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BIR’s drag racing team takes third at ET Finals

The 32-member drag racing team that represented Brainerd International Raceway last weekend during the NHRA West Central Summit Racing ET Finals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver placed third among the 22 teams that competed.

Jason Clampitt reached the semifinals in Pro Bike.

Jason Clampitt reached the semifinals in Pro Bike.

The four BIR racers in the Pro Bike class finished strong. Jason Clampitt and Cameron Belisle both made it to the semifinals before losing, while Mike Voss and BIR owner Jed Copham advanced to the quarterfinals before getting knocked out. There were 29 riders in the Pro Bike class.

In the largest class, Pro ET, Steve Roehrs battled his way to the quarterfinals before losing. Shane Boney made it to the fifth round. There were 152 racers in the class and eight rounds of competition.

The Sportsman class had 96 racers, including BIR’s Troy Luberda, who won his way to the quarterfinals before getting

Steve Roehrs reached the quarterfinals in Pro ET.

Steve Roehrs reached the quarterfinals in Pro ET.

eliminated. Joe Moriarty Sr. and Mike Pflepson made it three rounds in the seven-round competition.

Mike Campbell battled to the third round of eliminations in the Super Pro class before getting bumped. There were 122 racers in the class and seven rounds of competition.

In the 24-racer High School class, BIR had only one entry – Tracy Arneson, who lost in the first round.

BIR’s team competed against drag racing teams from throughout the NHRA’s West Central Division, which stretches from Wyoming to Wisconsin and from Colorado to Kansas, including part of Canada. Nearly 500 racers

Troy Luberda made the quarterfinals in Sportsman.

Troy Luberda made the quarterfinals in Sportsman.

competed.

BIR’s 31 drag racers earned their way onto the team by successfully competing in BIR’s Bracket Drag Racing Series, which is a six-weekend, 12-race series with one weekend left (Sept. 27-28). The racers on the team are at the top of the points standings in their respective classes.

The ET Finals has five classes: Super Pro, Pro ET, Sportsman, Pro Bike and High School. At stake are individual and team honors, prize money and contingency awards. Some drivers won the chance to compete for a national championship in Ponoma, Calif., during the NHRA’s Auto Club Finals in November.

The drivers competing for the trip to Pomona were those selected for the Race of Champions, which is a race within a race during the ET Finals. Each team identifies one driver in each of the five classes to represent the team in the Race of Champions. Drivers are paired up in an elimination format by class to determine the class champions, which advance to compete against the top drivers from the NHRA’s other six divisions for a national championship in Pomona. The five BIR teammates competing in the Race of Champions were Mike Campbell (Super Pro), Shane Boney (Pro ET), Lee Dugdale (Sportsman), Jason Clampitt (Bike/Sled), and Tracy Arneson (High School). Dugdale was the only racer to make it to the quarterfinals before getting eliminated.

Below were the members of BIR’s ET Finals team:

SUPER PRO
Mike Campbell of Brooklyn Park (Race of Champions)
Brian Johnson of Nowthen
Ronnie Luberda of Foley
Toby Giese of Kandiyohi
John Helmin of Rice
Jordan Pratt of Otsego
Donnie Durenburger of Dayton
Gary Koch of Clearwater

PRO ET
Shane Boney of Belview (Race of Champions)
Travis Reutzel of Eden Valley
Mike Casteel of Thief River Falls
Steve Roehrs of Frederic, Wis.
Todd Larson of Bagley
Steve Brings of Howard Lake
Pat Haubrich of New Ulm

SPORTSMAN
Lee Dugdale of Scandia (Race of Champions)
Joe Moriarty Sr of Ham Lake
Russ Elzy of Becker
Amy Jo Luberda of Foley
Kimberly Brager of Pillager
Mike Pflepsen of Duluth
Troy Luberda of Foley
Layne Robertson of Litchfield
Taylor Arneson of Pillager
Kayla Noyes of Andover
Steve Roehrs of Frederick, Wis.
Jason Clampitt of Lino Lakes

BIKE/SLED
Jason Clampitt of Lino Lakes (Race of Champions)
Mike Voss of Maplewood
Jed Copham of Brainerd
Cameron Belisle of Hugo

HIGH SCHOOL
Tracy Arneson of Pillager (Race of Champions)

BIR announces drag racing team for annual ET Finals

Brainerd International Raceway today announced the 31-member drag racing team that will represent the track during the NHRA West Central Summit Racing ET Finals this weekend at Bandimere Speedway in Denver.

Shane Boney is racing Pro ET this weekend.

Shane Boney is racing Pro ET this weekend.

The team will compete against drag racing teams from 21 other tracks in the NHRA’s West Central Division, which stretches from Wyoming to Wisconsin and from Colorado to Kansas, including part of Canada. More than 600 racers are expected to compete.

BIR’s 31 drag racers earned their way onto the team by successfully competing in BIR’s Bracket Drag Racing Series, which is a six-weekend, 12-race series with one weekend left (Sept. 27-28). The racers on the team are at the top of the points standings in their respective classes.

The ET Finals has five classes: Super Pro, Pro ET, Sportsman, Pro Bike and High School. At stake are individual and team honors, prize money and contingency awards. Some drivers even have a shot at earning a trip to compete for a national championship in Ponoma, Calif., during the NHRA’s Auto Club Finals in November.

The drivers competing for the trip to Pomona are those selected for the Race of Champions, which is a race within a race during the ET Finals. Each team identifies one driver in each of the five classes to represent the team in the Race of Champions. Drivers are paired up in an elimination format by class to determine the class champions, which advance to compete against the top drivers from the NHRA’s other six divisions for a national championship in Pomona. The five BIR teammates competing in the Race of Champions are Mike Campbell (Super Pro), Shane Boney (Pro ET), Lee Dugdale (Sportsman), Jason Clampitt (Bike/Sled), and Tracey Arneson (High School).

“BIR always has some of the best bracket drag racers in the country,” said BIR owner Jed Copham, who will be competing in the Bike Class this weekend. “Last year’s team placed second in Topeka, Kan., and we expect to have another strong showing this year. The racers on our team always represent BIR well at the ET Finals. We’re really excited about the makeup of this team.”

Below are the members of BIR’s ET Finals team:

SUPER PRO
Mike Campbell of Brooklyn Park (Race of Champions)
Brian Johnson of Nowthen
Ronnie Luberda of Foley
Toby Giese of Kandiyohi
John Helmin of Rice
Jordan Pratt of Otsego
Donnie Durenburger of Dayton

PRO ET
Shane Boney of Belview (Race of Champions)
Travis Reutzel of Eden Valley
Mike Casteel of Thief River Falls
Steve Roehrs of Frederic, Wis.
Todd Larson of Bagley
Steve Brings of Howard Lake
Pat Haubrich of New Ulm

SPORTSMAN
Lee Dugdale of Scandia (Race of Champions)
Joe Moriarty Sr of Ham Lake
Russ Elzy of Becker
Amy Jo Luberda of Foley
Kimberly Brager of Pillager
Mike Pflepsen of Duluth
Troy Luberda of Foley
Layne Robertson of Litchfiel
Taylor Arneson of Pillager
Kayla Noyes of Andover
Steve Roehrs of Frederick, Wis.
Jason Clampitt of Lino Lakes
Gary Koch of Clearwater

BIKE/SLED
Jason Clampitt of Lino Lakes (Race of Champions)
Mike Voss of Maplewood
Jed Copham of Brainerd

HIGH SCHOOL
Tracy Arneson of Pillager (Race of Champions)

Snowmobiles on open water, Superbikes this weekend

Snowmobiles that defy gravity by racing across open water will be on display this weekend at Brainerd International Raceway during the track’s second Wet & Wild weekend of the season. Superbike racing will be featured on the road course.

IWA_2012The snowmobile racing that the International Watercross Association (IWA) brings to BIR each year continues to draw big crowds because of how unique – and crazy – the sport is. Riders compete in drag racing and oval racing, both of which start just a matter of a few feet from the water’s edge and end on shore as well.

In drag racing, the first sled across Lake BIR wins. In oval racing, heats of four or five sleds make several laps around floating markers before returning to the same shoreline. Sometimes, gravity wins and the sleds sink to the bottom of the lake, but a special pontoon lefts them up and transports Racing6them back to shore, where the driver drys out the sled and gets it ready for the next heat.

On BIR’s 3.1-mile Donnybrooke Road Course, the action will be courtesy of the Central Roadracing Association, which brings its wild brand of Superbike racing to BIR for the five and final weekend of the season. The CRA’s weekend schedule includes practice on Friday and then eight-lap races on Saturday in Supersport, Superbike, Formula 40 and Grand Prix classes. The weekend’s culminates with a five-hour endurance race Sunday afternoon. Although the action is considered amateur club racing, these are accomplished riders who fly around the corners on two wheels and a knee. For that, the best places for fans to watch, by far, are the corners.

Like all BIR races, fans buy a single ticket to get in and then they can go back and forth between races as often as they want. Daily admission is $20, and kids 12 and under are free. On-site camping is free with the purchase of a multi-day ticket.

 CRA Superbike photo by SDE.

Round 2 this weekend! MAP Proving Grounds!

The Modern Automotive Performance Proving Grounds returns to Brainerd International Raceway this weekend for Round 2 of crazy competition featuring drifting, drag racing, autocross, open lapping, burnout contests, car shows and more.

MAPImports, sport compacts, trucks and bikes from all corners of the Midwest and Canada will invade BIR for the Proving Grounds. If you like the scream of turbo-charged imports and the smell of burnt rubber, than this event is for you.

The entire BIR facility will be busy with Proving Grounds events, starting with the always-popular drifting competition, where drivers use controlled skids to maneuver their cars through a course that’s lined with cones. It’s a timed event and a fun one for fans to watch. It also includes gymkhana, which is another form of drifting with 180- and 360-degree maneuvers. There’s even a Tandem Drift Competition for advanced drivers Saturday afternoon, where multiple cars fly through the course together. Drifting is Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

MAP_Drag12On the drag strip, cars will be competing in seven different classes, all of which feature heads-up racing, meaning they both start at the same time and the fastest car the finish line wins. There are classes for bikes and snowmobiles as well. Time trials and qualifying is Saturday and Sunday morning, with eliminations Sunday afternoon.

Autocross is also on the schedule. Similar to drifting, autocross features cars maneuvering their way through a cone-lined course in a more controlled fashion but still timed. It’s Friday and Saturday evenings.

And on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course, drivers will test themselves against the clock in the Time Attack event. Drivers begin from a standstill on the starting line and then complete the 2.5 miles in the fastest time possible. Time Attack is Saturday and Sunday.

Drivers who really want to test themselves can compete in the Triple Track Showdown, which is a combined event that includes drag racing, autocross and Time Attack.

The Proving Grounds is for novice drivers, expert drives and everything in between.

For schedules of events and more details, click here.

Daily admission is $25 with kids 12 and under free. On-site camping is free with a multi-day ticket.

Final Wednesday Night Streets Drags is this week!

The Wednesday Night Street Drags this week have been cancelled due to weather.

Make plans to be at BIR this Wednesday for the final Wednesday Night Street Drags of the season. Bring your car, bring your friends, bring your mom, bring someone who thinks they can get down the drag strip faster than you can. It’s going to be another great night for drag racing and the last chance for you to race on the fastest drag strip in the country!

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to race your own car on a drag strip, or if you’d like to know how to get into competitive drag racing, here’s your chance. The Wednesday Night Drags – Street Legal Style is the perfect way to either test the waters of competitive drag racing or just have some fun with your buddies.

BIR opens the track to anyone with a helmet (Snell 2005 or newer), a valid drivers license and a street-legal car, truck or motorcycle. The gates open at 4 p.m. You can make as many runs as possible until the track closes at dusk. During that time, you get to use the starting line tree, the scoreboard and the burn-out box, just like the pros do. We even have an announcer calling the action over the PA system.

Thank our friends from NAPA Auto Parts for sponsoring our Wednesday Night Street Drags program!

Click here for more details!

Schmidt repeats; Delmonico’s streak ends at Shootout

Coming into last weekend’s Muscle Car Shootout at Brainerd International Raceway, Jake Delmonico hadn’t lost a Muscle Car Series race since the 2012 Shootout, when he lost in the semifinals. He was well on his way to sweeping the Outlaw Class again this year until he ran up against Bubba Romanyskyn in Sunday’s finals.

Bubba Romanyskyn won the Outlaw Class.

Bubba Romanyskyn won the Outlaw Class.

Romanyskyn ended Delmonico’s winning streak with a blistering 206 mph pass for his first win at BIR. Delmonico beat Romanyskyn off the starting line by 1/10th of a second but couldn’t hold off Romanyskyn and his 1967 Camaro, which caught him at the eighth-mile and finished strong with a time of 7.000 seconds and 206.64 mph. Delmonico’s time was 7.415 seconds and 184.25 mph.

“It cost me a piston at the end of the run but I’ve got all winter to work that out,” Romanyskyn said. “He killed me on the tree (starting line) but I caught him at the eighth. It was a great race.”

This is Romanyskyn’s first year racing at BIR. He earned his way to the finals of the Street Car Showdown Memorial Day weekend where he would’ve faced Delmonico again, but he had car problems and couldn’t make it to the starting line, handing the win to Delmonico. There’s a good chance the Outlaw Class will be seeing more of Romanyskyn next year, he said.

The race was part of the grand finale of the three-race Muscle Car Series on the drag strip, which will determine series champions in most of the classes. Those will be announced later this week. The Muscle Car Shootout also included the debut of the Pirelli World Challenge on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course as well as the Trans Am Series and the SCCA Jack Pine Sprints.

Rick Schmidt, Pro Outlaw

Rick Schmidt, Pro Outlaw

Ian McNiven won Real Street Unlimited.

Ian McNiven won Real Street Unlimited.

In Pro Outlaw, Rick Schmidt was a repeat winner after beating defending Pro Outlaw Champion Bill Krech in spectacular fashion. Schmidt won the last Muscle Car Series event, the PleasureLand RV Show & Go, and is on his way to de-throning Krech for the series championship.

Krech was off the starting line first with a reaction time of .058 seconds compared to Schmidt’s .148 seconds but Schmidt and his 2011 Mustang ran down Krech and his 1969 Camaro, sneaking by him at the finish line with a time of 6.455 seconds at 215.07 mph. Krech’s time was 6.595 seconds at 209.62 mph.

Mike Sterling won King Street.

Mike Sterling won King Street.

The King Street Class may have a new champion this year after Mike Sterling beat Chris Orr in the finals for his second series win of the year. Orr was the No. 1 qualifier and Sterling was No. 2, setting up for a finals that would be a real slug fest. But Orr’s car broke on the final pass, handing Sterling the win.

“We’re fortunate to pull these wins off,” Sterling said. “We counted seven cars in our class that are capable of running in the 7s (seconds) so there’s a lot of really fast, nice cars in King Street. Our secret is always the same: Keep it consistent and go from A to B every pass.”

Sterling’s car is one of the only naturally aspirated cars in 24-car King Street field, but he’s determined to run 7 seconds – and keep winning.

Ian McNiven made it back to the Winner’s Circle Sunday with a win in the Real Street Unlimited finals. He won the class during the Street Car Showdown and proved that he had the fastest car in the class last weekend by entering the elimination rounds as the No. 1 qualifier. In the finals, he faced off against Mark Nolin. Driving a 1988 Mustang, McNiven beat Mark Nolin with a time of 8.738 seconds and 154.62 mph. Nolin’s time was 9.440 seconds and 143.14 mph.

Todd Malik, winner of True Street.

Todd Malik, winner of True Street.

In Real Street Natural, Tim Acker posted his first series win of the season by beating the No. 1 qualifier, Matt Sathre, in the finals. Acker and his 1971 Mustang ran 9.207 seconds and 146.26 mph. Sathre’s time was 8.630 seconds and 143.08 mph but Sathre had troubles at the starting line, with a .716-second reaction time.

Todd Malik continues to dominate the True Street class, which featured 16 cars last weekend. He had a three-race series winning streak going before losing in the finals of the Show & Go. Last weekend, he was the No. 1 qualifier and showed why, beating Jason Nelson in the finals with a time of 9.415 seconds and 149.75 mph. Nelson was slow getting off the starting line but still made a great race of it with a time of 9.461 seconds and 150.70 mph.

In the 660 Outlaw Street Class, Lucas Mlinar was the No. 1 qualifier and beat David Senderhauf in the finals when Senderhauf’s car broke.

 

 

RESULTS

Pro Outlaw
Finals: Rick Schmidt of Dickinson, N.D. def. Bill Krech of Inver Grove Heights
Semifinals: Schmidt def. Trent Larson of Farmington; Krech def. Lee Loew of Darvin

Outlaw
Finals: Bubba Romanyskyn of Belfield, N.D. def. Jake Delmonico of St. Paul Park
Semifinals: Romanyskyn had a bye; Delmonico def. Warren Peterson of Duluth

King Street
Finals: Mike Sterling of Oak Grove def. Chris Orr of Superior, Wis.
Semifinals: Sterling def. Dave Sash of Duluth; Orr had a bye

Real Street Unlimited
Finals: Ian McNiven of East Selkirk, Manitoba def. Marc Nolin of Tourond, Manitoba
Semifinals: McNiven def. Jesse Krause of Duluth; Nolin def. Duane Godbout of Cloquet

Real Street Natural
Finals: Tim Acker of White Bear Lake def. Matt Sathre of Brooklyn Park
Semifinals: Acker def. Kelly Rutz of Randall; Sathre had a bye

True Street
Finals: Todd Malik of Andover def. Jason Nelson of Champlin
Semifinals: Malik def. Dave Hodgman of Ramsey; Nelson def. Jason Bergeson of Cottage Grove

660 Outlaw Street
Finals: Lucas Mlinar of East St. Paul, Manitoba def. David Senderhauf of Zimmerman
Semifinals: Mlinar def. Richard Brown of Waterville; Senderhauf had a bye

Index Class Champion
Finals: Jon Kelly of Newport def. Reid Watson of Laport
Semifinals: Kelly def. Scott Turner of Andover; Watson had a bye

Strip Eliminator 1
Finals: Brandon Panning of Norwood def. Roger Peterson of Menahga
Semifinals: Panning had a bye; Peterson def. Luke Arendts of Dalbo

Strip Eliminator 2
Finals: Lee Purdham of Deerwood def. Guy Stengel of Blaine
Semifinals: Purdham had a bye; Stengel def. Jeff Lundeen of Buffalo

Strip Eliminator 3
Finals: Gary Tesar of Medina def. Jagger Hoffman of Lafayette
Semifinals: Tesar had a bye; Hoffman def. Andrew Rasmusson of Grand Rapids

Truck Eliminator
Finals: Chad Cramble of Fridley def. Justin Olafson of Park Rapids
Semifinals: Cramble had a bye; Olafson def. Bob Peterson of Roseville

Manual Transmission
Finals: Keith Sand of Cambridge def. Chuck Hoppe of North Branch
Semifinals: Sand had a bye; Hoppe def. Keith Kuss of Zimmerman

9.50 Index
Finals: Austin Siemers of Milaca def. Pat Huebner of Bloomington
Semifinals: Siemers def. Gerald Cook of Mora; Huebner def. Jody Monty of Thunder Bay, Ontario

10.00 Index
Finals: Scott Turner of Andover def. Kevin Sand of Cambridge
Semifinals: Turner def. Eric Baker of Browerville; Sand had a bye

10.50 Index
Finals: Jon Kelly of Newport def. Mike Hammerstrom of Bemidji
Semifinals: Kelly had a bye; Hammerstrom def. Larry Curtis of Bethel

11.00 Index
Finals: Russ Storms of Cologne def. Pete Hoffmann of New Ulm
Semifinals: Storms def. Charlie Odden of Pine Center; Hoffmann had a bye

11.50 Index
Finals: Zach Stengel of Blaine def. Doug Brown of Waterville
Semifinals: Stengel def. Jeff Ellis of Duluth; Brown def. Don Fotti of Winnipeg, Manitoba

12.00 Index
Finals: Gary Olson of Sartell def. Steve Elzy of Lindstrom
Semifinals: Olson def. Robb Johnson of New Prague; Elzy had a bye

12.50 Index
Finals: Reid Watson of Laporte def. Jim Carlson of Minneapolis
Semifinals: Watson def. Kevin Hemenway of Park Rapids; Carlson def. Bruce Morley of Brainerd

13.00 Index
Finals: Jesse Backstrom of Grand Marais def. Lonnie Ellenson of Park Rapids
Semifinals: Backstrom def. Aaron Hall of Rogers; Ellenson def. Nicole Nelson of Norwood-Young America

13.50 Index
Finals: Nathan Olson of Sartell def. KC Brager of Pillager

14.00 Index
Finals: Gary Tesar of Medina def. Mike Simons of Pine City
Semifinals: Tesar def. Jessica Purdham of Albertville; Simons def. Travis Brekken of Crookston

 

 

Peterson repeats 2013 win in Trans Am race

Doug Peterson showcased why he’s the defending Trans Am Champion with a green to checkered victory at Brainerd International Raceway Sunday, holding off strong challenges from Amy Ruman and navigating traffic on what was an unquestionably a slippery course.

Doug Peterson led Amy Ruman.

Doug Peterson led Amy Ruman.

SCCA Pro Racing’s Trans Am Series was the showcase race during BIR’s 26th Annual Muscle Car Shootout, which included the debut of the Pirelli World Challenge on the road course, the SCCA Jack Pine Sprints and the grand finale of the Muscle Car Series on the drag strip.

Peterson’s victory was his second consecutive victory BIR and added to his growing points lead in his ongoing pursuit of his second Trans Am Championship in two years behind the wheel of the Tony Ave Racing prepped Chevrolet Corvette. Amy Ruman, in the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, finished second, while Cliff Ebben, in the No. 36 Stumpf Ford/ McMahon Group Ford Mustang, took third.

The Trans Am winners from left: 2nd place Amy Ruman, winner Doug Peterson, 3rd place Cliff Ebben

The Trans Am winners from left: 2nd place Amy Ruman, winner Doug Peterson, 3rd place Cliff Ebben

“The race worked out well for us,” said Peterson. “We were going back and forth with setup all weekend and got it right for the race. Tony Ave Racing once again gave me a great car. It’s still early to be talking about the championship; we still have three races left and anything can happen. We’re just going to keep on racing for the win in every race and everything will sort itself out.”

Ron Keith, in the No. 25 Offsite Management Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang, captured his first-ever (TA2) class victory and the first TA2 victory for Ford. The race finished with the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger and Chevrolet Camaro all on the podium, the first time ever in TA2, courtesy of a second place finish by Tommy Kendall, in the No. 11 Miller Racing Dodge Challenger SRT, and a third place by Adam Andretti, in the No. 44 Engineered Components Chevrolet Camaro.

“It’s a good win for Ford,” said Keith. “At the beginning of the year I wanted to be different, and Mike Cope and I went ahead and decided to build a Ford Mustang. It was a great choice—the body is beautiful and the Phil Harper motor has been outstanding. At the same time, the car is only as good as the team and Mike Cope Racing and the Offsite Image Management team did a great job this weekend, like they always do.”

Ron Keith led the field en route to his Trans Am2 win.

Ron Keith led the field en route to his Trans Am2 win.

In Trans Am3 (TA3), Jerry Greene, in the No. 93 Ever Greene Jewelry Porsche GT3 Cup, emerged victorious in the International Group while Todd Naiperalski, behind the wheel of the No. 39 Tremec/SKF/Backstreet Performance Chevrolet Camaro, took home a victory in the American Muscle Group.

Peterson, behind the wheel of the No. 87 3Dimensional.com Chevrolet Corvette, started the day as he finished it, in first position as the Series grid for the race was based on championship points, a result of the washed out qualifying session the previous day. Alongside him was the No. 59 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette of Simon Gregg, with Ruman starting in third and Ebben in fourth.

As the green flag flew, Peterson was challenged immediately by Ruman, who passed Gregg for second position during the first lap. Peterson and Ruman would battle back and forth for nearly half of the race until Peterson, slowly but surely, began to build his lead and Ruman began to find her hands full with the challenge of the No. 36 of Cliff Ebben, who had moved up to third after passing Gregg during the 19th lap of the race.

Adam Andretti led Kevin Poistras, finishing 3rd in Trans Am2.

Adam Andretti led Kevin Poistras, finishing 3rd in Trans Am2.

Ruman and Ebben would swap positions during the 27th lap of the race, but Ruman would retake second place before the completion of the race. Meanwhile, Peterson had continued to build his lead; and the three would cross the checkered flag in that order, with Peterson winning, Ruman in second and Ebben in third. Simon Gregg would finish fourth while Jim McAleese, in the No. 03 McAleese and Associates Chevrolet Corvette, finished fifth.

The TA2 race began with defending TA2 Champion and current points leader Cameron Lawrence, in the No. 1 Miller Racing Dodge Challenger SRT, on pole with Adam Andretti alongside, Ron Keith in third and Kevin Poitras, in the No. 73 Mike Cope Race Chevrolet Camaro, starting fourth and Bob Stretch, in the No. 98 FixRim Mobile Wheel Repair Chevrolet Camaro, in fifth.

Lawrence would lead for the first five laps of the race while Andretti, Keith and Stretch battled for the following three spots, with Keith pulling ahead into second and Stretch charging up to third. During the fifth lap of the race, the No. 1 fell behind as Keith, Stretch and Andretti all capitalized and moved ahead with Lawrence in pursuit.

From that point on Keith surged ahead putting his skills to the test as he slid and navigated through the course and traffic, showcasing his background in dirt racing on what was unquestionably a difficult track surface.

“It was really slick out there, and it just kept getting slicker,” said Keith. “You had to keep on moving your mark, between the change in track and tires you couldn’t rest whatsoever.”

While Keith continued, thoroughly entrenched in the first position, Andretti and Stretch continued to fight for the second position, with Andretti leading through the 25th lap until Stretch overtook the No. 44 for the coveted second position.

Meanwhile, Tommy Kendall, in the No. 11 Miller Racing Dodge Challenger SRT, was making his way up the field, after starting 11th, a consequence of gridding off points. After eight laps, Kendall had made his way up to seventh position—after 20 he found himself in fourth. Then, with only three minutes remaining, Kendall turned on, powering up past Stretch, who had fallen behind Andretti, and with one lap remaining was challenging for second place, passing Andretti going into turn 13 and fending off Andretti for the remainder of the lap, crossing the checkered flag just a car length ahead of the No. 44, giving the Dodge Challenger its first podium in TA2 in only its second race.

“I’m still learning what I want the car to be like at the start, what the arc of the race is, how much everything changes throughout the race—the car felt good,” said Kendall. “When I worked my way up to fourth, they said I was about 18 seconds back; and I almost relaxed and settled in but the car was getting better and better so I just put my head down and starting digging. I got a solid chunk off and then Adam hurt his splitter and I was able to make a move.

“It’s been a six-week thrash for us. For all of us, guys spending their off hours helping out, this is a nice payback for them; and to get on the podium for the first time in 10 years feels pretty good too. Eleven having a good showing, having the Challenger back on the podium, I’m happy with the direction we’re heading.”

TA3 began with Ernie Francis, Jr., in the No. 9 Breathless Performance Chevrolet Camaro, in first position for the American Muscle Group followed by defending Champion Chuck Cassaro, in the No. 76 StackData/Aeromotive/ Metallica Ford Mustang, in second and Todd Napieralski, in third.

Norm Betts, in the No. 82 Hoosier/ VP Fuels Chevrolet Corvette, began the race leading the International Group with Jerry Greene in second.

Francis would fall behind during lap three; as the No. 9 was forced to visit the pit lane for technical adjustments, leaving Cassaro to pull forward. However, the defending champ’s lead was short lived; as Napieralski overtook him for the lead only a lap later—a lead he would not relinquish for the remainder of the race. Fernando Seferlis, in the No. 28 Compulab Panama Chevrolet Camaro, moved his way up through the pack from his starting position of fifth, eventually overtaking Cassaro for second on the sixteenth lap.

Meanwhile, Francis was moving back up through the field, eventually overtaking Cassaro and then Seferlis, solidifying a second place finish for the No. 9, as Seferlis finished third, giving Breathless Performance two spots on the American Muscle group podium as Napieralski finished first in the group.

“We kind of fell off mid-season,” said Napieralski. “But its good to have two strong races here… I don’t know if we’re in the championship hunt quite yet, but we still have three races to go and a lot can happen. We had a great car at the beginning, and unfortunately it got away from us a bit so we backed off but came on strong at the end. It was a bit slick out there, but we had a great race, no full course cautions, just racing and it was a lot of fun.”

Jerry Greene would outlast Betts for the first overall position in the International Group, putting the No. 9 Ever Greene Jewelry Porsche GT3 atop the podium for his first ever Trans Am win in his home state of Minnesota.

“It’s a special feeling to win here in front of friends and family,” said Greene. “They’ve supported me all weekend, and it means a lot to pull off the victory here for them.”

Photos courtesy of Rick Corwine.

Sunday’s Pirelli race produces deja vu-like results

Fred Emich (Touring Car) took his first win of the 2014 season while Ernie Francis Jr. (Touring Car A) and Johan Schwartz (Touring Car B-Spec) doubled up in Sunday’s Brainerd International Raceway brought to you by Kia Round 12 of the Pirelli World Challenge season.

Pirelli1Emich’s win is the first of his career while Francis Jr. earned his 10th win of his career, and third this season. Schwartz’s second straight win is also his second in his career.

In TC, Emich, of Denver, in the No. 30 Emich Volkswagen Volkswagen Jetta GLI started third but moved up to second by the end of the first lap. A move for the lead on polesitter and Round 11 winner Karl Thomson, of Toronto, in the No. 72 CTF.org/Touge Tuning/Racing4Research Honda Civic Si on Lap 2 was awarded the Cadillac CTS-V Move of the Race.

Never challenged from there, Emich led the final 23 laps in the 24-lap, 40-minute race and won over Thomson by 2.319 seconds.

“It’s awesome, couldn’t feel any better,” said Emich. “I did want to get the race done about halfway through, I was nervous. Thomson was chasing me and charging hard. There was no room for a mistake, dicing through the TCB traffic, it was difficult. I’m elated.

Pirelli2“We had a motor that went out in testing that we had to replace,” added Emich. “We had a fire in the electrical harness. We came out yesterday and we were fast, but we had a tire go out. I can’t give my crew enough credit for putting the car back together.”

Ray Mason, of Blacklick, Ohio, in the No. 71 Grand Alarms Honda Civic Si finished third in TC in the second Compass360 Racing entry. Mason made the pass for the final podium position on Lap 21, getting around Michael Pettiford, of Louisville, Col., in the No. 42 Go4It/Hawk Brakes Pontiac Solstice.

TCA was also a straightforward affair with Francis Jr., of Dania, Fla., in the No. 98 Breathless Performance Mazda MX-5, completing his second straight dominant drive from class pole. Francis Jr. started fifth overall and finished in the same position, and first in TCA with a margin of victory of 23.853 seconds.

“Had a real good weekend and a real good race today,” said Francis Jr. “Just tried to get a good start and not look back. I was able to pull a nice gap and keep it going out front. The team did a great job getting the car running good and handling on rails all weekend.

“The team was giving me updates on the gap, and I was just trying to stay smooth, and run consistent laps,” added Francis Jr. “Brake a little earlier so I don’t clip the brakes, not getting on the gas as soon, shift a little earlier and just trying to cruise and not to wear it out as well and conserve it for the next race.”

Behind them, Jason Wolfe, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, in the No. 36 Wolfe Trucking Kia Forte Koup made it to second following a late race pass of Jason Cherry, of Gambrills, Md., in the No. 13 Autism Society of America/Avpro/Purposeful Architecture Mazda MX-5 on Lap 21. Cherry had hit traffic in a poor spot, and Wolfe was able to capitalize.

Shea Holbrook, of Groveland, Fla., in the No. 67 TRUECar/Lucas Oil/Radium Honda Civic Si, hounded Wolfe the whole race but was unable to make a pass attempt, and was stuck with a fourth place finish. Wolfe will extend his class points lead as a result.

As on Saturday, the TCB fight among the top four was gripping throughout the entirety of the race. Only 1.847 seconds covered the top four at the checkered flag. But while several drivers led on Saturday, just two, Schwartz and polesitter Paul Holton, led on Sunday.

Schwartz, of Denmark, started third in the No. 12 Promatex/ADA/Animas American Honda Honda Fit. He made the move on Holton, of Tallahassee, Fla., in the No. 65 Radium/TRUECar/Lucas Oil Honda Fit for the lead on Lap 3 and never looked back en route to the win. This is the Garrett Racing/Drive4Diabetes team’s third win in a row in TCB.

Schwartz took home two specialty awards. His move on Holton was the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race, and he also secured the StopTech Brake Late, Finish First award for the win itself.

“It feels fantastic to win two in a row,” said Schwartz. “From the outside it probably didn’t look as hard as the first win yesterday. But I had to hit my marks and really be consistent because those guys were just waiting to pounce on me and make the pass.

“I got a good start, right up to second behind Paul,” added Schwartz. “My plan was to stay behind Paul for a while and build up a lead so we could kind of not have to battle four cars instead of two of us later. I think he was overdriving a bit and I felt I  should make the pass and lead. And he was smart enough to stay with me.”

Holton was on pace for a runner-up finish but fell from second to fourth on the final lap. As a result, Glenn Nixon, of Mission, B.C., in the No. 58 Racing.ca/LaptopScreen.com/Nixon Prosports Mini Cooper and Tyler Palmer, of San Diego, Calif., in the No. 37 MINI USA/Mobil 1/Flying L Racing/ThePainter’sFriend.com/Discount Tire Mini Cooper were both able to leap into podium positions with Holton falling to fourth on the 22nd and final lap.

The TCB title protagonists, Brian Price, of Middletown, Va., in the No. 51 Carsquare.com/Unlimited Racing/RP Performance Honda Fit and Nathan Stacy, of Owasso, Okla. in the No. 14 MDG/Ford Racing Ford Fiesta finished fifth and sixth.

Like Schwartz, Price also took home two specialty awards during the race. He won the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start for a gain of four positions from ninth to fifth, and was also the race’s Sunoco Hard Charger for that gain.

Results and points are official. Michael DiMeo, of Toronto, has the TC championship lead despite not racing this weekend. Wolfe will lead Holbrook in TCA, and Price extends his gap to Stacy in TCB. Palmer made slight inroads to Price with his third place, but not enough to overcome the 100-plus point deficit he faced entering Round 12.

Rounds 13 and 14 of the season, the final two races for Pirelli World Challenge in 2014, will be held at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah outside Salt Lake City Sept. 12-13.

Photos courtesy of Rick Corwine

RESULTS

Results from Sunday’s 24-lap, 60-mile Pirelli World Challenge Championship TC/TCA/TCB Round 12 race, at Brainerd International Raceway, with finishing position, class, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out (if any).

1. TC, (3), Fred Emich, Denver, Volkswagen Jetta GLI, 24.
2. TC, (1), Karl Thomson, Toronto, Ontario, Honda Civic Si, 24, -2.319.
3. TC, (2), Ray Mason, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda Civic Si, 24, – 21.251.
4. TC, (4), Michael Pettiford, Louisville, Colo., Pontiac Solstice, 24, -38.748.

1. TCA, (1), Ernie Francis Jr, Dania, Fla., MAZDA MX-5, 24, – 50.348.
2. TCA, (4), Jason Wolfe(R), Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Kia Forte Koup, 24, -1:14.201.
3. TCA, (3), Jason Cherry(R), Gambrills, Md., Mazda MX-5, 24, – 1:14.931.
4. TCA, (2), Shea Holbrook, Groveland, Fla., Honda Civic Si, 24, -1:16.457.

1. TCB, (3), Johan Schwartz, Denmark, , Honda Fit, 22, -2 laps.
2. TCB, (2), Glenn Nixon(R), Mission, British Columbia, MINI Cooper, 22, -2 laps.
3. TCB, (6), Tyler Palmer, San Diego, Calif., MINI Cooper, 22, -2 laps.
4. TCB, (1), Paul Holton(R), Tallahassee, Fla., Honda Fit, 22, -2 laps.
5. TCB, (9), Brian Price(R), Middletown, Va., Honda Fit, 22, -2 laps.
6. TCB, (4), Nathan Stacy(R), Owassa, Okla., Ford Fiesta, 22, -2 laps.
7. TCB, (7), Andrei Kisel(R), N. Vancouver, British Columbia, MINI Cooper, 22, -2 laps.
8. TCB, (8), PJ Groenke, Toronto, Canada, Honda Fit, 22, -2 laps.
9. TCB, (10), Jason Fichter(R), Jupiter, Fla., MINI Cooper, 22, -2 laps.
10. TCB, (5), Michael Ashby, Buffalo, Minn., Mazda 2, 22, -2 laps.
11. TCB, (12), Chris Holter (R), Rochester, Minn., Mazda 2, 22, -2 laps.
12. TCB, (11), Tom Noble(R), St. Louis Park, Minn., MINI Cooper, 21, -3 laps.
13. TCB, (13), Brian Makse (R), Toronto, Ontario, Fiat 500, 21, -3 laps.

Time of race: 41 minutes, 33.232 seconds.

Average speed: 86.634 mph

Margin of victory: 2.319 Seconds (TC); 23.853 Seconds (TCA); 0.528 Seconds (TCB)

Lap leaders: Laps 1-1, #72 Karl Thomson; laps 2-24, #30 Fred Emich (TC); Laps 1-24, #98 Ernie Francis Jr. (TCA); Laps 1-2, #65 Paul Holton(R); Laps 3-22, #12 Johan Schwartz (TCB)

Fastest race lap: #30 Fred Emich, 1:41.907 (88.315 mph) (TC); #98 Ernie Francis Jr., 1:43.908 (86.615 mph) (TCA); #12 Johan
Schwartz, 1:54.984 (78.271 mph) (TCB)

Fastest qualifier: #72 Karl Thomson, 1:42.156 (88.100 mph) (TC); #98 Ernie Francis Jr., 1:43.447 (87.001 mph) (TCA); #65 Paul Holton(R), 1:54.238 (78.782 mph)

Pirelli debut at BIR lives up to expectations

The debut of the Pirelli World Challenge at Brainerd International Raceway didn’t disappoint race fans Saturday as action was intense between three of the four Touring Car classes that were on the track for most of the caution-free, 24-lap, 40-minute race. The result was two first-time winners and a return Touring Car A winner in the first of two races during BIR’s 26th Annual Muscle Car Shootout Labor Day weekend.

Francis_WKarl Thomson (Touring Car) and Johan Schwartz (Touring Car B-Spec) captured their first wins of the season, both in Hondas, with Ernie Francis Jr. (Touring Car A) scoring his second win of the year in a Mazda.

Of note, both Schwartz and third place finisher in TCB Nathan Stacy were found out of compliance in a post race technical inspection and penalized 141 and 99 championship points respectively.

Ray Mason, of Blacklick, Ohio, started from pole in the No. 71 Grand Alarms Honda Civic Si and led the opening three laps after a great start, while his Compass360 Racing teammate and team principal Thomson dropped back into the TCA field.

Mason held the lead for three laps before Fred Emich, of Denver, in the No. 30 Emich Volkswagen Volkswagen Jetta GTI, came through on Lap 4. Emich held the lead for seven laps through Lap 10 before Thomson, of Toronto, began closing the gap back to the VW in his No. 72 CTF.org/Touge Tuning/Racing4Research Honda Civic Si.

Saturday's Touring Car winners were Karl Thomson (first, center), Ray Mason (second, left) and Fred Emich (third, right).

Saturday’s Touring Car winners were Karl Thomson (first, center), Ray Mason (second, left) and Fred Emich (third, right).

Thomson made it through for the lead on Emich to the inside at Turn 12 (the first turn on the Brainerd short course), in a move that netted him both the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race and StopTech Brake Late, Finish First awards. A lap later Mason also got past for second, where he also stayed the rest of the race.

Thomson was able to lead the field from there en route to the win by a margin of victory of 1.681 seconds. The win is his first of the season and his career driving, and the team’s ninth overall, to go along with the eight achieved by TC points leader Michael DiMeo, of Toronto.

“All weekend long we’ve been having a bit of a notchy gear box,” said Thomson. “I had a good start and I went to go to second and it just wouldn’t go, so I had to go to third. Fortunately, the run into the left hander off of the start isn’t really that long. I lost a couple of places. A big shout out to the Children’s Tumor Foundation folks and all the kids dealing with Neurofibromatosis.

“We have been working on the Civic’s brakes,” added Thomson on the pass for the win. “The StopTech brakes really help us out. It took me two tries to get the pass done cleanly on Emich. The first time I went in, I didn’t have enough grip to make the corner and went off the outside. Then the next lap through it all worked out well and I made a nice clean pass.”

In TCA, Francis Jr., of Dania, Fla., in the No. 98 Breathless Performance Mazda MX-5, started second but quickly emerged the leader after the start to take home the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start of the race. He led flag-to-flag and won by 26.93 seconds. The win is Francis Jr.’s ninth in his Pirelli World Challenge career.

“The race went real real good. Right from the start I was able to get the Optima Batteries Best Standing Start and get the lead and hold it for the rest of the race,” said Francis Jr. “I was able to run some consistent laps and kept that going for the rest of the race and opened up a gap. Can’t thank the team enough for this. They gave me a great car.”

Shea Holbrook, of Groveland, Fla., in the No. 67 TRUECar/Lucas Oil/Radium Honda Civic Si took a crucial second place and closed the points gap to Jason Wolfe, of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, in the No. 36 Wolfe Trucking Kia Forte Koup, who finished third.

Holbrook entered the weekend 33 points behind Wolfe (1141-1108), but gained seven bonus points for the pole position. With second place and Wolfe third, unofficially, she now sits only 11 points behind heading into Sunday’s Race 12 (Wolfe 1236, Holbrook 1225).

Perhaps the most exciting racing of the afternoon came in TCB, where any of four drivers had a legitimate win chance and swapped the top four positions between them.

Schwartz, of Denmark, began from pole in the No. 12 Promatex/ADA/Animas American Honda Honda Fit and mostly fought 14-year-old Stacy, of Owasso, Okla., in the No. 14 MDG/Ford Racing Ford Fiesta for the overall lead.

Behind them, Paul Holton, of Tallahassee, Fla., in the No. 65 Radium/TRUECar/Lucas Oil Honda Fit and Glenn Nixon, of Mission, B.C., in the No. 58 Racing.ca/LaptopScreen.com/Nixon Prosports Mini Cooper had a great scrap for third.

At various points on the circuit, Stacy got ahead of Schwartz, and vice versa. On Lap 19, Schwartz made it past Stacy for the lead in what was awarded the Cadillac CTS-V Move of the Race.

“I think Nate’s front tires were giving up a little bit so I was able to catch up. I wasn’t going to charge as hard at around 15 minutes left in the race,” said Schwartz. “Then I started pushing a little bit harder and got up to him. We started to catch a bit of traffic. I tried a few times going both inside and outside around turn 3. Then all of a sudden a TC car came up and it kinda opened the window and I think Nate thought I wasn’t going to make a pass. He moved out for the ideal line and I just put that Honda Fit in. Stuck it on the inside and we never touched.”

Stacy stumbled in the final two laps when in traffic, and Nixon was able to make it past for second as well. The second-to-last lap saw a dead heat at the line with Nixon leading Schwartz by inches at the start/finish line, but Schwartz was able to hold him off through Turn 1.

Schwartz cleared the traffic better than his three counterparts and the Dane was able to break through for his elusive first Pirelli World Challenge win in his 11th start, by a margin of 0.977 of a second. It’s also the Garrett Racing/Drive4Diabetes’ second consecutive win after Chase Pelletier, of Brampton, Ontario, won Round 10 at Mid-Ohio.

“We had a good start from pole position. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy though,” said Schwartz. “The car ran awesome.”

Nixon came home second for his fourth podium in five starts this season.

Holton finished fourth ahead of Tyler Palmer, of San Diego, Calif., in the No. 37 MINI USA/Mobil 1/Flying L Racing/ThePainter’sFriend.com/Discount Tire Mini Cooper, who in fifth continued his streak of top-five finishes in each of his 18 career starts.

In eighth place was TCB points leader Brian Price, of Middletown,Va., in the No. 51 Carsquare.com/Unlimited Racing/RP Performance Honda Fit, after starting second.

Also of note, with a gain of five positions from 12th to seventh in TCB, Jason Fichter, of Jupiter, Fla. took home the Sunoco Hard Charger award in the No. 7 Surf Fire & Security Mini Cooper. Breathless Performance teammate Chris Holter, of Rochester, Minn., in the No. 9 American Brain Tumor Association/GoPuck/Fuel Clothing Mazda 2, finished 10th in his first start in the series.

Results and points are official. DiMeo retains the TC lead. Wolfe’s lead on Holbrook is down to 11. Price continues to hold a more than 100-point lead in TCB over Palmer, Stacy and Holton.

Photos courtesy of Rick Corwine

RESULTS

Results from Saturday’s 24-lap 60 mile Pirelli World Challenge Championship TC/TCA/TCB Round 11 race, at Brainerd International Raceway, with finishing position, class, starting position in parentheses, driver, hometown, car, laps and reason out (if any).

1. TC, (2), Karl Thomson, Toronto, Ontario, Honda Civic Si, 24.
2. TC, (1), Ray Mason, Blacklick, Ohio, Honda Civic Si, 24, – 1.681.
3. TC, (3), Fred Emich, Denver, Volkswagen Jetta GLI, 23, -1 lap.
4. TC, (4), Michael Pettiford, Louisville, Colo., Pontiac Solstice, 22, -2 lap.

1. TCA, (2), Ernie Francis_Jr, Dania, Fla., MAZDA MX-5, 24.
2. TCA, (1), Shea Holbrook, Groveland, Fla., Honda Civic Si, 24, -26.930.
3. TCA, (3), Jason Wolfe(R), Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Kia Forte Koup, 24, -28.034.
4. TCA, (4), Jason Cherry(R), Gambrills, Md., Mazda MX-5, 23, -1 lap.

1. TCB, (1), Johan Schwartz, Denmark, , Honda Fit, 22.
2. TCB, (5), Glenn Nixon(R), Mission, British Columbia, MINI Cooper, 22, -.977.
3. TCB, (3), Nathan Stacy(R), Owassa, Okla., Ford Fiesta, 22, – 1.143.
4. TCB, (4), Paul Holton(R), Tallahassee, Fla., Honda Fit, 22, – 1.478.
5. TCB, (6), Tyler Palmer, San Diego, Calif., MINI Cooper, 22, – 8.738.
6. TCB, (7), PJ Groenke, Toronto, Canada, Honda Fit, 22, -29.439.
7. TCB, (12), Jason Fichter(R), Jupiter, Fla., MINI Cooper, 22, – 36.603.
8. TCB, (2), Brian Price(R), Middletown, Va., Honda Fit, 22, – 36.849.
9. TCB, (9), Michael Ashby, Buffalo, Minn., Mazda 2, 22, -40.706.
10. TCB, (13), Chris Holter (R), Rochester, Minn., Mazda 2, 22, – 1:01.197.
11. TCB, (10), Brian Makse (R), Toronto, Ontario, Fiat 500, 21, -1 lap.
12. TCB, (8), Andrei Kisel(R), N. Vancouver, British Columbia, MINI Cooper, 18, -4 lap.
13. TCB, (11), Tom Noble(R), St. Louis Park, Minn., MINI Cooper, 17, -5 lap.

Time of race: 41 minutes, 35.415 seconds.
Average speed: 86.558 mph

Margin of victory: 1.681 Seconds (TC); 26.930 Seconds (TCA); 0.977 Seconds (TCB)

Lap leaders: Laps 1-3, #71 Ray Mason; laps 4-10, #30 Fred Emich; laps 11-24, #72 Karl Thomson (TC); Laps 1-24, #98 Ernie Francis Jr. (TCA); Laps 1-7, #12 Johan Schwartz; Laps 8-18, #14 Nathan Stacy(R); Laps 19-20, #12 Johan Schwartz; Lap 21, #58 Glenn Nixon (R); Lap 22, #12 Johan Schwartz

Fastest race lap: #72 Karl Thomson, 1:42.156 (88.100 mph) (TC); #98 Ernie Francis Jr., 1:43.447 (87.001 mph) (TCA); #65 Paul Holton(R), 1:54.238 (78.782 mph)

Fastest qualifier: #71 Ray Mason, 2:03.683 (72.766 mph) (TC); #67 Shea Holbrook, 2:05.636 (71.635 mph); #12 Johan Schwartz, 1:56.934 (76.966 mph) (TCB)

Pirelli World Challenge joins Muscle Car Shootout lineup

The Muscle Car Shootout has always been one of Brainerd International Raceway’s most popular races each season, and now there’s another reason for fans to attend this Labor Day weekend spectacular: the Pirelli World Challenge.

This year’s Muscle Car Shootout features the debut of the Pirelli World Challenge on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course. The Shootout also includes the grand finale of the three-race Muscle Car Series on the drag strip, and the Trans Am Series and SCCA Jack Pine Sprints on the road course when the Pirelli cars aren’t racing.

The Pirelli World Challenge is a major addition for BIR because it’s one of the fastest-growing racing circuits in the country and North America’s top production car-based championships. BIR’s race features the Touring Car A and B classes in a sprint format, which is a 40-minute race from start to finish. The Pirelli cars will have a practice session, qualifying and a race both Saturday and Sunday.

After the Pirelli race on Sunday, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Pro Racing will take over the road course for the a  40-lap, 100-mile Trans Am Series race, which will cap off BIR’s road racing program for the weekend. Practice and qualifying sessions are Saturday, with a practice session on Sunday followed by that afternoon. The race features three Trans Am classes: TA, TA2 and TA3.

When the Pirelli and Trans Am cars aren’t on the road course, the track will be busy with the SCCA Jack Pine Sprints, which highlights regional road racers competing in a number of classes, including Vintage Racers. The SCCA racers have practice and qualifying sessions on Saturday and then 10- and 12-lap races on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the action on BIR’s drag strip will be red-lining as drivers in the three-race Muscle Car Series chase season championships during the series’ grand finale that weekend. The series’ seven Heads-Up Classes will be center stage because of the big horsepower and incredible speed that they generate. Fans will see runs over 200 mph and in the 6 to 7 second range.

“We’re really excited to have the Pirelli World Challenge this year,” BIR Owner Jed Copham said. “It’s really growing fast in popularity and is a good fit for our Muscle Car Shootout event, which now has an amazing amount of diversity on both the drag strip and the road course. Fans can get a taste of many different types of racing, all of which feature drivers performing at a very high level. It’s going to be a great weekend of racing and a great way to end the summer!”

Fans will also be treated to a Classic Car Show on Saturday and live music that night by Uncle Chunk.

Daily admission is $25 and kids 12 and under are free. On-site camping is free with a multi-day ticket. Tickets are available at the front gate or by calling BIR’s Ticket Office at 218-824-RACE (7223) or 866-444-4455.

 

 

 

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