the sport’s most consistent winners with a host of big money victories including a $50,000 payday at the Drag Race Results Ultimate Series event in Huntsville, Ala., last month.
Facing a near-record field of 337 entries, Ezell began his march to the final round with wins against Thomas Bell, Kevin Bennett, and Steve Collier. He faced one of his toughest tests in round five when he squared off against Ron Lane, the runner-up in Friday’s Triple 25 event at the Million. Ezell won that round with a 4.881 on his 4.88 dial. Ezell also faced Trey Bunner, who began his weekend at The Million with a win in the 64-car Shootout on Wednesday and a runner-up finish in Thursday’s Triple 25 event. Ezell won that bout after Bunner broke out by five-thousandths. In the semifinals, Ezell benefitted from a red-light start by opponent Tyler Sizemore.
“I didn’t think I drove too well, but I did enough to get by,” said Ezell. “It was really tough in the last few rounds but I just tried to stay calm. The final was really tough but I felt like my car was really dialed.”
Lynch, who works as a crew chief for NHRA Super Gas world champ Mia Tedesco, drove his CARS Protection Plus dragster to the final after stopping Reagan Whitman, Kevin Pruett, and recent U.S. Nationals Comp champ Brad Plourd.
The last woman standing was Raegan Whitman, who reached the sixth round with her dragster before losing to Lynch. Jeff Verdi, the defending Mickey Thompson Million Dollar Race winner, also reached the sixth round before his win streak ended at 15 rounds.