RICHMOND, Va. -- A race that lasted less than six seconds created a lifetime of memories for a Glen Allen man who won big drag racing in Las Vegas last weekend.
"Round 9 was sweet, you know, we came around the tower and I looked down the track," Jeff Verdi said. "It was just so surreal. I told myself, this is it, this is the final round."
Verdi did a burnout in his '68 Pontiac Firebird, staged his car and the rest is history
"I told myself, 'It's just a time shot,'" he said. "I didn't put a lot of pressure on myself."
The local champion at Richmond Dragway and Virginia Motorsports Park won the 2016 K&N Spring Fling Million.
Verdi, a cabinet maker by trade, took home the largest trophy of his career and his largest purse: $270,000.
"I've got to save some for the tax man, but other than that, I'm just going to look at everything I have, kind of upgrade some stuff, put a little here and there and save some," Verdi said.
But he almost didn't make it to the big race. With 1,500 miles behind him, his pickup truck hauling the open car trailer broke down.
Three hours later and with a new fuel pump installed, he took off and traveled another 150 miles before having to make another repair. The truck, like his Firebird, ran flawlessly after that.
Susan Verdi, Jeff's wife of 21 years, had stayed in Glen Allen taking care of the two teens and their business during the big race. However, once Verdi won, took her very first plane ride. She hopped a flight out of RIC bound for Las Vegas.
The winner got a suite in a Vegas high-rise, so the pair spent two nights high above the Vegas lights.
Now back home, the couple said their life will likely slow down and go back to normal.
Verdi plans to run a points race at Richmond Dragway this Saturday.