Labor Day weekend is reserved for American Muscle

Brainerd International Raceway is the place to be Labor Day weekend for those who love muscle cars.

More than 400 muscle cars are expected for the 29th Annual GSTA Muscle Car Shootout. For three days, they’ll be drag racing and road racing, with another two dozen or more sitting on display during Saturday’s Classic Car Show. Bring your camera.

Schmidt_WThe Muscle Car Shootout is a long-standing tradition at BIR, and a great way to close out the summer. In addition to racing, the event includes live music by Them Pesky Kids on Saturday and a unique fireworks display, where the Northern Lighters Pyrotechnics club will shoot off their homemade fireworks. Fan will have a rare chance to see some non-traditional and creative fireworks.

The main attraction, though, is on the drag strip, where the three-race Muscle Car Series will wrap up. Series championships are on the line in 13 classes, so drivers will be leaving everything on the blacktop as they slug it out for points.

The seven Heads-Up Classes will attract the most attention because the rules are simple: both cars leave at the same time, and the one that reaches the finish line first wins. The Outlaw Pro Mod class, with the fastest cars, will feature a showdown between defending champion Ray Fuchs and 2014 and 2015 champ Rick Schmidt. Each has won an event this year, setting up a winner-takes-all situation on Sunday.

C73U7028-X3The other story line coming out of the Outlaw Pro Mod class is Schmidt’s quest to break the 5-second mark. During the Street Car Showdown on Memorial Day weekend, Schmidt qualified with a ridiculous speed of 239.40 mph – a track record for that class. During the PleasureLand RV Show & Go, he qualified first with a time of 6.129 seconds and then ran 6.124 seconds in the first elimination round for another track record. He inches ever so close to 5 seconds.

The Outlaw class is providing some crazy entertainment as well. Jake Delmonico and Bubba Romanyshyn have each won a race and are sitting in the top two spots in the point standings. Both drivers have their cars flying down the track at more than 200 mph, setting up an incredible finale for drivers and fans alike. The other Heads-Up Classes – King Street, Real Street (Unlimited and Natural), True Street and 660 Outlaw Street – all have serious battles taking place in the point standings as well, setting the stage for some intense racing Labor Day weekend.

Qualifying and time trials are Friday and Saturday. Elimination rounds start at 9 a.m. Sunday.

Over on the 2.5-mile Competition Road Course, the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) returns with the Jack Pine Sprints, two days of exciting wheel-to-wheel road racing. The track will be busy with a number of different classes, including Vintage Racers, which are always fan favorites. The SCCA will have practice, qualifying and racing sessions both Saturday and Sunday.

Daily admission is $25, and kids 12 and under are free. Parking is also free. Camping is free, too, with a multi-day ticket. Gates open daily at 7 a.m.

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