July 8, 2007 - It was one of the hottest weekends of the summer, with temperatures reaching 96 degrees in the shade, but the racers had only one thing on their mind that weekend: a Wally. Brainerd International Raceway held the National Dragster Challenge, which attracted about 400 cars and was part of the third race in the six-race O'Reilly Auto Parts/Snap-On Tools Bracket Drag Racing Series.
In the Pro class, Rick Beaulieu earned his first victory of the weekend with his `66 Chevrolet after running a 9.865 (9.81 dial) with a .063 reaction time. Beaulieu's opponent, Michael Drake, in his `64 Dodge, had the lesser reaction time off the line with a .082 light. Beaulieu ran 135.61 mph in the final round after receiving a bye in the previous round. Drake knocked off Robert Ingman in the semifinal round to advance to the finals.
Beaulieu took his second win of the event - and his second Wally of the weekend - in the Super Pro class. Beaulieu ran a 9.833 (9.79 dial) to defeat opponent Jim Higgins, who broke out with an 11.091 (11.10 dial). Higgins had a .021 light against Beaulieu's .014. Beaulieu received a bye in the semifinals. Dan Condon was a semifinalist.
In Sportsman, Jason Sandstrom, in his `68 Ford, had a near-perfect run and was only 9/1,000ths off his dial with a 14.099 (14.09 dial). Opponent Chuck Fenstra ran a 13.505 (13.46 dial), with a .113 reaction time. Sandstrom ran 94.83 mph in the final for the win and the Wally. Jeff Galema and Brad Mickle were semifinalists.
In Super Comp, both racers had identical dial-ins and almost identical E.T. runs, but it was Neil Bode's .001 reaction off the light that gave him the win. Bode, in his `94 Fritz, ran an 8.933 to take the win against his opponent Gerald Hoss, who was actually closer to his time by 2/1,000ths with a 8.931. Both racers were dialed in at 8.90. Dale Patterson was the semifinalist.
In Bike One, Jeff Lanoue laid claim to a Wally with his win on his `06 Suzuki. His opponent, Toby Giese, broke out. Lanoue ran only 3/1,000ths off his dial with an 8.093 (8.09 dial) against Giese's 9.659 (9.68 dial). Lanoue was the runner-up in this class at the June 24th bracket race. Giese earned a .035 off the light against Lanoue's .017. Mike Voss was the semifinalist.
In the Bike Two final, Giese found himself runner-up yet again. Mike Voss, on his `04 Kawasaki ZX11, defeated Giese after running a 9.306 (9.27 dial) against Giese's 9.695 (9.63 dial). Voss took home a Wally after running 132.99 mph with a .064 reaction off the light. Dave Kieffer was the semifinalist.
It was a close race in the Stock/Super Stock final with both competitors claiming similar reaction times and E.T. But Don Wachholz, in his `65 Plymouth, took home the win over Brian Zenzen in his `87 Chevrolet. Wachholz had the better reaction time off the line by a small margin with a .063 light against Zenzen's .067. Wachholz ran a 13.304 (13.29); Zenzen ran a 10.129 (10.13). Ben Line was the semifinalist.
In Super Street, it was Jeremy Johnson's better reaction time off the light that ultimately earned him the win in the final. Both racers had a 10.90 dial-in. Johnson, in his `73 Vega, coupled a .020 light and a 10.935 (10.90) run to defeat George Meyer in his `79 Malibu. Meyer had a .028 reaction time with a 10.931 (10.90). Derek Martin was the semifinalist.
In Super Gas, Rodney Thompson, in his `94 Cutlass, paired a.010 light with a near perfect 9.906 (9.90) to defeat Jim Laborde, who was too quick off the line - he earned a red light, a breakout time of 9.898 (9.90) and runner-up status. Jeff Cheney was the semifinalist.
In Comp Trophy, Mandy Anderson, in her `79 Caprice, defeated Mike Larson, driving a `72 Camaro, for the win an a Wally. Anderson's time of 14.097 (13.79) was better than Larson's 14.583 (13.78). Anderson was the semifinalist in this class at the June 24th competition. Anderson scored a .108 reaction time off the light compared to Larson's .219. Lisa Schnobrich was the semifinalist.
In Street Trophy, the Wally went to Shane Williams in his `69 Camaro. He ran a near perfect run with a 14.003 (14.00) to beat Andy Knebel's breakout run of 15.691 (15.70). William Schuett was the semifinalist.
In the Junior Dragster Minor class, for ages 7-9, it was a double-breakout race. Abby Haben ran a 13.272 (13.30) to beat Maddie Tharp's 13.315 (13.35). Max Niesen was the semifinalist.
In the Junior Dragster Major class, for ages 10-12, Haley Heintzman ran a 9.875 (9.85) to beat Kaylee Richard's breakout of 11.683 (11.73). Max Gust was the semifinalists.
In the Junior Dragster Advanced class, Tanner Schiffner ran an 8.354 (8.33) to beat Aaron Schrapp's 8.092 (8.07). Brandon Schmall and Jake Waste were semifinalists.
Results of the semifinals and finals of each class are as follows:
Super Pro Class
Finals - Rick Beaulieu of Forest Lake, Minn., defeated Jim Higgins of South Haven, Minn.
Semifinals - Beaulieu had a bye; Higgins defeated Dan Condon of Avon, Minn.
Finals - Rick Beau
lieu of Forest Lake, Minn., defeated Michael Drake of Princeton, Minn.
Semifinals - Beaulieu had a bye
Finals - Jason Sandstrom of Big Lake, Minn., defeated Chuck Fenstra of Crosby, Minn.
Semifinals - Sandstrom defeated Brad Mickle of Lino Lakes, Minn.; Fenstra defeated Jeff Galema of Fort Ripley, Minn.
Bike One Class
Finals - Jeff Lanoue of Zimmerman, Minn., defeated Toby Giese.
Semifinals - Lanoue defeated Mike Voss of Maplewood, Minn.; Giese had a bye.
Bike Two Class
Finals - Mike Voss of Maplewood, Minn., defeated Toby Giese.
Semifinals - Voss had a bye.; Giese defeated Dave Kieffer of Spring Lake Park, Minn.
Super Comp Class
Finals - Neil Bode of New Ulm, Minn., defeated Gerald Hoss of Prior Lake, Minn.
Semifinals - Bode had a bye; Hoss defeated Dale Patterson of Lorette, Manitoba.
Super Gas Class
Finals - Rodney Thompson of Anoka, Minn., defeated Jim Laborde of Hibbing, Minn.
Semifinals - Thompson had a bye; Laborde defeated Jeff Cheney of Cambridge, Minn.
Super Street Class
Finals - Jeremy Johnson of Jordan, Minn., defeated George Meyer of Brainerd, Minn.
Semifinals - Johnson had a bye; Meyer defeated Derek Martin of St. Louis Park, Minn.
Stock/Super Stock Class
Finals - Don Wachholz of Mayer, Minn., defeated Brian Zenzen of St. Cloud, Minn.
Semifinals - Wachholz had a bye; Zenzen defeated Ben Line of Cromwell, Minn.
Comp Trophy Class
Finals - Mandy Anderson of St. Cloud, defeated Mike Larson of Brainerd
Semifinals - Anderson defeated Lisa Schnobrich of St Joseph, Minn.; Larson had a bye
Street Trophy Class
Finals - Shane Williams of Corcoran, Minn., defeated Andy Knebel of Pillager, Minn.
Semifinals - Williams defeated William Schuett of Little Falls, Minn.; Knebel had a bye.