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Andretti, Archer among drivers racing in Trans Am Series

Adam Andretti

Adam Andretti

Two familiar racing names – Andretti and Archer – will be among the pro drivers on Brainerd International Raceway’s road course the Fourth of July weekend as they compete in the Trans Am Series race, the featured event of the 29th Annual PleasureLand RV Show & Go.

The Andretti name should be a familiar one to anyone who has followed racing over the last six decades. Adam Andretti, 36, will be behind the wheel of the No. 44 Chevy Camaro during the Trans Am Series’ Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic July 5. Andretti is the younger brother of veteran NASCAR driver John Andretti, first cousin of Indy 500 drivers Michael and Jeff Andretti, and nephew of racing legend Mario Andretti, who is the only driver to win the Indy 500, the Daytona 500 and the Formula One World Championships. Mario even raced at BIR in the late 1960s, shortly after the track was built, and served on BIR’s Board of Directors in the track’s early years.

Tommy Archer

Tommy Archer

Adam Andretti brings the family name back to BIR for the second year in a row. He has a diverse racing resume himself, competing in the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series, 24 Hours of Daytona and the Indy Pro Series before settling in to the Trans Am Series last year. He is currently in second place in the series’ TA2 standings after five races.

Archer is also from a familiar – and very successful – racing family, one that got its start in Duluth on the dirt oval track in Proctor and the ice tracks off Park Point. Brothers Tommy, John and Bobby started Archer Brothers Racing and went on to dominate road racing in the 1980s, winning the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) National Run-Off, eight straight SCCA World Challenge Championships and many races at BIR, which they consider their home track. Tommy, 57, also won the Detroit Grand Prix and had two second-place finishes at the prestigious 24 Hours of LeMans in France. He will be behind the wheel of the No. 49 Chevy Camaro at BIR.

Andretti and Archer will be among 50 drivers expected to race in the Independence Day Classic, a 40-lap, 100-mile race that will cap off a full weekend of racing. The Trans Am Series is typically part of BIR’s GSTA Muscle Car Shootout on Labor Day weekend, but was moved to the Show & Go this year so SCCA Pro Racing could expand the race and televise it. The race will be aired on CBS Sports Network at 11 a.m. July 25.

The Trans Am Series will be on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course for practice and qualifying Saturday and Sunday morning, with the race starting at 1:50 p.m. Sunday.

When the Trans Am Series isn’t on the road course, the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) will be sharing its brand of competitive road racing. NASA has time trials, qualifying and racing scheduled both Saturday and Sunday.

BIR’s drag strip will be busy as well all weekend with the second leg of the three-race Muscle Car Series. The action will be redlining as more than 350 drivers chase series championships. The series’ seven Heads-Up Classes will be center stage because of the big horsepower and incredible speed on the track. Fans will see runs more than 200 mph and in the 6- to 7-second range.

Off the track, fans will be treated to a Classic Car Show on Saturday, live music by Waves Collide, a fireworks display and kids activities.

“We’re really excited about this year’s PleasureLand RV Show & Go because of the addition of the Trans Am Series and NASA on the road course,” BIR owner Jed Copham said. “The Trans Am Series race is going to be some of the best road racing we’ve ever had here because the TV contract will bring out so many more professional teams. Fans are in for a real treat.”

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

Junior Drag Racing Challenge highlights Bracket weekend

More than 300 drag racers descended on Brainerd International Raceway last weekend for the Bracket Drag Racing Series’ third race weekend, but it was the Junior Dragsters that stole the spotlight.

Junior Dragster Challenge winners: Emma McFarland, Trevor Jelinski, Alex Clampitt

Junior Dragster Challenge winners: Emma McFarland, Trevor Jelinski, Alex Clampitt

Junior Dragsters (ages 8-18) competed in three classes Saturday during the NHRA Summit Racing Junior Drag Racing League Challenge and a chance to win a Wally trophy, like the ones their heros in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series win.

At the end of the day, Emma McFarland added another Wally to her trophy case, the second one in as many years. She won the Junior Dragster Advanced Class last year as well, and now has officially started a winning streak. She beat Caleb Schafer in the finals with a time of 8.024 seconds and 79.91 mph.

In Junior Dragster Intermediate, Trevor Jelinski beat Aaron Clampitt in the finals to take home a Wally trophy. His final pass was 9.116 seconds and 70.22 mph. Jelinski is now in first place in the point standings.

Alex Clampitt’s win in Junior Dragster Novice earned him a Wally trophy, while taking over first place in the point standings. Clampitt beat Dylan Dancer with a time of 13.035 seconds and 49.30 mph.

The Bracket Drag Racing Series was part of a big race weekend at BIR, with the International Watercross Association providing entertaining snowmobile racing on Lake BIR, and the Central Roadracing Association joining forces with the Championship Cup Series from Texas for a combined Superbike race.

Like their junior counterparts, the adult drag racers were responsible for some great racing last weekend as well.

Super Pro winner Myron Streit

Super Pro winner Myron Streit

Pro ET winner Joe Howell

Pro ET winner Joe Howell

In Super Pro, Myron Streit was one win away from sweeping the class. He was runner up Saturday and then came back on Sunday to win the class and take a nice lead in the point standings. There were 94 drivers racing in the Super Pro Class.

On Saturday, Streit and his 1968 Camaro lost to Larry Wiebusch Jr. in the finals. Wiebusch had a slight lead off the starting line and held off Streit at the finish line to win with a 9.651-second run at 142.37 mph.

That would be Streit’s only loss of the weekend. On Sunday, he ran the table and faced off with Greg Grundman in the finals. Grundman beat Streit off the starting line but Streit caught him at the finish line for the win, posting a time of 10.882 seconds and 118.79 mph.

The Pro ET Class had 96 racers who provided some great racing as well. On Saturday, Joe Howell and his ’86 Mustang finished off Jon Kelly in the finals for the win and sole position of first place in the standings. Howell’s winning time was 9.420 seconds and 140.43 mph.

Howell was bumped in Round 5 on Sunday, while Tevin Zavadil and his ’90 Cavalier outlasted the field to win the class and move into fourth place in the standings. He beat Shawn Carlson in the finals with a time of 9.401 seconds and 141.61 mph.

In the 33-driver Sportsman Class, Brandon Schmall won the class on Saturday, moving into first place in the standings by a slim margin. Schmall and his ’70 Challenger beat Bob Gillespie in the finals, despite Gillespie’s near perfect .004-second reaction time on the starting line. But Gillespie couldn’t hold off Schmall, who won with a time of 12.511 seconds and 100.88 mph.

In Sunday’s Sportsman finals, Mark Pease and his ’03 Silverado beat Joe Moriarty, who fouled at the starting line.

In Pro Bike/Sled, Jeremy Berg and his 2002 Suzuki qualified No. 1 on Saturday and then beat Kayla Lundberg in the finals when Lundberg fouled at the starting line. On Sunday, Troy Gasoigne and his 2012 Kawasaki beat Kyle Olson in the finals with a time of 9.428 seconds and 144.13 mph.

In Comp Trophy, Jared Hutar is starting to run away with the class. He swept the class last weekend, beating Sid Osterman in Saturday’s finals and Chad Rach in Sunday’s finals. He’s got a commanding lead in the point standings.

In Street Trophy, Tyler Gadacz qualified No. 1 both days but he couldn’t get past the semifinals round.  Moriarty beat Todd Anderson in Saturday’s finals and Suzie Helberg beat Kellie Kastner in Sunday’s finals when Kastner fouled at the starting line.

The new Quick 16 Shootout paired up Brad Baklund, who was the fastest door car, and Brian Johnson, the fastest dragster. Backlund’s reaction time was .007-seconds, and he never looked back as he beat Johnson with a run of 8.090 seconds and 167.97 mph.

The next Bracket Drag Racing Series event is July 11-12. A new King of the Track will be crowned that Saturday.

Below are the results from each day of racing.

SATURDAY’S RESULTS

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: Emma McFarland of Sabin def. Caleb Schafer of Burnsville
Semifinals: McFarland def. Sydney Haben of Hibbing; Schafer had a bye

Junior Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Trevor Jelinski of Little Falls def. Aaron Clampitt of Lino Lakes
Semifinals: Jelinski def. Chandler Niemeyer of Brainerd; Clampitt def. Samantha Cielinski of Gilman

Junior Dragster Novice
Finals: Alex Clampitt of Lino Lakes def. Dylan Dancer of Foley
Semifinals: Clampitt def. Riley Luberda of Foley; Dancer had a bye

Super ProFinals: Larry Wiebusch Jr. of Nowthen def. Myron Streit of St. Cloud
Semifinals: Wiebusch had a bye; Streit def. Les Feist of Clearwater

Pro ET
Finals: Joe Howell of Big Lake def. Jon Kelly of Newport
Semifinals: Howell def. Rory Emmans of Nowthen; Kelly had a bye

Sportsman
Finals: Brandon Schmall of Lino Lakes def. Bob Gillespie of Brainerd
Semifinals: Schmall def. Brad Mickle of Lino Lakes; Gillespie def. Nick Arnold of Maple Grove

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Jeremy Berg of Newport def. Kayla Lundberg of Isanti
Semifinals: Berg def. Mike Voss of Maplewood; Lundberg def. Aaron Schrupp of Mount

Comp Trophy
Finals: Jared Hutar of Cromwell def. Sid Osterman of Pequot Lakes
Semifinals: Hutar had a bye; Osterman def. Mike Larson of Brainerd

Street Trophy
Finals: Joe Moriarty of Ham Lake def. Todd Anderson of Brainerd
Semifinals: Moriarty def. Tyler Gadacz of Little Falls; Anderson def. Kellie Kastner of Clearwater

Quick 16
Finals: Brad Baklund of Rogers def. Brian Johnson of Nowthen
Semifinals: Baklund def. Tom Carlson of Two Harbors; Johnson def. Dan Narusiewics of St. Paul
SUNDAY’S RESULTS

Super Pro
Finals: Myron Streit of St. Cloud def. Greg Grundman of St. Cloud
Semifinals: Streit def. Tony Leonard of Hastings; Grundman had a bye

Pro ET
Finals: Tevin Zavadil of Clearwater def. Shawn Carlson of Elbow Lake
Semifinals: Zavadil had a bye; Carlson def. Tony Leonard of Hastings

Sportsman
Finals: Mark Pease of Corcoran; def. Joe Moriarty of Ham Lake
Semifinals: Pease def. Russ Elzy of Becker; Moriarty def. Darin Altmann

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Troy Gasoigne of Zumbrota def. Kyle Olson of Moorland, Iowa
Semifinals: Gasoigne had a bye; Olson def. Jimmy Paulson of Stacy

Comp Trophy
Finals: Jared Hutar of Cromwell def. Chad Rach of Aitkin
Semifinals: Hutar def. John Takacs of Thunder Bay, Ontario; Rach had a bye

Street Trophy
Finals: Suzie Helberg of St. Croix Falls, Wis. def. Kellie Kastner of Clearwater
Semifinals: Helberg def. Joe Moriarty of Ham Lake; Kastner def. Tyler Gadacz of Little Falls

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: Sarah Johnson of Nowthen def. Erik Johnson of AnokaSemifinals: Johnson def. Carter Lindquist of Minnetonka; Johnson had a bye

Junior Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Aaron Clampitt of Lino Lakes def. Zach McFarland of Sabin
Semifinals: Clampitt def. Reese Reutzel of Annandale; McFarland def. Camryn Takacs of Thunder Bay, Ont.

Junior Dragster Novice
Finals: Alex Clampitt of Lino Lakes def. Dylan Dancer of Foley
Semifinals: Clampitt def. Riley Luberda of Foley; Dancer def. Travis Kurkosky of Annandale

MAP Proving Grounds brings wild import action to BIR

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

Imports, sport compacts, trucks and bikes from all corners of the Midwest 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.

MAPThe 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 cone-lined course. It’s a timed event and a fun one for fans to watch. There’s even a Tandem Drift Competition for advanced drivers Saturday afternoon, where multiple cars fly through the course together. Drifting is Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

On the drag strip, cars will  compete in seven different classes, all of which feature heads-up racing, meaning they both start at the same time and the fastest car to the finish line wins. There are classes for bikes and snowmobiles as well. Time trials and qualifying are Friday and Saturday, with eliminations Sunday morning. On Sunday afternoon, MAP added Grudge Style Rolling Racing, for a little drag racing nostalgia.

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. Autocross is Friday and Saturday.

MAP2014And 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.

This weekend: Superbikes, dragsters, watercross

Where else can you find Superbikes flying around a road course, drag racers burning up the drag strip and snowmobiles defying gravity as they race around an oval track on open water – all taking place at the same time?

It can only be a Wet & Wild Weekend at Brainerd International Raceway. A single ticket gets fans in to see all three races.

IWA_BIR_WThe snowmobiles are part of the International Watercross Association, which features drag racing and oval racing on Lake BIR. In drag racing, snowmobiles race from one shoreline to the other. For oval racing, the snowmobiles take off from shore, complete four or five laps around floating markers and then return to shore. Sometimes, the laws of physics catch up to them and they sink to the bottom of the lake, which requires a special pontoon to hoist them out of the water and deliver them back to shore where the sled is dried out in time for the next heat.

While the snowmobiles are on the lake, Superbikes will be on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course. It’s the Central Racing6Roadracing Association’s second of five club racing weekends at BIR this season, but this one has added importance because it’s a joint race weekend with the Champion Cup Series from Texas. Superbike riders from both organizations will be on the track for practice sessions and racing all weekend. That means high bike counts and great racing action.

The drag strip will be busy as well with BIR’s third Bracket Drag Racing Series weekend. The last series weekend attracted more than 400 drag racers competing in dragsters, cars, trucks, bikes and

Clayton Mattson won Sunday's Stock/Super Stock Class

Clayton Mattson won Sunday’s Stock/Super Stock Class

Junior Dragsters. This weekend’s race includes the NHRA Summit Racing Junior Drag Racing League Championship, where kids under age 18 will compete in three Junior Dragster classes for a Wally trophy. Saturday and Sunday both feature time trials and qualifying, followed by eliminations rounds.

“This weekend’s event will be a lot of fun,” BIR Owner Jed Copham said. “The snowmobile race has become really popular with our fans because it’s so unusual. The Superbike racing is going to be great racing with the addition of the CCS from Texas. And our bracket racers always put on a great show.”

Daily admission is $20 and kids 12 and under are free. Tickets are available at the gate.

CRA photo courtesy of SDE.

NHRA Divisional drag racers put on a show during Thunder

Doug Engels qualified No. 1 in Comp Eliminator and out-ran the competition straight to the winners circle during last weekend’s NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series at Brainerd International Raceway.

Paul Pittman won Top Sportsman
Paul Pittman won Top Sportsman

Engels faced off with No. 3 qualifier Clint Sallee in the finals and had the power to hold him off with a 7.201-second lap at 185.05 mph to Sallee’s quicker 6.797, 203.49. Both drivers are former West Central division champions.

J.R. Lobner was out first on Brad Basgall in the Fineline Graphics/Madcap Racing Top Dragster class with a .008-second reaction time and cruised to a 6.963-second win as Basgall had car problems from the start.

In the Jerry Haas Race Cars Top Sportsman class, Paul Pittman took the win over Tom Schmidt, who was out first but ran too quick by .013 seconds. Pittman went 6.656 seconds on the 6.64 dial at 212.23 mph in his ’13 Camaro for the win.

Abe Loewen and Tyler Wudarczky captured wins in Super Stock and Stock, respectively.  Loewen took the holeshot on Mark Jenkins in the finals and ran 9.526 seconds on the 9.52 dial to down Jenkins. Wudarczyk drove his ’69 Nova past Ben Line, covering the quarter mile in 11.472 seconds at just over 100 mph.

Your 2015 winners.
Your 2015 winners.

Three Minnesota racers won in the super index classes as Jordan Pratt downed Austin Sharpe in Super Comp, Mark McMasters ousted Chuck Rose in Super Gas and Tony Leonard knocked off Jeff Landholm in Super Street. Pratt and Sharpe were close off the line but Pratt was better at the stripe in a double break-out, 8.894 seconds to 8.855. McMasters was better at both ends of the tracks, running 9.899 seconds, just .001 off the index, and Leonard had a tenth of a second lead at the start with a near perfect 10.901-second pass to hold off Jeff Landholm.

In Sportsman Motorcycle presented by Harley-Davidson, Cameron Belisle beat Jason Clampitt, who was out first but Belisle had the power to run him down, posting a 9.335-second pass on his ’90 Kawasaki at 132.06 mph.

In the Super Shootouts, Chris Bishop beat Jeremy Lehrke in Super Comp; John Gosh ended Russ Ginger’s day in Super Gas; and Laurie Pederson-Duffield won over Amy Jo Luberda in Super Street.

Adman Kritzky and Candace Jurgens took the honors in the NHRA Summit Jr. Drag Racing League. Kritzky held off local racer Chandler Niemeyer in the 8-12 year old class and Jurgens beat Meagen Neil in the 13-17 year old division.

West Central Division racers head to Bandimere Speedway for the next NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event, June 19-21.

The following are Sunday’s final results from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, West Central Division Thunder at the Lakes:

COMP ELIMINATOR
Doug Engels, Watertown, S.D., dragster, D/D, 7.201, 185.05 def. Clint Sallee, Glendive, Mont., dragster, B/D, 6.797, 203.49.

 SUPER STOCK
Abe Loewen, Regina, Sask., ’98 Grand Am, SS/DM, 9.526, 134.82  def. Mark Jenkins, Wymore, Neb., ’02 Cavalier, GT/D, 9.761, 133.49.

STOCK ELIMINATOR
Tyler Wudarczyk, Wakarusa, Kan., ’69 Nova, G/SA, 11.472, 106.47 def. Ben Line, International Falls, Minn., ’69 Mustang, C/SA, 10.801, 122.62.

SUPER COMP
Jordan Pratt, Otsego, Minn., dragster, 8.894, 168.64 def. Austin Sharpe, Omaha, Neb., dragster, 8.855, 174.35.

 SUPER GAS
Mark McMasters, Owatonna, Minn., ’57 Corvette, 9.899, 161.38 def. Chuck Rose, S. Sioux City, Neb., ’71 Challenger, 9.893, 150.97.

SUPER STREET
Tony Leonard, Hastings, Minn., ’70 Nova, 10.901, 119.93 def. Jeff Landholm, Oakland, Neb., ’68 Camaro, 10.926, 142.97.

FINELINE GRAPHICS & MADCAP RACING TOP DRAGSTER
J.R. Lobner, Gardner, Kan., dragster, 6.963, 161.69 def. Brad Basgall, Hays, Kan., dragster, 40.424, 37.37.

JERRY HAAS RACE CARS TOP SPORTSMAN PRESENTED BY AEROMOTIVE
Paul Pittman, Bloomington, Minn., ’13 Camaro, 6.656, 212.23 def. Tom Schmidt, Lindstrom, Minn., ’09 GXP, 6.927, 200.62.

SPORTSMAN MOTORCYCLE PRESENTED BY HARLEY DAVIDSON
Cameron Belisle, Hugo, Minn., ’90 Kawasaki, 9.335, 132.06 def. Jason Clampitt, Lino Lakes, Minn., ’79 Kawasaki, 9.931, 129.39.

 

400+ cars compete in second Bracket Drag Racing weekend

Gary Loeffelholz didn’t waste any time making his presence known last weekend during Brainerd International Raceway’s Bracket Drag Racing Series.

Loeffelholz is the defending champion in the Super Pro Class and joined 400 other drivers for the series’ second race weekend of the season. By Sunday night, he had a runner-up finish and pocketed $1,200 for winning the new Quick 16 Shoot.

Clayton Mattson won Sunday's Stock/Super Stock Class

Clayton Mattson won Sunday’s Stock/Super Stock Class

Loeffelholz had his 2004 Mustang dialed in, posting times of 7.3 seconds and speeds of 180 mph, which made him one of the fastest cars at the track. “I was extremely happy (with the car),” he said. “It was deadly.”

On Saturday, Loeffelholz won his way to the fifth round of eliminations where he lost to Tom Carlson, who went on beat Ronnie Luberda in the Super Pro finals. Loeffelholz chalked up his loss to a driving error at the starting line.

There were no mistakes Saturday during the Quick 16 Shoot, though. The Quick 16 features the eight fastest door cars against the eight fastest dragsters. Loeffelholz won the first three rounds and then lined up across from Jordan Pratt and his Spitzer dragster in the finals. Loeffelholz was 7/1,000ths of a second quicker off the starting line and held off Pratt to win by 5/1,000ths of a second. His winning time was 7.298 seconds and 185.54 mph.

Loeffelholz carried that momentum through Sunday’s race where he outlasted 102 other drivers in the Super Pro class for a runner-up finish, losing to Mike Anderson and his 1965 Nova in the finals. Anderson ran 9.334 seconds and 140.49 mph.

Mike Anderson

Mike Anderson

Chuck Roycraft

Chuck Roycraft

Anderson went on to win Sunday’s Super Pro/Pro Shootout to pocket $2,000 in prize money. The Shootout pits the Super Pro Class winner against the Pro ET Class winner, with a $3,000 cash purse on the line. Chuck Roycraft beat out 81 other drivers to win the Pro ET Class, but he couldn’t keep up to Anderson in the Shootout.

The next Bracket Drag Racing Series is June 12-14 and will feature the NHRA Summit Racing Junior Drag Racing League Challenge, which will be Saturday. It’s a chance for kids who compete in the three Junior Dragster classes to win a Wally trophy.

In addition to bracket drag racing, that weekend will include International Watercross Association (IWA) racing on Lake BIR. IWA racing features snowmobiles racing on open water in drag racing and around an oval course Crowd_Wmarked by floating markers.

BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course will be busy as well, with a dual event featuring Superbike racing courtesy of the Central Roadracing Association (CRA) and the Championship Cup Series (CCS) from Texas. The CRA typically has five weekends on the schedule at BIR and invited the CCS for a joint event.

Below are results from the weekend.

SATURDAY, MAY 30 RESULTS

Super Pro
Finals: Tom Carlson of Two Harbors def. Ronnie Luberda of Foley
Semifinals: Carlson had a bye; Luberda def. Bruce Kaul of Racine

Pro ET
Finals: Dave Engler of Ramsey def. Aaron Milton of Maple Grove
Semifinals: Engler def. Jenna Jahnke of Stillwater; Milton had a bye

Sportsman
Finals: Russ Elzy of Becker def. Ryan Hutar of Cromwell
Semifinals: Elzy had a bye; Hutar def. Andy Kuklok of St. Cloud

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Bill Feist of Maple Grove def. Scott Dugdale of Stacy
Semifinals: Feist def. Tim Bosbek of Andover; Dugdale def. Brett Speer of Little Falls

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Kyle Olson of Moorland, Iowa def. Jimmy Paulson of Stacy
Semifinals: Olson def. Jeremy Berg of Newport; Paulson def. Mike Voss of Maplewood

Comp Trophy
Finals: Sid Osterman of Pequot Lakes def. Jared Hutar of Cromwell
Semifinals: Osterman def. DJ Spiczka of Rice; Hutar had a bye

Street Trophy
Finals: Joe Moriarty of Ham Lake def. Tyler Gadacz of Little Falls
Semifinals: Moriarty def. Holly Johnson of Mound; Gadacz def. Josh Luberda of Foley

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: Cassidy Takacs of Thunder Bay, Ontario def. Zachary Zavadil of Clearwater
Semifinals: Takacs def. Carter Lindquist of Minnetonka; Zavadil def. Derrick Howell of Big Lake

Junior Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Trevor Jelinski of Little Falls def. Samantha Cielinski of Gilman
Semifinals: Jelinski def. Aaron Clampitt of Lino Lakes; Cielinski def. Zach McFarland of Sabin

Junior Dragster Novice
Finals: Alex Clampitt of Lino Lakes def. Megan Cielinski of Gilman
Semifinals: Clampitt def. Riley Luberda of Foley; Cielinski def. Dylan Dancer of Foley

Junior Dragster Youth
Finals: Daniel Dancer of Foley def. Carter Luberda of Foley
Semifinals: Dancer def. Brody Thompson; Luberda had a bye

Quick 16 Shootout
Gary Loeffelholz of Shafer def. Jordan Pratt of Otsego

 

SUNDAY, MAY 31

Super Pro
Finals: Mike Anderson of St. Joseph def. Gary Loeffelholz of Shafer
Semifinals: Anderson def. Chuck Roycraft of Minnetonka; Loeffelholz def. Myron Streit of St. Cloud

Pro ET
Finals: Chuck Roycraft of Minnetonka def. Steve Brings of Howard Lake
Semifinals: Roycraft had a bye; Brings def. Travis Reutzel of Annandale

Sportsman
Finals: Brandon Schmall of Lino Lakes def. Jesse Luberda of Foley
Semifinals: Schmall had a bye; Luberda def. Jerry Heib of Maple Grove

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Clayton Mattson of Cloquet def. Brett Speer of Little Falls
Semifinals: Mattson def. Glen DeMenge of McGregor; Speer def. Dean Mesenbring of Rochester

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Jimmy Paulson of Stacy def. Jason Clampitt of Lino Lakes
Semifinals: Paulson def. Kyle Olson of Moorland, Iowa; Clampitt had a bye

Comp Trophy
Finals: Lawrence Schreiner of St. Cloud def. Jared Hutar of Cromwell
Semifinals: Schreiner def. Sid Osterman; Hutar def. Sheryl Takacs of Thunder Bay, Ontario

Street Trophy
Finals: Tyler Gadacz of Little Falls; def. Ryan Eisen of South St. Paul
Semifinals: Gadacz def. Joe Moriarty of Ham Lake; Eisen def. Chuck Holien of Maple Grove

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: Derrick Howell of Big Lake def. Paige Findell of Zimmerman
Semifinals: Howell def. Cassidy Takacs of Thunder Bay, Ontario; Findell def. Sydney Haben of Hibbing

Junior Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Zach McFarland of Sabin def. Trevor Jelinski of Little Falls
Semifinals: McFarland def. Samantha Cielinski of Gilman; Jelinski def. Jazper Wiebusch of Ham Lake

Junior Dragster Novice
Finals: Riley Luberda of Foley def. Megan Cielinski of Gilman
Semifinals: Luberda def. Travis Kurkosky of Annandale; Cielinski def. Allyson Giese of Kandiyohi

Junior Dragster Youth
Finals: Carter Luberda of Foley def. Daniel Dancer of Foley
Semifinals: Luberda def. Brody Thompson; Dancer had a bye

 

 

 

NHRA drag racing at center stage for Thunder at the Lakes

The NHRA’s Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series makes its annual stop at BIR this weekend for Thunder at the Lakes, a three-day speed fest for drag racers gunning for a national championship.

Doug Woody competed in Top Sportsman last year.

Doug Woody competed in Top Sportsman last year.

For fans, Thunder at the Lakes is a sneak preview to the type of Sportsman drag racing they can see during the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in August. These racers come from all over the country to earn points toward divisional and national championships and to take home a piece of the year-end purse worth more than $519,000.

While drag racers are on the drag strip this weekend, the North Star Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America will be on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course for three days of driving events. The BMW event is included in daily admission, and fans are encouraged to watch these skilled

Daryl Forrest raced in Top Dragster.

Daryl Forrest raced in Top Dragster.

drivers take on the 13-turn track.

The drag racing program provides some of the season’s best racing. Fans are treated to super-competitive drag racing in nine classes: 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 presented by Harley-Davidson round out the classes.

Thunder at the Lakes features drag racers in the NHRA’s West Central Division, which stretches from Wyoming to Wisconsin and from Colorado to Kansas, and includes parts of Canada. Friday is a testing day, qualifying and time trials are Saturday, and eliminations are Sunday.

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

 

Rocket cars join Bracket Drag Racing Series this weekend

This weekend’s drag racing program at Brainerd International Raceway will take on a whole new look, as a rocket dragster and a rocket go-kart will be testing on the drag strip Friday afternoon.

Capt. Jack McClure in his Rocket Go-Kart

Capt. Jack McClure in his Rocket Go-Kart

One of them will be the Rocket Go-Kart driven by 89-year-old Captain Jack McClure, who first started driving rocket-powered cars 50 years ago. The other is the rocket-powered Sonic Stinger dragster, driven by Minnesotan Kurt Anderson and built by the legendary rocket builder Ky Michaelson of Bloomington.

The two rockets cars are expected to make three or four runs down BIR’s drag strip on Friday. They’ll be sharing the track with dragsters in BIR’s Bracket Drag Racing Series, which will be testing that day in preparation for Saturday and Sunday’s races.

On Sunday, BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course will be hosting the Slowpokes Car Club, which will have driving

The rocket-powered Sonic Stinger dragster

The rocket-powered Sonic Stinger dragster

events on the track all day. Fans are invited to watch the club as well.

This is the second weekend for drivers in the Bracket Drag Racing Series, which features six weekends and 12 races this season. Saturday and Sunday start with time trials for all 10 classes before cars are paired up for elimination rounds, which results in winners both days.

More than 250 dragsters, cars, trucks, bikes, snowmobiles and Junior Dragsters are expected to compete, with prize money on the line for the top classes, and valuable series points up for grabs.

On Friday, though, all eyes will be on the rocket ships flying down the drag strip. Anderson’s car will go about 330 mph in the quarter mile, with a time of about 4 seconds, which is close to the speeds posted by the Top Fuel Dragsters that compete at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at BIR in August. McClure’s go-kart goes about 230 mph with a time of about 5 seconds.

Michaelson, who has a long and storied history of building rocket devices, makes the distinction between his Sonic Stinger (and the go-kart driven by McClure) and a jet-powered car. The rocket cars are powered by hydrogen peroxide reacting to a silver-plated screen. The peroxide turns to steam and is forced through a nozzle to create thrust. He said fans shouldn’t be looking for giant flames coming out the back of these cars, like you’d see when jet cars run.

Michaelson is such as rocket junkie that he named his son Buddy Rocketman Michaelson. He has built rocket-powered bikes, wheelchairs, roller skates, cars, motorcycles and even a backpack that Buddy flew when he was 7 years old. His rockets have been in movies (“October Sky”) and were launched into space in 2004, traveling 72 miles above Earth at 3,420 mph.

McClure’s rocket experience took a vastly different path. He was a stock car racer in the late 1950s and early 1960s before developing an interest in go-karts. He developed one with twin engines and discovered that it’d go 100 mph down the drag strip, giving Super Stock drag racers a run for their money. In 1963, he replaced his kart with a rocket-powered kart that he raced at drag strips all over the country. His go-kart is a small, single seat open kart with the rocket on the back.

“These rockets are going to be a lot of fun to watch,” BIR Owner Jed Copham said. “We’re told that this is the first time two rocket cars have been at the same track since the 1980s, so it’ll be a once-in-a-lifetime event for fans to see. But those who stick around for the Bracket Drag Racing Series will see some really competitive racing as well and some very fast cars, especially those competing in our new Quick 16 class.”

Daily admission this weekend is $20, and kids 12 and under are free. Camping is free with the purchase of a multi-day ticket. Visit BrainerdRaceway.com for more details.

Street Car Showdown proves tough for defending champs

The defending champions from last year’s Muscle Car Series at Brainerd International Raceway are off to a slow start, as all but two were knocked off in the elimination rounds during the 7th Annual Street Car Showdown Memorial Day weekend.

Winner Warren Peterson's '33 Plymouth.

Winner Warren Peterson’s ’33 Plymouth.

The Showdown is the first race in the three-race series on the drag strip. The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) was on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course for the Harvey West Memorial Day Classic road race.

Rick Schmidt was one of the defending champs that survived the series’ first race. Driving his 2011 Mustang in the Pro Outlaw Class, he put on an amazing display of speed, winning the class with a final run of 220.73 mph and 6.384 seconds to dispose of Bill Krech, who shut his car down early.

Prior to the race, Schmidt said it was going to take an elapsed time of less than 6.4 seconds to win Pro Outlaw

Rick Schmidt

Rick Schmidt

Warren Peterson

Warren Peterson

this year – typically the fastest class in the series. During the elimination rounds, his last two runs were under 6.4 seconds, and the third was 6.439 seconds.

In Outlaw, defending two-time champ Jake Delmonico lost in the finals to Warren Peterson and his 1933 Plymouth truck. Peterson’s finals run was 8.026 seconds at 175.75 mph. Delmonico had some trouble getting off the starting line, running 8.323 seconds and 176.40 mph.

Mike Sterling, last year’s King Street champion, lost in the second round to Josh Knudsen and his 1979 Cobra. Knudsen when on to beat Chris Orr in the finals when Orr’s car broke. Knudsen still ran 7.961 seconds and 173.63 mph.

David Senderhauf

David Senderhauf

Duane Godbout

Duane Godbout

In Real Street Unlimited, Duane Godbout was trying to improve on his third-place finish in 2014. He had his 1969 Chevelle dialed in as he won his way to the finals and then beat Dennis Orr with a run of 9.311 seconds and 131.79 mph. Orr ran 8.940 seconds and 171.58 mph but took .872 seconds to get off the starting line.

Bill Meyer was another third-place finisher last year with his eye on the title this season, and he’s off to a good start after beating Kerry Hemenway in the finals of Real Street Natural. Meyer and his 1991 Mustang ran 10.230 seconds and 110.80 mph for the win. Hemenway posted a time of 10.738 seconds and 123.92 mph.

Josh Knudsen

Josh Knudsen

In True Street, defending champion Todd Malik won his way to the finals, facing newcomer Dan Gefre and his ’83 Malibu Wagon. Malik was quicker off the starting line but couldn’t hold off Gefre, who edged him at the finish line with a time of 8.709 seconds and 155.78 mph. Malik ran 8.849 seconds and 150.65 mph.

Defending champion David Senderhauf takes the early lead in the 660 Outlaw Street Class after beating Lucas Mlinar in the finals. Driving an ’86 Mustang, Senderhauf was quicker off the starting line and drove to an eighth-mile finish of 4.916 seconds and 145.08 mph, while Mlinar ran 5.795 seconds and 155.94 mph.

The second leg of the Muscle Car Series takes the drag strip again during the PleasureLand RV Show & Go, July 3-5. This year’s event will feature the Trans Am Series on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course as well as the National Auto Sport Association.

Results from each class are below.

Pro Outlaw
Finals: Rick Schmidt of Dickinson, N.D. def. Bill Krech of Inver Grove Heights
Semifinals: Schmidt had a bye; Krech def. Dick Malik of Blaine

Outlaw
Finals: Warren Peterson of Duluth def. Jake Delmonico of St. Paul Park
Semifinals: Peterson def. Steve Tharp of Maple Grove; Delmonico def. Dean Erickson of East Bethel

King Street
Finals: Josh Knudsen of Frontenac def. Chris Orr of Superior, Wis.
Semifinals: Knudsen def. Jason Geiger of Hanska; Orr def. Brian Mahnke of Proctor

Real Street Unlimited
Finals: Duane Godbout of Cloquet def. Dennis Orr of Superior, Wis.
Semifinals: Godbout had a bye; Orr def. Clint Gregerson of Grand Rapids

Real Street Natural
Finals: Bill Meyer of Andover def. Kerry Hemenway of Park Rapids
Semifinals: Meyer def. Robert Wilczek of Little Falls; Hemenway had a bye

True Street
Finals: Dan Gefre of Coon Rapids def. Todd Malik of Andover
Semifinals: Gefre def. Jason Nelson of Champlain; Malik had a bye

660 Outlaw Street
Finals: David Senderhauf of Zimmerman def. Lucas Mlinar of East St. Paul, Manitoba
Semifinals: Senderhauf def. Josh Brunz of Kasota; Mlinar def. Aaron VanHeel of Otsego

Strip Eliminator 1
Finals: Jesse Haugesag of Prior Lake def. Gerald Cook of Mora
Semifinals: Haugesag def. Mark Angier of Waconia; Cook def. Brad Lesnick of Maplewood

Strip Eliminator 2
Finals: Lee Purdham of Deerwood def. Justin Iverson of Saginaw
Semifinals: Purdham def. Scott Hielscher of Otsego; Iverson def. Scott Davich of Pequot Lakes

Strip Eliminator 3
Finals: Gary Tesar of Medina def. Steve Twaddle of Virginina
Semifinals: Tesar def. Cameron Novak of Rice; Twaddle def. Gordy Hanson of Iron

Truck Eliminator
Finals: Jerry Jablonski of Duluth def. Roger Bednar of East Gull Lake
Semifinals: Jablonski def. Chad Rach of Aitkin; Bednar def. Steve Enberg of Winsted

Manual Transmission
Finals: Keith Sand of Cambridge def. Kelly Rutz of Randall
Semifinals: Sand def. Dan Bozer of Minnetonka; Rutz had a bye

Index Class Champion
Finals: Nick Enberg of Minnestrista def. Eric James of St. Cloud
Semifinals: Enberg def. Gary Olson of Sartell; James had a bye

9.50 Index
Finals: Eric James of St. Cloud def. Patrick Heubner of Bloomington
Semifinals: James def. Gerald Cook of Mora; Heubner def. Bruce Johnson of Duluth

 10.00 Index
Finals: Austin Siemers of Milaca def. Kevin Sands of Cambridge
Semifinals: Siemers def. Greg Maaninga of Menahga; Sands had a bye

10.50 Index
Finals: Nick Enberg of Minnetrista def. Brad Miller of Duluth
Semifinals: Enberg def. Mike Hammerstrom of Bemidji; Miller def. Dave Vasseur of Rogers

11.00 Index
Finals: Bryan Hansen of Minneapolis def. Jesse Haugesag of Prior Lake
Semifinals: Hansen def. Jason Hartkopf of Eden Valley; Haugesag had a bye

11.50 Index
Finals: Zach Stengel of Blaine def. Jon Kelly of Newport
Semifinals: Stengel had a bye; Kelly def. Nate Hubert of Ramsey

12.00 Index
Finals: Gary Olson of Sartell def. John Feesl of St. Paul Park
Semifinals: Olson def. David Brill of Fort Ripley; Feesl def. Doug Covington of Merrifield

12.50 Index
Finals: Kevin Hemenway of Park Rapids def. Lonnie Ellenson of Park Rapids
Semifinals: Hemenway had a bye; Ellenson def. Reid Watson of Laporte

13.00 Index
Finals: Jesse Backstrom of Grand Marais def. Aaron Hall of Rogers
Semifinals: Backstrom def. Scott Hielscher of Otsega; Hall had a bye

13.50 Index
Winner: Nathan Olson of Sartell

14.00 Index
Finals: Jessica Purdham of Albertville def. Tom Leonard of Robbinsdale
Semifinals: Purdham def. David Hyttsten of Monticello; Leonard had a bye

 

Making headlines: This weekend’s Sands, Delmonico

Two drag racers who will be gunning for consecutive championships this year in the Muscle Car Series are Keith Sands and Jake Delmonico, both of who were featured in their hometown newspapers. They both will be competing this weekend during the 7th Annual Street Car Showdown, which kicks off the three-race series. The other two races are the PleasureLand RV Show & Go over the Fourth of July weekend and the GSTA Muscle Car Shootout on Labor Day weekend.

Keith Sand

Keith Sand

Keith Sands won the series championship last year in the Manual Transmission class, driving his 1966 GTO. His 20-year-old son, Kevin, also did well in the series, taking runner-up honors last hear in the Strip Eliminator 1 class. He drives a 1983 Olds. Read more about the lethal father-son combo by clicking here.

Delmonico and his 1968 Camaro is shooting for a three-peat in the Outlaw Class. It was looking like he was going to sweep the class for the second straight year in 2014 before losing in the finals of the GSTA Muscle Car Shootout. He was featured in the South Washington County Bulletin. Click

Jake Delmonico, Outlaw Class Champ

Jake Delmonico, Outlaw Class Champ

here to read the feature.

 

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