Drag racers honored at BIR’s annual banquet

Brainerd International Raceway’s annual BIR Racer Banquet attracted more than 200 drag racers, families and friends, many of whom went home with trophies, personalized winner’s jackets, prizes and lots of stories.

The banquet, held Feb. 25 at Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd, the banquet was a chance for the track to recognize the series champions from the Bracket Drag Racing Series and the Muscle Car Series, as well as others who made an impact on the racing community last season.

Al Schmidt of Paradigm Performance and DeDe Doolittle-Roberts

Al Schmidt of Paradigm Performance and DeDe Doolittle-Roberts

Outstanding Dedication Award to Vern and Ginger Laurin Jr., from Ron Zenzen, middle

Outstanding Dedication Award to Vern and Ginger Laurin Jr., from Ron Zenzen, middle

Al Schmidt from Paradigm Performance in Brainerd presented the second annual Dick Roe Appreciation Award to DeDe Doolittle-Roberts for her outstanding service to the drag racing community. She’s a member of BIR’s drag racing crew.

Ron Zenzen presented the Outstanding Dedication Award to Vern Laurin Jr. and his wife, Ginger.

The Rookie of the Year Award went to Emma McFarland, who took second place in the Comp Trophy Class (Bracket Drag Racing Series) in her first year after racing in the Junior Dragster classes.

And Ben Line won the Joe Angelo Sportsmanship Award for displaying great sportsmanship toward the other racers.

Emma McFarland, Rookie of the Year

Emma McFarland, Rookie of the Year

Ben Line, Joe Angelo Sportsmanship Award

Ben Line, Joe Angelo Sportsmanship Award

The Bracket Drag Racing Series was well represented, with eight of the 11 series champs in attendance . The winners survived an extremely competitive season in most of the classes. The series is over six weekends, with winners crowned on both Saturdays and Sundays. The races typically attract more than 250 dragsters, cars, trucks, bikes, snowmobiles and Junior Dragsters.

The three-race Muscle Car Series attracts more than 300 cars and features seven heads-up classes, 10 Index classes, four Eliminator classes and a class for manual transmissions. In all, 13 championships were awarded after the season. Ten of the champions attended to receive their personalized jackets and trophies.

Bracket Series champs, back row from left: BIR Owner Jed Copham, Brian Johnson, Bryce Miller, Chris Henry and Mike Simons. Front: Brody Thompson, Riley Luberda, Sydney Thompson, Ben LIne

Bracket Series champs, back row from left: BIR Owner Jed Copham, Brian Johnson, Bryce Miller, Chris Henry and Mike Simons. Front: Brody Thompson, Riley Luberda, Sydney Thompson, Ben Line

Muscle Car Series champs, back row, left: Greg Schmidt, Jesse Nelson, Dennis Orr, Chris Orr, Dan Gefre, Robert Wilczek, BIR's Jed Copham. Front: Tracy Meyer (for Brian Carpenter), Scott Hielscher, Gary Olson, Jesse Haugesag, Bob Peterson

Muscle Car Series champs, back row, left: Greg Schmidt, Jesse Nelson (runner up), Dennis Orr, Chris Orr, Dan Gefre, Robert Wilczek. Front: Tracy Meyer (for Brian Carpenter), Scott Hielscher, Gary Olson, Jesse Haugesag, Bob Peterson

 

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