MAP Proving Grounds returns this weekend for Round 2

The imports, sport compacts and bikes return to Brainerd International Raceway this weekend for a second turbo-charged round of racing action during the Modern Automotive Performance (MAP) Proving Grounds.

This is the first year that there’s been two Proving Grounds weekends on BIR’s racing schedule because the event is growing fast, with more than 5,000 drivers and fans during the first event in June.

This weekend’s Proving Grounds will again showcase cars, trucks and bikes from all corners of the Midwest and Canada. Front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive cars, including the turbo-charged variety, will compete in drag racing, drifting, autocross, burnout contests and open lapping. A new addition to the event this year is the Triple Tuner Showdown for drivers who enter drag racing, autocross and the Time Attack open lapping on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course. They earn points in each event, with the most points earning the Showdown title. In June, the top three finishers were (in order) Brandon Ranvek, Ronnie Soliman and Tom Hille. Ranvek and Soliman drove Mitsobishi Evo IXs, while Hille drove an Evo VIII.

On the drag strip, cars and import bikes will compete in seven different classes, including Outlaw, Outlaw Natural, Real Street Natural and Real Street Unlimited. Speeds are expected to dip into the 8-second range on the quarter mile. Testing will be Friday, followed by time trials and qualifying Saturday, and then qualifying and eliminations on Sunday.

Drag racing is a big part of the program but the drifting competition is typically the fan favorite each year. Driving through a course marked by orange cones, drivers are timed as they fly through the course mostly in controlled (or uncontrolled, in some cases) skids. That usually creates a lot of smoke, burnt rubber and screeching. Drifting starts Friday evening and continues Saturday and Sunday.

Autocross, which will be Friday and Saturday evenings, involves cars maneuvering through a course while they’re timed. Unlike drifting, autocross is about car control and driving skills.

BIR’s 2.5-mile, 13-turn Competition Road Course will be busy Saturday and Sunday with open lapping and a Time Attack for the fastest lap. A burnout contest is at 7 p.m. Saturday, and the event concludes with an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. Sunday.

“The MAP Proving Grounds continues to really grow and is quickly becoming one of our more popular events,” BIR Owner Jed Copham said. “The drifting competition, for example, draws a great crowd and is a lot of fun to watch.”

The Proving Grounds is for novice drivers, expert drives and everything in between. Those who want to compete should contact Modern Automotive Performance.

Daily admission is $15 with kids 12 and under free. On-site camping is free with a multi-day ticket.

Muscle Car Series ends in grand fashion

Jake Delmonico didn’t have the fastest car in the Outlaw Class Sunday during the grand finale of the three-race Muscle Car Series but it was fast enough to carry him to the Winner’s Circle to finish off a series sweep.

Jake Delmonico, Outlaw Class winner

Jake Delmonico, Outlaw Class winner

Driving his 1968 Camaro, Delmonico was as consistent as any other driver on the track last weekend, with a string of runs at 7.7 seconds and about 175 mph. He also had some good luck working in his favor when the fastest car in the Outlaw Class, a 1998 Firebird driven by Brian Carpenter, broke in the second round of eliminations. Carpenter was the No. 1 qualifier with the top speed of 1878.08 mph and low time of 7.385 seconds.

Without Carpenter in the mix, Delmonico raced his way to the finals where he disposed of Vern Laurin Jr. with a run of 7.749 seconds and 175.71 mph. Laurin ran 7.956 seconds and 170.97 mph. With that win, Delmonico finished the Muscle Car Series with three wins and a series crown.

The season finale of the Muscle Car Series was only part of the racing program last weekend during the 25th Annual Muscle Car Shootout. A perennial favorite among BIR’s fan base, the Shootout featured drag racing, road racing, a fireworks display, live music and a classic car show.

On BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course, 22 drivers in the Tran Am Series battled during a 40-lap, 100-mile showdown Sunday, with Doug Peterson taking the checkered flag after earning the pole position. The road course was also busy all weekend with the SCCA Jack Pine Sprints. Click here for results from the Tran Am Series race.

Back on the drag strip, the Pro Outlaw finals was a showdown between heavyweights Craig Braun, Bill Krech and Ray Fuchs, with the series championship up for grabs. Krech and Fuchs each have Pro Outlaw wins this season and were on top of the points standings. Braun was in third after missing the Street Car Showdown.

Craig Braun won Pro Outlaw.

Craig Braun won Pro Outlaw.

Braun entered eliminations as the No. 1 qualifier with the lowest time of 6.431 seconds but Krech owned the top speed of the weekend at 215.48 mph, which he posted in the semifinals.Fuchs fouled and broke in the semifinals against Braun, leaving Braun and Krech in the finals.

Krech beat Braun off the starting line but Braun’s ’68 Firebird was too quick for Krech and his ’69 Camaro. Braun caught him at the finish line with a run of 6.460 seconds and 211.30 mph. Krech ran 6.859 seconds and 202.27 mph.

The King Street Class played out like a broken record. Brian Mahnke won the class, just as he did in the other two series races, and claimed the series championship, just as he has done in the previous four seasons.

On Sunday, Mahnke and his ’72 Camaro was the No. 1 qualifier and faced off against Evan Boettcher and his ’68 Chevelle in the finals. Mahnke spotted Boettcher almost 3/10ths of a second off the starting line but squeaked out a win at the finish line with a time of 8.362 seconds and 167.78 mph. Boettcher finished with a time of 8.712 seconds and 154.40 mph.

Jim Ripley earned his second series win in the Real Street Unlimited Class. He won the Street Car Showdown and finished second in the Show & Go but outlasted the field Sunday with a win over Dennis Orr, who was the No. 1 qualifier with the best time of 8.123 seconds and top speed of 176.33 seconds. Orr handed Ripley the win, though, when he fouled at the starting line and his car broke.

The newest class in the series, 660 Outlaw Street, has proven to be the tightest and most competitive class, and Sunday was no exception. The class races on an eighth-mile track and has tire restrictions that evens the playing field. Lucas Minor entered eliminations as the No. 1 qualifier with the top speed of 163.55 mph. Nick Strohbeen had the best time with a 4.803-second pass, so it was no surprise that the two faced off in the finals. Driving an ’01 Trans Am, Minor was a hair quicker off the starting line and easily won with a time of 4.839 seconds and 157.48 mph. Strohbeen finished with 6.052 seconds and 86.45 mph.

The winners of the 10 Index Classes were paired up to determine the Index Class Champion. Bruce Morley, who won the 12.50 Index, earned his way to the finals, where he faced Mike Hammerstrom, the 10.50 Index winner. Morely was quicker off the starting line and took the win.

The winners of all the classes are listed below, along with those who advanced to the semifinals and finals. Click here to view the finals standings for each class.

Finals: Craig Braun of Hampton def. Bill Krech of Inver Grove Heights
Semifinals: Braun def. Ray Fuchs of Bowman, N.D.; Krech def. Dick Malik of Blaine

Finals: Jake Delmonico of St. Paul Park def. Vern Laurin Jr. of Duluth
Semifinals: Delmonico had a bye; Laurin def. Jason Rolow of Anoka

Finals: Brian Mahnke of Proctor def. Evan Boettcher of Andover
Semifinals: Mahnke def. Mike Sterling of Oak Grove; Boettcher had a bye

Finals: Jim Ripley of Duluth def. Dennis Orr of Superior, Wis.
Semifinals: Ripley def. Clint Gregerson of Grand Rapids; Orr def. Jad Carlson of Hermantown

Finals: Matt Sathre of Brooklyn Park def. Darrell Godbout of Carlton
Semifinals: Sathre def. Kelly Rutz of Randall; Godbout had a bye

Finals: Todd Malik of Andover def. Jason Nelson of Champlin
Semifinals: Malik had a bye; Nelson def. Andy Lehner of St. Paul Park

Finals: Lucas Minor of Winnipeg, Manitoba def. Nick Strohbeen of Roseville
Semifinals: Minor had a bye; Strohbeen def. Jim Frendt of Cottage Grove

Finals: Jesse Haugesag of Prior Lake def. Jeff Weston of Champlin
Semifinals: Haugesag had a bye; Weston def. Charlie Odden of Pine Center

Finals: Warren Anderson of Cambridge def. Dick Harnois of Brooklyn Park
Semifinals: Anderson def. Chris Carle of Virginia; Harnois had a bye

Finals: Kirk Leith of Prior Lake def. Gordon Hanson of Iron
Semifinals: Leith def. Lynne Wiita of Cloquet; Hanson def. Bob Ziebol of Princeton

Finals: Troy Anderson of St. Paul def. David Adams of Brooklyn Center
Semifinals: Anderson had a bye; Adams def. Jerry Jablonski of Duluth

Finals: Sheldon Lee of St. Peter def. Larry Jarosiewicz of Hugo
Semifinals: Lee had a bye; Jarosiewicz def. Marc Peters of Zimmerman

Finals: Bruce Morley of Brainerd def. Mike Hammerstrom of Bemidji
Semifinals: Morley had a bye; Hammerstrom def. Jesse Backstrom of Grand Marais

9.50 INDEX
Finals: Austin Siemers of Milaca def. Pat Huebner of Bloomington
Semifinals: Siemers def. Dave Sash of Duluth; Huebner def. Eric James of St. Cloud

10.00 INDEX
Finals: Kevin Sand of Cambridge def. Jeremy Doll of Richmond
Semifinals: Sand def. Eric Baker of Browerville; Doll def. Bruce Johnson of Duluth

10.50 INDEX
Finals: Mike Hammerstrom of Bemidji def. Kerry Hemenway of Park Rapids
Semifinals: Hammerstrom def. Dave Imgrund of Brainerd; Hemenway had a bye

11.00 INDEX
Finals: Jesse Haugesag of Prior Lake def. Mark Angier of Waconia
Semifinals: Haugesag def. Travis Larson of Rosemount; Angier had a bye

11.50 INDEX
Finals: Zach Stengel of Blaine def. Dave Vasseur of Rogers
Semifinals: Stengel def. Al Heinonen of Superior, Wis.; Vasseur def. Terry Drahosh of Aitkin

12.00 INDEX
Finals: Justin Iverson of Saginaw def. Gary Olson of Sartell
Semifinals: Iverson had a bye; Olson def. Ben Brooks of New Richmond, Wis.

12.50 INDEX
Finals: Bruce Morely of Brainerd def. Rick Gulbranson of Hermantown
Semifinals: Morely had a bye; Gulbranson def. Nicole Nelson of Norwood

13.00 INDEX
Finals: Jesse Backstrom of Grand Marais def. Craig Schneider of Viking
Semfinals: Backstrom def. Jim McFaul of Virginia; Schneider had a bye

13.50 INDEX
Finals: Gary Nelson of North Branch def. Natalie Laurin-Appleby of Duluth
Semifinals: Nelson had a bye; Laurin-Appleby def. Mike Twaddle of Virginia

14.00 INDEX
Finals: Gary Tesar of Medina def. Mike Simons of Pine Center
Semifinals: Tesar def. Frank Volk of Madison Lake; Simons def. Jessica Purdham of Albertville


Peterson takes checkered flag in Trans Am Series race

Doug Peterson started on the pole for Sunday’s Trans Am Series race and held off a tight field to win the final act of the 25th Annual Muscle Car Shootout.  The Trans Am field consisted of 22 cars, the largest entry for Trans Am at BIR since 1989.

Doug Peterson, winner of the Trans Am Series race

Doug Peterson, winner of the Trans Am Series race

The 40-lap, 100-mile Trans Am Series race, which featured Trans Am, Trans Am2 and Trans Am3 classes on the track at the same time, punctuated the Muscle Car Shootout. The event also included the grand finale of the three-race Muscle Car Series on the drag strip and the SCCA Jack Pine Sprints, which shared the 2.5-mile Competition Road Course with the Trans Am Series.

Behind Peterons and his #87 Chevrolet Corvette was defending TA Champion Simon Gregg and the #1 Gregg Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette and Cliff Ebben, driver of the #66 Stumpf Ford/McMahon Group Ford Mustang.

The TA class began the race with a quick reshuffling of the leaders as Tony Ave, in the #4 Lamers Motor Racing/PME Engines/RPX Chevrolet Corvette, overtook both Ebben and Gregg to move up two positions on the first lap.  Amy Ruman in the #23 McNichols Chevrolet Corvette mounted a similar effort, pushing past Gregg and Ebben as well.

Ruman’s push was cut short as she hit a soft spot on the track and spun; and, while she recovered quickly, she lost the position she had so quickly acquired. Several laps later the #66 of Cliff Ebben spun as well but was unable to continue, leaving Gregg in third, behind Ave and Peterson.

Ruman made up ground at a furious rate, turning a lap record time of 1:28.974 in her efforts.  She caught up to Gregg  and his teammate, Jed Copham, driver of the #40 Derhaag Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette and BIR track owner, on the eighth lap of the race and overtook them with several quick, committed passes.

The group of Peterson, Ave, Ruman and Gregg continued in that order through a pair of double yellow flags and past the checkered flag, but not for the lack of trying, the entire group finished within one and a half seconds of each other.

“I knew that I wanted to set a quick pace for the first few laps to create a bit of a gap between myself and the competition,” Peterson said.  “Amy had a few issues early on so we were able to do that and I went into cruise control for a while.  But then we did go under yellow and it brought everyone back together and Amy was very fast at the end of the race—I congratulated her on that, but fortunately we were able to hold position for the victory.”

The victory was the fifth of the year for Peterson, who now holds a commanding points lead; however, he insists he will not be taking any of the upcoming races for granted.

“I don’t know exactly where I am in the points, but we do race by race and hope for the best,” Peterson said.  “The team really does a phenomenal job setting up these cars and that makes it easy for me.”

Trans Am2 (TA2)  began with Robert Huffmaster, driver of the #27 Kryder Racing/ VirSec Chevrolet Camaro, in first position followed by the #11 Ctek/Motorstate/NorthStar Battery Chevrolet Camaro of Cameron Lawrence in second and Bob Stretch, driver of the #98 Wheels America/ Fix Rim Mobile Chevrolet Camaro, in third.

Stretch shot up to second position, passing Lawrence on the first lap, but was unable to close the gap with Huffmaster, who was continuing to create space between himself and the rest of the TA2 pack.

Then, just as quickly as Stretch had moved his way forward, he dropped off—entering the pits during the fourth lap of the race, where he remained for the duration, retiring due to a mechanical failure.

Pete Halsmer, in the #12 Ctek/Motorstate/NorthStar Battery Chevrolet Camaro, moved up into the third position as Lawrence pushed into second.  They remained there until after the full course yellow, when, upon the restart lap, Huffmaster suffered a mechanical failure shortly after the green flag and limped his way back to the pits and a mechanical retirement from the race.

Lawrence was now the class leader, Halsmer moved up to second and Gregg Rodgers, driver of the #33 Pinnacle Autosport Chevrolet Camaro, took advantage of the situation to bear down on Halsmer.  Despite Rodgers’ efforts, Halsmer was able to fend off the #33 Camaro and the trio crossed the finish line in that order.

“We knew that Robbie and Bob had run fast all weekend,” Lawrence said.  “But I just focused on driving smart, and it eventually paid off.  It’s great to take home another victory for Miller Racing, and going forward we’re just going to play it smart.  We have a good point lead, and we’re going to keep the car in good shape.  We don’t need to push for first place every time or that extra point for pole, so we’ll save the car and race smart like we always do.”

Lawrence walked away with the TA2 class track record of 1:33.779 in hand as well.  The victory was his fifth of the season.

The Trans Am race also featured the Trans Am3 (TA3) class, Trans Am’s production class. David Seuss and the #9 Northern Light Porsche 996 GT3 emerged victorious and with the track record in hand, with Minnesota native Tim Gray, in the #60 Ryan Companies US Inc. Porsche GT-3 Cup 997, in second and the #16 Carribean Food Delights Ford Mustang of Rob Bodle in third.

Next up on the Trans Am circuit will be Round 8 at Virginia International Raceway on Sunday September 29, 2013.

Previewing Sunday’s Trans Am Series race

Brainerd International Raceway.  Three words that have signified Trans Am’s historic pilgrimage northward to the land of lakes.  It is an enigma on the Trans Am schedule and has been since 1969 when the Series made its first appearance on the northern track.

Brainerd signifies different things for different teams and different drivers but is marked by its uniqueness as a track, steeped in an alluring complexity that cannot be expressed properly in words alone.  Nevertheless, the enigma that is Brainerd is more complex than ever.

Gone are the days of the abrasive, tire-eating surface that earned the track its label of being a “survivor’s course.”  Now a fresh, clean and improved surface awaits teams and drivers—scraping their painstakingly calculated setups from years past.

Now teams that head north are left with more questions than answers on what awaits them, but they cannot avoid the inescapable truth that a win at Brainerd goes a long way towards the point standings and even a Trans Am Championship.  Seasons can be made in the north, but dreams can just as easily be shattered at this historic home of Trans Am.

This year has been a turning point for Trans Am—the winds of change have blown; bringing with them full fields, growing classes and neck-and-neck racing.  The Trans Am Series is now far different from 2010 when it made a return to Brainerd after a 21-year absence—just as it has changed from even last year when Trans Am held its first of two doubleheader weekends at the end of the year.

It is only fitting that a track so ingrained in the history and character of the Series should go through its own metamorphosis at the same time as the Series that had engraved itself into the old track surface, one lap at a time, year after year.  It’s a renaissance for both track and series, and it just feels right that they go through it together.  Because, in reality, there will only ever be one Brainerd, just as there will only ever be one Trans Am.

Joining the pilgrimage north will be a cast of competitors, ready to leave their mark on Brainerd’s new surface at the 26th Annual Muscle Car Shootout on September 1st.  The 2013 Trans Am Series will be partaking in its seventh race of the season and is now well within the time window when championship races take their shape and eyes intently wander towards the point standings.  The heat is on for the defending champs; do or die is setting in if their championship trophies are going to have any company on the mantle.

Enter Simon Gregg, defending TA champion.  Gregg and the aptly numbered #1 Gregg Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette have been remarkably consistent over the course of the season, making the podium four out of six races and never finishing lower than fourth.

But now Gregg finds himself precariously perched on a tipping point, down 40 points—exactly two wins off of Doug Peterson, current TA points leader.  Nothing is impossible yet, but the point of no return may be rapidly approaching.

The good news is the defending champ knows he’ll be there when it counts.  The Gregg Motorsports Chevrolet Corvette has finished every race it has participated in since Trans Am visited Road Atlanta in 2009—a total of 41 grueling 100-mile sprint format Trans Am races.

“It’s been a fantastic experience to go 41 races in a row without a DNF,” Gregg said.  “Jim Derhaag doesn’t miss a detail at the track or in the shop.  He meticulously prepares the car and is a perfectionist; something you always want from the man preparing your racecar.   It’s great to be able to work and partner with him—he has a lot of experience, he’s been there, done that and we’ve been working well together.”

“It’s going to take a lot to defend my championship—that’s a fact,” Gregg continued.   “There have been a few of the races this year where I haven’t been satisfied with the result or my performance.  I really need to pick it up in the second half of the season.  I’m committed and ready, so we’ll see what happens.”

Yet there is more immediate glory to be found this weekend.  While Doug Peterson, in the #87 Chevrolet Corvette, may have his eyes fixed on Gregg’s title, other driver’s will be more than happy with a victory at the historic track.  Tony Ave is back in the drivers seat of the #4 Lamers Motor Racing/PME Engines/RPX Chevrolet Corvette for the first time since Round Two at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.  Not only is Ave a two-time Trans Am Champion, he’s won more Trans Am races at BIR than any other driver, the Hurley, Wisconsin native will gladly increase that tally if given the opportunity.

Then there is Cliff Ebben.  Ebben is second in the point standings, behind Peterson, also stands in Gregg’s way of a repeat championship and just logged his first victory of the 2013 Season at Mid-Ohio.  Ebben never truly stands out from the crowd, a mild-mannered gentleman racer who prefers to let his racing do the talking, but now with a solid position in the points everyone will be taking notice of Ebben and the #36 Stumpf Ford/McMahon Group Ford Mustang.

In TA2, Bob Stretch is faced with a similar situation.  Yet, in many ways, it has been a year of achievement for the two-time defending TA2 Champion.  He’s built one of the largest TA2 teams in the paddock, with six different drivers participating in Wheels America Racing over the course of the year, earning four podiums.

Behind the wheel of the #98 Wheels America/Fix Rim Mobile Chevrolet Camaro, Stretch even accomplished something a TA2 driver had never done before.  He won a Trans Am race outright at Lime Rock Park.

Yet somehow, Stretch is behind 21-year-old Cameron Lawrence, pilot of the #11 Ctek/Motorstate/NorthStar Chevrolet Camaro, in the point standings—but BIR might be just the fix Stretch needs to get back to his winning ways.  Last year he won the second of two races at BIR; and in 2011 he won the race as well.  Simply enough, Stretch has a history of winning at BIR; and if he can repeat that history, the second half of the season could be looking up for the two-time defending TA2 champion.

Still, in order to secure another repeat Stretch will have to overcome Cameron Lawrence, the current TA2 points leader.

Lawrence has been a constant presence on the podium and on the track.  Track records have fallen in his wake and not only is he yet to miss a podium—he’s yet to finish lower than second.  If there is any solace to be found for Bob Stretch, it’s that every time Lawrence has come in second it’s been at the hands of a Wheels America car.

However, one fact cannot be ignored: Lawrence has his eyes firmly fixed on Stretch’s Championship.

“My ultimate goal this season is to win the Championship for TA2,” Lawrence said. “Things have gone so well for us so far; it would be a huge disappointment if I fail to do that.  I hold myself to the highest expectations.  We go out every weekend with the goal to win.  I know it isn’t probable to win the rest of the races, but it’s not impossible, so that is what we are going to try and do.”

“Usually to prepare for a race weekend I do a lot of resting and practicing on iRacing.  I try to work out or stay in shape the weeks in between race weekends and rest up the few days before.  iRacing has been a huge help for me.  I’ve used it to learn all these amazing tracks that we visit.  Last year was my first time at every track we went to, except Road Atlanta—which I had only been to twice before.  I just try to get into the zone and have a plan on what I want to happen at and on the track—then I just go out there and do my best.”

Regardless of whether Stretch or Lawrence or another driver walks away from Brainerd with a coveted Trans Am win, fans of the Series and TA2 will have far more answers leaving Brainerd than going to it.

The audience will also want to keep an eye on Gregg Rodgers, Robert Huffmaster and Pete Halsmer, all of whom are currently in the thick of the battle for an end of  theyear podium placement and are all more than capable of stealing a win.

TA3 will feature a battle between points leaders Chuck Cassaro and David Seuss, both of whom lead their respective subgroup in the standings, but compete for TA3 glory nonetheless.  Cassaro in the #76 Cassaro Enterprises/Stack Data/Aeromotive/Metallica Ford Mustang is the defending TA3 Champion, an accolade he won handily last year in the class’ first season in existence.  But Cassaro has faced plenty of competition this year and has seen his win reduced to two so far, which is still the most of any TA3 American Muscle Group competitor.

David Seuss, in the #9 Northern Light Prosche 996, currently leads the International Group in the point standings and has been a constant proponent of the TA3 class over the course of the year.

“When you are coming through a corner,” Suess began, “and you have a Porsche, Mustang and Camaro side by side, battling back and forth for an advantage—if you can’t enjoy that in a race, I’m not sure what kind of race fan you are.”

Trans Am will officially take to the track at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday August 31, at 10:00 a.m. CDT for practice as the drivers get a feel for the new surface and quickly return for the second session at 1:45 p.m.

Trans Am will return to the track at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday for qualifying in preparation for the 4:00 p.m. 100 mile, 40 lap, race later that day.

End the summer on a fast note: Muscle Car Shootout

There’s no better way to cap off the summer than with a Labor Day tradition at Brainerd International Raceway – the 25th Annual Muscle Car Shootout.

A perennial fan favorite and one of BIR’s largest events, the Muscle Car Shootout is a smorgasbord of racing and fan activities, including drag racing, road racing, live music, a classic car show and a new addition this year: a unique fireworks show.

On the track, series championships in both drag racing and road racing are on the line. Drag racers will be gunning for championships during the grand finale of the three-race Muscle Car Series. On the 2.5-mile Competition Road Course, teams in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Pro Racing’s Trans Am Series are wrapping up their season with only three races left after BIR’s race, so points will be at a premium for drivers who still have a shot at a championship in the 10-race series. When the Trans Am Series isn’t on the road course, fans will be treated to SCCA regional racing Saturday and Sunday during the Jack Pine Sprints.

There’s plenty to see and do off the track as well. On Saturday, a classic car show will be on the infield behind the main grandstand with judging in 28 categories, including People’s Choice. On Saturday night, Rhino will provide live music at BIR’s Wheelie Bar & Grille (no cover charge). Rhino covers bands like Three Doors Down, Prince, Tom Petty, Blink 182, Van Halen and Train.

New this year to the program is the Northern Lighters Lake Shoot, a unique display of handmade and vintage fireworks. It’s not a typical fireworks show with multiple explosions in the air at all times. Instead, the show is for pyro technicians from throughout the country to show off shells that are expected to be larger, more unique and every bit as spectacular as those normally used.

“The Muscle Car Shootout is traditionally one of our biggest events of the year and a great way for fans to finish off the summer,” BIR owner Jed Copham said. “There’s so much going on that weekend – on AND off the track – that it’s become a great family event. We’re also really excited to be hosting the Lake Shoot fireworks show, which will be amazing.”

Back on the track, more than 400 drag racers are expected for the grand finale of the Muscle Car Series. At center stage will be the six Heads Up Classes, where speeds top 200 mph and times can dip below 7 seconds. The two fastest classes – Pro Outlaw and Outlaw – will have new champions this year, as the reigning champs didn’t race this year. The same is true for the 660 Outlaw Street Class, which is a new addition to this year’s series. The drag strip is shortened up to an eighth mile for this class, which levels the playing field for the cars and makes for some very close times.

Qualifying starts at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday, with eliminations starting at 9 a.m. Sunday.

On the road course, a change to this year’s road racing program involves the Trans Am Series, which will only race on Sunday, instead of Saturday and Sunday like in year’s past. The race will again be a 40-lap, 100-mile battle on the technical and competitive 13-turn track. Over the years, the race been dominated by Tony Ave, who split wins with Amy Ruman last year. Doug Peterson is currently in the points lead with Ruman in fourth and Ave in seventh.

The SCCA’s Jack Pine Sprints will be on the road course Saturday and Sunday, racing a variety of classes.

Road racing starts at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Trans Am has two practice sessions Saturday, at 10 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. Qualifying is at 10:30 a.m. Sunday followed by the race starting at 3:45 p.m.

On-site camping is available and tickets can be purchased at the gate. Daily admission is $25; kids 12 and under are free. The live music and fireworks are only for those who are camping at BIR Saturday night.

Capps, Massey, Edward post wins Sunday at BIR

Ron Capps earned his third Funny Car win of the season by racing to victory Sunday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway over teammate and points leader Matt Hagan.

Spencer Massey and Mike Edwardswere also winners in Top Fuel and Pro Stock, respectively, at the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.

Capps, driving his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger, defeated his Don Schumacher Racing partner with a run of 4.063 seconds at 312.28 mph to Hagan’s losing pass of 4.095 at 312.78 in the tightly contested championship round. Capps rebounded to win for the 41st time in his career after failing to qualify for the previous event in Seattle. His team also overcame an engine explosion during qualifying on Saturday that forced the team to use a backup Funny Car body for eliminations. Capps knocked off Del Worsham, Jack Beckman and Tim Wilkerson to reach the final round.

“That is the nature of our sport and for sure the Funny Car division,” said Capps, who earned the 11th Funny Car win for Don Schumacher Racing in 2013. “It is a fun class but that final round just epitomizes how tight our category is right now. You have to be on your absolute best and I wasn’t today as a driver but Rahn [Tobler, crew chief] made up for it and man, wow, what a weekend.”

With the win, Capps was able to secure his entry into the Funny Car field for the Countdown to the Championship, also moving to second in the points standings. Capps joined Hagan, who was previously qualified for the six-race playoffs, as well as Johnny Gray, Cruz Pedregon, and John and Courtney Force as drivers who all earned berths during the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. Defending world champion Beckman also earned the seventh slot in the Traxxas Shootout.

Massey piloted his Battery Extender/Schumacher Electric dragster to a fourth win this season in Top Fuel when he powered to the victory over Clay Millican. The win for Massey, who moved to second in points with his 14th career win, was well deserved after an engine fire in the first round of eliminations forced the team to replace many components on the car. Massey overcame the difficulties and in the finals posted a winning pass of 3.811 seconds at 322.11 mph to Millican’s 3.856 seconds at 320.66 mph, giving Massey his first career NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series win at BIR. Massey also knocked off Brittany Force, Tony Schumacher and Khalid alBalooshi to reach the championship round.

“We just hadn’t had any luck here,” said Massey, who had never won a Top Fuel round at BIR before Sunday. “I won in Top Alcohol Dragster [1998], but this is a completely different category and I’ve always lost in the first round. I wanted to see that win light come on for the first time in Brainerd. I would have been happy no matter what happened in the second round because we got that round win, but we obviously wanted to keep going on.”

With his run to the finals, No. 1 qualifier Millican and his Parts Plus dragster team were able to secure a position in the Countdown to the Championship along with GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster pilot Morgan Lucas, leaving only two spots remaining.

In Pro Stock, points leader Edwards recorded his first win at BIR and his fifth of the season with the victory over V. Gaines in the finals in his Interstate Batteries/I am Second Chevy Camaro. Edwards defeated Gaines with a run of 6.629 seconds at 208.68 mph to the trailing run of 6.665 seconds at 208.84 mph, capping off a memorable day that also included wins against Greg Stanfield, Vincent Nobile and defending world champion Allen Johnson.

“Finally getting a win here is pretty special,” stated Edwards, who earned his 39th career win. “I’m not sure, but I don’t think that I’ve ever been past the second round here before. We weren’t really that fast this weekend, but we managed to stick around, and I’m so proud of my guys because they really stepped it up. We had ignition problems during qualifying and really didn’t know if we had it fixed or not before today’s eliminations. We swapped ignition systems, engines, and we swapped everything. But it worked out, so we’re happy.”

The field for the Pro Stock racers in the Countdown to the Championship was filled as Rodger Brogdon earned the final available position on Sunday.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns to action with the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis Aug. 28-sept. 2.

* *

Final finish order (1-16) at the 32nd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. The race is the 17th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

1.  Spencer Massey; 2.  Clay Millican; 3.  Khalid alBalooshi; 4.  Shawn Langdon; 5.  David Grubnic; 6.  Tony Schumacher; 7.  Doug Kalitta; 8.  Steve Torrence; 9.  Brittany Force; 10.  Brandon Bernstein; 11.  Tommy Johnson Jr.; 12.  Terry McMillen; 13.  Morgan Lucas; 14.  Bob Vandergriff; 15.  Antron Brown; 16.  T.J. Zizzo.

1.  Ron Capps; 2.  Matt Hagan; 3.  Johnny Gray; 4.  Tim Wilkerson; 5.  John Force; 6.  Courtney Force; 7.  Jack Beckman; 8.  Robert Hight; 9.  Bob Tasca III; 10.  Tony Pedregon; 11.  Alexis DeJoria; 12.  Del Worsham; 13.  Chad Head; 14.  Bob Bode; 15.  Cruz Pedregon; 16.  Jeff Arend.

1.  Mike Edwards; 2.  V. Gaines; 3.  Greg Anderson; 4.  Vincent Nobile; 5.  Allen Johnson; 6.  V. Gaines; 7.  Jason Line; 8.  Mark Martino; 9.  Erica Enders-Stevens; 10.  Jeg Coughlin; 11.  Shane Gray; 12.  Greg Stanfield; 13.  Deric Kramer; 14.  Chris McGaha; 15.  Rodger Brogdon; 16.  Steve Kent

Final Round – All Classes

Top Fuel – Spencer Massey, 3.811 seconds, 322.11 mph  def. Clay Millican, 3.856 seconds, 320.66 mph.

Funny Car – Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 4.063, 312.28  def. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.095, 312.78.

Pro Stock – Mike Edwards, Chevy Camaro, 6.629, 208.68  def. V. Gaines, Dodge Avenger, 6.665, 208.84.

Top Alcohol Dragster – Gord Gingles, 5.313, 264.65  def. Jim Whiteley, 5.314, 270.92.

Top Alcohol Funny Car – Frank Manzo, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.568, 261.42  def. Dale Brand, Monte Carlo, 6.888, 118.58.

Competition Eliminator – Bruno Massel, Chevy Cobalt, 7.958, 125.04  def. Arnie Martel, Pontiac GTO, foul

Super Stock – Jim Thune, Chevy II, 10.681, 122.48  def. Jason DeForrest, Chevy Camaro, 9.550, 134.70.

Stock Eliminator – Bill Feist, Ford Mustang, 10.232, 128.05  def. Chris Knudsen, Chevy Camaro, 10.993, 116.03.

Super Comp – Tommy Phillips, Dragster, 8.910, 168.16  def. Jimmy Paulson, Dragster, 8.921, 170.32

Super Gas – Kevin Dyck, Chevy Corvette, 9.888, 163.45  def. Russ Ginger, Dodge Aspen, foul.

Top Sportsman – Larry Demers, Chevy Cobalt, 7.630, 179.90  def. Michael Chitty, Chevy Cavalier, foul.

Pro Stock Snowmobile – Louie Wirbel, Ski Doo, 8.327, 154.94  def. Ron Bray, Ski Doo, 8.440, 149.81.


On Sunday, top qualifers are Beckman, Millican, Nobile

Defending Funny Car world champion Jack Beckman raced to his second consecutive No. 1 qualifying position at Brainerd International Raceway Saturday during the final day of qualifying for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.

Clay Millican (Top Fuel) and Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) will also lead their categories when eliminations begin Sunday at 11 a.m. for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event in Brainerd.

Minnesotan Greg Anderson is No. 2 in Pro Stock.

Minnesotan Greg Anderson is No. 2 in Pro Stock.

Beckman, driving a new Don Schumacher Hall of Fame Tribute Dodge Charger, earned his second straight No. 1 qualifying position of the 2013 season with a pass of 4.038 seconds at 313.37 mph. Beckman has two career runner-up finishes at the track but has yet to win there and is also looking for his first victory this season. He will race Bob Bode in the first round of eliminations Sunday.

“We’ve got a brand new car that only has four runs on it and two of them were low E.T. of the session,” Beckman said. “There is no guarantee [of success] when you qualify No. 1. Theoretically, you stack the odds a little bit in your favor. Other than that, it is just bragging rights.

“These guys went back after Seattle and put together a completely new chassis, we’ve got the old school body on it and I love the mix. I like the way it is running and I like our chances.”

Ron Capps suffered an engine explosion near the finish line during his third qualifying attempt on Saturday in his NAPA Auto parts Dodge Charger. He was uninjured, qualified ninth and will face Del Worsham in the first round. Points leader Matt Hagan qualified second with a 4.044-second, 315.34-mph run and will meet Tony Pedregon in the opening round of eliminations.

Antron Brown is No. 6 in Top Fuel.

Antron Brown is No. 6 in Top Fuel.

In Top Fuel, Millican earned his second No. 1 qualifying position of the season with his pass of 3.773 seconds at 326.63 mph he recorded Friday night in his Parts Plus dragster. This marks his first career No. 1 qualifying position at BIR and gives Millican a first-round matchup with Terry McMillen on Sunday.

“The car has been really good all weekend and has been down the track every single lap in qualifying,” said Millican, who is seeking his first NHRA win. “This car is so solid right now, it is crazy. I said something about this yesterday, but had I been able to keep the car straighter on the .77 it might have gone a .76. We continued to work on a few things with the chassis with the two runs today and it went nice and straight, and that Parts Plus car is rolling right now.”

Top Fuel points leader Shawn Langdon qualified fourth with his run of 3.797 seconds at 322.88 mph and will face Bob Vandergriff Jr. in the first round. Spencer Massey qualified second and will face rookie Brittany Force.

In the Countdown to the Championship, Khalid alBalooshi earned a berth into the playoffs on Saturday by qualifying for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. Only four positions is the Countdown to the Championship remain in Top Fuel.

Nobile was able to retain his No. 1 qualifying position he earned Friday night in Pro Stock with a run of 6.580 seconds at 209.43 mph in his Mountain View Tire Dodge Avenger. It is his first No. 1 qualifying position of the season and his first at BIR. He will face Chris McGaha in the first round of eliminations.

“This is pretty exciting, especially considering that we haven’t been qualifying very great this whole year,” Nobile said. “I think on average we’re like eighth or ninth throughout the season. But to be No. 1 at this race means a lot, and it means we have a fast race car. After coming off two wins, there’s nothing better than qualifying No. 1. I think this shows that things are going in the right direction [for our team] and it couldn’t happen at a better time than now with the Countdown coming up.”

Points leader Mike Edwards qualified fourth with a run of 6.593 seconds at 210.21 mph and will face Greg Stanfield in the first round. Minnesota native Greg Anderson qualified second, the highest he has qualified this year, with a run of 6.588 seconds at 209.17 mph and will face Deric Kramer on Sunday.

V Gaines and Erica Enders-Stevens also both earned positions into the Countdown to the Championship by qualifying Saturday, leaving only one spot remaining in Pro Stock.

* * *

Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 32nd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, the 17th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Pairings are based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.

Top Fuel – 1. Clay Millican, 3.773 seconds, 326.63 mph  vs. 16. Terry McMillen, 3.921, 321.88; 2.Spencer Massey, 3.792, 324.05  vs. 15. Brittany Force, 3.881, 315.78; 3. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.794, 320.89  vs. 14. T.J. Zizzo, 3.852, 301.81; 4. Shawn Langdon, 3.797, 322.88  vs. 13. Bob Vandergriff, 3.845, 318.54; 5. David Grubnic, 3.806, 324.12  vs. 12. Morgan Lucas, 3.834, 321.50; 6. Antron Brown, 3.814, 319.45  vs. 11. Doug Kalitta, 3.828, 321.73; 7. Tony Schumacher, 3.817, 323.74  vs. 10. Brandon Bernstein, 3.823, 322.65; 8. Steve Torrence, 3.818, 323.66  vs. 9. Tommy Johnson Jr., 3.820, 316.90.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Luigi Novelli, 4.143, 241.20; 18. Chris Karamesines, 4.632, 178.02; 19. Tim Cullinan, 10.195, 92.98.

Funny Car – 1. Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.038, 313.37  vs. 16. Bob Bode, Chevy Impala, 4.207, 273.00; 2. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.044, 315.34  vs. 15. Tony Pedregon, Toyota Camry, 4.171, 281.77; 3. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.050, 316.45  vs. 14. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.145, 303.78; 4. Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.054, 313.37  vs. 13. Chad Head, Camry, 4.134, 298.14; 5. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.056, 312.64  vs. 12. Jeff Arend, Charger, 4.109, 306.81; 6. Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.074, 312.06 vs. 11. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.098, 299.26; 7. Courtney Force, Mustang, 4.077, 316.23  vs. 10. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.098, 311.41; 8. Del Worsham, Camry, 4.090, 310.63  vs. 9. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.096, 308.99.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Blake Alexander, 4.211, 301.81; 18. Dale Creasy Jr., 4.293, 286.32.

Pro Stock – 1. Vincent Nobile, Dodge Avenger, 6.580, 209.43  vs. 16. Chris McGaha, Avenger, 6.744, 207.21; 2. Greg Anderson, Chevy Camaro, 6.588, 209.17  vs. 15. Deric Kramer, Avenger, 6.680, 207.02; 3. V. Gaines, Avenger, 6.592, 209.49  vs. 14. Steve Kent, Camaro, 6.657, 207.94; 4. Mike Edwards, Camaro, 6.593, 210.21  vs. 13. Greg Stanfield, Camaro, 6.645, 207.40; 5. Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.593, 209.46  vs. 12. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.634, 208.59; 6. Erica Enders-Stevens, Camaro, 6.596, 209.04  vs. 11. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.627, 208.39; 7. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.603, 209.62  vs. 10. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.610, 209.30; 8. Jeg Coughlin, Avenger, 6.605, 208.81 vs. 9. Mark Martino, Pontiac GXP, 6.608, 208.94.

Did Not Qualify: 17. Dave River, 6.818, 203.19; 18. Paul Pittman, 13.455, 64.76; 19. Mark Hogan, broke.

Hagan, Millican, Nobile are top qualifiers after Friday

Matt Hagan continued his march toward a second Funny Car world championship as the current points leader raced to the No. 1 qualifying position Friday during the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.

Clay Millican (Top Fuel) and Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) lead their respective categories during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event.

Matt Hagan, Funny Car

Matt Hagan, Funny Car

Hagan, who won the most recent event in Seattle and has four victories in 2013, powered to a run of 4.044 seconds at 315.34 mph in his 8,000-horsepower Magneti Marelli/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger to lead the Funny Car category after the first day of qualifying.

“This whole year has been phenomenal,” Hagan said. “We’re going to keep working hard. Dickie [Venables, crew chief] put a great horse under me, and I’m riding it. We have a consistent car, and it shows on the track and in the points. I’m so glad to be in this position and not have to stand on my head asking people to vote for me [for the final spot in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout].

“I got everybody together today. I didn’t want us to get lost in the whole stigma of the Countdown and I told my guys, ‘Just keep doing what you’ve been doing.’”

Robert Hight is currently in the 10th position in the Countdown to the Championship in his Auto Club Ford Mustang Funny Car. Coming into the event he was only three points ahead of No. 11 Del Worsham, but Hight, the 2009 Funny Car world champion, posted a run of 4.054 at 312.64 to put him in the No. 2 position in the field after two sessions.

Clay Millican, Top Fuel

Clay Millican, Top Fuel

In Top Fuel, Millican raced his 8,000-horsepower Parts Plus dragster to the No. 1 position in Top Fuel with a run of 3.773 at 326.63. Millican earned his first No. 1 qualifying position earlier this year at the event in Englishtown, N.J. and now put himself in contention for the second No. 1 qualifier of his career.

“That was incredible,” Millican said. “I knew the car was probably going to run good. Kurt [Elliott, crew chief] already surprised me with that 3.83 in the first session when nobody else was getting down the track. As soon as the clutch locked up, it started moving around like a dirt car. I feel like I left a little on the table from driving it around.”

Current points leader Shawn Langdon held the No. 1 position for the majority of the session, running 3.792 at 324.05 in his Al-Anabi Dragster, but he was eclipsed by Millican who ran later in the qualifying order.

“As soon as Langdon ran that .79, Kurt was turning knobs,” Millican said. “He’s been doing a phenomenal job, especially when he makes a good, solid first run. They let him swing for it after that. He and Rob Flynn [crew chief for Bob Vandergriff Jr.] compare notes before every run, and he was under the dash turning knobs the moment Bob smoked the tires in the first run and when he pulled the tires loose late in the run on the second one.”

Defending Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown and Mac Tools dragster racer Doug Kalitta also clinched positions in the Countdown to the Championship during qualifying. The Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals and upcoming Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals (Aug. 28-Sept. 2 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis) are the final two events to earn points into six-race NHRA playoffs.

Vincent Nobile, Pro Stock

Vincent Nobile, Pro Stock

In Pro Stock, Nobile continued his impressive hot streak in his Mountain View Tire Dodge Avenger that has included two consecutive event wins and moved him from sixth to fourth in points. If his run of 6.580 at 209.43 holds, it would give Nobile his first No. 1 qualifying position this season.

“I was as surprised as anybody that we ended up number one on that pass,” Nobile said. “It left hard, but then it seemed like the engine shut off and then it picked up again. It was real strong after that, but I had no clue that it would be number one for the session. Because we had a broken spark plug and were a little heavy on the clutch in the first session, I knew we could improve, but not as much as this.”

V. Gaines is second with his pass of 6.592 sat 209.49 and points leader Mike Edwards is in third with a run of 6.593 at 210.21.

Qualifying continues for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals on Saturday at noon and 2:30 p.m. Eliminations are set for Sunday at 11 a.m.

* * *

Friday’s results after the first two of four rounds of qualifying for the 32nd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, 17th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  Qualifying will continue Saturday for Sunday’s final eliminations.

Top Fuel — 1. Clay Millican, 3.773 seconds, 326.63 mph; 2. Spencer Massey, 3.792, 324.05; 3. Shawn Langdon, 3.797, 311.99; 4. David Grubnic, 3.806, 324.12; 5. Steve Torrence, 3.818, 323.66; 6. Tommy Johnson Jr., 3.820, 316.90; 7. Antron Brown, 3.821, 319.45; 8. Brandon Bernstein, 3.823, 322.65; 9.Tony Schumacher, 3.823, 322.58; 10. Khalid alBalooshi, 3.828, 320.89; 11. Morgan Lucas, 3.849, 321.50; 12. T.J. Zizzo, 3.852, 284.33.

Not Qualified: 13. Terry McMillen, 3.858, 321.88; 14. Bob Vandergriff, 3.897, 283.97; 15. Doug Kalitta, 4.249, 209.62; 16. Luigi Novelli, 4.558, 177.42; 17. Chris Karamesines, 4.750, 161.04; 18.Brittany Force, 4.850, 151.70; 19. Tim Cullinan, 6.606, 92.98.

Funny Car — 1. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.044, 315.34; 2. Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 4.054, 312.64; 3. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.056, 312.64; 4. John Force, Mustang, 4.073, 316.45; 5. Johnny Gray, Charger, 4.074, 312.06; 6. Courtney Force, Mustang, 4.094, 309.63; 7. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.096, 308.99; 8. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.098, 311.41; 9. Jack Beckman, Charger, 4.114, 306.53; 10. Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.128, 303.98; 11. Chad Head, Camry, 4.134, 288.83; 12. Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.145, 303.78.

Not Qualified: 13. Blake Alexander, 4.177, 301.81; 14. Dale Creasy Jr., 4.279, 286.32; 15. Tony Pedregon, 4.496, 209.65; 16. Jeff Arend, 4.511, 199.88; 17. Cruz Pedregon, 4.626, 180.36; 18. Bob Bode, 5.535, 129.10.

Pro Stock — 1. Vincent Nobile, Dodge Avenger, 6.580, 209.43; 2. V. Gaines, Avenger, 6.592, 209.49; 3. Mike Edwards, Chevy Camaro, 6.593, 210.21; 4. Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.595, 209.46; 5. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.600, 209.17; 6. Jason Line, Camaro, 6.603, 209.62; 7. Jeg Coughlin, Avenger, 6.605, 208.81; 8. Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.610, 209.30; 9. Mark Martino, Pontiac GXP, 6.613, 208.59; 10. Erica Enders-Stevens, Camaro, 6.618, 208.65; 11. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.630, 208.39; 12. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.634, 208.59.

Not Qualified: 13. Greg Stanfield, 6.645, 207.40; 14. Chris McGaha, 6.670, 207.21; 15. Steve Kent, 6.676, 207.50; 16. Deric Kramer, 6.696, 206.70; 17. Dave River, 6.801, 203.19; 18. Mark Hogan, 6.814, 203.49.



Terracross exhibition set during NHRA Nationals

TerracrossCampers at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals will be treated to a free exhibition of Terracross racing in The Zoo. Rumor has it that fans could see NAPA Auto Parts Funny Car driver Ron Capps and Top Fuel dragster driver Terry McMillen taking on the course during a practice session Thursday evening.

Terracross involves ATVs and side-by-sides racing on a dirt track over jumps and through mud. The track is in the corner near Turn 1, at the end of the drag strip straightaway.

Thursday’s practice session is scheduled for about 6 p.m. and could feature Capps and McMillen. A racing demonstration will take place at noon on Friday.

Check out some crazy photos and videos by clicking here.