Phil Unruh and his dragster were dialed in Sunday at Brainerd International Raceway Sunday, consistently laying down runs of 6.3 seconds at more than 205 mph.
Other racers in the Fineline Madcap Top Dragster class eclipsed the 200 mph mark as well but all lost in the first round and watched the 2012 West Central Division Champion win his way to the finals, where he beat Afton Swanson whose car broke on the final run.
Unruh and the rest of the drag racers competing in BIR’s Thunder at the Lakes last weekend had a soggy day for racing Saturday, but the weather cleared up on Sunday, allowing all the racers to complete their rounds, with winners crowned in 11 classes, including two Junior Dragster classes.
Thunder at the Lakes features the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag
Racing Series, where Sportsman drivers come from throughout the country to earn series points and compete for a chance at a national title and a cut of a $519,000 purse. The weekend’s schedule of events included the debut of the World Racing League on Saturday, where 24 teams of three drivers competed in a 12-hour endurance race on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course. The Slowpokes car club was on the road course on Sunday.
In addition to Unruh’s win, Clint Neff and Todd Curtis were among the winners, with Neff taking home the trophy in Comp Eliminator and Curtis in Super Stock. Neff drove his ‘27 roadster to victory, taking a big hole shot advantage and
a winning time of 7.848 seconds at 166.87 mph over the reigning West Central Division Comp Champion Bruno Massel and his ’10 dragster.
Curtis was one of five Minnesota racers using the home field advantage to score wins as he went 10.852 seconds in his ’66 Chevy II to down Randy Hopkins and his ’14 Mustang.
Scott Dugdale, Keith Lundberg, Trevor Larson and Bruce Sampson were the other winners from Minnesota. Dugdale took the trophy in Stock when Dale Findell left early with a red-light foul start. Lundberg had a single in the Super Comp final when Jeff Cheney broke in his semifinal round win and was unable to make the call.
Larson took on Tom Dahlberg in the Super Gas final winning with a time of 9.879 seconds and 166.74 mph. Sampson went the distance in Sportsman Motorcycle presented by Harley-Davidson class, defeating Mike Voss.
J.J. Heber knocked out Tom Schmidt in the Jerry Haas Top Sportsman Series. Schmidt was out first but Heber made up the difference running 7.012 seconds at 193.85 mph for the win.
Bob Hallgren edged out Steve Traeger in Super Street. It was close at the start but Hallgren got the win running 10.914 seconds at 137.55 mph in his ’70 Nova.
This year’s event included two Junior Dragster classes, for ages 8-12 and 13-17. Chelsey Mohr and Sarah Johnson won those classes, respectively.
West Central Division racers head to Bandimere Speedway for the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Thunder on the Mountain presented by Carstar, June 13-15.
The following are the final results from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Thunder at the Lakes at Brainerd International Raceway:
Finals: Clint Neff of Arvada, Colo. def. Bruno Massel of Woodridge, Ill.
Semifinals: Neff def. Doug Engles of Watertown, SD; Massel had a bye
Finals: Todd Curtis of Elk River def. Randy Hopkins of Scandia
Semifinals: Curtis def. Brett Speer of Little Falls; Hopkins def. Gus Phillipich of Virginia
Finals: Scott Dugdale of Stacy def. Dale Findell of Cambridge
Semifinals: Dugdale def. Tim Mosbeck of Andover; Findell def. Lyn Johnson of Cloquet
Finals: Keith Lundberg of Isanti def. Jeff Cheney of Cambridge
Semifinals: Lundberg had a bye; Cheney def. Steven Michaels of Anoka
Finals: Trevor Larson of Starbuck def. Tom Dahlberg of Hudson, Wis.
Semifinals: Larson def. Ron Gering of Bellevue, Neb.; Dahlberg def. John Gosh of Big Lake
Finals: Bob Hallgren of Lincoln, Neb., def. Steve Traeger of Foley
Semifinals: Hallgren def. TJ Snow of Apple Valley; Traeger had a bye
Finals: Phil Unruh of McPherson, Kan., def. Afton Swanson of Denver, Iowa
Semifinals: Unruh def. Mike Campbell of Roseville; Swanson def. Brad Basgall of Hays, Kan.
Finals: JJ Heber of Centennial, Colo., def. Tom Schmidt of Lindstrom
Semifinals: Heber def. Doug Woody of Independence, Mo., Schmidt def. Jim White of Haysville, Kan.
Finals: Bruce Sampson of Forest Lake def. Mike Voss of Maplewood
Semifinals: Sampson def. Cameron Belisle of Hugo; Voss had a bye
Junior Dragster – Age 13-17
Finals: Sarah Johnson of Nowthen def. Zach Lauadil of Clearwater
Semifinals: Johnson had a bye; Lauadil def. Erin Johnson of Nowthen
Junior Dragster – Age 8-12
Finals: Chelsey Mohr of Mitchell, S.D., def. Cassandra Jurgens of Watertown, S.D.
Semifinals: Mohr had a bye; Jurgens def. Aaron Clampitt of Lino Lakes