Running off in the first Bracketeer eliminator final, Harley Noe (far side) stopped the Mustang of Dale Harsin to score the inaugural title in 1976. Staged over Memorial Weekend, the Bracketeer Nationals as it was originally known, was finished on Monday due to rain showers that hit just prior to the final round of all three classes. Both Harsin and Noe wanted to settle the title on the track (vs. by a coin flip) and agreed to return on Memorial Day to run it off for the crown. Amazingly enough, the Newtronics timing system became water logged and only the Christmas tree was operational. Both drivers agreed to handicap the start based on the previous day dial-in's and run it, first one to cross the finish line would be declared champion. On a cold track, Noe's car hooked better than Harsin and charged onto the win. Following Ron Leek in Byron, IL (who staged the first big money bracket race in 1975), the Bracketeer was the first in the west and today represents the oldest in all of America. 2005 marks the 29th consecutive year of the big money Nightfire weekend, which returns August 11th-14th, 2005. Photo by the late Sam Callaway