NHRA’s pro drivers are pumped to return to BIR

The Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals takes place at one of the most unique facilities on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series circuit, Brainerd International Raceway. Located in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, this multi-purpose motorsports facility next to North Long Lake is one of the marquee attractions in a town of resorts, offering recreational opportunities for almost anyone.

The recently completed Western Swing and a grouping of seven consecutive races over an eight week span tested the determination and resolve of every team in the NHRA Mello Yello Series. Before the start of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, many racers will enjoy a well-deserved vacation. Battery Extender Top Fuel dragster pilot Spencer Massey, an avid fisherman, says Brainerd is the perfect location to try to catch the big one.

“It’s just nice to be able to hang out there,” Massey said. “Coming off of our Western Swing where we don’t have too many days off it’s just nice to go up there, find a lake and try and catch some fish for a couple of days. It’s relaxing. It gets me ready for the races because after I have a couple of days off I’m ready to get back in my Battery Extender dragster and go racing again.”

The Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals is the 17th of 24 events in the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the penultimate race in the 18-event regular season. Last season, Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) earned victories at the event.

The town of Brainerd welcomes the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with open arms as restaurants and local businesses will be overflowing with racers and fans of the sport. Current Funny Car points leader Matt Hagan and his Magneti Marelli/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger team enters the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals on the strength of four wins and he is excited to see the energized Minnesota fan base.

“To come into town and have everyone pumped up that you’re there, it’s a pretty cool deal,” Hagan said. “Hopefully we can do well there, have the car run well. We’re getting closer to the Countdown. We have a lot of stuff going on, a lot of stuff to focus on and we definitely want to have some time to spend with our fans while we are there.”

Pro Stock racer Jeg Coughlin has four Pro Stock wins and one Super Stock victory at BIR. Through the years he has taken advantage of the resorts in the area as well as enjoyed the racing aspect of the event.

“Brainerd is a very unique market we race in,” Coughlin said. “The town, the fans and the track officials are just fantastic.  My first trip to BIR was in 1990, in Super Gas, and from that initial trip I knew it would always be special to race there, but to win would be amazing and we have been fortunate to do that.”

What makes BIR unique among other tracks on the NHRA circuit is its on-site camping, specifically, The Zoo campground, which has earned a reputation among drivers, teams and fans alike for being the place to be at the end of race day. Racers can often be found in The Zoo meeting their fans and signing autographs during the event.

“The Zoo is pretty cool; It’s incredible,” Hagan continued. “There are so many cool people there. The Canadians are awesome, they come down and hang out and have a good time. It’s a party. It’s a great atmosphere for everyone to get together and celebrate drag racing. It’s just neat.”

“I have enjoyed the fans, the live music and the ‘cruising’ environment of the Zoo several times over the years,” Coughlin stated. “There is a great mix of people and never a dull moment…highly recommended.”

The racing action at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals will be as intense as you will find at any event with only two events remaining where teams can secure or improve upon their positions in the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s six-race postseason playoffs.

In Top Fuel, Shawn Langdon leads the points standings on the strength of four wins and will be racing for his first career Brainerd victory. Tony Schumacher has three wins at the facility and will look to rebound after two consecutive first round losses. Morgan Lucas, Antron Brown and Doug Kalitta also have earned wins at the historic venue and will again look to hoist the NHRA Wally at the completion of the event.

Hagan holds the series lead in Funny Car and will attempt to keep Cruz Pedregon, who is second in the points, behind him and secure the No. 1 position for the Countdown to the Championship. Defending winner and three-time BIR winner Ron Capps, along with John Force, Del Worsham, Johnny Gray, Jack Beckman and Country Force, are among the pre-race favorites for the event.

Minnesota natives Greg Anderson and Jason Line will compete at a track where they raced as they honed their skills in their early years of competition. Anderson has three Pro Stock wins at the track while Line has yet to taste victory at the track in a professional category. Mike Edwards, Coughlin, Vincent Nobile and Allen Johnson will all attempt to spoil the homecoming party of the two native racers.

As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. No other sport offers fans an up-close-and-personal experience like NHRA. Fans can stand within several feet of the crews as they crank up their high-horsepower machines.

For those wanting to make it a family affair, BIR and NHRA are offering an incredible ticket offer: Children 12 and younger will receive free general admission with a paid adult all weekend. Make sure to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley, where manufacturers and sponsors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and freebies.

Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals qualifying opens on Friday, Aug. 16, with sessions at 3 and 5:30 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, Aug. 17, at noon and 2:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 18.

For a sneak preview of the event, NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series fans in Minneapolis will have an opportunity to meet popular Top Fuel drivers Brandon Bernstein and Morgan Lucas during an exclusive autograph session and meet and greet at the Mall of America. The autograph session will take place at the West Market Square within the Mall of America from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 14.

NHRA drag racing stars making public appearances

No ticket to the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Aug. 15-18 at Brainerd International Raceway? No problem, you can still be part of the festivities and meet the drag racing stars of the NHRA.

During Race Week, a number of drag racers will be making free public appearances throughout the Twin Cities and Brainerd, giving fans a chance to get autographs, take photos and visit with their favorite racers. Below is a list of those appearances. Check back to this page often for updates on when and where additional appearances will be.

OK Tire Store in Randal

Driver Terry McMillen and his Top Fuel dragster will be at the OK Tire Store in Randal to sign autographs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13.

NAPA Auto Parts in Crosslake

Funny Car driver Ron Capps will be at the NAPA Auto Parts store in Crosslake for an autograph session from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Aug. 15.

Mills Ford in Baxter

Legendary Funny Car driver John Force, his Funny Car-driving daughter Courtney, his dragster-driving daughter Brittany and fellow Funny Car driver Bob Tasca will all be at Mills Ford in Baxter for an autograph session from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 16.

Menards in Baxter

Mark Martino and his Pro Stock car will be at the Menards store in Baxter signing autographs and meeting fans from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15.

Cub Foods in Baxter

Pro Stock driver Erica Enders-Stevens will be at Cub Foods in Baxter from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15. There will be prizes, food, giveaways and more. Enders-Stevens won the Pro Stock class last year at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at BIR.

Mall of America

Top Fuel Dragster drivers Morgan Lucas and Brandon Bernstein will be in the New Market Square at Mall of America from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15 for an autograph session. The West Market Square is next to Nickelodeon Universe. A free wristband is required for those who want autographs. The wristbands are available in the West Market Square beginning at 3 p.m.

Circle K Stores

Funny Car driver Tim Wilkerson will make appearances at the Circle K stores in Elk River and Shoreview on Wednesday, Aug. 14. He will be in Shoreview from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and in Elk River from 3-5 p.m.


Reutzel crowned King of the Track

Travis Reutzel is on a hot streak that even he can’t explain. When the Bracket Drag Racing Series wrapped up this weekend, Reutzel was holding a Wally trophy after earning the title of King of the Track and was sitting in first place in the Pro ET Class. Not bad.

King Travis Reutzel

King Travis Reutzel

Reutzel said he was struggling at the starting line all weekend but he and his 1967 Camaro were still able to post consistent runs. Even though he didn’t win in the Super Pro and Pro ET classes, he made it to the quarterfinals and the semifinals in Pro ET, which was good enough to overtake Bob Ingman at the top of the point standings with one weekend left.

“I don’t know what was going through my mind,” Reutzel said when referring to entering the King of the Track runoff. “I was basically trying to get in the zone. It’s all about focus. Focus, focus, focus.”

The King of the Track race is an annual competition to determine the best of the best in the Bracket Drag Racing Series. The top two racers in the point standings of each class race each other to determine who represents the class. And then winners are paired up for a runoff, with the last racer standing crowned King of the Track. All seven classes, except the Junior Dragster classes, are included.

Reutzel beat a tough customer in the finals – Brandon Schmall, who was representing the Super Pro class and has been consistently at the top of the point standings all season. The two were about dead even off the starting line but Reutzel nipped him by about 4/100ths of a second at the finish line after making a 9.180-second pass at 144.36 mph.

The race was the fifth of six Bracket Drag Racing Series weekends, where racers now have two chances to win their class and earn valuable points toward a series championship at the end of the year. This year, there are eliminations both Saturday and Sunday during race weekends. The final Bracket Drag Racing Series weekend is Sept. 28-29.

While Reutzel was celebrating his King of the Track honors, Ben Line was celebrating a double win in Stock/Super Stock, which vaulted him into first place in the point standings.

Ben Line won both Stock/Super Stock races.

Ben Line won both Stock/Super Stock races.

Line seems to have his 1969 Mustang dialed in now, which is bad news for the rest of the drivers in that class. Line has won the series championship in Stock/Super Stock five of the last six seasons, including the last two seasons. He’s on a mission to “three-peat” and now has a commanding lead over Tim Lisson, who’s in second place.

Line beat Glen DeMenge in Saturday’s final with a run of 10.639 seconds and 121.83 mph, and then knocked off Craig Meseroll in Sunday’s final, running 10.733 seconds and 116.40 mph.

The Super Pro Class, which is typically the largest and fastest class, is up for grabs, with Terry Pease holding on to a slim lead over Schmall and a handful of other contenders. With 78 cars in the field this weekend, Jason Charlton played spoiler Saturday by beating Ryan Scheleck in the finals. Charlton isn’t in the points standings but had a good weekend with his ’74 Nova. His winning time was 10.032 seconds at 130.90 mph.

Schmall and his 1970 Challenger won Sunday’s race by beating Rodney Thompson with a time of 10.186 seconds and 120.95 mph.

The following are results from the Aug. 3-4 Bracket Drag Racing Series action. Click here to view the point standings.

King of the Track
Finals: Travis Reutzel of Eden Valley def. Brandon Schmall of Lino Lakes
Semifinals: Reutzel def. Nick Arnold of St. Louis Park; Schmall had a bye


Super Pro
Finals: Jason Charlton of Grand Rapids def. Ryan Scheleck of St. Cloud
Semifinals: Charlton had a bye; Scheleck def. Donnie Durenberger of Dayton

Pro ET
Finals: Chuck Roycraft of Minnetonka def. Wally Higby of Maple Grove
Semifinals: Roycraft def. Jerry Jolly of Vadnais Heights; Higby def. Dave Engler of Ramsey

Finals: Dale Richter of St. Joseph def. Don Wachholz of Mayer
Semifinals: Richter def. Ron Starks of St. Paul; Wachholz def. Chris Henry of Sauk Rapids

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Ben Line of International Falls def. Glen DeMenge of McGregor
Semifinals: Line had a bye; DeMenge def. Alan Litke of Pierz

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Kyle Lundberg of Isanti def. Mike Voss of Maplewood
Semifinals: Lundberg def. Brad Harder of Waconia; Voss had a bye

Comp Trophy
Finals: Keith Larson of Brainerd def. Darren Arnold of Eden Prairie
Semifinals: Larson had a bye; Arnold def. Jared Hutar of Cromwell

Street Trophy
Finals: Nick Arnold of St. Louis Park def. Joe Moriarty Jr. of Ham Lake
Semifinals: Arnold had a bye; Moriarty Jr. def. Brandon Kellen of St. Cloud

Jr Dragster Advanced
Finals: Jordan Pratt of Otsego def. Maggie Ruzich of Hibbing
Semifinals: Pratt had a bye; Ruzich def. Erin Johnson of Anoka

Jr Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Sydney Haben of Hibbing def. Sarah Johnson of Nowthen
Semifinals: Haben def. Zachary Zavadil of Clearwater; Johnson had a bye

Jr Dragster Novice
Finals: Cameron Beaulieu of Cambridge def. Sami Cielinski of Gilman


Super Pro
Finals: Brandon Schmall of Lino Lakes def. Rodney Thompson of Anoka
Semifinals: Schmall had a bye; Thompson def. Terry Pease of Blaine

Pro ET
Finals: Reno Loeffelholz of Shafer def. Mike Sonnek of Hutchinson
Semifinals: Loeffelholz def. James Erickson of Ortonville; Sonnek def. Travis Reutzel of Eden Valley

Finals: Grant Pesola of Duluth def. Rory Emmans of Dayton
Semifinals: Pesola def. Don Wachholz of Mayer; Emmans def. Brad Mickle of Lino Lakes

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Ben Line of International Falls def. Craig Meseroll of Cloquet
Semifinals: Line def. Steve Hutar of Cromwell; Meseroll def. Corey Hopkins of North Branch

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Brad Harder of Waconia def. Josh LaValle of Rice
Semifinals: Harder def. Mike Voss of Maplewood; LaValle def. Kyle Lundberg of Isanti

Comp Trophy
Finals: Chelsea Hjelle of Karlstad def. Keith Larson of Brainerd
Semifinals: Hjelle had a bye; Larson def. Sid Osterman of Pequot Lakes

Street Trophy
Finals: Brandon Kellen of St. Cloud def. Tyler Gadacz of Little Falls
Semifinals: Kellen def. Joe Moriarty Jr. of Ham Lake; Gadacz def. Tracy Arneson of Pillager

Jr Dragster Advanced
Finals: Erin Johnson of Anoka def. Maggie Ruzich of Hibbing
Semifinals: Johnson def. Abby Haben of Hibbing; Ruzich def. Emily Durenberger of Dayton

Jr Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Zachary Zavadil of Clearwater def. Sydney Thompson of Anoka
Semifinals: Zavadil def. Sydney Haben of Hibbing; Thompson had a bye

Jr Dragster Novice
Finals: Aaron Clampitt of Lino Lakes def. Cameron Beaulieu of Cambridge
Semifinals: Clampitt had a bye; Beaulieu def. Sami Cielinski of Gilman


Emmans scores double win at Bracket drag racing weekend

Going into last weekend’s Bracket Drag Racing Series, Mark Pease was sitting in first place in the Sportsman Class with a fairly comfortable lead over second-place racer Rory Emmans. Pease had about 2,000 points, which was about 500 more than Emmans.

But Emmans is now sitting atop the point standings after his double win, winning the class both Saturday AND Sunday. Pease finished with semifinal and quarterfinal wins, which leaves him in second place only 28 points behind Emmans.

What makes the results even more unusual is that Emmans beat Layne Robertson in the finals both days. Robertson fouled at the starting line on Saturday and then ran faster than his dial-in time on Sunday. Emmans’ winning times were 12.067 seconds at 109.41 mph Saturday and 12.157 seconds at 105.13 mph Sunday.

Emmans and Robertson were among the 30 racers in the Sportsman Class last weekend, which was the fourth Bracket Drag Racing Series event of the season. There are six weekends on the schedule this year, with eliminations both Saturday and Sunday, resulting in twice as many winners and twice as many chances to gain series points. While drag racers were battling all weekend, the ChumpCar World Series was on the 2.5-mile Competition Road Course with a pair of seven-hour endurance races. Teams of four drivers drove their $500 junkers as many laps as they could get out of them in seven hours.

In Super Pro, Toby Giese proved that you could transition from the Pro Bike/Sled Class to Super Pro Class, typically the largest and fastest class in the program. Giese races his 1968 Chevelle to a win Sunday by beating Gary Loeffelholz and his 2004 Mustang with a time of 9.110 seconds and 141.91 mph.

On Saturday, Al Gavlovsky and his 1963 Corvette Roadster won the Super Pro Class by beating Jesse Leonard with a final run of 9.842 seconds and 139.04 mph. Neither Gavlovsky or Giese are in the points race, which leaves Mike Campbell on top of the standings with a slight margin over Brian Johnson.

In the Pro ET Class, Bob Ingman took over first place with a finals win Saturday over Lee Dugdale. His winning time was 10.658 seconds and 113.17 mph. Reno Loeffelholz moved into third place with his win on Sunday over Ken Drevnick. Loeffelholz had a winning time of 9.403 seconds and 142.37 mph.

The standings for Stock/Super Stock are tightening up at the top after wins by Ben Line on Saturday and Scott Dugdale on Sunday. Line beat Mike Mans with a time of 10.740 seconds and 117.14 mph while Dugdale disposed of Terry Johnson in the finals with a winning time of 11.506 seconds and 113.77 mph. Tim Lisson is holding on to first place, just ahead of Line and Steve Hutar.

The next Bracket Drag Racing Series weekend is Aug. 2-4, a Dual Event Weekend with the Central Roadracing Association’s Superbike Racing on the 2.5-mile Competition Road Course.

Below are results from the last two rounds of each class Saturday and Sunday. To view the point standings for each class, click here.


Super Pro
Finals: Al Gavlovsky of Bemidji def. Jesse Leonard of Inver Grove Heights
Semifinals: Gavlovsky had a bye; Leonard def. Brian Johnson of Nowthen

Pro ET
Finals: Bob Ingman of Andover def. Lee Dugdale of Scandia
Semifinals: Ingman had a bye; Dugdale def. Wally Higby of Maple Grove

Finals: Rory Emmans of Dayton def. Layne Robertson of Litchfield
Semfinals: Emmans def. Mark Pease of Plymouth; Robertson def. Lee Dugdale of Scandia

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Ben Line of International Falls def. Mike Mans of Rogers
Semifinals: Line def. Steve Hutar of Cromwell; Mans had a bye

Comp Trophy
Finals: Ron Clark of Stacy def. Chelsea Hjelle of Karlstad
Semifinals: Clark had a bye; Hjelle def. Jared Hutar of Cromwell

Street Trophy
Finals: Nick Arnold of St. Louis Park def. Taylor Arneson of Pillager
Semifinals: Arnold def. Samantha Loberg of Pequot Lakes; Arneson def. Brandon Kellen of St. Cloud

Jr Dragster Advanced
Finals: Jordan Pratt of Otsego def. Erin Johnson of Anoka
Semifinals: Pratt def. Carter Lindquist of Minnetonka; Johnson had a bye

Jr Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Wyatt Niesen of Brooklyn Park def. Zachary Zavadil of Clearwater
Semifinals: Niesen def. Sarah Johnson of Nowthen; Zavadil def. Ashley Doffing of Cottage Grove

Jr Dragster Novice
Finals: Cameron Beaulieu of Cambridge def. Aaron Clampitt of Lino Lakes


Super Pro
Finals: Toby Giese of Kandiyohi def. Gary Loeffelholz of Shafer
Semifinals: Giese had a bye; Loeffelholz def. Tim Hallberg of Champlin

Pro ET
Finals: Reno Loeffelholz of Shafer def. Ken Drevnick of Woodbury
Semifinals: Loeffelholz had a bye; Drevnick def. Travis Hjelle of Karlstad

Finals: Rory Emmans of Dayton def. Layne Robertson of Litchfield
Semifinals: Emmans def. Troy Luberda of Foley; Robertson def. Brad Mickle of Lino Lakes

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Scott Dugdale of Stacy def. Terry Johnson of Maple Grove
Semifinals: Dugdale def. Tim Lisson of Solon Springs, Wis.; Johnson had a bye

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Mike Voss of Maplewood def. Brad Harder of Waconia

Comp Trophy
Finals: Darren Arnold of Eden Prairie def. Michelle Emmans of Dayton
Semifinals: Arnold def. Jared Hutar of Cromwell; Emmans had a bye

Street Trophy
Finals: Samantha Loberg of Pequot Lakes def. Nick Arnold of St. Louis Park
Semifinals: Loberg def. Joe Moriarty Jr. of Ham Lake: Arnold def. Brandon Kellen of St. Cloud

Jr. Dragster Advanced
Finals: Jordan Pratt of Otsego def. Max Niesen of Brooklyn Park
Semifinals: Pratt had a bye; Niesen def. Sam Hamilton of Hanover

Jr. Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Syndey Thompson of Anoka def. Garrett Lindquist of Minnetonka
Semifinals: Thompson def. Zachary Zavadil of Clearwater; Lindquist def. Sarah Johnson of Nowthen

Jr. Dragster Novice
Finals: Cameron Beaulieu of Cambridge def. Aaron Clampitt of Lino Lakes

Bracket drag racing, Superbike racing on tap for this weekend

With only two weekends left on the schedule, the point standings for the Bracket Drag Racing Series are starting to get interesting.

This weekend is the fifth of six weekends for the series. It’s a Dual Event weekend with the Central Roadracing Association (CRA) on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course as it shows off its insane brand of Superbike racing.

While the CRA will be racing Friday through Sunday, the Bracket Drag Racing Series is a two-day affair, with time trials, qualifying and eliminations both Saturday and Sunday. That’s a program change from previous years in that now there are two chances for drivers to win their racing class each weekend, which provides for more exciting racing for fans as well.

The Bracket Drag Racing Series features some of the top amateur drag racers in the state. More than 250 dragsters, cars, trucks, bikes, snowmobiles and Junior Dragsters are expected at BIR this weekend to compete for series points, with series championships in 10 different classes up for grabs at the end of the season.

Last weekend, Rory Emmans made things interesting in Sportsman Class by sweeping the class with a double win, which vaulted him into first place. What made the Sportsman Class even more unusual is that Emmans beat Layne Robertson in the finals both days. Robertson isn’t in the points race.

There’s a log jam at the top of the Super Pro Class, which is typically the series’ fastest and largest class. This year, 43 drivers are in the points race, with Brian Johnson holding a slim lead over at least six other drivers who are within striking distance.

The Pro ET Class has 40 drivers in the points race, with Bob Ingman in the lead and being chased by an eight-pack of drivers who still could catch him and knock him out of first.

The CRA is on the road course for the fourth of five weekends at BIR. There’s a variety of racing classes on the track all weekend, with practice sessions on Friday, followed by six-lap races Saturday and Sunday. These are highly skilled racers who fly around the track on two wheels and a knee as they attack the challenging and demanding 13-turn track.

The pit areas for both tracks are always open to spectators, and on-site camping is available. The Wheelie Bar & Grille inside BIR has DJ music both Friday and Saturday nights for those who are camping at the track.

Gates open at 8 a.m. daily to spectators, with racing starting at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The CRA’s first session Friday is at 10 a.m. Daily admission is $15; kids 12 and under are free.


ChumpCars join Bracket Drag Racers this weekend at BIR

ChumpCars, those loveable $500 junkers, are returning to Brainerd International Raceway this weekend to compete in a pair of seven-hour endurance races.

The ChumpCar World Series will be making its annual visit to BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course while the drag strip will be busy with the fourth weekend of the Bracket Drag Racing Series.

The ChumpCar World Series features teams of four drivers racing a car that can’t be valued at more than $500 before safety equipment is installed. They circle the road course for seven hours, with the team completing the most laps in the shortest amount of time winning the race. There are endurance races both Saturday and Sunday. Some teams will spend as much time wrenching on their cars as they do driving them but that’s what makes the sport unique. Most of the cars are creatively painted to reflect an amusing theme.

While the ChumpCars are circling the road course, drag racers will be battling on the drag strip during the fourth weekend of the six-weekend Bracket Drag Racing Series. More than 250 dragsters, cars, trucks, bikes, snowmobiles and Junior Dragsters will be competing for points and a series championship at the end of the season in 10 different classes. The series is formatted a little differently this year, with each class getting time trials on Saturday and Sunday before eliminations begin each day. Each class will have a winner at the end of each day.

“The ChumpCar World Series is always a lot of fun for fans and teams alike,” BIR Owner Jed Copham said. “The racing is competitive but the teams don’t take it too seriously. And the Bracket Drag Racing Series always features great racing. It’s a fun event for the whole family.”

Fans get all this racing for the price of a single ticket. Daily admission is $15; kids 12 and under are free. Every ticket includes a pit pass. Camping is free with a multi-day ticket.

Powercruise, the wildest cruising show in Earth, is this weekend

Cruise, race, drift and skid – Brainerd International Raceway is once again set to come alive to the sound of huge horsepower running wild as hundreds of entrants take to the track July 12-14 for the third annual Powercruise.

Unique in the world of car and driving events, Powercruise is a weekend-long horsepower party that lets entrants drive their cars the way they were built to be driven, without fear of breaking the law. Featuring cruising sessions, burnouts, off-street racing and the always exciting powerskid competition, Powercruise is something for all fans of modified cars to enjoy.

There’s spectacular off-track entertainment, too, including Show-n-Go awards, a Horsepower Dyno Shootout as well as the ever-popular Miss Powercruise Competition to keep everyone busy over the action-packed three-day event.

Click here for ticket information and event details.

Cruise sessions allow entrants to drive their cars alongside some of the toughest automotive hardware in the land. Muscle cars, hot rods, imports, drag cars, blown, bottled, turbo-charged and naturally aspirated, and everything in between can be found on-track with their petrol head owners able to take passengers along for the ride of their life.

In addition to the cruising sessions, Powercruise features some wild demonstrations of horsepower during the Powerskid Contest where entrants fry the tires off their car in a straight line for as far as they can. There’s also the Off-Street Drags, which runs like an old-style street drag, and drifting, tire-popping “Aussie-style” burnouts, a show and shine and much more.

Fuchs, Delmonico among Show & Go winners

There’s no mistaking Ray Fuchs’ race car when he’s at Brainerd International Raceway for the Muscle Car Series. It’s a wicked-looking 1953 Studebaker, painted red with black flames. And it’s very fast.

Fuchs and his Studebaker were at BIR July 5-7 for the 27th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Show & Go. He patiently spent Friday and Saturday getting the car dialed in rather than pushing it for a top qualifying position, and the strategy seemed to pay off. Fuchs earned his way into BIR’s Winners Circle Sunday.

Fuchs won the Pro Outlaw Class by beating Craig Braun and his 1968 Firebird in the finals with a lightning-fast run of 6.811 seconds at 204.14 mph. Braun was 26/100ths of a second slower off the starting line and it cost him at the finish line, as he placed second with a time of 6.840 seconds and 200.74 mph.

“We didn’t go for a great qualifying position,” Fuchs said of his three qualifying runs on Friday and Saturday. “We were more interested in stepping up the car every round, and we were able to do that. It seemed to work out.”

During last year’s Show & Go, Fuchs was on the losing end of a super-close race in the Pro Outlaw finals. He was matched up against Dean Bauerly and his 2011 Pontiac, which had been consistently making 7.0-second runs at about 200 mph. In the finals, Bauerly beat Fuchs off the starting line by 56/100ths for a second and Fuchs couldn’t catch him, losing by 1/100th of a second.

“We’ve learned a lot about the car since then,” Fuchs said. “We changed up the suspension and did some tranny work. We’re trying new things and it seems to be working.”

With Fuchs’ win, he will take over first place in the Pro Outlaw point standings, with one race left to go in the Muscle Car Series: the 25th Annual Muscle Car Shootout Labor Day weekend.

The Pro Outlaw Class is typically the fastest class in the Muscle Car Series but Peter Campbell’s speeds in the Outlaw Class were even faster. Driving a ’68 Camaro, Campbell was runner up in the Outlaw Class after losing to Jake Delmonico in the finals despite ripping off a pass of 7.257 seconds and 213.27 mph. Delmonico ran 7.965 seconds and 170.28 mph but Campbell was disqualified on the starting line.

Campbell was the No. 1 qualifier and posted the class’s fastest time (7.088 seconds) and top speed (213.27 mph). Delmonico will retain the top spot in the point standings after winning the class in the series’ first race, the Street Car Showdown Memorial Day weekend.

The Pro Outlaw and Outlaw classes are the two showcase classes during the NAPA Auto Parts Show & Go, which is one of BIR’s most popular events each year. In addition to three days of drag racing, the event featured the Central Roadracing Association’s Superbike racing on the 2.5-mile Competition Road Course. It’s club racing by some of the best amateur racers in the state. Saturday’s events included a classic car show, live music and a fireworks display, all of which were well attended despite soggy weather that chased fans indoors throughout the day.

A new addition to the Muscle Car Series this year is the 660 Outlaw Street Class. BIR shortens up the drag strip from a quarter mile to an eighth mile and puts restrictions on the cars that level the playing field. It’s a type of racing that’s gaining popularity across the country.

David Senderhauf Jr. was sitting in first place in 660 Outlaw Street with his finals win at the Street Car Showdown, but he was knocked off in the second round Sunday by eventual winner Lucas Minor, who finished as the No. 1 qualifier with the fastest time (4.933 seconds) and the top speed (159.36 mph).

Minor and his black 2001 Trans Am beat Nick Strohbeen in the finals with a time of 4.972 seconds and 154.94 mph to Strohbeen’s 5.065 seconds and 146.07 mph. Strohbeen was in third place and Minor was in fourth place going into the weekend, so it’ll be crowded at the top of the points standings in the 660 class when the points are finalized this week.

In King Street, Brian Mahnke continued his domination of the class by beating David Sash in the finals. Mahnke has won the series championship for King Street all four years and has been either a winner or runner up in every race. He’s on his way to sweeping the class again this year if he wins during the Muscle Car Shootout. Mahnke and his 1972 Camaro were the No. 1 qualifier this weekend.

In Real Street Unlimited, Jad Carlson easily beat Jim Ripley in the finals by posting a time of 8.522 seconds and 171.47 mph to Ripley’s 10.670 seconds and 95.95 mph. Carlson had lost to Ripley in the Street Car Showdown finals and was sitting in second place in the point standings, just three points behind Ripley. They will need the Muscle Car Shootout as a tie-breaker.

The Show & Go also features two more Heads-Up Classes, three Strip Eliminator classes, Truck Eliminator, Manual Transmission and 10 Index classes. The winners of the 10 Index classes are paired up for a run-off to determine the Index Class Champion. That honor went to Kevin Sand, who won the 10.00 Index Class and then won his way to the finals against Gary Olson, who won the 12.00 Index Class. Sand and his 1983 Cierra snuck by Olson at the finish line with a time of 10.054 seconds and 125.10 mph.

Below are results from the 27th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Show & Go. Click here to view the points standings for each class in the Muscle Car Series.

Pro Outlaw
Finals: Ray Fuchs of Bowman, N.D. def. Craig Braun of Hampton
Semifinals: Fuchs had a bye; Braun def. Bill Krech of Inver Grove Heights

Finals: Jake Delmonico of St. Paul Park def. Peter Campbell of W. St. Paul
Semifinals: Delmonico def. Paul Gibbs of Eagan;  Campbell def. Brian Carpenter of Forest Lake

King Street
Finals: Brian Mahnke of Proctor def. Dave Sash of Duluth
Semifinals: Mahnke def. Jason Geiger of Hanska; Sash had a bye

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

Real Street Natural
Finals: Matt Sathre of Brooklyn Park def. Kelly Rutz of Randall
Semifinals: Sathre had a bye; Rutz def. Kevin Pallow of Andover

True Street
Finals: Todd Malik of Andover def. Justin Olsen of Cokato
Semifinals: Malik def. Andy Lehner of St. Paul Park; Olsen def. Zack Novak of Sauk Rapids

660 Outlaw Street
Finals: Lucas Minor of Winnipeg, Manitoba def. Nick Strohbeen of Roseville
Semifinals: Minor def. David Senderhauf of Zimmerman; Strohbeen def. Jim Frendt of Cottage Grove

Strip Eliminator 1

Strip Eliminator 2
Finals: Gary Olson of Sartell def. TJ Tharaldson of East Bethel
Semifinals: Olson had a bye; Tharaldson def. Jacob Moske of Mora

Strip Eliminator 3
Finals: Dan Hyttsten of Monticello def. Gary Tesar of Medina
Semifinals: Hyttsten def. Jessica Enberg of Plymouth; Tesar def. Thomas Madsen of Lino Lakes

Truck Eliminator
Finals: David Adams of Brooklyn Center def. Troy Anderson of St. Paul
Semifinals: Adams had a bye; Anderson def. Robert Eiden of Grand Rapids

Manual Transmission
Finals: Bill Diers of Clear Lake def. Chris Moorman of St. Michael
Semifinals; Diers def. Keith Kuss of Zimmerman; Moorman had a bye

9.50 Index
Finals: Eric James of St. Cloud def. Austin Siemers of Milaca
Semifinals: James def. Mark Leasure of Eagan; Siemers def. Pat Huebner of Bloomington

10.00 Index
Finals: Kevin Sand of Cambridge def. Norm Gensmer of Zimmerman?
Semifinals: Sand def. Tom Durand of Little Canada; Gensmer def. Bruce Johnson of Duluth

10.50 Index
Finals: Mike Hammerstrom of Bemidji def. Keith Sand of Cambridge|
Semifinals: Hammerstrom def. Greg Bednar of Mankato; Sand def. Dennis McMillan of Elko

11.00 Index
Finals: Leon Vinkemeier of Belle Plaine def. Jason Hartkopf of Eden Valley
Semifinals: Vinkemeier had a bye; Hartkopf def. Mike Yocum of Perham

11.50 Index
Finals: Greg Dancer of Foley def. Dave Vasseur of Rogers
Semifinals: Dancer def. Charlie Todd of Cottage Grove; Vasseur def. Ryan Merritt of Duluth

12.00 Index
Finals: Gary Olson of Sartell def. Jeff Purdham of Albertville

12.50 Index
Finals: Rick Gulbranson of Hermantown def. Calvin Thaemert of Cologne
Semifinals: Gulbranson def. Bobbie Halverson of Cook; Thaemert def. Brian Ellenson of Park Rapids

13.00 Index
Finals: Jesse Backstrom of Grand Marais def. Kevin Hemenway of Park Rapids
Semifinals: Backstrom def. Jim Carlson of Minneapolis; Hemenway def. Bruce Morley of Brainerd

13.50 Index
Finals: Shannon Halverson of Cook def. Gary Carlson of Duluth
Semifinals: Halverson def. Greg Schmidt of Baxter; Carlson def. Gary Nelson of North Branch

14.00 Index
Finals: Brad Nybo of Coon Rapids def. Dan Hyttsten of Monticello
Semifinals: Nybo def. Gary Tesar of Medina; Hyttsten had a bye

Index Class Champion
Finals: Kevin Sand of Cambridge (10.00) def. Gary Olson of Sartell (12.00)
Semifinals: Sand had a bye; Olson def. Eric James of St. Cloud (9.50)