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    No repeat winners at Brainerd Int’l Raceway during its first double-race bracket weekend  


June 8, 2008 — Racers competing in the June 6-8 O’Reilly Auto Parts/Snap-On Tools Bracket Drag Racing Series event at Brainerd International Raceway proved how difficult it is win your way through the elimination rounds.

The second of BIR’s five-race bracket series was a double-race weekend. Saturday and Sunday each were individual racing days that included qualifying and elimination rounds. That meant twice as many chances to earn points. But in nearly all classes, drivers proved that being successful one day didn’t necessarily guarantee you success the next day.

With 66 cars entered in the Super Pro class, Corey Rinas and Ryan Scheleck faced off in Saturday’s Super Pro finals. Driving a ‘69 Chevelle, Scheleck was a hair quicker off the line with a .18 reaction time to Rinas’ .19, but Rinas and his ‘74 Duster edged him out at the finish line with a 10.906 ET (10.9 dial-in) to Scheleck’s 10.873 ET (10.84 dial-in). Brian Johnson was a semifinalist. Kevin Dyck won Sunday’s Super Pro final when Jason Clampitt fouled at the starting line. Mark Ryberg and Keith Lundberg were semifinalists.

The Pro class featured 69 cars. Saturday’s final went to John Bastyr when Jack MacFarlane fouled at the starting line. Brodie Schaffer was semifinalist. Sunday’s Pro final was a slugfest between Kelly Gjovig and Gary Loeffelholz. Driving a ’68 Mustang, Loeffelholz’s .022 reaction time was quicker than Gjovig’s .038, but Gjovig caught him at the finish line, running a 10.229 (10.22 dial-in) to Loeffelholz’s 9.244 (9.19). Bastyr and Dan Huttsten were semifinalists.

With a .049 reaction time, Mark Pease was twice as quick as Don Haataja’s .096 in Saturday’s Sportsman final. Pease won with a 12.106 ET (12.10 dial-in) and 106.29 mph. Haataja finished with a 13.886 ET (13.88 dial-in) and 90.96 mph. On Sunday, Charlie Giddings won the Sportsman final when Rory Emmans red-lighted. Mandy Anderson was semifinalist.

In Bike 1, Aaron Schrupp won Saturday’s finals, with Giese runner up. Giese’s reaction time was quicker – .031 to .048 – but Schrupp nipped him at the finish line with a 10.521 ET (10.45 dial-in) and 119.44 mph. Giese ran 9.158 with a 8.94 dial-in and 130.60 mph. Clampitt was semifinalist.

Clampitt survived the semis Sunday and outlasted Bruce Sampson in the finals. Sampson nearly cut a perfect light (.003 to Clampitt’s .031) but broke out. Semifinalists were Giese and Mark Gode.

In Saturday’s Bike 2 finals, Bruce Sampson won when Ken Niesen broke out. Joe Lieske was a semifinalist. On Sunday, Ryan Schonthaler beat Ken Doble in the finals. Schonthaler was quicker off the line (.081 reaction time to Doble’s .215) and finished with an 11.882 ET (11.88 dial-in) and 102.65 mph to Doble’s 10.785 ET (10.77 dial-in) and 123.06 mph. Glenn Vanzee was semifinalist.

Both Super Comp finals featured razor-thin margins of victory in the finals. On Saturday, Kevin Dyck and Kayla Lundberg were nearly identical off the line with .052 and .055 reaction times, respectively. But Dyck won with an 8.964 ET and 163.75 mph to Lundberg’s 8.988 ET and 160.37 mph. Both were dialed in at 8.90. Craig Clark and Brad Swanson were semifinalists.

In Sunday’s final, Brian Johnson had a .015 reaction time to Jeremy Jull’s .018. Johnson held off Jull at the end, finishing with an 8.956 ET and 166.05 mph, while Jull ran 8.955 and 164.05 mph. Both were dialed in at 8.90. Don Westra was semifinalist.

Vern Laurin won Saturday’s Super Gas final when Larry Malik fouled at the starting line. Randy Nygaard was semifinalist. Nygaard survived Sunday’s semifinals but lost in the finals to Dale Evens, who was slower off the line, .049 to .030, but ran a 9.930 ET and 141.11 mph to Nygaard’s 9.959 ET and 135.27 mph. Both were dialed in at 9.90. Kelly Anthony was semifinalist.

Saturday’s Super Street final was won by Ronnie Luberda when Greg Grundman fouled at the starting line. Troy Luberda was semifinalist. On Sunday, Ryan Scheleck successfully avenged his loss in Saturday’s Super Pro final. He cut a perfect .000 light and went on to beat Terry Pease with an 11.268 ET and 97.70 mph to Pease’s 12.472 ET and 83.79 mph. Both were dialed in at 10.90. Rose Tharp was semifinalist.

In Stock Super Stock, Ben Line won Saturday’s final and nearly repeated the feat Sunday, but lost in the semifinals. On Saturday he beat Don Wachholz in the finals. With a .010 reaction time to Wachholz’s .075, Line finished with a 10.70 ET (10.62 dial-in) and 113.90 mph to Wachholz’s 13.159 ET (13.11 dial-in) and 99.33 mph. Terry Johnson and Dave Goldie were semifinalists. On Sunday, Johnson made it to the finals only to lose to Butch Lindeman by fouling at the starting line.

In Comp Trophy, Dennis Markuson defeated Dave Johnson in Saturday’s finals, with Chuck Hoppe as semifinalist. Jesse Luberda beat Keith Larson in Sunday’s finals. Mike Larson was semifinalist.

Margaret Schaaf beat Darren Arnold in Saturday’s Street Trophy finals, with KC Brager as semifinalist. On Sunday, Zach Hallberg beat Jesse Krause in the finals. Justin Habiger was semifinalist.

In a new class added this year, Trophy Bike for street bikes, four racers competed Sunday. Michael Pangerl outlasted Debbie Sampson in the finals, beating her off the line - .027 reaction time to .070 – and at the finish line: 9.739 ET with a 9.51 dial-in to 14.704 ET with a 14.50 dial in. Alex Barmettler and Jessie Harwood were semifinalists.

In Junior Dragster Advanced, Stephen Moran won Saturday’s finals by beating Kyle Lundberg. Ashlyn Sandstrom was semifinalist. Betsy Gust won Sunday’s finals over Nick Engler. Elizabeth Durenberger was semifinalist.

In Junior Dragster Major, Christopher Takacs beat Max Gust in Saturday’s finals. Haley Heintzman and Eric Johnson were semifinalists. Gust made it to the finals again Sunday, but came up short again, this time to Emily Durenberger. Takacs and Christian Tharp were semifinalists.

In Junior Dragster Minor, Abby Haben beat Max Neisen in Saturday’s finals, while Christian English beat Cassidy Takacs Sunday. English and Emma McFarland were semifinalists Saturday, while Haben and Blane Erickson were semifinalists Sunday.

The next O’Reilly Auto Parts/Snap-On Tools Bracket Drag Racing Series event is July 18-20, which is another double-race weekend.