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NHRA Nationals: Fans can get in on the action

The best part about the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals is that there are many things for fans to do when they’re not watching 10,000-horsepower nitro-burning dragsters flying down the dragstrip.

When you need a break from watching racing, wander down to the pits or Nitro Alley midway, there’s a lot to see and do. If you’re camping at BIR, you have access to live music and fireworks.

The Pit Area
The pit area is always hopping with activity. Every ticket includes a pit pass, so all fans have access to the pits and everything that goes on there. You can stand within several feet of the pro teams as they tear down the dragsters and rebuild them with incredible speed and precision. Brace yourself for when they fire them up, though, as you’ll get a face full of nitro and your ears will ring. There’s nothing like it.

When you’re there, watch for drivers as they frequently swing through the crowds to sign autographs, mug for photos and talk racing. Bring a Sharpie!

Nitro Alley
The Nitro Alley midway has a carnival atmosphere and features dozens of food vendors, interactive displays, apparel and merchandise stands and much more. Get your favorite BIR or NHRA shirts, hats and other apparel and merchandise, feast on some amazing food and drinks, and check out displays where you check out a variety of equipment and gear, and challenge yourself and your buddies on the interactive displays. There are also a bunch of opportunities to register to win great prizes. Nitro Alley opens at 11 a.m. Friday, 9:30 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday.

Nitro School
Increase your knowledge of NHRA drag racing during the NHRA’s Nitro School, which is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. on Saturday at the NHRA Midway Display. Nitro School stars NHRA announcer Alan Reinhart and Lucas Oil Funny Car driver Del Worsham. It’s free and open to anyone. Don’t miss it – we guarantee you’ll learn something and you’ll be entertained!

Mello Yello Autograph Session
Some of the stars of the NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be on hand to sign autographs at 11:15 a.m. at the Mello Yello Display in the Nitro Alley midway.

Sealmaster Trackwalk
One of the events that’s really gaining in popularity is the Sealmaster Trackwalk. Fans are invited down on the track starting at 9:40 a.m. Sunday, and walk up and down the fastest track in the country as special guests entertain the crowd over the PA.

Pre-Race Ceremony
After walking the track, fans are invited to stay on the track for the Pre-Race Ceremonies, where the drivers who made Sunday’s finals will be introduced. The ceremony starts at 10 a.m., followed by the start of racing at 11 a.m.

Winner’s Circle
The place to be after racing is done Sunday is in the Winner’s Circle to celebrate with the winners.

Jack Beckman Appearance
Funny Car driver Jack Beckman will be at the Walmart in Baxter from 6-7:30 p.m. on Thursday signing autographs.

Thunder at the Lakes kicks off MegaWeek

When the gates open Thursday for Brainerd International Raceway’s Thunder at the Lakes, it marks the start of “12 Days of Drag Racing” that culminates with the 36th Annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.

This weekend’s Thunder at the Lakes features the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series for Sportsman drag racers, many of who will be racing the following weekend at Nationals as well. Drivers are racing this weekend to earn points toward divisional and national championships as well as a chance at a share of the year-end purse of more than $500,000.

Pittman_WCategories this weekend include Comp Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock Eliminator, Super Comp, Super Gas and Super Street. The Jerry Haas Race Cars Top Sportsman, Fineline Graphics & Madcap Racing Top Dragster and NHRA Sportsman Motorcycle Series are also in competition.

The schedule includes a Test & Tune Day on Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., followed by time trials and qualifying on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. Eliminations are Sunday. Tickets for Thunder at the Lakes are $25 daily. Kids 12 and under are free with a paid adult.

BIR now has a MegaWeek ticket where fans can enter the track this Thursday and stay for Thunder at the Lakes and all of next week, including Nationals, leaving for home on Aug. 21. The Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals is Aug. 17-20.

“Some of the best Sportsman drag racers in the country will be here for Thunder at the Lakes,” BIR Owner Jed Copham said. “The cars are really fast and the competition is intense. It’s always a great racing weekend.

“And those fans who want the ultimate drag racing experience – one that they can’t get anywhere else in the country – will hang around all of next week, getting primed for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. It’s the 12 greatest days of the year for us.”

Click here for more details.

Nelson, Skellenger, Stall win CRA’s 3-Hour Team Challenge

Jesse Nelson rides to victory during CRA's 3-Hour Team Challenge.

Jesse Nelson rides to victory during CRA’s 3-Hour Team Challenge. Photo by Brad Knight

The highly anticipated 3-Hour Team Challenge made its return to Brainerd International Raceway last weekend during the Central Roadracing Association’s third race weekend of the season.

After a brief hiatus, the multi-rider relay race made a triumphant return and saw 27 teams take to the grid. In the run-up to the weekend, there was no clear favorite with Billy Goats (Jake Schmotter, Billy Vossberg and Lucas Wygant), Full Nelson (Jesse Nelson, Kris Skellenger and Scott Stall), Fully Stroked Jamokes (Aaron Anderson, Bell Helmets rider Shane Keaveny and Christian Schmidt) and Middleweight Express (Brian Hebeisen, Kyle Ohnsorg and Drew See) all capable of taking the overall win.

At the start of the race, Full Nelson took hold of the lead. (Get it? Because of the wrestling move?) Surprisingly, Fully Stroked Jamokes – uniquely named after the latest frappalatteccino from a well-known Seattle-based coffee chain – struggled at the start, finishing the first lap in fifth place, but they moved into a solid second during the first stint. What followed was a rather hectic race featuring a large amount of close racing as the GP3 and GP4 front-runners flowed through the lapped traffic like water through the cardboard box of shop towels that was left out in the rain last night.

In the final hour, the race seemed to be shaping up to be a duel between Fully Stroked Jamokes and Middleweight Express, who sent reigning CRA champion Kyle Ohnsorg out for the last 90-minutes of the race with a full tank of fuel and an order to ride it to the end, hoping their extra-large fuel tank would allow them to finish the race without another pit stop.

With 45-minutes left, the red flag flew. Fully Stroked Jamokes’ lead of more than one minute was instantly erased and Middleweight Express was fully aware that their shot at victory was over. With a full restart scheduled and a misunderstanding in the pits, Full Nelson threw a new tire and Scott Stall onto their ZX-10R, filled the fuel tank and told Stall that he had 25 minutes to unlap himself, catch the leader and win the race.

At the start, Stall put the hammer down and clicked off numerous laps quicker than anyone had turned during the entire weekend other than Christian Schmidt. Unbeknownst to Stall, but knownst to others, he was in the lead and pulling away, eventually taking the victory over Billy Goats and Fully Stroked Jamokes.

The sprint races had their fair share of action as well with semi-pro talker Kris Skellenger’s award for Rider of the Weekend going to Jake Hennen, with a VERY close second to Jon Champ and an honorable mention to Sam Burke.  Hennen has shown his form on his Kawasaki ZX-10R during previous rounds this season but he apparently forgot to pack that in the rush to get to the track. Luckily for him, he found form on his Honda CBR600RR hidden in a drawer in the trailer and turned up ready for battle.

In the Unlimited Expert class, Stall collected two wins compared to Schmidt’s one. The Unlimited Supersport race was hands down the best of the weekend with Schmidt pulling a phenomenal last-lap pass three corners from the end, only to be out-dragged to the line by Stall, who won by .009 seconds.

Later in the weekend, Schmidt grabbed the Unlimited GP win after Stall DNF’ed and Ohnsorg threw the hammer down, only to forget to let go of the hammer when he threw it down at the apex of turn 11 unceremoniously falling down with it. Luckily, Ohnsorg walked away uninjured from the crash which the crowd was very happy to see as his bones are seemingly as fragile as peanut brittle. Or Tostitos. Seriously, every time I open a bag it looks like someone filled it with beach sand instead of delectable tortilla chips. Anyway, I digress…

Before Kyle “Peanut Brittle” Ohnsorg ended the weekend in the dirt, he grabbed multiple wins in Middleweight and Heavyweight Expert, and was seemingly never troubled on his way to victory, although Fisk Brothers Racing/Dryject, Inc’s Brian Hebeisen was coming home second in every Middleweight and Heavyweight race but one, getting snookered by Aaron Anderson in Heavyweight Superbike. The aforementioned Sam Burke had it all his way in Middleweight/Heavyweight Novice, romping away to six victories in all six of his races. Eric Hjelter brought his A-game in July, impressing many on his way to multiple podium finishes as well as two race wins. The question on everyone’s lips… well, a few people’s lips… okay, the question that no one has yet asked (but probably should) is “will Sam Burke make the jump to Expert before the season is over?” To find out, tune in to the next episode of “Novice No More: The Life and Times of Samuel (or is his legal name Seamus?) Burke,” coming to you live on the CRA’s unofficial radio station, KRIS, Aug. 25-27.

While Hennen received the award for Rider of the Weekend (and with it, an expired coupon for a 12-pack of Pepsi Clear), Jon Champ truly made waves in the Lightweight class when he set a new personal best lap time of 1:42.436. To put that in perspective, that lap on his Suzuki SV650 (which was built WAY before anyone had ever heard of Justin Bieber) would have put him seventh quickest out of 28 riders in the Middleweight Superbike race. Champ was in a different league all weekend and while he was seen celebrating with champagne, his competition was seen suffering from Champ-pain. Oooof, that was so bad it was difficult to type.

The Ultralight class failed to live up to some of the hype surrounding the class as Mark Praska and Jack Barton only finished one race, crossing the line side-by-side. The show that Praska and Barton have put on in almost every race throughout the season means their fan (yes, there’s only one) has very high expectations when it comes to what constitutes a close finish. If the gap doesn’t start with .0, they can’t be bothered. Hopefully Praska and Barton will up their game during the August weekend, or perhaps another rider will show up on one of the beautiful Krämer HKR Evo 2’s to join the party.

The Featherweight class saw a new addition to the fold Kyle Ohnsorg hopped astride Ewa Kalinsky’s Yamaha R3 to attempt to win the Battle of the Brads and break the class domination by Brad Kreller and Brad Zajic. Unfortunately, a fairly hard crash in the Ultralight Supberbike race put Zajic out of the action for the weekend and the three-rider battle never materialized. Ohnsorg took advantage of Zajic’s absence pulling a large gap on Kreller and bringing home the win in his first “small-bike” race.

The CRA returns to action on BIR’s Competition Road Course Aug. 25-27. For more information on racing, spectating or volunteering with the CRA please visit the CRA website by clicking here or emailing info@cra-mn.com.

RESULTS

Endurance GP4
1 Full Nelson (Jesse Nelson, Kris Skellenger, Scott Stall)
2 Billy Goats (Jake Schmotter, Billy Vossberg, Lucas Wygant)
3 Fully Stroked Jamokes (Aaron Anderson, Shane Keaveny, Christian Schmidt)
4 Midnight Motorcycle (Glenn Hinton, Matthew Nardo, Austin Tschida)

Endurance GP3
1 Middleweight Express (Brian Hebeisen, Kyle Ohnsorg, Drew See)
2 Lazy Union Racers (Josh Harein, Jake Hennen)
3 #tracklivesmatter (Mark Dargis, Nathan Dotson, Scott Masterton)
4 The Gorillas (Martin Holte, Ken Nielsen)
5 Team Meatball (Eric Hjelter, Steve Horsfield, Dave Stone)

Endurance GP2
1 Sagan’s Elbow Grease (Chris Mattson, Brian Rogers)
2 Wild Bill and Jesse James (Bill Plucky, Jesse VanderWeide)
3 Hamburglars (Matt Cina, Harry Jensen, Andy Palmer)
4 Scandinavian Heat (Jon Champ, Ephtephan Johnson)
5 2 Bikes No Souls (Aaron Foss, Leif Nadeau)
6 Beeg Deeks Antique Furniture (Adam Harrison, Bradley George Kreller, James Michaelson)

Endurance GP1
1 The Knobs (Trevor Treviranus, Where’s Luke Trombley)
2 Tech Tres (Mike Knoll, Kurt Mosher, Dwayne Stroman)
3 Where’s Jayme (Tom Conroy, Justin Miest, Jayme Schmit)
4 Creepy Cripples (Dave Juntunen, Jonathan Myers)
5 Darkhorse Motorsports (Lawrence Lin, Sean Stettnichs)
6 3 Cubed (Billy Lachmiller, William Miller)

Unlimited SS Expert
1 Scott Stall (Kaw ZX-10R)
2 Christian Schmidt (Kaw ZX-10R)
3 Shane Keaveny (Kaw ZX-10R)
4 Kyle Ohnsorg(Yam YZF-R6)
5 Jake Schmotter (Yam YZF-R1)
6 Brian Hebeisen (Yam YZF-R6)

Unlimited SS Novice
1 David Stone (Hon CBR1000RR)

Unlimited SB Expert
1 Scott Stall (Kaw ZX-10R)
2 Kyle Ohnsorg (BMW S1000RR)
3 Christian Schmidt (Kaw ZX-10R)
4 Shane Keaveny (Kaw ZX-10R)
5 Lucas Wygant (Yam YZF-R1)
6 Jake Schmotter (Yam YZF-R1)

Unlimited SB Novice
1 Eric Hjelter (MV F3)

Unlimited GP Expert
1 Christian Schmidt (Kaw ZX-10R)
2 Lucas Wygant (Yam YZF-R1)
3 Jake Schmotter (Yam YZF-R1)
4 Brian Hebeisen (Yam YZF-R6)
5 Kyle Ohnsorg (BMW S1000RR)

Unlimited GP Novice
1 Eric Hjelter (MV F3)

Heavyweight SS Expert
1 Kyle Ohnsorg (Yam YZF-R6)
2 Brian Hebeisen (Yam YZF-R6)
3 Drew See (Yam YZF-R6)
4 Aaron Anderson (Suz GSX-R750)
5 Justin Ebnet (Hon CBR600RR)
6 Mark Dargis (Yam YZF-R6)

Heavyweight SS Novice
1 Sam Burke (Yam YZF-R6)
2 Eric Hjelter (MV F3)
3 David Stone (Yam YZF-R6)
4 Steve Horsfield (Yam YZF-R6)
5 Jeff Somers (Yam YZF-R6)
6 Alex Peterson (Hon CBR600RR)

Heavyweight SB Expert
1 Kyle Ohnsorg (Yam YZF-R6)
2 Aaron Anderson (Suz GSX-R750)
3 Brian Hebeisen (Yam YZF-R6)
4 Jesse Nelson (Yam YZF-R6)
5 Brett Donahue (Suz GSX-R750)
6 Josh Harein (Yam YZF-R6)

Heavyweight SB Novice
1 Sam Burke (Yam YZF-R6)
2 Eric Hjelter (MV F3)
3 Jeff Somers (Yam YZF-R6)
4 David Stone (Yam YZF-R6)
5 Kyle Franz (Duc 899)
6 Alex Peterson (Hon CBR600RR)

Heavyweight GP Expert
1 Kyle Ohnsorg (Yam YZF-R6)
2 Brian Hebeisen (Yam YZF-R6)
3 Aaron Anderson (Suz GSX-R750)
4 Brett Donahue (Suz GSX-R750)
5 Justin Ebnet (Hon CBR600RR)
6 Aaron Duchon (Yam YZF-R6)

Heavyweight GP Novice
1 Sam Burke (Yam YZF-R6)
2 Eric Hjelter (MV F3)
3 David Stone (Yam YZF-R6)
4 Kyle Franz (Duc 899)
5 Alex Peterson (Hon CBR600RR)
6 Jared Thompson (Yam YZF-R6)

Middleweight SS Expert
1 Kyle Ohnsorg (Yam YZF-R6)
2 Brian Hebeisen (Yam YZF-R6)
3 Drew See (Yam YZF-R6)
4 Jesse Nelson (Yam YZF-R6)
5 Justin Ebnet (Hon CBR600RR)
6 Josh Harein (Yam YZF-R6)

Middleweight SS Novice
1 Sam Burke (Yam YZF-R6)
2 Eric Hjelter (Tri 675)
3 Jeff Somers (Yam YZF-R6)
4 David Stone (Yam YZF-R6)
5 Steve Horsfield (Yam YZF-R6)
6 Francois Yang (Hon CBR600RR)

Middleweight SB Expert
1 Kyle Ohnsorg (Yam YZF-R6)
2 Brian Hebeisen (Yam YZF-R6)
3 Jacob Hennen (Hon CBR600RR)
4 Drew See (Yam YZF-R6)
5 Jesse Nelson (Yam YZF-R6)
6 Justin Ebnet (Hon CBR600RR)

Middleweight SB Novice
1 Sam Burke (Yam YZF-R6)
2 David Stone (Yam YZF-R6)
3 Francois Yang (Hon CBR600RR)
4 Alex Peterson (Hon CBR600RR)
5 Jeff Somers (Yam YZF-R6)
6 Jared Thompson (Yam YZF-R6)

Middleweight GP Expert
1 Kyle Ohnsorg (Yam YZF-R6)
2 Brian Hebeisen (Yam YZF-R6)
3 Jacob Hennen (Hon CBR600RR)
4 Jesse Nelson (Yam YZF-R6)
5 Josh Harein (Yam YZF-R6)
6 Justin Ebnet (Hon CBR600RR)

Middleweight GP Novice
1 Sam Burke (Yam YZF-R6)
2 David Stone (Yam YZF-R6)
3 Francois Yang (Hon CBR600RR)
4 Jeff Somers (Yam YZF-R6)
5 Jared Thompson (Yam YZF-R6)
6 Alex Peterson (Hon CBR600RR)

Lightweight SS Expert
1 Chris Mattson (Suz SV650)
2 Stephen Johnson (Suz SV650)
3 Katie Champ (Suz SV650)
4 Anthony Marcinek (Suz SV650)

Lightweight SS Novice
1 Brian Rogers (Suz SV650)
2 Jesse Vanderweide (Suz SV650)
3 Leif Nadeau (Suz SV650)
4 Sonia Pond (Suz SV650)
5 Nathan Jessup (Suz SV650)

Lightweight GP Expert
1 Jon Champ (Suz SV650)
2 Bill Plucky (Suz SV650)
3 Matt Cina (Yam FZ-07)
4 Jack Barton (Krä HKR-Evo2)
5 Mark Praska (Krä HKR-Evo2)
6 James Michaelson (Hon CBR600F2)

Lightweight GP Novice
1 Brian Rogers (Suz SV650)
2 Jesse Vanderweide (Suz SV650)
3 Wayne Minnichsoffer (Hon CBR600F2)
4 Kyle Franz (Yam FZ-07)
5 Sonia Pond (Suz SV650)
6 Jeff Franz (Yam FZ-07)

Formula 40 – F2
1 Shane Keaveny (Kaw ZX-10R)
2 Mark Dargis (Kaw ZX-10R)
3 Brett Donahue (Suz GSX-R750)
4 Karl Rehpohl (Kaw ZX-6R)
5 Bill Plucky (Suz SV650)
6 Tate Guckin (Kaw ZX-6R)

Formula 40 – F1
1 Matt Cina (Yam FZ-07)
2 Jeff Franz (Yam FZ-07)
3 Denyse Brooks (Yam FZ-07)
4 David Juntunen (KTM RC390)

Supertwins Expert
1 Jon Champ (Suz SV650)
2 Bill Plucky (Suz SV650)
3 Matt Cina (Yam FZ-07)
4 Aaron Foss (Suz SV650)
5 Anthony Marcinek (Suz SV650)

Supertwins Novice
1 Jesse Vanderweide (Suz SV650)
2 Brian Rogers (Suz SV650)
3 Sonia Pond (Suz SV650)
4 Jeff Franz (Duc 899)
5 Nathan Jessup (Suz SV650)
6 Kyle Franz (Duc 899)

Sportsman Middleweight Expert
1 Ken Nielsen (Yam YZF-R6)
2 Martin Holte (Hon CBR600RR)

Sportsman Lightweight Expert
1 Jack Barton (Krä HKR-Evo2)
2 Mark Praska (Krä HKR-Evo2)
3 James Michaelson (Hon CBR600F2)
4 Bradley Kreller (Hon CBR600F2)
5 Adam Harrison (Hon CBR600F2)

Sportsman Lightweight Novice
1 Wayne Minnichsoffer (Hon CBR600F2)

Sportsman Middleweight Novice
1 Si Klien (Yam YZF-R6)

Ultralight #2 Expert
1 Jack Barton (Krä HKR-Evo2)
2 Mark Praska (Krä HKR-Evo2)
3 Trevor Treviranus (Yam YZ450F)

Featherweight SB Expert
1 Bradley Kreller (Yam YZF-R3)
2 Mike Knoll (Yam YZF-R3)
3 Jesse Nelson (Kaw EX250)
4 Bryan Lachmiller (Kaw EX250)
5 William Miller (Yam YZF-R3)
6 Robin Schmidt (Kaw EX250)

Featherweight SB Novice
1 Sean Stettnichs (Yam YZF-R3)
2 Lawrence Lin (Yam YZF-R3)
3 Justin Miest (Yam YZF-R3)
4 David Juntunen (KTM RC390)
5 Jayme Schmit (Kaw EX250)
6 Ewa Kalinsky (Yam YZF-R3)

Lightweight SB Expert
1 Jon Champ (Suz SV650)
2 Bill Plucky (Suz SV650)
3 Matt Cina (Yam FZ-07)
4 Aaron Foss (Suz SV650)
5 Stephen Johnson (Suz SV650)
6 Katie Champ (Suz SV650)

Lightweight SB Novice
1 Brian Rogers (Suz SV650)
2 Jesse Vanderweide (Suz SV650)
3 Kyle Franz (Yam FZ-07)
4 Sonia Pond (Suz SV650)
5 Jeff Franz (Yam FZ-07)
6 Nathan Jessup (Suz SV650)

250GP Expert
1 Jack Barton (Krä HKR-Evo2)
2 Mark Praska (Krä HKR-Evo2)

Ultralight #3 Expert
1 Mark Praska (Krä HKR-Evo2)
2 Jack Barton (Krä HKR-Evo2)
3 Trevor Treviranus (Yam YZ450F)

Featherweight GP Expert
1 Kyle Ohnsorg (Yam YZF-R3)
2 Bradley Kreller (Yam YZF-R3)
3 Jesse Nelson (Kaw EX250)
4 Bryan Lachmiller (Kaw EX250)
5 William Miller (Yam YZF-R3)

Featherweight GP Novice
1 Justin Miest (Yam YZF-R3)
2 David Juntunen (KTM RC390)
3 Jayme Schmit (KTM RC390)
4 Sarah Boughton (Yam YZF-R3)
5 Roy Konicek (Yam YZF-R3)

Ultralight #1 Expert
1 Mark Praska (Krä HKR-Evo2)
2 Jack Barton (Krä HKR-Evo2)

Featherweight SS Expert
1 Bradley Kreller (Yam YZF-R3)
2 Brad Zajic (Yam YZF-R3)
3 Dwayne Stroman (Yam YZF-R3)
4 Bryan Lachmiller (Kaw EX250)
5 William Miller (Yam YZF-R3)
6 Mike Knoll (Yam YZF-R3)

Featherweight SS Novice
1 Sean Stettnichs (Yam YZF-R3)
2 Justin Miest (Yam YZF-R3)
3 Dave Juntunen (KTM RC390)
4 Ewa Kalinsky (Yam YZF-R3)
5 Tom Conroy (Yam YZF-R3)
6 Jayme Schmit (Kaw EX250)

Last Chance Qualifier
1 Alex Peterson (Hon CBR600RR)
2 Brandon Connett (Tri 675)
3 Ryan Alvar (Yam YZF-R6)
4 Jon Durant (Yam YZF-R6)
5 Anthony Marcinek (Suz SV650)
6 Nathan Jessup (Suz SV650)

New Rider Race
1 Boyd Hedstrom (Yam YZF-R1)
2 Jeff Kandt (Tri 675)
3 Forrest Allen (Kaw ZX-6RR)
4 Sarah Boughten (Yam YZF-R3)

Demenge wins Stock/Super Stock title

All season long, Glen Demenge chased Ben Line in the point standings in Brainerd International Raceway’s Bracket Drag Racing Series. Line, who’s always a threat to win the Stock/Super Stock title, grabbed the points lead after the series’ first weekend and never gave it up. Until last Sunday.

Glen Demenge won the Stock/Super Stock title.

Glen Demenge won the Stock/Super Stock title.

Demenge, sitting in second place, finally got his chance Sunday to overtake Line and he did so in grand fashion, winning the last Stock/Super Stock race of the year and earning enough points to steal the class championship away from Line.

With 45 racers competing in the class last weekend, Demenge and his 1969 Camaro needed five wins to reach the finals, where he beat Jason DeForrest with a time of 10.035 seconds and 129.16 mph.

The win also resulted in a nice payday for Demenge, who collected $2,000 for his efforts. The Stock/Super Stock class was competing in the 4th Annual Paul Bunyan Classic, presented by Midwest Class Racers and sponsored by Line Performance. On both Saturday and Sunday, the Stock/Super Stock winners each took home $2,000 while the runners up won $1,000. The purse paid out to the second round.

Alex Wiese and his 2014 Cobra Jet won the class on Saturday, beating Brett Speer in the finals with a time of 9.223 seconds and 137.65 mph. Wiese took home $2,000 and Speer $1,000.

The Bracket Drag Racing Series concludes Sept. 29-Oct. 1 for all classes except Stock/Super Stock.

The top five racers in the final Stock/Super Stock standings were:

1 – Glen Demenge, McGregor
2 – Ben Line, International Falls
3 – Brad Haugaard, Ham Lake
4 – Mike Patnaude, Sawyer
5 – Jared Hutar, Cromwell

 

Shawn Carlson is BIR’s 2017 King of the Track

Shawn Carlson outlasted the top drag racers in Brainerd International Raceway’s Bracket Drag Racing Series last Sunday to win the coveted title of King of the Track and take home a Wally trophy – the first in his drag racing career.

Shawn Carlson, King of the Track

Shawn Carlson, King of the Track

Carlson’s the first to admit that he’s kind of an unlikely candidate for such royalty even though he’s been in first place in the Sportsman class all season. His 1973 Plymouth Scamp, which he’s been racing for only three years, doesn’t have the electronics and gadgetry that most of the fastest cars have. Plus, the 14 drivers in the King of the Track race typically are far more experienced.

But that didn’t seem to matter on Sunday. “It was pretty cool,” Carlson said of his finish. “The car was getting hot because i was making a lot of runs in Pro ET and Sportsman  but we decided that we had to race – it was for the King of the Track!”

Carlson had gone four rounds in Pro ET and three rounds in the Sportsman class before getting to the King of the Track race. He beat Rory Emmans, Heather Ingman and Reno Loeffelholz to earn his way to the finals, which presented a good-news-bad-news proposition. The good news was that he was one win away from earning the crown. The bad news was that he was racing Ben Line, who is arguably one of the toughest racers in the series and has been for years.

“I figured this is it,” Carlson said, admitting that the odds were probably not in his favor. “There’s really no runner-up in this race, you just go home. So my goal was to do what I was doing, and it worked out pretty good.”

Carlson and Line had similar reaction times at the starting line but Carlson was able to hold Line off at the finish line, posting a winning time of 12.119 seconds and 106.13 mph.

ShawnCrew_WThe King of the Track race was part of the fifth race weekend in the Bracket Drag Racing Series. There’s only one weekend left: Sept. 30-Oct. 1. That race will determine series champions in 10 of the 11 classes and is also the NHRA All Access Challenge, commonly called the “Wally Race.” On Saturday, the winners of the Super Pro, Pro ET, Sportsman, Pro Bike/Sled, Comp Trophy and Street Trophy classes will receive a Wally trophy, like the kind that the pros in the NHRA win.

That Saturday is also the NHRA Summit Racing Junior Drag Racing League Challenge, which gives Junior Dragster drivers a chance to win a Wally trophy as well. There are three Junior Dragster classes for kids ages 8-18.

Another notable finish from last weekend was Luke Schneider, who was well behind in the Sportsman standings but with 29 drivers racing in that class last weekend, he won both Saturday and Sunday. That should vault him up significantly in the standings. Schneider, who was the only double winner last weekend, beat Lee Dugdale in both finals. Dugdale was in fifth place in the standings.

The Stock/Super Stock class will not race in the final series weekend. That class determined its series champion on Sunday. Glen DeMenge finished off the season on top of the point standings, edging out second place finisher Ben Line.

Below are the results from last weekend’s race.

SATURDAY, JULY 22

Super Pro
Finals: Dave Engler of Ramsey Def. Joe Kerner of Coon Rapids

Pro ET
Finals: Travis Reutzel of Howard Lake def. Steve Stockton of Colfax, Wis.

Sportsman
Finals: Luke Schneider of St. Joseph def. Lee Dugdale of Scandia

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Alex Wiese of Brandon, S.D. def. Brett Speer of Pierz

Quick 16
Finals: Bryce Miller of Maple Lake def. Henry Wiebusch of Andover

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Kayla Filipiak of Isanti def. Kelly Fager of Cedar

Comp Trophy
Finals: Eric Blumke of Pillager def. Aaron Athman of St. Cloud

Street Trophy
Finals: Bob Kuntz of Thompson, N.D. def. Nicole Grundman of St. Cloud

Jr. Dragster Advanced
Finals: Sydney Haben of Hibbing def. Natalie Root of Montrose

Jr. Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Jocelynn Geib of Golden Valley def. Dylan Dancer of Foley

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

SUNDAY, JULY 23

King of the Track
Finals: Shawn Carlson of Elbow Lake def. Ben Line of International Falls

Super Pro
Finals: Randy McFarland of Sabin def. Bob Ingman of Andover

Pro ET
Finals: Christopher Takacs of Thunder Bay, Ontario def. Brandon Schmall of Palo, Iowa

Super Pro/Pro ET Shootout
Finals: Randy McFarland of Sabin def. Christopher Takacs of Thunder Bay, Ontario

Sportsman
Finals: Luke Schneider of St. Joseph def. Lee Dugdale of Scandia

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Glen Demenge of McGregor def. Jason DeForrest of Andover

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Jimmy Paulson of Stacy def. Kelly Fager of Cedar

Comp Trophy
Finals: Devrin Walcheski of Foley def. Aaron Athman of St. Cloud

Street Trophy
Finals: Joe Moriarty Jr. def. Dan Bennett of Bemidji

Jr. Dragster Advanced
Finals: Sarah Johnson of Sabin def. Chandler Neimeyer of Brainerd

Jr. Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Dylan Dancer of Foley def. Riley Luberda of Foley

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

 

 

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.

SATURDAY, JULY 15

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

SUNDAY, JULY 16

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 WINNERS

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 Trans Am Series’ Ryan Companies Muscle Car Challenge that was run July 2 at Brainerd International Raceway during the PleasureLand RV Show & Go.

The race will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

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

The Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic for the TA/TA3/TA4 classes (the afternoon race) was televised July 22 but is now available online by clicking here.

 

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.

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