Kyle Riley, aka SFG Promotions

$500,000 GUARANTEED to win a bracket race

It’s for real and it is coming this June


By Jok Nicholson

Let me start out this InnerView by telling you readers this is a NEW THING for me. While it is true I may talk a lot (some say a little too much at times) I don’t usually have the opportunity to do an interview with someone I respect as a man who has a strong faith in God and believes he has a calling to do things that will make the sport of sportsman drag racing better, build loyalty to the SFG brand, and in certain ways “save racers from themselves” (more on that later).


This is really the first time I have talked to Kyle Riley over the phone. We talked at Byron Dragway’s $100K race in July and his demeanor really intrigued me. Here he was, one of the owners of SFG Promotions at a $100K race he did not promote, enjoying the racing and supporting some of his SFG regulars. He was not standing there trying to promote upcoming SFG races, he appeared to simply enjoy seeing 400 bracket cars do battle for the $100,000 winner’s check.


I won’t go into Kyle’s personal history and the things that led to the formation of the SFG Promotions race plans, but I will dwell a little more on the FUTURE PLANS for the SFG. In case you don’t already know about the SFG plans for 2019 I will give you a little outline of just how busy this small organization will be.


The SFG Promotions team of about three or four people have what I would call a “busy season” on tap for 2019. They have five SFG bracket races with $50,000-$75,000-$25,000 Guaranteed Winner payouts over the weekend and the largest guaranteed winner prize of 500,000 “GUARANTEED TO WIN” at US 131 Motorsports Park.


2019 Schedule:

March 7-10: Powerball of Bracket Racing, $50K-$75K-$25K, Darlington Dragway, Darlington, SC.

April 11-14: Super Bowl of Bracket Racing, Rockingham Dragway, Rockingham, NC

June 26-30: SFG 500; $500,000 to win, US 131 Motorsports Park, Martin, MI.

August 8-11: Buckeye Bracket Bash, $50K-$75K-$25K, Dragway 42, West Salem, Ohio.

November 1-3: Super Bowl of Bracket Racing, $50K-$75K-$25K, Darlington Dragway


Can you wrap your brain around that $500,000 to win race? Thousands of dollars of round money and a guaranteed $500,000 winner! Talk about a life changing race to win…wow! (Consider the math going on between racers when they are hoping everyone will want to split up the prize money when they get down to 16 or maybe 8 cars! What if someone who just wants to be the “first-ever half million-dollar drag race winner in history just simply doesn’t want to split anything? (I hope I can get there to be a witness to this race.)


Here is the conversation I had with Kyle a day before they released the details on their newest project, the SFG300 Events.


  Kyle, I noticed on Facebook the SFG group is introducing a new series of big-bucks bracket races called the “SFG 300” events. Can you tell me a little more about them?


SFG:  We came up with the idea as a regional answer to the bigger SFG500 events. The SFG 300 races will be limited to 300 entries (150 door cars and 150 dragsters) to make time management of the event simpler and prevent racers from having to take so much time off work to participate.


  I will likely edit this a bit in a week or so after you release the entry fees and payouts for the SFG 300 events but what are your thoughts so far?


SFG: We want the SFG 300 races to be affordable and yet have the largest payouts in the regions where we schedule the events. Simply put, our goal is affordable entry fees, good round money, affordable buybacks and the biggest guaranteed payouts possible on Saturday and Sunday.


Do you think the racers who travel across the Country chasing your Big Buck races and other $50,000 to win races will also race these SFG 300 races?


SFG: I don’t think racers will travel from Florida or the Carolinas to race one in Iowa because the two-day format reduces their chances to cover expenses. We want these races to attract the racers in the Region where we have selected host tracks.


  Are these events being managed by the local tracks or by the SFG Team?


SFG: We will use some of the track employees but SFG is 100% responsible for the race procedures and how the event is controlled. We have “the best staging lane crew” to keep the event flowing smooth. Basically, SFG rents the facility.


  Is one of your goals with the 300-car entry limit to make sure the event can be finished in a timely manner? By that I mean a time trial on Saturday and then the race. Sunday, no time run, go straight into eliminations and racers who go late in the rounds should be headed home by 5 pm, again so they won’t have to miss work and add that expense to what racing a SFG 300 actually costs them. Does that about cover one of the goals and reason for the 300-car limit?


SFG: Yes, we want the races to be both affordable and ran on a schedule so a local racer with an 8-to-5 job, kids, house payments and car payments can get back to work without burning vacation days.


  The SFG 300 in Iowa is very interesting to me. My wife and I owned that track from 1983 through 1996 and we live just 4 miles from the front gate. Like all local tracks it has its limitations and 300 rigs with motor homes and enclosed trailers will be a tight squeeze for parking. Any thoughts about that?


SFG: We will work closely with those who know the track facility and its limitations. We are planning on opening Friday for parking to prevent a stack up of rigs on the highway entrance and we will have parking directors to maximize parking spaces. Details will be on the SFG Facebook page as we get closer to the event.


  When we were talking about the SFG 500 events and the expenses racers incur to travel to the races, time off work, buyback costs and a lot of the have two cars so they can double-enter. You mentioned the SFG 300 was a way to “save the racers from themselves” and I must tell you that over the years I could not agree more. As a racer who did quite a bit of travel and not a lot of winning, it was expensive 10-20 years ago and I cannot imagine the costs today with entry fees and buybacks at some of the $50K and $75K races nearing a $2,000 a weekend.


SFG: Drag racers are highly competitive individuals and once they get to a Big Bucks race they do just about anything to stay racing; from entering everything they can, borrow a friend’s car to double enter, etc. We felt if we kept adding the SFG 500 payout format we would simply financially burn out a lot of traveling racers. We decided a smaller, more controlled SFG 300 series would work and benefit more bracket racers.


  Was one of the goals of the SFG 300 to see if the LODRS Super class racers who pay a hefty entry fee and spend three days at a Divisional LODRS event to race for a couple thousand dollars would come support a race with about the same entry fee as an NHRA LODRS event but with payouts of $50,000 and $20,000 to win per day?


SFG: Yes, we would like to see the racers who are pretty set in their LODRS events give the SFG 300 race a try. We think we can make the SFG 300 experience every bit as much fun and exciting as a LODRS event.


  I noticed you are going to have a Jr. Dragster bracket at the SFG 300 so the Junior racers will have to “pre-enter” as well, correct? No gate entries.


SFG: Yes, we are going to feature 16 Jr. Dragster teams. The Jr. Dragster racer represents the future of bracket racing and we want them to be included in the SFG 300 events.


  I also noticed you are setting 16 entry spots aside for “No Box” or Footbrake racers. It looks like they will race against the other 16 No Box racers in their own race until they get to the winner and then that winner will join the $50,000 and $20,000 racers in the 5th round, correct?


SFG: That is correct. We wanted to include 16 No Box racers and give them a shot at the $50,000.


  Speaking about LODRS division races, would the SFG be looking forward to having a “SFG Regional or Divisional Series” in the future?


SFG: That is a “behind the scenes idea” for the first four SFG 300 races. What kind of excitement will it generate? What other tracks in the region would be interested in hosting an SFG 300 event? To be honest, we were overwhelmed with requests from tracks that wanted one of the first SFG 300 races. I felt blessed to get that kind of response and we are looking ahead to the future for the SFG Promotions events.


  We just received the payouts and entry fees for the SFG 300 events and to be honest they are higher than I imagined or could have predicted.  $50,000 to win Saturday; $20,000 to win Sunday. $499 entry fee. Must be paid as a “pre-entry” to lock in one of the 300 spots. Round money starts 3rd round win.


I must admit I never thought I would see a $50,000 GUARANTEED to win race held in Iowa. I hope you get the support an event like this deserves.


SFG: We thought about lower entry fees and smaller payouts but in the end the decision was to make the SFG 300 races “Something to talk about”. We feel the $50K and $20K will accomplish that.


[NOTE: My personal opinion here: The $499 is a pretty good chunk of money but when we are paying $150 - $175 currently to race for $2,000 a day for a local bracket race. For $300 more entry fee we will be racing for a $50,000 and a $20,000 winner’s payout in one weekend. If we have a race car that is running, we are entering the SFG 300 the day “Pre-Entries” open. – Jok Nicholson]


  Personally, I think you are “way ahead of the curve” and might be the answer the weakening local bracket racing programs has been needing. I can see local tracks gaining cars as racers want to sharpen their skills and get the cars “dead-on” before going to a regional SFG 300 race.


SFG: That is one goal we have. Grow the local bracket programs so the sport is healthier and then more racers will enter the SFG races in the future.


  Thank you, Kyle, for the conversation and I hope you have a lot of success in 2019 and beyond.


SFG: Appreciate the opportunity to get the word out on the SFG Promotions SFG 300 race events. For the racers looking to enter an SFG event please watch the SFG Promotions Facebook page or website so you know exactly when “Pre-Entry Opens” for the event you want to attend. If we fill pre-entries there will be no Gate entries sold.  


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