Buffomante, Ebben take pole positions for Trans Am race

Tony Buffomante and Cliff Ebben secured pole positions in Fast Five Qualifying for Sunday’s two 100-mile Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic Trans Am races, Round 5 of the 2016 Trans Am Championship. Keith Anderson and Ernie Francis, Jr., also had successful qualifying sessions, grabbing poles for the TA3 and TA4 classes at Brainerd International Raceway (BIR).

The two Trans Am Series races are the grand finale of the 30th Annual PleasureLand RV Show & Go, July 1-3. The event also includes the National Auto Sport Association on the road course and the second leg of the Muscle Car Series on the drag strip.

Buffomante, in the No. 34 Mike Cope Race Cars Ford Mustang, captured his third pole of the season with a 1:31.192 lap — a new track record for TA2 — around the 2.5-mile Competition Road Course at BIR. Buffomante, who is hot off a victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Round 4, is currently tied atop the points standings with defending champion Gar Robinson and leads all TA2 competitors in wins with two so far this season.

The pole puts Buffomante in prime position to capture his third victory, and fourth podium, as his continues his pursuit of a TA2 championship. The pole position will see Buffomante lead the TA2 field to green in their independent TA2 100-mile race Sunday at 1 p.m.

Lawrence Loshak, in the No. 5 Pennzoil Platinum/MOMO/ETE Reman Chevrolet Camaro, qualified second, securing a front row sweep for the Mike Cope team with a 1:31.307 lap. Minnesota native Tommy Archer, in the No. 54 ECC/ Chevrolet Camaro, will start in third position with a 1:31.466 lap, a strong position to challenge for the home track victory he narrowly missed in 2015.

Defending champion Robinson, in the No. 74 Pura Vida Tequila/ 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, will start fourth after turning a 1:31.678 lap; while last year’s BIR victor Dillon Machavern, in the No. 24 Heritage Motorsports Ford Mustang, secured the final Fast Five position with a time of 1:31.750, completing the tight TA2 session.

Ebben, in the No. 36 Stumpf Ford/ McMahon Group/ Lamers Ford Mustang, will start on pole for the TA, TA3 and TA4 multi-class race that starts at 3:10 p.m. Sunday. Ebben captured the pole with a 1:28.272 lap, securing his third consecutive pole in the TA class. Now, Ebben will attempt to convert his qualifying speed into his first victory of the year.

Starting alongside Ebben will be the ever-present No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette of Amy Ruman, defending TA champion and current points leader. Ruman leads all TA competitors with two victories this year and will look to add to that tally with a second consecutive victory at BIR.

Third place was secured by David Pintaric, in the No. 57 Kryderacing Chevrolet Corvette, with a 1:29.075; while the remainder of the TA class Fast Five was completed by Vincent Allegretta, in the No. 41 TA Sights and Sounds Chevrolet Corvette, and Jim McAleese, in the No. 03 McAleese and Associates Chevrolet Corvette, with times of 1:29.821 and 1:30.642, respectively.

TA3 was led by Keith Anderson, making his first appearance in the Series from behind the wheel of the No. 81 Archer Racing Dodge Viper ACRX, securing a pole for the production based class with a 1:34.107 lap — a new track record. He was followed in the session by Steve Streimer, in the No. 43 Lux Performance Dodge Viper ACRX, and Cindi Lux, in the No. 45 Lux Performance Dodge Viper ACRX, with times of 1:34.518 and 1:35.157, respectively.

In TA4, two-time defending champion Ernie Francis, Jr., in the No. 98 BetaTools/Liquid Performance, led the way for the TA4 class with a time of 1:36.175, beating out Trevor Janke, in the No. 31 Janke Auto/ Pender Racing Chevrolet Camaro, for the top spot. The pole is Francis’ third of the year as he prepares to purse his second consecutive win at BIR as well as his third consecutive championship.

Drivers will be given the opportunity to re-qualify later today at 5:45 p.m. to try and improve their starting positions; however, drivers in the “Fast Five” for each starting group have their starting positions locked.

Both races for in the Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic will be televised on CBS Sports Network. The first race, featuring TA2 only, will be televised starting at noon on July 31. The second race, featuring TA, TA3 and TA4 will broadcast at 11 a.m. July 23.

Who to watch during Sunday’s pair of Trans Am Series races

As the Trans Am Series approaches the season midpoint, competitors make their way north to Brainerd International Raceway (BIR), Round 5 of the 2016 Trans Am Championship, for the Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic, July 2-3.

The weekend will feature two 100-mile Trans Am races around the 2.5-mile Competition Road Course, with the TA2, powered by AEM, class holding an independent race and the TA, TA3 and TA4 classes holding an additional multi-class race. The annual northern pilgrimage to one of Trans Am’s historic homes marks the series’ 25th appearance on the Brainerd track.

The track, which Trans Am first visited in 1969, is known throughout the paddock as a “survivor’s course” due to its susceptibility to sandy and slick conditions, creating a pivotal stop on the Trans Am tour for all classes and championship hopefuls.

The stand-alone TA2 race marks the first of its kind at BIR and comes at a time when the 2016 TA2 Championship race has finally begun to take some semblance of shape. In attendance will be the current joint points leaders, Gar Robinson, defending TA2 Champion and driver of the No. 74 Pura Vida Tequila/ 74 Ranch Resort Chevrolet Camaro, and Tony Buffomante, driver of the No. 34 Mike Cope Racing Ford Mustang, tied atop the charts with 102 apiece.

While Robinson will be aiming to at least replicate his third place finish last year at BIR, Buffomante will prefer a more radical change from his 13th in 2015. They will be joined as initial favorites to finish up front by Trans Am veteran and Minnesota’s own Tommy Archer, in the No. 54 ECC/ Chevrolet Camaro, and last year’s race winner Dillon Machavern, in the No. 24 Heritage Motorsports Ford Mustang, who currently sits third in the points as well.

Included in the Minnesota contingent are drivers Jordan Bernloehr of Lakeville, in the No. 07 BCR/MillersOil/ProKart/AirJax Chevrolet Camaro, Tim Gray of Eden Prairie, in the No. 60 Ryan Companies US Inc Ford Mustang, and Cole Carlson also of Eden Prairie, in the No. 12 Stevens Miller Racing Dodge Challenger, who is making his first appearance in the Trans Am Series.

Additional drivers in the talent-packed TA2 class include Adam Andretti, John Atwell, Justin Haley, Shane Lewis, Lawrence Loshak, Chris Lucas, Louis-Philippe Montour, Keith Prociuk and Tom Sheehan.

The TA class competition will once more be headlined by defending TA Champion Amy Ruman, in the No. 23 McNichols Company Chevrolet Corvette, who currently stands atop the class points with 118 to her name. Ruman will face a cast of familiar challengers including Round 4 victor Paul Fix, in the No. 50 / Chevrolet Corvette, and last year’s TA class runner-up at BIR, Cliff Ebben, in the No. 36 Stumpf Ford/ McMahon Group/ Lamers Ford Mustang.

Ruman has landed on the podium in four of the past five Trans Am races at BIR with two victories in those appearances, a win in 2012 race two of a double-header and last year in 2015.

Ruman’s primary challengers in the championship point standings, David Pintaric, in the No. 57 Kryderacing Chevrolet Corvette, and Kerry Hitt, in the No. 19 Advanced Composite Products Cadillac CTS-V, will need a different outcome on the weekend if they’re to start working away at Ruman’s current 30-plus point advantage on second and third place in the championship hunt.

For the second straight year, BIR track owner Jed Copham, in the No. 4 Chevrolet Corvette, will be competing in the TA class, joining the likes of Vincent Allegretta, Claudio Burtin, Simon Gregg, Jim McAleese, Tim Rubright and Mickey Wright.

Trans Am’s production racing contingent will also be in attendance in the form of the TA3 and TA4 classes, with the Lux Performance Group Duo of Cindi Lux and Steve Streimer, in the No. 45 and 42 Lux Performance Group Dodge Viper ACRXs, once again joining the TA3 class at BIR.  Last year Lux and Streimer finished 1-2 atop the podium.

Joining them in the pursuit of the TA3 silverware this coming weekend will be Keith Anderson, of Rochester, Minnesota, in the No. 81 Archer Racing Dodge Viper ACRX, and Mel Shaw, in the No. 22 Bay Commercial Group/BETA Chevrolet Corvette.

TA4 will feature two-time defending Champion Ernie Francis, Jr., in the No. 98 BetaTools/Liquid Performance Ford Mustang, and Trans Am newcomer Trevor Janke, in the No. 31 Janke Auto/ Pender Racing Dev Chevrolet Camaro.

How to Watch on CBS Sports Network:

The Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic, featuring TA/TA3/TA4 will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network July 23 11 a.m.

The Ryan Companies Muscle Car Challenge, featuring TA2, will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network July 31 at noon.

Event Schedule:

Saturday, July 2, 2016
10:30 AM – 10:50 AM – TA2 Practice 1
10:55 AM – 11:15 AM – TA/TA3/TA4 Practice 1
1:00 PM –  1:20 PM – TA2 “Fast Five” Qualifying
1:20 PM –  1:40 PM – TA “Fast Five” Qualifying
1:40 PM – 2:00 PM –     TA3/TA4 “Fast Five Qualfying
5:00 PM –  5:20 PM – TA2 Practice 2
5:20 PM – 5:30 PM – TA/TA3/TA4 Practice 2
5:45 PM – 6:00 PM – 2nd Chance to Qualify

Sunday, July 3, 2016
1:00 PM – 2:15 PM – Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic Muscle Car Challenge featuring TA2, powered by AEM
3:10 PM –4:25 PM – Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic TA/TA3/TA4 Race

Watch drag racing from the best seats in the house

Here’s your chance to watch this weekend’s Muscle Car Series drag racing from the best seats in the house – the Tower Suites.

At the affordable rate of only $100 a day (plus tax), you can rent a suite to enjoy the 30th Annual PleasureLand RV Show & Go in style! Rent one for a single day or for the weekend. Tower Suites overlook the drag strip’s starting line and are great for entertaining.

The suites have air conditioning, overstuffed couches, refrigerators, tables and chairs, and cable TV. They accommodate 20 people comfortably.

For more information, contact the Ticket Office at 866-439-6411 or at the front gate when you arrive.













KQDS to broadcast its morning show from BIR this Friday

KQDS-FM will broadcast its wildly popular morning show from BIR’s Tower Suites Friday morning. KQDS, the top radio station in the Duluth market and throughout most of northeast Minnesota, will broadcast live from 6-10 a.m. from BIR’s Tower Suites overlooking the drag strip starting line.

KQDS logoThe show stars Jason Manning and Scott Savage, who will be talking about this weekend’s 30th Annual PleasureLand RV Show & Go all morning. The conversation will include interviews with some of the drivers who will compete this weekend, including Duluth’s own Tommy Archer, who will be driving in Sunday’s Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic. He’ll be on air with Adam Andretti, who races in the same class as Archer. Andretti is the nephew of the legendary racer Mario Andretti. Drag racers competing in the Muscle Car Series this weekend will be interviewed as well.

The morning show airs in the Brainerd area on 95.9 FM. You can hear the show in Duluth and most of northeast Minnesota as well, and streaming online by clicking here to go to KQ’s website.

Show & Go gets double dose of Trans Am Series

The 30th Annual PleasureLand RV Show & Go, July 1-3, just got even bigger and better.

The event finale was scheduled to be the Trans Am Series’ Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic, a 40-lap, 100-mile race on Brainerd International Raceway’s (BIR) 2.5-mile Competition Road Course Sunday afternoon. But the series added a second race for the TA2 class two hours earlier. Same format – 40 laps, 100 miles. Both races will be televised in late July on CBS Sports Network.

TransAmThe Trans Am Series has a colorful past at BIR that dates back to the 1970s and ’80s, when thousands of fans would camp along BIR’s road course to watch some of the household names in motorsports compete. Now, three decades later, it’s still attracting familiar names, like Andretti and Archer, for example. Adam Andretti is Mario Andretti’s nephew and is one of the top drivers in the TA2 Class. Tommy Archer is from the famed Archer Brothers Racing team in Duluth. The Archers have raced – and won – in nearly every circuit and all have impressive resumes. Tommy Archer is 58 and had a bout with cancer but is scheduled to race again this year. He finished second last year in a three-car dogfight at the end of the race.

The Trans Am Series will be the featured race, but there will be plenty of other intense racing action throughout the three-day event, starting with the Muscle Car Series on the drag strip. Friday and Saturday are time trials and qualifying, followed by elimination rounds on Sunday.

BIRSCSD16-0242The Muscle Car Series is a chance for fans to see some huge horsepower and speeds over 220 mph by the fastest classes. The seven heads-up classes provide the most entertainment, as cars start at the same time. The Pro Outlaw and Outlaw classes are fan favorites because of the high speeds and times that are 6-7 seconds.

The Show & Go is the second leg of the three-race Muscle Car Series. The first race was the Street Car Showdown on Memorial Day Weekend. Ray Fuchs knocked off Rick Schmidt, the two-time series champ in Pro Outlaw by qualifying No. 1 with a speed of 218.48 mph and a time of 6.488 seconds. Meanwhile, Warren Peterson won the Outlaw Class Memorial Day weekend after taking the series title last year. He’ll be gunning for his second straight win and a possible repeat title.

The action on the road course also includes the National Auto Sport Association, which will be providing the action Saturday and Sunday.

“The Trans Am part of Show & Go just keeps growing and getting better,” BIR Owner Jed Copham said. “The racing is amazing and the car counts keep growing, which is a great sign for the series. Fans are in for a real treat this year with the two 100-mile races, plus drag racing, live music, fireworks and everything else we have going on. It’s a great place to be for the Fourth of July weekend.”

Off the track, fans have plenty to do and see as well. On Saturday, a classic car show will be on the infield behind the grandstand. A fireworks display on Saturday night will be followed by live music by Junk FM.

Daily admission is $25, and kids 12 and under are free. One ticket gets you in BIR to see all the races. Camping is free with a multi-day ticket, and parking is free as well.

The televised schedule for the Trans Am Series’ TA race is 11 a.m. July 23. The TA2 race will be televised starting at noon July 31.

 Trans Am photo courtesy of Rick Corwine

Miller racks up wins in Bracket Drag Racing Series

Bryce Miller continues to collect wins on the drag strip and, with half the season over, has established himself as one of the hottest racers in Brainerd International Raceway’s (BIR) Bracket Drag Racing Series.

Nobody could beat Miller on Saturday in the Pro ET Class, and it appeared that he was on his way to a clean Sunday until he lost in the semifinals. By then, he had already piled up some hardware, cash prizes and enough series points to vault him into first place in the standings, ahead of 54 other drivers. The Bracket Drag Racing Series features eliminations both Saturday and Sunday, with winners crowned both days.

Bryce Miller

Bryce Miller

Rory Emmans

Rory Emmans

Driving a 1969 Camaro, Miller won all seven rounds of Pro ET on Saturday, beating KC Slyford in the finals with a time of 8.640 seconds at 157.10 mph. He then lined up against Super Pro Class winner Jeff Anderson in the Super Pro/Pro Shootout, which features a cash prize of $2,000 for  the winner and $1,000 for the runner up. Anderson beat Miller off the starting line but couldn’t hold off the hard-charging Camaro, as Miller kept his winning streak alive.

Miller then earned a place in the Quick 16 runoff, where the eight quickest cars and the eight quickest dragsters race down to a finals that pits the quickest car against the quickest dragster. Miller won his way to the finals against Dan Narusiewicz and his dragster. Their reaction times were nearly identical at the starting line but Miller’s Camaro was a hair quicker,  beating the dragster with a time of 8.651 seconds and 154.67 mph.

“It was a pretty good weekend,” said a modest Miller, who won the Pro ET Class in the first Bracket weekend. “We’ve been making a lot of changes over the year and everything came together. I got pretty lucky, too.”

The drag racing action was one leg of BIR’s Wet & Wild Weekend, a trifecta of racing action that features drag racing, Superbike racing and snowmobiles racing on Lake BIR, which is always a fan favorite. The International Watercross Association brings its unique brand of racing to BIR twice a year; the second race is Sept. 23-25 and is paired with the Central Roadracing Association’s (CRA) Superbike racing again.

The IWA had 78 racers from throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin on hand to compete in seven classes last weekend. There was drag racing (from one shoreline to the other) and oval racing around floating markers. The racers started on shore, raced around the markers three or four times and returned to shore. Results are below.

Brad Harder

Brad Harder

The CRA was on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course for the second of five weekends at BIR this season. The track was busy Saturday and Sunday with six-lap sprints in 20 different classes.

Back on the drag strip, Rory Emmans raced his way to both finals in the Sportsman Class, which featured 29 drivers. Driving a ’68 Chevy Caprise, he beat Lee Dugdale in Saturday’s finals with a pass of 12.134 seconds at 105.69 mph. Then he lost to Joe Moriarty Sr. in Sunday’s finals. Moriarty ran 12.387 seconds and 85.01 mph.

Brad Harder earned two trips to the finals as well, in Pro Bike/Sled. Riding a 1998 Kawasaki, he lost to Mike Voss in Saturday’s finals (Voss ran 9.988 seconds and 123.61 mph) but rebounded to beat Jeremy Berg in Sunday’s finals with a pass of 9.375 seconds and 135.61 mph.

Todd Anderson was the only other drag racer to win his way to both finals last weekend. Driving a 1958 Chevy Biscayne, Anderson lost in Saturday’s Street Trophy finals to Luke Schneider, who posted a winning time of 14.408 seconds and 93.49 mph. Anderson rebounded Sunday with a finals win over Denise Patnaude with a time of 14.802 seconds and 84.41 mph.

The fourth series weekend is July 8-10, with Road Closed Promotions’ Track Day for bikes on the Competition Road Course.

For the current point standings, click here.

Below are results from last weekend:


Super Pro
Finals: Jeff Anderson of Sartell def. Mike Campbell of Roseville

Pro ET
Finals: Bryce Miller of Maple Lake def. KC Slayford of Nester Falls, Ontario

Super Pro/Pro Shootout
Finals: Bryce Miller of Maple Lake def. Jeff Anderson of Sartell

Finals: Rory Emmans of Nowthen def. Lee Dugdale of Scandia

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Marlene Nelson of Hugo def. Terry Johnson of Maple Grove

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

Comp Trophy
Finals: Chris Henry of Sauk Rapids def. Dean Markuson of Pequot Lakes

Street Trophy
Finals: Luke Schneider of St. Joseph def. Todd Anderson of Brainerd

Quick 16
Finals: Bryce Miller of Maple Lake def. Dan Narusiewicz of St. Paul Park

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: Megan Neil of West Fargo, N.D. def. Zach McFarland of Sabin

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

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


Super Pro
Finals: Aaron Milton of Maple Grove def. Al Gavlovsky of Bemidji

Pro ET
Finals: Wally Higby of Maple Grove def. Mike Pease of Corcoran

Finals: Joe Moriarty Sr. of Ham Lake def. Rory Emmans of Nowthen

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Bad Haugaard of Ham Lake def. Jared Hutar of Cromwell

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Brad Harder of Waconia def. Jeremy Berg of Newport

Comp Trophy
Finals: Andrew Walcheski of Foley def. Bob Kuntz of Thompson, N.D.

Street Trophy
Finals: Todd Anderson of Brainerd def. Denis Patnaude of Sawyer

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: Zachary Zavadil of Clearwater def. Sydney Thompson of Nowthen

Junior Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Reese Reutzel of Annandale def. Aaron Clampitt of Line Lakes

Junior Dragster Novice
Finals: Davis Goodwin of Pengilly def. Adam Kritzky of St. Paul Park


Pro Open
1. Shawn Zurn of Downing, Wis.
2. Joe Schellbach of Rush City

Semi Pro Open
1. Kyle Lakner of Ely
2. Aaron Godeen of Isanti

Pro Stock
1. Nate Winberg of Hudson
2. David Fischer of Apple Valley

Semi Pro Stock
1. Adam Vowles of Albany
2. Jeff Zappa of Cumberland, Wis.

Woman 800 Oval
1: Cassandra Swanson of Ely
2. Rachel O’Brien of Siren, Wis.

Mod Drags
1. Aaron Lundeen of Maple Grove
2. Matt Ledin of Osceola, Wis.

800 Drags
1. Matt Lundeen of Maple Grove
2. Krista Maki-zurn of Downing, Wis.


Proving Grounds: Imports, sport compacts this weekend

All four corners of Brainerd International Raceway will be busy this weekend as hundreds of imports and sport compact cars are expected to take part in the first of two Modern Automotive Performance (MAP) Proving Grounds.

Fans will be treated to seven events this weekend: drifting, autocross, drag racing, Time Attack (open lapping), burn-out contests, a car show and grudge-style roll racing. If you like the scream of imports and the smell of burnt rubber, than this event is for you. It’s for novice drivers, expert drives and everything in between.

MAP_WThe MAP Proving Grounds is growing in popularity at BIR, mostly because of the unique mix of motorsports, including the crowd favorite: drifting. In this judged competition, drivers use controlled skids to maneuver their cars through a course that’s lined with cones. It’s a fun one for fans to watch. There’s even a Tandem Drift Competition for advanced drivers Saturday afternoon, where multiple cars fly through the course together. Drifting is Friday night, all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

On the drag strip, cars will be competing in seven different classes, all of which feature heads-up racing, meaning both cars start at the same time and the fastest one to the finish line wins. There’s a special class for bikes and snowmobiles as well. Friday is for testing, time trials and qualifying. Saturday features time trials and qualifying, followed by elimination rounds on Sunday.

Autocross is also on the schedule. Similar to drifting, autocross is a timed event that features cars maneuvering their way through a cone-lined course in a more controlled fashion. The emphasis is on driving skills rather than horsepower and speed. Autocross is Friday and Saturday.

On BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course, drivers will test themselves against the clock in the Time Attack event. Beginning at a standstill on the starting line, drivers complete the 2.5 miles in the fastest time possible. Time Attack is Saturday and Sunday.

Drivers who really want to test themselves can compete in the Triple Track Showdown, which is a combined event that includes drag racing, autocross and Time Attack.

“The Proving Grounds just keeps growing because it’s such a fun and unique event,” BIR Owner Jed Copham said. “It allows drivers a chance to compete in some car events that you don’t run across too often. It’s a younger crowd that really has a lot of fun competing with their cars.”

The second Proving Grounds at BIR is Sept. 9-11. Drivers interested in competing, or for more details on the individual events, click here.

Daily admission is $25 with kids 12 and under free. On-site camping is free with a multi-day ticket.

Wet & Wild Weekend – A triple threat

The Wet & Wild Weekend is back this year at BIR, giving fans a rare chance to watch drag racing, Superbike racing and snowmobiles racing on open water.

It’s one of the craziest annual races at BIR, where fans can see three amazing races for the price of a single ticket. And it all happens June 10-12.

Watercross_WThe International Watercross Association is at BIR for the first of two racing weekends this season (the second is Sept. 24-25). Watercross racing is rapidly growing in popularity at BIR because of its unique gravity-defying nature. Snowmobiles compete in drag racing and oval racing around floating markers. They start on shore, just a matter of feet from the water’s edge, and skip across the water with the riders shifting their weight to turn the sled. The riders finish the race back on shore.

Do they sink? Of course. After the race is over, a pontoon picks them out of the water and deposits them back on shore where the sled is typically ready for the next heat. Racing is Saturday and Sunday.

On the drag strip, the Bracket Drag Racing Series is set for its third weekend of the season. The six-weekend series has had more than 320 cars in each of the first two weekends, as cars, trucks, dragsters, bikes, snowmobiles and Junior Dragsters compete for series points and prize money.

RacingDrag_WThe weekend starts Friday with a test and tune day on the drag strip. On Saturday and Sunday, each day starts with time trials and qualifying, before elimination rounds begin. Winners are crowned at the end of each day.

The Central Roadracing Association (CRA) brings its thrilling brand of Superbike racing to BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course. This is the second of five weekends that the CRA will be at BIR this season.

The CRA will be on the track Friday for practice sessions, followed by six-lap sprints on Saturday and Sunday.

Daily admission is $25 and kids 12 and under are free. On-site camping is free with the purchase of a multi-day ticket.

Superbike and Watercross photos courtesy of SDE.


Fuchs, Peterson return to Winner’s Circle during Showdown

It’s been nearly three years since Ray Fuchs raced his way to the Winner’s Circle in a Muscle Car Series event but his 2016 season is off to a great start as he knocked off the defending champ last weekend in the finals of the Pro Outlaw Class during the 8th Annual Street Car Showdown.

Rick Schmidt has been a tough driver to beat over the last two seasons, repeating as Pro Outlaw champ both years, which were his first two seasons racing at Brainerd International Raceway. But he fouled at the starting line in the finals, handing Fuchs the win.

Ray Fuchs

Ray Fuchs

Warren Peterson

Warren Peterson

Dick Fulton

Dick Fulton

Fuchs had the fastest car in the seven-car field last weekend, earning the No. 1 Qualifier position and posting the fastest speed (218.48 mph) and the best time (6.488 seconds). The 218.48 mph was his personal best and he narrowly missed breaking his best time (6.43 seconds).

Fuchs said he was happy with the win and even happier that the Studebaker performed well. Last year, he blew up the transmission at all three races. He’s using a different tranny now and is still trying to figure it out. “It didn’t break but it’s not working quite right either,” he said.

Fuchs and 212 other drag racers competed in the first leg of the three-race Muscle Car Series last weekend. While the drag racers were slugging it out on the drag strip, BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course  hosted the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Harvey West Memorial Day Classic. Nearly 100 cars were on track, competing in various classes and offering fans some great wheel-to-wheel action.

Robert Wilczek

Robert Wilczek

Zach Novak

Zach Novak

Brian Carpenter

Brian Carpenter

Back on the drag strip, Warren Peterson proved that his Outlaw championship last year was no fluke. Peterson and his 1933 Plymouth knocked off Dean Erickson in the finals with a run of 7.708 seconds at 181.57 mph. Erickson ran 7.894 seconds at 172.83 mph.

Chris Orr had the fastest car in the King Street Class , a 1967 Firebird that ripped off the top speed of the weekend at 183.67 mph and the best time: 7.622 seconds. He appeared to be on his way to a finals win when he lined up against Dick Fulton, but he fouled at the starting line, giving Fulton a free pass to the Winner’s Circle. Fulton and his ’69 Firebird still ran an impressive 8.004 seconds at 172.81 mph.

Orr’s brother, Dennis, posted the top speed (177.25 mph) and the best time (8.250 seconds) in the Real Street Unlimited Class but ran up against the No. 1 qualifier, Jesse Nelson, in the finals. The result, as one might expect, was one of the closest races of the weekend, with Orr eeking out a win by running 8.511 seconds at 176.49 mph in his ’70 Camaro. Nelson and his ’70 Chevelle ran 8.527 seconds at 173.27 mph.

Last year, Robert Wilczek finished the season in second place in the Real Street Natural Class, but now he’s sitting in first place after disposing of the field and beating No. 1 qualifier Darrell Godbout in the finals with a run of 9.169 seconds at 146.94 mph. Godbout, who posted the best time of the weekend (8.970 seconds) and the top speed (155.38 mph), ran 9.526 seconds at 148,80 mph.

In True Street, Zach Novak beat Jason Nelson in the finals with a time of 8.786 seconds at 146.43 mph. Nelson ran 8.811 seconds at 158.59 mph.

Brian Carpenter was the guy to beat in the 660 Outlaw Street Class. He was the No. 1 qualifier with the best time of 4.645 seconds and the top speed at 167.66 mph. (The 660 Outlaw Street Class only races a one-eighth mile track.) Carpenter proved that he deserved a trip to the Winner’s Circle when he beat Josh Brunz in the finals with a run of 4.709 seconds and 162.88 mph. Brunz ran 5.433 seconds and 137.22 mph.

Below are the results of the finals in each of the classes. Click here to view the Muscle Car Series standings.

Pro Outlaw
Finals: Ray Fuchs of Bowman, N.D. def. Rick Schmidt of Dickenson, N.D.

Finals: Warren Peterson of Duluth def. Dean Erickson of East Bethel

King Street
Finals: Dick Fulton of Crystal def. Chris Orr of Superior, Wis.

Real Street Unlimited
Finals: Dennis Orr of Superior, Wis. def. Jesse Nelson of Mountain Iron

Real Street Natural
Finals: Robert Wilczek of Little Falls def. Darrell Godbout of Carlton

True Street
Finals: Zach Novak of Sauk Rapids def. Jason Nelson of Champlain

660 Outlaw Street
Finals: Brian Carpenter of Forest Lake def. Josh Brunz of Kasota

Strip Eliminator 1
Finals: Dan Boyce of Minnetonka def. Ryan Stellmach of Willow River

Strip Eliminator 2
Finals: Lonnie Ellenson of Park Rapids def. Wendy Lane of Brainerd

Strip Eliminator 3
Finals: Scott Davich of Pequot Lakes def. Brian Anderson of Medina

Truck Eliminator
Finals: Taylor Tesar of Medina def. Matt Muellner of Proctor

Manual Transmission
Finals: Keith Sand of Cambridge def. Kevin Lendt of Nicollet

Index Class Champion
Finals: Kevin Hemenway of Park Rapids def. Will Matsch

9.50 Index
Finals: Austin Siemens of Milaca def. Kevin Sand of Cambridge

10.00 Index
Finals: Will Matsch def. Brian Peterson of Park Rapids

10.50 Index
Finals: Mike Hammerstrom of Bemidji def. Lawrence Curtis of Bethel

11.00 Index
Finals: Chad Sodren of Bethel def. Dan Boyce

11.50 Index
Finals: Zach Stengel of Blaine def. Karl Echardt of Pequot Lakes

12.00 Index
Finals: Gary Olson of Sartell def. Nathan Olson of Sartell

12.50 Index
Finals: Kevin Hemenway of Park Rapids def. Jake Stanley of Zimmerman

13.00 Index
Finals: Jesse Backstrom of Grand Marais def. Logan Miceli of Big Lake

14.00 Index
Finals: Jessica Purdham of Albertville def. Todd Anderson of Brainerd



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