Johnson claims double win in Bracket Drag Racing Series

Brian Johnson had a busy weekend on the drag strip at Brainerd International Raceway (BIR), but that’s what happens when you’re winning lots of races.

Johnson raced in 17 rounds Saturday and Sunday – in addition to time trials and qualifying runs – during the Bracket Drag Racing Series, winning the Super Pro class, the Super Pro/Pro ET Shootout and the Quick 16 class, after  losing in Saturday’s Super Pro quarterfinals. Along the way, he pocketed some prize money and earned the top spot in the points standings in both those classes, with two weekends of racing left in the season.

Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson

Mike Campbell

Mike Campbell

“It was a fun weekend,” Johnson said. “Everything ran pretty good, and I had a couple lucky rounds here and there, but that’s what it takes sometimes.”

Johnson’s dragster was flying down the track, with 7.6-second passes at 170 mph. After losing in Saturday’s quarterfinals, Johnson rebounded in the Quick 16 class, where the eight quickest dragsters and the eight quickest cars have separate run-offs, with the quickest dragster and quickest car paired up in the finals. Johnson’s dragster couldn’t be beat, even after lining up in the finals across from Vern Laurin. Johnson won with a time of 7.683 seconds at 169.21 mph.

The Super Pro class, which is typically the fastest class in the series after the Quick 16, featured 85 racers last weekend, including Brad Baklund and his 1963 Corvette, who raced his way to Sunday’s finals for a chance to go head to head with Johnson. Baklund was a hair quicker off the starting line but Johnson took the win with a time of 7.658 seconds and 169.53 mph. Johnson then raced the Pro ET winner, Mel Knott, in the Super Pro/Pro ET Shootout, where Johnson laid down a time of 7.634 seconds and 164.99 mph for the win and a check for $2,000.

The Bracket Drag Racing Series is heating up, with only two weekends remaining. Series points are at a premium as racers are gunning for series championships. Last weekend, 330 drag racers competed. Meanwhile, Superbikes were on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course. On Saturday, the Zalusky Advanced Riding School was on the track, followed by Road Closed Promotion’s Track Day for bikes on Sunday.

Mel Knott

Mel Knott

Mike Voss

Mike Voss

The bracket series features 11 racing classes, all of which are tight at the top of the point standings. The only class that looked like it might be a blow-out was in Stock/Super Stock, where Brad Haugaard had almost twice as many points as the racer in second place. But he never won a round last weekend, opening the door for Ben Line to significantly close the gap with a win on Sunday. He beat Glen DeMenge to take over second place, and is now within striking distance of Haugaard.

The top five spots in the Pro ET standings tightened up as Mel Knott and Andy Schmall won last weekend. Schmall beat Steve Roehrs on Saturday with a run of 10.610 seconds and 118.52 mph. Knott beat Bob Ingman in Sunday’s finals with a time of 9.754 seconds at 134.73 mph.

Brandon Schmall and Rory Emmans contributed to a close points race at the top of the Sportsman standings, as they won Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Schmall beat KC Brager in Saturday’s final with a final pass of 13.205 seconds and 66.57 mph, while Emmans snuck by Troy Luberda in Sunday’s finals by posting a 12.188-second, 102.53-mph run.

Stage_WBrad Harder took over first place in the Pro Bike/Sled standings with a runner-up finish on Sunday. Harder lost to Mike Voss in the finals when Voss run 10.198 seconds and 117.80 mph. Kayla Lundberg beat Jeremy Berg in Saturday’s finals with a time of 9.185 seconds at 140.21 mph.

The next Bracket Drag Racing Series weekend is July 30-31. Saturday’s race also features the King of the Track race for the top racers in Super Pro, Pro ET, Sportsman, Stock/Super Stock, Pro Bike/Sled, Comp Trophy and Street Trophy. The last drag racer standing is crowned King of the Track.

The road course will be busy as well. The ChumpCar World Series will be at BIR for a pair of seven-hour endurance races that start at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Below are the results from each finals last weekend.

SATURDAY, JULY 9

Super Pro
Finals: Mike Campbell of Roseville def. Willie Grey of Ladysmith, Wis.

Pro ET
Finals: Andy Schmall of Idaho Falls, Idaho def. Steve Roehrs of Frederic, Wis.

Super Pro/Pro ET Shootout
Mike Campbell def. Andy Schmall

Sportsman
Finals: Brandon Schmall of Lino Lakes def. KC Brager of Pillager

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Doug Jonak of Zimmerman def. Jared Hutar of Cromwell

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Kayla Lundberg of Isanti def. Jeremy Berg of Newport

Comp Trophy
Finals: Bob Kuntz of Thompson, N.D. def. Eric Blumke of Pillager

Street Trophy
Finals: Luke Schneider of St. Joseph def. Keith Larson of Brainerd

Quick 16
Finals: Brian Johnson of Nowthen def. Vern Laurin of Duluth

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: Chandler Niemeyer of Brainerd def. Jazper Wiebusch of Ham Lake

Junior Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Riley Luberda of Foley def. Connor Antony of Lonsdale

Junior Dragster Novice
Finals: Stella Pastee of Oronoco def. Davis Godwin of Pengilly

 

SUNDAY, JULY 10

Super Pro
Finals: Brian Johnson of Nowthen def. Brad Baklund of Rogers

Pro ET
Finals: Mel Knott of Prior Lake def. Robert Ingman of Andover

Super Pro/Pro ET Shootout
Brian Johnson def. Mel Knott

Sportsman
Finals: Rory Emmans of Nowthen def. Troy Luberda of Foley

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Ben Line of International Falls def. Glen De Menge of McGregor

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

Comp Trophy
Finals: Chris Henry of Sauk Rapids def. Greg Dancer of Foley

Street Trophy
Finals: Mike Simons of Pinc City def. Keith Larson

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: Zachary Zavadil of Clearwater def. Chandler Niemeyer of Brainerd

Junior Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Samantha Cielinski of Gilman def. Dylan Dancer of Foley

Junior Dragster Novice
Finals: Brody Thompson of Nowthen def. Wyatt Knott of Otsego

 

 

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