King of the Track title on the line this weekend

For the last year, Brian Johnson has had the title of King of the Track at Brainerd International Raceway. That may or may not change this weekend.

Saturday is the annual King of the Track drag race at BIR, where the top racers in the Bracket Drag Racing Series are paired up and battle down the blacktop until there’s one drag racer left standing. He/she will be King of the Track.

The race is during Saturday’s drag racing program, which is part of the fifth of six Bracket Drag Racing Series weekends. While the drag racers are on the drag strip, the Central Roadracing Association (CRA) will be on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course for its third of five weekends of racing at BIR.

In addition to the King of the Track race, the drag racing at BIR this weekend has serious significance as the season is quickly coming to a close, with series championships on the line. Every point becomes more important with every round that goes by. Racers jockey for position in the point standings with only four chances left to earn points.

Gates open at 5 p.m. Thursday. Friday is a Test & Tune Day on the drag strip. Saturday and Sunday both start with a round of time trials and qualifying, followed by elimination rounds. Winners in the 11 classes are determined at the end of both days.

Over on the road course, the Superbikes will have practice sessions on Friday, followed by eight-lap sprint races on Saturday. The day concludes with the 3-Hour Team Challenge. Sunday’s program includes qualifying and then eight-lap races.

On both tracks, racing starts at 9 a.m. Daily admission is $25 – kids 12 and under are free. Parking is free and camping is free with a multi-day ticket.


ChumpCars complete pair of 8-hour enduro races

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s ChumpCar World Series endurance races at Brainerd International Raceway. Thirty teams entered last weekend’s races, which featured a pair of eight-hour endurance races. Saturday’s race was on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course while Sunday’s race was on the original 3.1-mile Donnybrooke Road Course.

Saturday’s race was a dandy one, with the top three cars finishing within a lap of each other after eight grueling hours of racing. The top two finishers, Chump Faces and NineFour Motorsports, both completed 242 laps, with NineFour finishing 2 minutes behind Chump Faces.

During Sunday’s race, NineFour Motorsports again finished as runner up, this time by only 10 seconds. Dirty Side Down Racing narrowly edged out NineFour for the win after both teams completed 220 laps. NMM Motorsports was nine laps back for third place.

Below are the results.


First Place – Chump Faces -  1988 BMW 325is
Erik Peterson
John Russell
Russell Wiles
Tim Peterson

Second Place – NineFour Motorsports – 1992 Lexus SC300
Brian Peele
Donald Chrzan
John Stern
Michael Lattos
Robert Varga

Third Place – RBanking Racing – 1999 SAAB
Robin Bank
Jay Sofianek
Mike Holzinger
Oleg Gorshkov


First Place – Dirty Side Down Racing – 1993 BMW 325
Daniel Schaut
Ben Schaut
Nick Schaut

Second Place – NineFour Motorsports – 1992 Lexus SC300Brian Peele
Donald Chrzan
John Stern
Michael Lattos
Robert Varga

Third Place – NMM Motorsports – 1998 Dodge Neon
Noel McAvena
Adam Knutson
Jason Pankratz
John Loewen
Nick Volsky
Ryan Gerstmar



Class A – Transcendental Racing – 1991 Mazda Miata
Craig Silver
Jan Kasperbauer
JT Harlow
Samantha Silver

Class B – SoDak Petrolheads – 1987 Mazda Rx-7
Isaac Dagel
Chad Albertson
Jeremy Smith

Class C – NineFour Motorsports – 1992 Lexus SC300Brian Peele
Donald Chrzan
John Stern
Michael Lattos
Robert Varga

Class D – NMM Motorsports – 1998 Dodge Neon
Noel McAvena
Adam Knutson
Jason Pankratz
John Loewen
Nick Volsky
Ryan Gerstmar

Tune in to watch the Trans Am races on CBS Sports

Set your DVRs to record the two Trans Am Series races at Brainerd International Raceway July 2 during the PleasureLand RV Show & Go.

Both races will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

The Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic for the TA/TA3/TA4 classes (the afternoon race) will be televised at 11 a.m. July 22.

The Ryan Companies Muscle Car Challenge for the TA2 class, will be televised at 11 a.m. Aug. 5.


The ChumpCars return to BIR this weekend for 2 races

The ChumpCar World Series, featuring those lovable junkers with amusing themes, will be at Brainerd International Raceway this weekend for a pair of 8-hour endurance races.

Saturday’s race is on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course. Sunday’s race is on the 3.1-mile Donnybrooke Road Course.

Pure Speed Drag Racing Experience is on the drag strip Saturday, giving race fans a chance to experience what it’s like to fly down the track at 140 mph. Fans can ride in a side-by-side dragster, drive a dragster, race a buddy in SS Camaros, or race their own car with an instructor riding along for instruction. There is a cost to do so, and reservations are required.

The ChumpCar World Series is a full-participation racing event for teams of four drivers. The team that completes the most laps after eight hours wins. As you might expect, there’s a lot of wrenching going on in the pits during the race, as eight hours of racing takes its toll on these cars. But that’s what makes it attractive to the drivers and teams.

Daily admission is $25, and kids 12 and under are free.

Deadline for advance tickets to NHRA Nationals is July 19

One week left to buy advance tickets to the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals!

July 19 is the deadline to buy advance tickets. Ticket prices will then increase to gate prices, so this is your chance to buy tickets to the NHRA Nationals and save a bundle. Below are advance ticket prices.

The Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals is Aug. 17-20 but this is the second year that we’ve added a MegaWeek Ticket that includes the Thunder at the Lakes NHRA Divisional Drag Race the weekend before. That means you can enter BIR Aug. 10 and leave Aug. 21. In between, you get three days of racing during Thunder at the Lakes and four days of NHRA Nationals. Plus, all the camping and partying in between.

For more details on the NHRA Nationals, click here.

MegaWeek Ticket Prices

Aug. 10-21 Admission & Camping


Aug. 11-21 Admission & Camping


Aug. 12-21 Admission & Camping


Aug. 13-21 Admission & Camping



NHRA Nationals Admission

Superweek – Mon-Mon


Tue-Mon Admission & Camp


Wed-Mon Admission & Camp


Thur-Mon Admission & Camp


Fri-Mon Admission & Camp


Sat-Mon Admission & Camp


Thur-Sun Admission


Fri-Sun Admission


Sat-Sun Admission


Thursday Only


Friday Only


Saturday Only


Sunday Only


Premium Reserved Seat – Thur-Sun


Regular Reserved Seat – Thur-Sun


Reduced Reserved Seat – Thur-Sun


Child Camping – Thur-Sat nights


VIP (Full Service) Campsite*


Non-Reserved Handicap**


Electric / Week


Restricted Camping**


Quarter Mile Camping*


Custom Campsite*




Golf cart / ATV


Gate Parking


Premium Parking


Handling (US)


Handling (CA)


Condo Rental (week)


*Includes 1 RV/Camper Pass
**Required RV/Camper Pass sold separately

Interested in a sold-out item? We use a waiting list to determine who gets an opening when one becomes available.

NOTE: All admission & camping sales are FINAL. No refunds.

Paradigm, KTRE add driver prizes during Show & Go

Huge kudos to Paradigm Automotive & Performance and KTRE, which donated prizes to drag racers during the PleasureLand RV Show & Go last weekend.

Paradigm sponsored the Reaction Time Challenge, which was $100 cash to drivers in the True Street, King Street, and Real Street classes for the best reaction time during the qualifying sessions Friday and Saturday. Those winners were:

Wayne Bellanger – True Street
Mike Sterling – King Street
Bill Meyer – Real Street N/U

KTRE donated $200 gift certificates to the winners of the seven Heads-up Classes. Those certificates could be used toward the purchase of a Holley EFI System. The winners were:

Ray Fuchs – Outlaw Pro Mod
Jake Delmonico – Outlaw
Jason Geiger – King Street
Duane Godbout – Real Street Unlimited
Bob Wallin – Real Street Natural
Zack Novak – True Street
Brian Carpenter – 660 Outlaw Street

Thanks from BIR!

Lundberg takes double win in 4th Bracket weekend

With the first half of the season in the books, drivers in Brainerd International Raceway’s Bracket Drag Racing Series reloaded for the second half, entering the fourth of six weekends Saturday with a series championship, prize money or upsets on their minds.

Kyle Lundberg, Pro Bike/Sled

Kyle Lundberg, Pro Bike/Sled

For Kyle Lundberg, the weekend offered a chance to catch the Pro Bike/Sled points leader, Jimmy Paulson, which he did in grand fashion. The defending class champion rode his 2012 Suzuki to a finals win Saturday over Mike Bolandor with a time of 8.579 seconds at 144.35 mph. On Sunday, he bounced Max Niesen in the finals with time of 8.755 seconds and 134.91 mph.

Kyle Lundberg

Kyle Lundberg

The weekend was a big one for Reno Loeffelholz as well. Of the 72 drivers in the Pro ET class last weekend, only two were able to beat him. Unfortunately for Loeffelholz, those two losses came during the finals Saturday and Sunday. He lost Saturday to Christopher Takacs, who posted a winning time of 10.279 seconds and 125.35 mph. On Sunday, Loeffelholz and his 1968 Mustang lost to Scott Dugdale, who posted a 10.673-second winning time at 124.32 mph.

Loeffelholz’s double runner-up finish was significant in that it vaulted him into first place in the standings ahead of Joe Schmall.

In Super Pro, Mike Campbell won his way to the Winner’s Circle Saturday, driving his 1978 Malibu to a finals win over Joe Howell with a time of 9.353 seconds and 143.34 mph. On Sunday, Dan Gilgosch and his ’67 Camaro beat Steve Roehrs in the finals with a time of 9.053 seconds and 146.94 mph. Brian Johnson is still sitting in first place, however.

In Sportsman, Adam Anderson came all the way up from Midland, Texas with his 1979 Chevy Caprice, beating Lee Dugdale in Saturday’s finals with a time of 13.170 seconds and 102.13 mph. On Sunday, the Texan got bumped in the first round, while Russ Elzy and Rory Emmans won their way to a showdown in the finals. Elzy and his 1991 Trans Am were too much for Emmans, posting a winning time of 14.272 seconds and 93.42 mph.

Ben Line lost in Saturday’s finals in the Stock/Super Stock class but held on to his lead in the points standings after the weekend was over. Line fouled at the starting line in the finals against Dan Jeska. On Sunday, Dustin Nelson beat Craig Meseroll in the finals with a time of 9.092 seconds and 149.81 mph.

The next weekend for the Bracket Drag Racing Series will be July 21-23. This race will be special because it’s the annual King of the Track race, where the top drag racers in the points standings get paired up, with the last one standing receiving a Wally trophy and title of King of the Track for the year. Johnson is the defending King of the Track.

Below are the finals for each of the classes.


Super Pro
Finals: Mike Campbell of Roseville def. Joe Howell of Big Lake

Pro ET
Finals: Christopher Takacs of Thunder Bay, Ontario def. Reno Loeffelholz of Shafer

Super Pro/Pro ET Shootout
Mike Campbell of Roseville def. Christopher Takacs of Thunder Bay, Ontario

Finals: Adam Anderson of Midland, Texas def. Lee Dugdale of Scandia

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Dan Jeska of Eagan def. Ben Line of International Falls

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Kyle Lundberg of Isanti def. Mike Bolandor of Mora

Comp Trophy
Finals: Devrin Walcheski of Foley def. William Wiltse of Kinney

Street Trophy
Finals: Luke Schneider of St. Joseph def. Todd Anderson of Brainerd

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: Sarah Johnson of Anoka def. Zachary McFarland

Junior Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Ally Giese of Kandiyohi def. Cam Giese of Kandiyohi

Junior Dragster Novice
Finals: Daniel Dancer of Foley def. Daniela Krech of Inver Grove Heights



Super Pro
Finals: Dan Gilgosch of Lino Lakes def. Steve Roehrs of Frederic, Wis.

Pro ET
Finals: Scott Dugdale of Stacy def. Reno Loeffelholz of Shafer

Super Pro/Pro ET Shootout
Finals: Scott Dugdale of Stacy def. Dan Gilgosch of Lino Lakes

Finals: Russ Elzy of Becker def. Rory Emmans of Nowthen

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Dustin Nelson of New London def. Craig Meseroll of Cloquet

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Kyle Lundberg of Isanti def. Max Niesen of Brooklyn Park

Comp Trophy
Finals: McKenna Bungert of Lakeville def. Eric Blumke of Pillager

Street Trophy
Finals: Luke Schneider of St. Joseph def. Todd Anderson of Brainerd

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: Sydny Thompson of Nowthen def. Jazper Wiebusch of Ham Lake

Junior Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Dylan Dancer of Foley def. Davis Godwin of Pengilly

Junior Dragster Novice
Finals: Brody Thompson of Nowthen def. Daniel Dancer of Foley



Pro Mod slugfest continues during Show & Go

The Battle Royal rages on. Two North Dakotans. A pair of Hemis. Mustang versus Studebaker. The result has been elapsed times that are creeping ever so close to 5 seconds and some killer drag racing for fans.

Ray Fuchs and Rick Schmidt have been waging a war on Brainerd International Raceway’s drag strip this season during the three-race Muscle Car Series, and it’s a blast to watch. Fuchs, the defending Outlaw Pro Mod champ, won the class last weekend, beating Schmidt in the finals to avenge his loss in the finals to Schmidt during the Street Car Showdown earlier this summer.

Ray Fuchs, Outlaw Pro Mod

Ray Fuchs, Outlaw Pro Mod

Jake Delmonico, Outlaw

Jake Delmonico, Outlaw

The two will settle things Labor Day weekend during the series finale – the GSTA Muscle Car Shootout – when the class champ will be crowned. And unless something crazy happens, it’ll most likely be one of these two heavyweights.

Driving a 2011 Mustang, Schmidt was the No. 1 qualifier last weekend during the PleasureLand RV Show & Go. He was gunning for a 5-second run and almost nailed it, posting a time of 6.126 seconds and 227.38 mph in qualifying and then running 6.124 seconds in the first round of eliminations, which could be a series record. But in the finals against Fuchs, the Mustang swerved and nearly crossed the centerline, causing Schmidt to let up off the gas and concede the win to Fuchs, whose time was 6.487 seconds and 215.96 mph.

Jason Geiger, King Street

Jason Geiger, King Street

Duane Godbout, Real Street Unlimited

Duane Godbout, Real Street Unlimited

The 31st Annual PleasureLand RV Show & Go drew a big crowd again this year, with three days of drag racing and road racing, culminating with a pair of Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli road races on Sunday. Both will be televised later this month.

While Outlaw Pro Mod cars were flirting with breaking the 5-second mark, the Outlaw cars weren’t far behind. Bubba Romanyshyn was the No. 1 qualifier with a time of 6.750 seconds and 211.93 mph. But the weekend belonged to Jake Delmonico and his 1968 Camaro, which was flying down the track at over 200 mph and 7 seconds.

Romanyshyn lost in the second round, opening the door for Delmonico to earn his way to the finals against Shannon O’Leary and her 2017 Camaro. Delmonico beat her off the starting line and made the rest look easy, with a winning time of 8.062 seconds at 152.68 mph. O’Leary ran 9.426 seconds and 145.72 mph.

Bob Wallin, Real Street Natural

Bob Wallin, Real Street Natural

Zack Novak, True Street

Zack Novak, True Street

In True Street, Zach Novak is making a run at a clean sweep, winning the Street Car Showdown and again last weekend. Driving a Mustang GT, he beat Wayne Bellanger in the finals when Bellanger fouled at the starting line. Novak was the top qualifier with a time of 8.133 seconds and 167.51 mph.

Also of note last weekend, Kevin Sand’s 26-round win streak came to an end when he lost in the first round of Strip Eliminator 1 (SE1). He hadn’t lost since last year’s Show & Go, winning the SE1, the 10.00 Index and the Index Class Championship during last year’s Muscle Car Shootout and last fall’s Street Car Showdown. He rallied to win the 10.00 Index Class Sunday but couldn’t pull off the win in the Index Class Championship, which went to Gary Olson.


Outlaw Pro Mod
Finals: Ray Fuchs of Bowman, N.D. def. Rick Schmidt of Dickinson, N.D.

Finals: Jake Delmonico of St. Paul Park def. Shannon O’Leary of Ramsey

King Street
Finals: Jason Geiger of Hanska def. Chris Orr of Superior, Wis.

Real Street Unlimited
Finals: Duane Godbout of Cloquet def. Jason Nelson of Champlin

Real Street Natural
Finals: Bob Wallin of Superior, Wis. def. Bill Meyer of Andover

True Street
Finals: Zack Novak of Sauk Rapids def. Wayne Bellanger of St. Louis Park

660 Outlaw
Finals: Brian Carpenter of Forest Lake def. Dan Boyko of Winnipeg, Manitoba

Strip Eliminator 1
Finals: Bob Lacey of Dayton def. Troy Bednarz of Nowthen

Strip Eliminator 2
Finals: Nick Bredemus of St. Paul def. Jim Carlson of Minneapolis

Strip Eliminator 3
Finals: Zach Schloesser of Albertville def. Kirk Leith of Jordan

Truck Eliminator
Finals: Jerry Jablonski of Duluth def. Brent Karpinske of Elk River

Manual Transmission
Finals: Jeremy Reitmeier of Crookston def. Cameron Dorlon of Nisswa

Index Class Champion
Finals: Gary Olson of Sartell def. Kevin Hemenway of Park Rapids

9.50 Index
Finals: Gerald Cook of Mora def. Pat Huebner of Bloomington

10.00 Index
Finals: Kevin Sand of Cambridge def. Bryan Hansen of Minneapolis

10.50 Index
Finals: Mike Hammerstrom of Bemidji def. Andrew Dancer of Royalton

11.00 Index
Finals: David Brostrom of Mora def. Dan Boyce of Minnetonka

11.50 index
Finals: Nathaniel Rutz of Randall def. Zach Stengel of Blaine

12.00 Index

12.50 Index
Finals: Kevin Hemenway of Park Rapids def. Eric Blumke of Pillager

13.00 Index
Finals: Karl Conner of Isle def. Dan Reisinger of Albany

13.50 index
Finals: Ryan Hansen of Esko def. Cole Scofield of Little Falls

14.00 Index
Finals: Todd Anderson of Brainerd def. Kris Leonard of Dayton


Accident results in tragic loss

A single-car accident on Brainerd International Raceway’s (BIR) road course resulted in the death of Trans Am Series driver and long-time racer Mel Shaw Sunday.

The incident is under investigation by the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department, but Shaw was racing in the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) GT2 class when he ran off the track at Turn 3 and crashed into a concrete barrier. He was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office in St. Paul for an autopsy.

Shaw, a 70-year-old racer from New Jersey, was also scheduled to drive in the following race, the 100-mile, 40-lap Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic, which was the finale of BIR’s PleasureLand RV Show & Go, a three-day affair that featured drag racing, road racing, a car show, live music and fireworks. Shaw was set to drive a Camaro in the TA4 class for Breathless Performance Racing Team.

“The staff and racing community at Brainerd International Raceway are deeply sorry for the loss of a passionate and longtime racer, Mel Shaw,” said BIR owners Jed and Kristi Copham. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to Mel’s family, his racing team and the entire Trans Am Series and SCCA organizations.

It appears that Shaw may have been having some health issues before he crashed, Jed Copham said. Other drivers reported that he was driving erratically after Turn 2, and when he drove off the track, he didn’t let up on the throttle, didn’t hit the brakes and didn’t try to turn. “I can’t imagine an alert racer driving straight off a turn like that without attempting to avoid making contact with the wall,” he said.


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