This weekend is one of the biggest races of the season for 14 drivers in Brainerd International Raceway’s (BIR) Bracket Drag Racing Series, because one of those drivers will be crowned King of the Track Saturday.
The annual King of the Track race is a showdown among the top two drivers in the series’ point standings in seven of the 11 classes. They’ll get paired up in an elimination format, with the last driver standing earning the title of King of the Track, who will take home a coveted Wally trophy like the stars of the NHRA win.
The King of the Track runoff is Saturday evening. Last year’s king, Joe Howell, will not have a chance to repeat but two former kings will be gunning for the crown again this year: Ben Line, who was king in 2014, and Wally Higby, who was king in 2011.
In addition to the King of the Track race, the drag strip will host the Bracket Drag Racing Series, which features eliminations both Saturday and Sunday. More than 300 drag racers are expected as they’ll be battling for series points in this fifth of six weekends for the series. Series championships and cash prizes are at stake.
While the drag racers are tearing up the drag strip, the ChumpCar World Series will be on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course for a pair of seven-hour endurance races. Teams of four drivers, driving $500 “crap cans” will circle the track for seven hours, trying to complete as many laps as possible. The team with the most laps wins.
Last year’s 12-hour ChumpCar race attracted 39 teams, some of which spent more time wrenching on their cars than driving them. The winning team, Chump Faces, completed 328 laps, with a best lap time of 1:58.661 and a speed of 94.049 mph.
On both Saturday and Sunday, ChumpCar racing begins at 9 a.m. and finishes at 4 p.m. An awards ceremony will follow at 5:30 p.m.
Back on the drag strip, Friday’s schedule includes a Test & Tune. Saturday and Sunday’s racing begins at 9 a.m. with time trials and qualifying, followed by eliminations.
Daily admission is $25. Kids 12 and under are free. Camping is free with a multi-day ticket, and parking is free as well.
Below are the drag racers who will be competing for King of the Track honors.
SuperPro – Brian Johnson and Kyle Loeffelholz
Pro ET – Bryce Miller and Wally Higby
Sportsman – Steve Elzy and Lee Dugdale
Stock/Super Stock – Brad Haugaard and Ben Line
Pro Bike/Sled – Brad Harder and Kyle Lundberg
Comp Trophy – Chris Henry and Andrew Walcheski
Street Trophy – Mike Simons and Shelly Joel