Download our new App!

AppPhoneBrainerd International Raceway has a new app, and it’s free!

Download it today and stay in touch with what’s going on at BIR. The app has everything you need to keep up with what’s happening this season at BIR. At your fingertips, you’ll have the season schedule (including last-minute changes due to weather or other circumstances); track information such as rules, event information, location and parking; ticket prices; and more. You’ll also receive notices from BIR about promotions, specials and contests that you can take advantage of.

It’s super easy to use and free to download. It’s available at the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. Or, scan the QR Code below and it’ll take you directly to the site where you can install the app with the tap of a button.

Join us today!


GSTA signs sponsorship deal at BIR

Brainerd International Raceway is proud to announce that it signed a sponsorship deal with the Gopher State Timing Association (GSTA) for the 2015 and 2016 racing seasons.

The two-year deal includes title rights to the Muscle Car Shootout on Labor Day weekend. The Shootout is one of BIR’s largest events each season and features the grand finale of the three-race Muscle Car Series on the drag strip, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) racing on the road course, a classic car show, live music and a fireworks show by Northern Lights Pyrotechnics. The event is called the GSTA Muscle Car Shootout.

The GSTA sponsorship also includes visibility at the track on signs and logo placement on BIR’s marketing materials.

“BIR has a long history with the GSTA, and now we’re really proud to have them on board as a sponsor,” BIR Owner Jed Copham said. “We think this will be great partnership for both of us.”

BIR as been a long-standing sponsor of GSTA’s annual Rod and Custom Spectacular, a large hot rod show in April in the Minnesota State Fair Coliseum. This year’s show is the 59th annual. Likewise, GSTA has had car exhibits in the past at various BIR events, including the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, and has a vintage dragster that frequently races at BIR.

“GSTA is looking forward to getting back to its roots of sponsoring safe drag racing events and BIR is the perfect track to partner with to achieve that goal, given our long history together,” GSTA President Dave Smith said.

Since its inception in 1954, the GSTA has governed nearly 100 hot rod and custom car clubs in Minnesota, offering a unified voice in proposing safe drag racing in Minnesota as well as safe and courteous hot rodding.

For more information on the GSTA, click on the logo below.





Series Champs honored at Racer Banquet

Brainerd International Raceway recently honored drag racers who won series championships last summer in the Bracket Drag Racing Series and the Muscle Car Series.

The annual Racer Banquet was held Jan. 30-31 at Cragun’s Resort. There were 150 racers, family members and guests at the event to recognize the 10 champions from the Bracket Drag Racing Series and the 13 champions from the Muscle Car Series. In addition to those honors, three racers received special awards: Jordan Pratt received the Rookie of the Year Award, Glen Demenge received the Joe Angelo Sportsmanship Award and Dave Engler won the Outstanding Dedication Award.

The six-weekend, 12-race Bracket Drag Racing Series is a fiercely competitive amateur drag racing program that features racers from the five-state area and Canada. More than 250 racers compete each weekend for prize money and series points. Each weekend includes elimination rounds on Saturday and Sunday, with winners crowned each day in 10 classes. All 10 champions were on hand at the banquet to receive their series champions trophy and jackets.

The 2015 Bracket Drag Racing Series champs are (back row from left): BIR Owner Jed Copham, Gary Loeffelholz, Reno Loeffelholz, Rory Emmans, Jason Clampitt and Ben Line. Front row: Emma McFarland, Trevor Jelinski, Riley Luberda, Tracy Arneson and Nick Arnold.

The 2014 Bracket Drag Racing Series champs are (back row from left): BIR Owner Jed Copham, Gary Loeffelholz, Reno Loeffelholz, Rory Emmans, Jason Clampitt and Ben Line. Front row: Emma McFarland, Trevor Jelinski, Riley Luberda, Tracy Arneson and Nick Arnold.

The three-race Muscle Car Series has been part of BIR’s drag racing program for six years and includes the Street Car Showdown on Memorial Day weekend, the PleasureLand RV Show & Go on the Fourth of July weekend and the GSTA Muscle Car Shootout on Labor Day weekend. It features the seven Heads-Up Classes where speeds top 200 mph and times dip below 7 seconds. Eight of the 13 series champions attended the banquet to receive their series champions jackets.

The 2015 Muscle Car Series champs are (back row from left): Roger Peterson, Dave Hodgeman, Lee Loew, Jason Waste, Greg Schmidt and BIR owner Jed Copham. Front row: Gary Tesar, Mike Sterling and Guy Stengel.

The 2014 Muscle Car Series champs are (back row from left): Roger Peterson, Dave Hodgeman, Lee Loew, Jason Waste, Greg Schmidt and BIR owner Jed Copham. Front row: Gary Tesar, Mike Sterling and Guy Stengel.

Click here for a list of the top three racers in each Bracket Drag Racing Series class. 

Click here for a list of the top three racers in each Muscle Car Series class.









The 2014 Junior Dragster champs are from left, Emma McFarland, Trevor Jelinski and Riley Luberda.

The 2014 Junior Dragster champs are from left, Emma McFarland, Trevor Jelinski and Riley Luberda.












The 2014 Outstanding Dedication Award went to Dave Engler. From left is Chris-Ann Wilkoski, Engler, emcee Ron Zenzen, and BIR owners Kristi and Jed Copham.

The 2014 Outstanding Dedication Award went to Dave Engler. From left is Chris-Ann Wilkoski, Engler, emcee Ron Zenzen, and BIR owners Kristi and Jed Copham.












Look for BIR at Twin Cities trade shows

The trade show season is officially under way, giving race fans a chance to get a jump on the racing season.

Look for Brainerd International Raceway at four trade shows this year: The Minnesota Sportsmen’s Show, the Progressive International Motorcycle Show, the Twin Cities Auto Show and the Gopher State Timing Association Rod & Custom Spectacular.

BIR Performance Driving School Director Gary Curtis will be at all four trade shows, along with a variety of other BIR staff and volunteers. They’ll be able to answer questions about the upcoming race season and will have information available for the school and BIR’s racing schedule. You’ll also have a chance to register to win some great prizes from BIR.

Here are details of each show:

The 45th Annual Minnesota Sportsmen’s Show is Jan. 8-11 at the St. Paul RiverCentre in downtown St. Paul. It’s a boat, camping and vacation show with a wide variety of displays, including boats, RVs, outdoor equipment and vacation attractions and destinations. There’s something for everyone!

The Progressive International Motorcycle Show is Feb. 6-8 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. It’s all-things bikes at this show! Hundreds of the latest street bikes, dirt bikes, cruisers, scooters and ATVs will be on display, along with riding gear and aftermarket accessories. A custom bike competition will highlight a long list of entertainment.

The 42nd Annual Twin Cities Auto Show is March 7-15 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. It’s the biggest indoor car show of the year, featuring more than 450 cars. New models represent 35 models of domestic and import vehicles. If you’re looking for the latest and greatest on four wheels, it’s here.

The 59th Annual GSTA Rod & Custom Spectacular is April 11-12 at the Minnesota State Fair Coliseum. Here, you’ll see the nastiest collection of hot rods and customs from throughout the Midwest. Don’t miss it if you’re into fins, flames and fender skirts. A special appearance by Danielle Colby of the History Channel’s American Pickers show.

See you at the show. Stop by and say hello!

Give BIR Gift Cards for the holidays

Need gift ideas for that special race fan in your life? BIR has the answer.

BIR has just the right Gift Card for all race fans, whether you enjoy watching all the action from the grandstands or prefer being behind the wheel. We have Gift Cards that give you all kinds of options for purchasing BIR merchandise, admission to events, BIR Performance Driving School sessions or rides in our exotic sports cars.

The BIR Gift Card is perfect for fans who are regulars at any of our racing events. You can get these cards in any amount and use them for admission to any 2015 BIR event, including the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. They can also be used to buy BIR merchandise like hats, shirts, sweatshirts, etc. The BIR Shirt Shack is the place to go to shop for all your BIR merchandise.

The BIR Performance Driving School has Gift Cards that start at $25. Cards can be used to buy sessions at the driving school next season or for StreetSmarts Advanced Defensive Driving for Teens. Those who use them for the driving school can either drive their own car or use one of the school’s Spec Racers. Click here for details.

Race fans can also use their Gift Card to purchase ride-alongs in one of our exotic sports cars. These are HIGH-SPEED laps on the2.5-mile Competition Road Course by one of our school instructors, all of whom have extensive racing experience. It’s an experience you’ll never forget! Here are the cars:

Lamborghini Gallardo
Lotus Exige
Radical SR3 RS
Corvette Z06

Get your gift cards today!

BIR Racer Banquet set for Jan. 30-31

Details of the BIR Racer Banquet are set! Get your reservations in and help us celebrate another fantastic year of racing at BIR!

The Racer Banquet, which is for racers and fans alike, is set for Jan. 30-31 at Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd. The event includes snowmobile trail rides Friday night and Saturday morning, with the banquet Saturday night. It’s going to be another fun weekend and a chance to recognize the Bracket Drag Racing Series Champions and the Muscle Car Series Champions for last season.

The banquet starts at 5:30 p.m. Saturday with a social hour, followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and then the awards presentation following dinner. The cost for the banquet is:

Ages 13-Adult – $35.00 each
Ages 8-12 – $15.00 each
Ages 4-7 – $10.00 each

To register, contact Keri at BIR at 218-824-7223 or 866-444-4455 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

For those who will be staying at Cragun’s Resort at least one night, click here - CragunsForm – to download a lodging form. Fill it out and either fax it to BIR at 218-824-7240 or scan it and email it to

We will provide you with more details on the snowmobile trail rides in the coming weeks. Weather permitting – no rain again, please – we’ll have a ride on Friday evening and another one Saturday morning. Bring your sleds or rent one from Cragun’s. Click here for prices and details: Sleds Pricing

Hope to see everyone there! Bring the whole family – it’s a great mid-winter getaway!








Bracket Drag Racing Series championships awarded

With about 200 drivers chasing championships in Brainerd International Raceway’s Bracket Drag Racing Series, a father-son team won the top two classes, while a third driver extended his winning streak to four.

The Bracket Drag Racing Series completed its six-weekend, 12-race season with champions announced in all 10 classes. The winners will he honored Jan. 31 at BIR’s annual Racer Banquet.

Gary Loeffelholz, Super Pro

Gary Loeffelholz, Super Pro

Reno Loeffelholz, Pro ET

Reno Loeffelholz, Pro ET

The Loeffelholz family is celebrating a successful drag racing season as Gary and his 20-year-old son Reno won the top two classes by the thinnest of margins. Gary won the Super Pro Class championship and Reno took home the title in the Pro ET Class.

“It was very cool,” Gary said of the father-son win. “We talked about it (the weekend of the last race) and if we could pull it off.”

Gary drives a 2004 Mustang that runs about 7.4 seconds and 180 mph. He beat second-place finisher Mike Campbell by only 22 points, with a total of 3,854. Racers generally receive about 100 points for each elimination round they win.

Gary’s 16-year-old son Kyle nearly knocked his dad out of first place in the season’s last race. Kyle beat Gary in the fourth round, but Campbell had been eliminated two rounds earlier and the other contenders came up short as well.

Rory Emmans, Sportsman

Rory Emmans, Sportsman

Ben Line, Stock/Super Stock

Ben Line, Stock/Super Stock

The championships are the first for both Gary and Reno. Gary’s been racing at BIR since he was 18 years old but has never won a championship. This is Reno’s fifth year in the series, and his first title as well.

Reno’s season started off very strong. He had his 1968 Mustang dialed in and proved that he was a serious contender for the title. During the second and third racing weekends, he won three races in a row and was looking like he was going to run away with the title, but things changed for him in the middle of the season.

“I couldn’t find the tree,” Reno said about his inconsistent reaction times. “But then I went to a test day and tried some different things. I finally got it figured out again.”

In Stock/Super Stock, the domination continued as Ben Line won his fourth consecutive class championship. He has won the class title in seven of the last eight years.

Nick Arnold, Comp Trophy

Nick Arnold, Comp Trophy

Jason Clampitt, Pro Bike/Sled

Jason Clampitt, Pro Bike/Sled

Driving a 1968 Mustang, Line’s season was punctuated with a King of the Track win in June. The top racers in the Bracket Drag Racing Series have a run-off to determine the best of the best. Line won his way to the finals where he met Travis Reutzel, last year’s King of the Track. Line snuck by Reutzel at the finish line.

Rory Emmans repeated as champion of the Sportsman Class. He battled car problems all season but was able to keep it running – and winning – despite setbacks that included a blown-out drive train, a wrecked torque converter, ignition problems and more.

Emmans was locked into a season-long battle with second-place finisher Bob Gillespie. They were set up for a showdown in the final race but third-place finisher Brad Mickle surfaced as Emmans’ biggest ally when he knocked out Gillespie both Saturday and Sunday. Emmans finished with a slim 27-point win over Gillespie and the rest of the field.

Tracy Arneson, Street Trophy

Tracy Arneson, Street Trophy

Emma McFarland, Jr Drag Advanced

Emma McFarland, Jr Drag Advanced

“I bought Brad a couple drinks for that,” Emmans said. “It takes some luck to win this thing.”

Jason Clampitt jumped out to an early points lead in the Pro Bike/Sled Class by winning the first race of the season, followed by a runner-up finish. He sat on top of the standings the rest of the season for his second class championship in the 12 years he’s been racing at BIR.

“I got some lucky breaks,” the humble Clampitt said. “I was good when I had to be good and lucky when I wasn’t good.”

He credited third-place finisher Mike Voss for his success. He raced Voss’ 1979 Kawasaki all season, clocking consistent runs at about 9.9 seconds and 125 mph.

Trevor Jelinski, Jr Drag Intermediate

Trevor Jelinski, Jr Drag Intermediate

Riley Luberda, Jr Drag Novice

Riley Luberda, Jr Drag Novice

“We’re good friends and travel together to a lot of races,” Clampitt said. “Mike has helped everyone out at one time or another.”

In the Trophy classes, Nick Arnold won Comp Trophy while Tracy Arneson easily won Street Trophy.

The Junior Dragsters crowned champions as well. Emma McFarland won the Junior Dragster Advanced championship while Trevor Jelinski won Junior Dragster Intermediate and Riley Luberda won Junior Dragster Novice. There were 18 drivers competing for a championship in the three Junior Dragster classes.

Click here to see all the point standings.

Below are the top three finishers in each class:

Super Pro
1. Gary Loeffelholz of Shafer
2. Mike Campbell of Brooklyn Park
3. Brandon Schmall of Lino Lakes

Pro ET
1. Reno Loeffelholz of Shafer
2. Shane Boney of Belview
3. Joe Scholla of Andover

1. Rory Emmans of Nowthen
2. Bob Gillespie of Brainerd
3. Brad Mickle of Lino Lakes

Stock/Super Stock
1. Ben Line of International Falls
2. Lance Line of Cromwell
3. Jimmy Paulson of Stacy

Pro Bike/Sled
1. Jason Clampitt of Lino Lakes
2. Cameron Belisle of Hugo
3. Mike Voss of Maplewood

Comp Trophy
1. Nick Arnold of Maple Grove
2. Jared Hutar of Cromwell
3. Michelle Emmans of Nowthen

Street Trophy
1. Tracy Arneson of Pillager
2. Tyler Gadacz of Little Falls
3. Tyler Young of Nisswa

Junior Dragster Advanced
1. Emma McFarland of Sabin
2. Abby Haben of Hibbing
3. Maggie Ruzich of Hibbing

Junior Dragster Intermediate
1. Trevor Jelinski of Little Falls
2. Sydney Haben of Hibbing
3. Aaron Clampitt of Lino Lakes

Junior Dragster Novice
1. Riley Luberda of Foley
2. Alex Clampitt of Lino Lakes
3. Ally Giese of Kandiyohi

Bracket Drag Racing Series finale doesn’t disappoint

Brainerd International Raceway’s Bracket Drag Racing Series wrapped up last weekend, with six racers hoisting Wally trophies, several more taking home big checks and 10 others securing season championships.

It was the grand finale of the six-weekend, 12-race series, and featured 350 cars, bikes and Junior Dragsters, most of whom were gunning for prize money, series points or a shot at winning a Wally trophy like the NHRA pros win, which was the top prize for six racing classes on Saturday during the National Dragster Challenge. The winners of the Super Pro, Pro ET, Sportsman, Pro Bike/Sled, Comp Trophy and Street Trophy classes Saturday won Wallys.

Larry Wiebusch, Super Pro winner

Larry Wiebusch, Super Pro winner

Brandon Schmall, Pro ET

Brandon Schmall, Pro ET

Larry Wiebusch was one of the Wally winners. He raced his 1969 Chevy Nova to a finals win in the Super Pro Class, which featured 112 cars and dragsters. In the finals, Wiebusch raced Dustin Jones and had a rare perfect reaction time (.000 seconds), launching the Nova right as the light tree turned green. He didn’t need it, though, as Jones fouled at the starting line and handed Wiebusch the win. Jones left .001 second too soon and was that close to having a perfect reaction time as well.

In Pro ET, Brandon Schmall and Reno Loeffelholz faced off in the finals after surviving six elimination rounds with 83 other drivers. Schmall narrowly beat Loeffelholz off the starting line with a .029-second reaction time and held the lead all the way to the finish line, winning by only .014 seconds. His time was 10.296 seconds and 123.30 mph. He took home a Wally for his efforts.

Dale Richter, Sportsman winner

Dale Richter, Sportsman winner

Jayne Bode, Pro Bike/Sled

Jayne Bode, Pro Bike/Sled

The 40-car Sportsman Class provided intense racing as well, as evidenced by the number of drivers fouling at the starting line. In the first round alone, eight of the 20 matchups were won when one of the drivers jumped the gun and took off too early.

Even in the finals, Rory Emmans was too quick on the trigger and fouled, giving Dale Richter the win and the Wally. Richter and his 1970 Plymouth Barracuda ran 12.787 seconds and 104.38 mph in the final run.

Jayne Bode benefited from a foul on the starting line as well. Bode earned his way to the finals in Pro Bike/Sled on his 1985 Suzuki, where he faced off against Mike Bolander on a 1980 Kawasaki. Bolander fouled and Bode ran 9.649 seconds at 131.71 mph for the win and the Wally. Bode beat Bolander in Sunday’s finals as well for a double-win.

Nick Arnold, Comp Trophy

Nick Arnold, Comp Trophy

Josh Luberda, Street Trophy

Josh Luberda, Street Trophy

In the Comp Trophy finals, Jared Hutar had trouble getting off the starting line and couldn’t catch Nick Arnold and his ’98 Camaro, who won the race with a time of 12.605 seconds and 94.55 mph. Arnold now has a Wally on his shelf.

Josh Luberda and Tracy Arneson won their way to the finals of the Street Trophy Class, but Arneson fouled at the starting line, giving Luberda an easy win and a Wally. Luberda finished with a time of 14.413 seconds and 89.81 mph.

While six classes were slugging it out for Wallys, the Stock/Super Stock Class had money on the line both Saturday and Sunday during the 2nd Annual North Star Fall Classic, presented by Midwest Class Racers. About 50 racers showed up to take a shot at a guaranteed purse that included $2,000 to the winner, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third for the top finishers. Additional prize money was given to winners driving a car with a manual transmission and those who had a perfect reaction time.

On Saturday, the prize money was divided up among the four drivers who were still in the hunt when racing was cancelled because of darkness. The drivers regrouped on Sunday and put on an exciting show, with Brad Haugaard and Terry Johnson winning their way to the finals. Haugaard and his 2005 Dodge Stratus was quicker off the starting line, which was the difference in the race. Haugaard finished with a time of 10.019 seconds and 126.95 mph, and a check for $2,000.

Junior Dragsters took to the track in the finale as well. Series championships are on the line for the three junior classes, so 25 drivers were at BIR looking for additional points.

In Junior Dragster Advanced, Sydney Thompson won on Saturday and then lost to McKenna Bungert in Sunday’s finals. In Junior Dragster Intermediate, Sami Cielinski and Camryn Takacs each won, and Dylan Dancer and Riley Luberda each won in Junior Dragster Novice.

Click here for the point standings. BIR will announce series champions later this week. The following are results:


Super Pro, Pro ET, Stock/Super Stock
No winners – racing was cancelled due to darkness

Finals: Dale Richter of St. Joseph def. Rory Emmans of Nowthen
Semifinals: Richter had a bye; Emmans def. Brad Mickle of Lino Lakes

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Jayne Bode of Gibbon def. Mike Bolander of Brooklyn Park
Semifinals: Bode def. Jason Clampitt of Lino Lakes; Bolander had a bye

Comp Trophy
Finals: Nick Arnold of Maple Grove def. Jared Hutar of Cromwell
Semifinals: Arnold def. Michael Bombich of Gilbert; Hutar def. Darren Arnold of Eden Prairie

Street Trophy
Finals: Josh Luberda of Foley def. Tracy Arneson of Pillager
Semifinals: Luberda had a bye; Arneson def. Tyler Godacz of Little Falls

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: Sydney Thompson of Anoka def. Max Niesen of Brooklyn Park
Semifinals: Thompson def. Zachary Zavadil of Clearwater; Niesen had a bye

Junior Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Sami Cielinski of Gilman def. Cam Beaulieu of Cambridge
Semifinals: Cielinski had a bye; Beaulieu def. Camryn Takacs of Thunder Bay, Ontario

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


Super Pro
Finals: Larry Wiebusch of Coon Rapids def. Dustin Jones of Fargo, N.D.
Semifinals: Wiebusch def. Kyle Loeffelholz of Shafer; Jones def. Brandon Schmall of Lino Lakes

Pro ET
Finals: Brandon Schmall of Lino Lakes def. Reno Loeffelholz of Shafer
Semifinals: Schmall def. Joe Schulla of Andover; Loeffelholz had a bye

Finals: Paul Baillif of Brainerd def. Brad Mickle of Lino Lakes
Semifinals: Baillif def. Chris Henry of Sauk Rapids; Mickle had a bye

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Jayne Bode of Gibbon def. Mike Bolander of Brooklyn Park
Semifinals: Bode had a bye; Bolander def. Cameron Belisle

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Brad Haugaard of Ham Lake def. Terry Johnson of Maple Grove
Semifinals: Haugaard def. Scott Dugdale of Stacy; Johnson had a bye

Comp Trophy
Finals: Jared Hutar of Cromwell def. Sid Osterman of Pequot Lakes
Semifinals: Hutar def. Darin Altmann of New Ulm; Osterman had a bye

Street Trophy
Finals: Andi Pesola of Duluth def. Todd Anderson of Brainerd
Semifinals: Pesola had a bye; Anderson def. Noah Woodis of Loretto

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: McKenna Bungert of Lakeville def. Sydney Thompson of Anoka
Semifinals: Bungert def. Hannah Line of Cromwell; Thompson def. Zach Gust of Isanti

Junior Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Camryn Takacs of Thunder Bay, Ontario def. Trevor Jelinski of Little Falls
Semifinals: Takacs had a bye; Jelinski def. Sydney Haben of Hibbing

Junior Dragster Novice
Finals: Riley Luberda of Foley def. Alex Clampitt of Lino Lakes
Semifinals: Luberda def. Ally Giese of Kandiyohi; Clampitt def. Dylan Dancer of Foley






BIR announces Muscle Car Series Champs

Rick Schmidt, his home in Dickinson, N.D. is about 430 miles from Brainerd, but the drive home seems a lot shorter after he spends the weekend flying down the Brainerd International Raceway’s drag strip at 215 mph and finishing with a trip to the Winner’s Circle.

That’s how it went this season for Schmidt, who made the most of this first year in BIR’s Muscle Car Series by winning the Pro Outlaw Class championship. He won the Street Car Showdown, was runner up to defending champion Bill Krech during the PleasureLand RV Show & Go and then secured his championship by beating Krech in the finals of the Muscle Car Shootout.

Rick Schmidt, Pro Outlaw

Rick Schmidt, Pro Outlaw

Jake Delmonico, Outlaw Class

Jake Delmonico, Outlaw Class

“It worked out pretty good for us since it’s our first year,” Schmidt said modestly. “We like that series. The Brainerd area is so nice. It’s over 400 miles away but it’s worth the trip. We’ll be back to rock and roll next year for sure.”

Schmidt’s 2011 Mustang consistently ran about 6.5 seconds and over 210 mph but he thinks they can squeeze more out of the car over the winter.

BIR’s three-race Muscle Car Series concluded

Mike Sterling won King Street

Mike Sterling won King Street

Labor Day weekend with the 26th Annual Muscle Car Shootout. Nearly 300 drivers competed for a series championship in one of 12 classes, plus the Index Class Championship.

In the Outlaw Class, Jake Delmonico repeated as champion, after making two trips to the Winner’s Circle and finishing runner up at the Muscle Car Shootout. He swept the three races last year and was looking like he’d make it back-to-back sweeps until he ran into a quicker Bubba Romanyskyn in the finals of the Muscle Car Shootout.

“It was a good year,” Delmonico said. “I wish I could’ve finished it off with six straight wins but we ran into a ‘fast

Ian McNiven, Real Street Unlimited

Ian McNiven, Real Street Unlimited

problem (Romanyskyn).’”

Delmonico’s 1968 Camaro was rarely the fastest car in the field but he’s been a model of consistency when it came to reaction times and his elapsed time, running around 7.5 seconds and 185 mph.

Things might be a little different next year, he said. “I’m going to find more power but that that’s about it.”

There were very few naturally aspirated cars in the 33-car King Street field this year, but Mike Sterling’s 1966 Chevelle was one of them. But when the series concluded, Sterling was on top of the point standings in a class that has been dominated by Brian Mahnke since the series began in 2009. Sterling finished with two series wins and a runner up finish during the PleasureLand RV Show & Go.

Like Delmonico, Sterling never had the fastest car in the field, but he relied on consistency to get him from the starting line to the finish line. He was hovering around 8-second times and 165 mph.

The Real Street Unlimited Class has a new champion as well. Ian McNiven and his 1988 Mustang took home the crown after winning two of the series races. He lost in the semifinals of the Show & Go to eventual winner Jim Ripley, who was the defending champion with six straight finals appearances in 2012 and 2013.

In Real Street Natural, defending champion Matt Sathre was dominating the class with a streak of seven straight finals wins that resulted in back-to-back championships. But he was unable to earn any points in the first two races this year, opening the door for a new champion. Kelly Rutz capitalized on the opportunity and is now the reigning class champion.

Rutz won the Street Car Showdown, was runner up in the Show & Go and lost in the semifinals during the Muscle Car Shootout. That was enough to earn a top spot on the point standings.

Todd Malik frequently contended for the series championship in Real Street Natural by winning his way to the finals but then he moved over to the True Street Class last year and won the championship there, entering this year with a two-race winning streak. He finished this year with two wins and a runner-up finish during the Show & Go, which was good enough for a repeat championship and the start of a new streak.

Last year, BIR added the 660 Outlaw Street Class to the Muscle Car Series. BIR shortens the drag strip to one-eighth mile and adds tire restrictions to level the playing field for the racers. It resulted in some excellent racing, and for David Senderhauf, a series championship. He won the Show & Go and finished as runner up during the Street Car Showdown and Muscle Car Shootout.

The three Strip Eliminator classes had the largest car counts of any class, which makes it even tougher to repeat as champion. For example, Strip Eliminator 1 (SE1) had 40 cars in the points race and Strip Eliminator 2 (SE2) featured 64 cars. Strip Eliminator 3 saw Gary Tesar repeat as series champion despite a first-round loss at the Show & Go. He won the Muscle Car Shootout and was runner up during the Street Car Showdown.

In SE1, Roger Peterson had a consistent series, with three runner-up finishes. Guy Stengel lost in the second round of the Show & Go but still won the SE2 championship with runner-up finish at the Muscle Car Shootout and a semifinal finish at the Street Car Showdown.

Sue Seidel raced her 2003 GMC Sierra pickup to a series championship in the Truck Eliminator Class, while Keith Sand and his ’66 GTO took earned the Manual Transmission Class championship.

Below are the top three points-getters in each class.
First: Rick Schmidt of Dickinson, N.D.
Second: Bill Krech of Inver Grove Heights
Third: Lee Loew of Darvin

First: Jake Delmonico of St. Paul Park
Second: Bubba Romanyskyn of Belfield, N.D.
Third: Vern Laurin Jr. of Duluth

First: Mike Sterling of Oak Grove
Second: Jason Geiger of Hanska
Third: Chris Orr of Superior, Wis.

First: Ian McNiven of East Selkirk, Manitoba
Second: Marc Nolin of Tourond, Manitoba
Third: Duane Godbout of Cloquet

First: Kelly Rutz of Randall
Second: Jerry Stellrecht of Goodhue
Third: Bill Meyer of Andover

First: Todd Malik of Andover
Second: Jason Bergeson of Cottage Grove
Third: Jason Nelson of Champlin

First: David Senderhauf of Zimmerman
Second: Lucas Mlinar of East St. Paul, Manitoba
Third: Dale Peterson of Big Lake

First: Roger Peterson of Menahga
Second: Kevin Sand of Cambridge
Third: Gerald Cook of Mora

First: Guy Stengel of Blaine
Second: Jeff Lundeen of Buffalo
Third: Lee Purdham of Deerwood

First: Gary Tesar of Medina
Second: Cameron Novak of Rice
Third: Gary Misfeldt of Andover

First: Sue Seidel of Battle Lake
Second: Justin Olafson of Park Rapids
Third: Chad Cramble of Fridley

First: Keith Sand of Cambridge
Second: Jeremy Reitmeier of Crookston
Third: Chuck Hoppe of North Branch

First: Jon Kelly of Newport
Second: Bryan Hansen
Third: Reid Watson of Laporte


Series championships, Wallys on the line this weekend

The grand finale of Brainerd International Raceway’s Bracket Drag Racing Series is this weekend, and there’s a lot at stake for most of the 200-plus drag racers expected to compete.

Shane Boney has a slip lead in the Pro ET class.

Shane Boney has a slim lead in the Pro ET class.

The final weekend means that drivers have one last shot at earning series points as they chase series championships in 10 different classes. But Saturday’s race is also important for all racers because it’s the National Dragster Challenge, where drivers in six of the 10 series classes have a rare chance at winning a Wally trophy and bragging rights for another year.

Racing starts at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, with one round of time trials followed by elimination rounds until winners are determined at the end of each day. Saturday’s race includes the National Dragster Challenge for drivers in the Super Pro, Pro ET, Sportsman, Pro Bike/Sled, Comp Trophy and Street Trophy classes. The winners of those classes Saturday will take home a replica Wally trophy, like those that the stars of the NHRA win.

BIR’s Bracket Drag Racing Series features some of the best amateur drag racing in the country as racers compete in dragsters, cars, trucks, bikes, snowmobiles and Junior Dragsters for prize money, hardware and series points that go toward series championships. Super Pro and Pro classes battle for a guaranteed $2,000 to win each day.

On Saturday, BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course will be busy with bikes during a Ducati Track Day.

Daily admission is $20 and kids 12 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at the gate. Click here for more details of the Bracket Drag Racing Series.

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