DeMenge wins PB Classic during Bracket Drag Racing Series

Fifty-two drag racers in the Stock/Super Stock Class converged on Brainerd International Raceway last weekend for a crack at a piece of the $4,000 guaranteed purse that was up for grabs Saturday and Sunday during the Midwest Class Racers’ 2nd Annual Paul Bunyan Classic.

The Classic, which was part of BIR’s Bracket Drag Racing Series weekend, saw drag racers slugging it out for a chance at the $2,000 first-place prize. In the end, Glen DeMenge and his 1969 Camaro had a near-perfect reaction time at the starting line in the finals, which helped him beat Tim Mosbek with an 11.20-second run at 105.85 mph. Mosbeck collected $1,000 for his efforts. In fact, the purse ended up to be nearly $6,500 and paid out the top 26 racers because Sunday’s race was rained out.

MCR Paul Bunyan Classic winner Glen DeMenge

MCR Paul Bunyan Classic winner Glen DeMenge

Pro Bike/Sled double winner Jimmy Paulson

Pro Bike/Sled double winner Jimmy Paulson

The Paul Bunyan Classic was the featured event last weekend but there was no shortage of great drag racing in the other classes. There was a lot on the line for nearly all of the 310 racers as everyone was scrambling for series points, prize money and a spot on BIR’s ET Finals team, which competes next month in Topeka, Kan. The selection process is based on the point standings after last weekend. The last series weekend is Sept. 26-27, so the pressure was on many racers.

Jimmy Paulson’s double-win weekend in the Pro Bike/Sled Class may have wrapped up a series championship, during a season in which he dominated the class on his 1350 Suzuki. He made it to the finals in seven of the nine races this year and has a comfortable lead over second place Jeremy Berg.

Paulson beat Josh LaValle inĀ  Saturday’s final with a pass of 9.293 seconds and 127.02 mph, and then dropped Kyle Olson in Sunday’s final with a sizzling 9.264-second, 139.88 mph run.

Super Pro winner Terry Pease

Super Pro winner Terry Pease

Sportsman & Pro ET winner Brandon Schmall

Sportsman & Pro ET winner Brandon Schmall

The two biggest classes, Super Pro and Pro ET, undoubtedly will be settled on the final day of the series. There’s log jam at the top of the point standings now in both classes, with the father-son duo of Gary and Reno Loeffelholz resting in first place in Super Pro and Pro ET, respectively, right where they finished the season last year.

Gary Loeffelholz and his 2004 Mustang outlasted 95 other drivers Saturday to meet Travis Reutzel in the finals. Despite Reutzel’s perfect reaction time on the starting line, Loeffelholz chased him down and won with a time of 7.474 seconds and 181.86 mph.

BIR’s 2015 King of the Track, Joe Howell, beat Mike Casteel in Saturday’s Pro ET finals with a time of 9.483 seconds and 143.4 mph to set up a showdown with Gary Loeffelholz in the Super Pro/Pro ET Shootout, where the winner earns $2,000 and the loser claims $1,000. It was Howell’s day to win, though, as he nipped Loeffelholz at the finish line for the win.

Sunday’s Super Pro winner was Terry Pease, who beat Vern Lauren Jr. in the finals with a time of 10.854 seconds and 131.29 mph. He lined up against the Pro ET winner, Brandon Schmall, in the Super Pro/Pro ET Shootout. Pease’s 1953 Ford Thames was too much for Schmall, as he pocketed $2,000 with the win.

Quick 16 winner Mike Kritzky

Quick 16 winner Mike Kritzky

Schmall is in a dogfight with Reno Loeffelholz and Howell in the Pro ET points standings. Schmall beat Loeffelholz in Sunday’s finals to inch closer to the top two spots.

Schmall has a significant lead in the Sportsman points race. He beat Joe Moriarty Sr. in Saturday’s finals but was bumped in the second round Sunday and had to watch as Brad Mickle beat Paul Baillif in Sunday’s final.

Jared Hutar was another double winner last weekend to stay in the points lead in Comp Trophy. He beat Andrew Walcheski in Saturday’s final and Chad Dalland Sunday.

In Street Trophy, Jed Anderson and Joe Moriarty Jr. won on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Saturday’s Quick 16 Shootout, which pits the quickest cars against the quickest dragsters, saw Mike Kritzky rip off a 6.992-second run at 191.92 mph in his dragster to beat Brad Baklund and his ’63 Corvette in the final. The win earned Kritzky $1,500.

Even the three Junior Dragster classes are knotted up at the top of the point standings. Zachary Zavadil was a double winner in Junior Dragster Advanced, while Samantha Cielinski and Zach McFarland won Saturday and Sunday, respectively, in Junior Dragster Intermediate. In Junior Dragster Novice, Alex Clampitt and Megan Cielinski were winners.

The final Bracket Drag Racing Series weekend next month is significant in another way as well. It’s also the National Dragster Challenge on Saturday, where drivers in Super Pro, Pro ET, Sportsman, Pro Bike/Sled, Comp Trophy and Street Trophy classes can take home a Wally trophy with a class win.

Below are the weekend’s winners:

SATURDAY, AUGUST 8

Super Pro
Finals: Gary Loeffelholz of Shafer def. Travis Reutzel of Annandale

Pro ET
Finals: Joe Howell of Big Lake def. Mike Casteel of Thief River Falls

Super Pro/Pro ET Shootout
Joe Howell def. Gary Loeffelholz

Sportsman
Finals: Brandon Schmall of Lino Lakes def. Joe Moriarty Sr. of Ham Lake

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Glen DeMenge of McGregor def. Tim Mosbek of Andover

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Jimmy Paulson of Stacy def. Josh LaValle of Rice

Comp Trophy
Finals: Jared Hutar of Cromwell def. Andrew Walcheski of Foley

Street Trophy
Finals: Jed Anderson of Sartell def. Rachel Hutar of Cromwell

Quick 16 Shootout
Finals: Mike Kritzky def. Brad Baklund of Corcoran

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: Zachary Zavadil of Clearwater def. Maggie Ruzich of Hibbing

Junior Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Samantha Cielinski of Gilman def. Camryn Takacs of Thunder Bay, Ontario

Junior Dragster Novice
Finals: Alex Clampitt of Lino Lakes def. Megan Cielinski of Gilman

 

SUNDAY, AUGUST 9

Super Pro
Finals: Terry Pease of Blaine def. Vern Lauren Jr.

Pro ET
Finals: Brandon Schmall of Lino Lakes def. Reno Loeffelholz

Super Pro/Pro ET Shootout
Terry Pease def. Brandon Schmall

Sportsman
Finals: Brad Mickle of Lino Lakes def. Paul Baillif of Brainerd

Stock/Super Stock
Rained Out

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Jimmy Paulson of Stacy def. Kyle Olson of Moorland, Iowa

Comp Trophy
Finals: Jared Hutar of Cromwell def. Chad Dalland of Fort Ripley

Street Trophy
Finals: Joe Moriarty Jr. of Ham Lake def. Todd Anderson of Brainerd

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: Zachary Zavadil of Clearwater def. Emma McFarland of Sabin

Junior Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Zach McFarland of Sabin def. Camryn Takacs of Thunder Bay, Ontario

Junior Dragster Novice
Finals: Megan Cielinski of Gilman def. Riley Luberda of Foley

 

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