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    Hyttsten among winners at BIR’s first bracket drag racing series event  


(May 11, 2008) — Brainerd International Raceway kicked off its drag racing season this weekend with the first of five O’Reilly Auto Parts/Snap-On Tools Bracket Drag Racing Series races.

With 365 cars registered, Mother Nature cut the weekend short. After four hours of qualifying runs Saturday morning, the skies opened up and washed out racing for the rest of the day. Sunday was a different story, as racers were met with clear skies and fair temperatures, allowing them to finish with qualifying rounds and complete the elimination rounds.

In the Sportsman class, the race was déjà vu for Dan Hyttsten and his 1970 Chevelle. Last year, he won the first race of the season, en route to a fourth place finish in the final points standings. This year started the same as Hyttsten beat Don Wachholz in the finals for the early lead in the standings.

Hyttsten was quicker off the line with a .053 reaction time and never looked back, finishing with a 12.639-second run (12.59 dial-in) at 103.77 mph. Wachholz’s reaction time was .074 seconds but he broke out: 13.182 seconds (13.19 dial-in) at 97.37 mph. Bob Gillespie was semifinalist.

In Super Pro, Myron Streit ran his 1968 Camaro to a finals win, outlasting 75 other racers. Paired up with Dave Engler and his 1970 Charger in the finals, Streit was quicker from start to finish, with a .012 light, an 11.027 ET (10.97 dial-in) and 116.59 mph. Engler was .053 off the line and ran an 11.073 (11.04 dial-in) and 118.02 mph. Will Young was semifinalist.

The Pro class featured a field of 74 racers, but Joe Schmall was the last racer standing as he defeated Charlie Giddings and his 1968 Chevy in the final round to claim the season’s first top prize in that class. The two had almost identical reaction times - .065 for Schmall and .063 for Giddings - but Giddings broke out. Schmall and his 1969 Fury would’ve been tough to beat as he ran 11.183 on an 11.17 dial-in and 117.73 mph. Kelly Gjovig was semifinalist.

The Bike One finals featured perennial rivals Dave Kieffer and Toby Giese, both of whom were in the top five in last year’s final standings in both Bike One and Bike Two classes, and both of whom race Suzukis. Kieffer kicked off his 2008 campaign with a double break-out win. He was a hair quicker off the line with a .023 reaction time versus Giese’s .038. At the top end, his 9.097-second run (9.10 dial-in) and 135.02 mph bested Giese’s 9.108 seconds (9.12 dial-in) and 141.65 mph. Ken Niesen and Alex Barmettler were semifinalists.

In Bike Two, Ken Niesen found himself on top of the points standings as he edged out Glenn Vanzee in the finals. Niesen’s .099 reaction time was quicker than Vanzee’s .137, and Niesen was quicker down the track on his 1990 Suzuki as well with a 9.816-second ET (9.76 dial-in) and 130.25 mph. Vanzee ran 131.77 mph and 10.201 seconds (10.18 dial-in). Cristina Wirtz was semifinalist.

Kevin Dyck and Brad Swanson squared off in the finals of Super Comp. With both dialed in at 8.90, Dyck and his 2004 Dragster cut a .016 light to Swanson’s .039 and cruised to victory in 8.976 seconds and 170.11 mph. Swanson ran 8.964 seconds and 169.17 mph. Mike Campbell was semifinalist.

In Super Gas, Trevor Larson overcame Tim Hallberg’s perfect light for the finals win. Dialed in at 9.90, Larson and his 2004 Roadster had a .026 reaction time but caught Hallberg and his 1974 Vega at the top end with a 9.933-second run to Hallberg’s 9.965. Don Westra and John Helmin were semifinalists.

Steve Roehrs was a hair slower that Ronnie Luberda off the line but benefited from Luberda’s break-out pass to win the finals of Super Street. Both were dialed in at 10.90, but Luberda ran 10.895 to Roehrs’ 10.902. Roehrs and his 1982 Camaro had a .050 reaction time to Luberda’s .031. Semifinalists were Ed Holmgren and Dan Koll.

Ron Mattson fouled at the starting line to give Butch Lindeman the finals win in Stock Super Stock. Driving a 1970 Barracuda, Lindeman ran 10.557 on a 10.56 dial-in and a .084 light. Maxine Line and Steve Hutar were semifinalists.

In Comp Trophy, Jesse Luberda broke out but was still awarded the finals win over John Johnson, who red-lighted. Luberda, driving a 2002 Camaro, ran a 12.608 on a 12.62 dial-in and 106.64 mph. Semifinalist was Rod Dills.

Andrew Knebel broke out in the Street Trophy finals, giving Darren Arnold the win. Driving a 1972 Chevy, Arnold almost nailed a perfect light at .008 to Knebel’s .121 light, and then almost hit his 14.00 dial-in with a 14.072 run and 88.29 mph to Knebel’s 15.372 (15.40 dial-in) and 86.36 mph in his 1971 Cutlass. Semifinalists were Jesse Krause and Angie Anderson.

In the Junior Dragster Advanced class, Nick Engles beat Kellie Kastner, with Brendan Bungert and Keith Wiejak semifinalists. In Junior Dragster Majors, Max Gust defeated Tevin Zavadil in the finals, with semifinalists Christopher Takacs and Luke Adkinson. And in Junior Dragster Minors, Zach Gust defeated Christian English in the final. McKenna Bungert and Emma McFarland were semifinalists.

Results of the semifinals and finals of each class are as follows:

Super Pro

Finals — Myron Streit of St. Cloud, Minn., defeated Dave Engler of Ramsey, Minn.
Semifinals — Streit had a bye; Engler defeated Will Young.


Finals — Joe Schmall of Lino Lakes, Minn., defeated Charlie Giddings of Ramsey.
Semifinals — Schmall defeated Kelly Gjovig of Fargo, N.D.; Giddings had a bye.


Finals — Dan Hyttsten of Becker, Minn., defeated Don Wachholz of Mayer, Minn.
Semifinals — Hyttsten defeated Bob Gillespie of Brainerd; Wachholz had a bye.

Bike One

Finals —Dave Kieffer of Spring Lake Park, Minn., defeated Toby Giese of Kandiyohi, Minn.
Semifinals —Kieffer defeated Ken Niesen of Brooklyn Park, Minn.; Giese defeated Alex Barmettler of Maplewood, Minn.

Bike Two

Finals — Ken Niesen of Brooklyn Park defeated Glenn Vanzee of St. Cloud.
Semifinals — Niesen had a bye; Vanzee defeated Cristina Wirtz of Andover, Minn.

Super Comp

Finals — Kevin Dyck of East St. Paul, Minn., defeated Brad Swanson of Centerville, Minn.
Semifinals — Dyck defeated Mike Campbell of Brooklyn Park; Swanson had a bye.

Super Gas

Finals — Trevor Larson of Starbuck, Minn., defeated Tim Hallberg of Champlin, Minn.
Semifinals — Larson defeated John Helmin of Rice, Minn.; Hallberg defeated Don Westra of St. Cloud.

Super Street

Finals — Steve Roehrs of Grantsburg, Wis., defeated Ronnie Luberda of Foley.
Semifinals —Roehrs defeated Ed Holmgren of Foley; Luberda defeated Dan Koll of Victoria, Minn.

Stock Super Stock

Finals — Butch Lindeman of Cedar, Minn., defeated Ron Mattson of Cloquet, Minn.
Semifinals —Lindeman defeated Steve Hutar of Cromwell, Minn.; Mattson defeated Maxine Line of Wright, Minn.

Comp Trophy

Finals — Jesse Luberda of Foley defeated John Johnson of New Prague, Minn.
Semifinals — Luberda had a bye; Johnson defeated Rod Dills of East Bethel, Minn.

Street Trophy

Finals — Darren Arnold of Hopkins, Minn., defeated Andrew Knebel of Pillager, Minn.
Semifinals — Arnold defeated Jesse Krause of Motley, Minn.; Knebel defeated Angie Anderson of Sartell, Minn.

Junior Dragster Advanced

Finals — Nick Engles of Pine City, Minn., defeated Kellie Kastner of Clearwater, Minn.
Semifinals — Engles defeated Brenden Bungert of Lakeville, Minn.; Kastner defeated Keith Wiejak of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Junior Dragster Majors

Finals —Max Gust of Isanti, Minn., defeated Tevin Zavadil of Clearwater, Minn.
Semifinals — Gust defeated Christopher Takacs of Thunder Bay; Zavadil defeated Luke Adkinson of Champlin.

Junior Dragster Minors

Finals — Zach Gust of Isanti defeated Christian English of Andover.
Semifinals — Gust defeated McKenna Bungert of Lakeville; English defeated Emma McFarland of Sabin, Minn.