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



Osterman sweeps Sportsman Class in 2nd Bracket weekend

Sid Osterman wasted no time getting the attention of his fellow drag racers in the Sportsman Class during Brainerd International Raceway’s Bracket Drag Racing Series last weekend.

This is Osterman’s first year competing in Sportsman, after his first five years learning the sport in the Street Trophy and Comp Trophy classes. He made the move up to the more competitive Sportsman Class this year and has already raised some eyebrows. Last weekend, he won the class both Saturday and Sunday.

“That was a fun weekend,” Osterman said, after beating Steve Elzy in both finals.

Sid Osterman

Sid Osterman

Jocelynn Gelb

Jocelynn Gelb

Last weekend featured the second  of six race weekends for the Bracket Drag Racing Series. While Osterman and 341 other racers were competing on the drag strip, BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course was busy with the World Racing League, which hosted the Intercomp Endurance Challenge, a pair of eight-hour endurance races.

Saturday’s enduro had 20 cars registered. Team Braunschweig, a 1999 Corvette, won the race with 247 laps and a best lap time of 1:48.465. Cheap Shot Racing was second with 240 laps, and the E30 Bombers was third with 238 laps.

On Sunday, In The Red With Chris was the overall winner with 237 laps. Driving a 1999 BMW, the team also clocked the fastest lap of the race at 1:46.266. Second place went to TBR 1 with 232 laps, and Team Braunschweig took third with 230 laps.

Back on the drag strip, Osterman’s weekend was redemption after the first Bracket weekend, when Elzy knocked him out of eliminations in the first round of Saturday’s race. He then lost in the second round of Sunday’s race. He regrouped, thought, and got his 1968 El Camino dialed in during Friday’s Test & Tune day, ripping off five straight runs with nearly identical times. He said that gave him some confidence going into Saturday’s elimination rounds against 25 other drivers.

Steve Stockton's crew celebrated with him after Stockton's Super Pro win Sunday.

Steve Stockton’s crew celebrated with him after Stockton’s Super Pro win Sunday.

On Saturday, he won his first four races before knocking off Elzy in the finals with a time of 12.975 seconds and 102.78 mph. He then won another four races on Sunday before matching up with Elzy in the finals again. Elzy fouled at the starting line, however, giving Osterman the win and extending his winning streak to 10.

Saturday’s race included the first Quick 16 race of the season. It’s a showdown between the fastest dragsters and fastest cars. The finals featured the defending champ, Gary Loeffelholz and his 2004 Mustang, and Brian Johnson with is 2008 dragster. Loeffelholz was too fast for Johnson, beating him with a time of 7.476 seconds and 177.11 mph. Johnson ran 7.512 seconds and 171.66 mph.

Jocelynn Gelb also started a winning streak last weekend by sweeping the Junior Dragster Intermediate Class both days. With seven cars in the class, she won her way to the finals Saturday where she beat Aaron Clampitt. On Sunday, she finished off the weekend by beating Samantha Cielinski in the finals. She now has a six-win streak.

Emma McFarland and Denise Patnaude were two other drivers that won their way to the finals both days. McFarland won the Comp Trophy class Saturday and was runner up on Sunday. Patnaude was runner up in Street Trophy on Saturday and then won the class Sunday.

The next Bracket Drag Racing Series is June 10-12 during BIR’s Wet & Wild Weekend. The event includes Superbike racing on the Competition Road Course and watercross on Lake BIR. Watercross is where snowmobiles race on open water in drag racing and around an oval course. It’s quickly becoming a fan favorite, especially when the snowmobiles sink.

Below are the finals of each race:


Super Pro
Finals: Travis Reutzel of Howard Lake def. Don Kritzky of Cottage Grove

Pro ET
Finals: Scott Dugdale of Stacy def. Chuck Roycraft of Minnetonka

Finals: Sid Osterman of Pequot Lakes def. Steve Elzy of Lindstrom

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Al Corda of Elk Mound, Wis. def. Brian Zenzen of St. Joseph

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Jimmy Paulson of Stacy def. Kelly Fager of Cedar

Comp Trophy
Finals: Emma McFarland of Sabin def. Brandon Keller of St. Cloud

Street Trophy
Finals: Mike Simons of Pine City def. Denise Patnaude of Sawyer

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: Sydney Thompson of Nowthen def. Zach McFarland of Sabin

Junior Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Jocelynn Gelb of Golden Valley def. Aaron Clampitt of Lino Lakes

Junior Dragster Novice
Finals: Carter Luberda of Foley def. Daniel Dancer of Foley

Quick 16
Finals: Gary Loeffelholz of Shafer def. Brian Johnson of Nowthen


Super Pro
Finals: Steve Stockton of Colfax, Wis. def. Tim Lowe of Chisago City

Pro ET
Finals: Joe Howell of Big Lake def. Mike Sandstrom of Aitkin

Finals: Sid Osterman of Pequot Lakes def. Steve Elzy of Lindstrom

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Brad Haugaard of Ham Lake def. Corey Hopkins of North Branch

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Kyle Lundberg of Isanti def. Brad Harder of Waconia

Comp Trophy
Finals: Paul Songas of Stacy def. Emma McFarland of Sabin

Street Trophy
Finals: Denise Patnaude of Sawyer def. Mike Simons of Pine City

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: Trevor Jelinski of Little Falls def. Sydney Thompson of Nowthen

Junior Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Jocelynn Gelb of Golden Valley def. Samanta Cielinski of Gilman

Junior Dragster Novice
Finals: Megan Cielinski of Gilman def. Brody Thompson of Nowthen


Tower suites available this weekend – watch in style!

The best seats in the house are available this weekend during the 8th Annual Street Car Showdown. Tower Suites that overlook the drag strip’s starting line can be rented for only $100 a day (plus tax).

The suites have air conditioning, overstuffed couches, refrigerators, tables and chairs, and cable TV. It’s perfect for watching the Indy 500, NASCAR, the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix or your favorite baseball team.

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







Nitro Square opens next to BIR

The gas station next to BIR’s Ticket Office is re-opening as Nitro Square, just in time for this weekend’s Street Car Showdown. The station, located on the south side of BIR’s Ticket Office, will sell regular fuel as well as racing gas, which won’t be sold from in front of BIR’s Shirt Shack anymore.

Nitro Square eventually will sell beer and liquor, in addition to convenience store-type food, snacks and beverages.

There are also plans for the storefront on the south end of the building. That space will be taken by a sandwich shop that will also do catering. More details to come.


Street Car Showdown kicks off summer at BIR

Even after winning a Muscle Car Series championship last year, Warren Peterson refuses to take himself seriously.

“I’m out there just to amuse myself,” he says.

Last year, Peterson won his first series championship, running in the Outlaw class. That class  typically is the second-fastest class and features heads-up racing, where both cars leave at the same time and the one reaching the starting line first wins. He’ll be back this year to defend his title, starting Memorial Day weekend during the 8th Annual Street Car Showdown.

Warren Peterson's '33 Plymouth.

Warren Peterson’s ’33 Plymouth.

The Showdown is quickly becoming a Memorial Day tradition for racers and fans alike. As BIR’s first major event of the year, and the unofficial start of summer, the race is gaining popularity by fans who enjoy watching big horsepower on the drag strip and super-competitive road racing on the road course.

_MG_3260_WWhile the drag racers are slugging it out on the drag strip, the Sports Car Club of America will be on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course for its annual Harvey West Memorial Day Classic. A variety of sports cars will compete on the 13-turn track Saturday and Sunday. Both days begin with practice and qualifying sessions, followed by 10-lap races on Saturday and 12-lap races on Sunday.

Fans have an opportunity to get on the road course both days. For $10 per car, they can tour the track from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Back on the drag strip, Peterson won his championship driving a sharp-looking super-charged 1933 Plymouth, which he had planned to replace with a 1933 Ford sedan this season. But he couldn’t get the Ford together in time for the first race so he’ll be behind the wheel of the Plymouth again.

“We’re just out there to have fun,” he said, adding that the championship came about more because of his competition’s misfortune than his ability to win races. His car was never the fastest one in the class but he made the most of his opportunities.

In Pro Outlaw, which attracts the fastest cars, Rick Schmidt will return and looking to three-peat. He won the class championship the last two seasons and is looking for No. 3 in his 2004 Mustang, which flies down the track at 220 mph, posting times in the 6-second range. He’s been a tough customer to beat, but he knows that he’ll have some fast cars and hungry drivers gunning for him this season.

The Pro Outlaw and Outlaw classes are two of the seven Heads-Up Classes. There are also 10 Index classes, three Strip Eliminator classes and more. The event attracts about 300 cars from throughout the Midwest and Canada. It’s the first of the three-race Muscle Car Series, which also includes the PleasureLand RV Show & Go on the July 4th weekend and the GSTA Muscle Car Shootout on Labor Day weekend.

Time trials and qualifying sessions start Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m., with the Heads-Up Classes qualifying at 1 and 4 p.m. Friday and then 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday. Eliminations for all classes start at 9 a.m. Sunday. Saturday’s program includes live music by Rock Godz.

Daily admission is $25, which allows fans to watch both races. Kids 12 and younger are free. On-site camping is free with a multi-day ticket. Suites in BIR’s Race Tower, which overlooks the starting line, are available for $100 a day.

SCCA Harvey West Memorial Day Classic photo by Rick Corwine

Watch drag racing on the webcam

We set up a webcam in one of the Tower Suites, and it’s pointed at the drag racing starting line. It’s live streaming, so if you can’t make it to the track, watch your favorite racers on your computer or mobile device.

Click on the button below.


Enduro racing meets drag racing this weekend

A pair of eight-hour endurance races will be on BIR’s road course this weekend while the drag strip will be busy with the second Bracket Drag Racing Series weekend.

IMGP8248_wThe World Racing League will be on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course Saturday and Sunday for the Intercomp Endurance Challenge, where teams of drivers race for eight straight hours. The team with the most laps after eight hours is the winner.

Over on the drag strip, drivers will be gunning for series points and prize money during the second weekend of the Bracket Drag Racing Series. Friday’s schedule is a Test & Tune day for drivers. On Saturday and Sunday, the day starts with time trials for all classes followed by elimination rounds. Each of the BIR5-8-16-0230_w10 classes will crown a winner at the end of each day.

Two weeks ago, during the first Bracket Drag Racing Series weekend, 413 drivers competed, so the car counts are expected to be high for this weekend as well.

Friday’s racing program includes the Slowpokes Car Club, which will be on the road course all day with club driving events.

A single ticket gets fans in to see both types of racing this weekend. Daily admission is $25 but kids 12 and younger are free. Camping is free with the purchase of a multi-day ticket.

For more information on the Bracket Drag Racing Series, click here.

BIR hosts RV and camper show

PleasureLand RV Center rolled more than 200 RVs and campers onto the BIR grounds this week for a four-day blow-out sale, May 11-14.

The show is free and open to the public. Visitors can enter BIR through the main gates.

The show is open through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.




High school teams dazzle at Supermileage Challenge

High school teams from throughout state competed in the Minnesota Technology and Engineering Educators Association’s Supermileage Challenge this week at BIR.

The teams spent the school year designing small gas-powered cars that emphasized fuel efficiency. The cars’ fuel useage was measured after every trip around BIR’s 3.1-mile road course, and the schools with the best fuel mileage won. The cars could be entered in one of several classes.

Last year, for example, 102 cars were entered in the competition, and all were sleek, aerodynamic and lightweight vehicles with just enough room for a single driver. The two-day event was Tuesday and Wednesday.

Congratulations to all the high school teams!


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