BIR announces ET Finals drag racing team

Brainerd International Raceway today announced the 40-member drag racing team that will represent the track during the NHRA West Central Summit Racing ET Finals this weekend at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan.

The team will compete against drag racing teams from 15 other tracks in the NHRA’s West Central Division, which stretches from Wyoming to Wisconsin and from Colorado to Kansas, including part of Canada. More than 450 racers are expected to compete.

The drag racers on BIR’s team earned their way onto the roster based on the success they’ve had in BIR’s Bracket Drag Racing Series, which is a six-weekend, 12-race series with one weekend left (Sept. 26-27). The racers on the team are at the top of the point standings in their respective classes.

The ET Finals has five classes: Super Pro, Pro ET, Sportsman, Pro Bike and High School. At stake are individual and team honors, prize money and contingency awards. Some drivers even have a shot at earning a trip to compete for a national championship in Ponoma, Calif., during the NHRA’s Auto Club Finals in November.

BIR’s team has an additional incentive this year. The track will pay racers a bonus if they win their class or the Race of Champions. Up for grabs are $16,000 in bonuses and another $800 in BIR Bucks for a win in the High School Class. BIR will pay $4,000 for a win in Super Pro and Pro ET, $3,000 in Sportsman and Race of Champions, and $2,000 in Pro Bike.

The racers competing for the trip to Pomona are those selected for the Race of Champions, which is a race within a race during the ET Finals. Each team identifies one racer in each of the five classes to represent the team in the Race of Champions. Racers are paired up in an elimination format by class to determine the class champions, which advance to compete against the top drivers from the NHRA’s other six divisions for a national championship in Pomona. The BIR teammates competing in the Race of Champions are Gary Loeffelholz (Super Pro), Reno Loeffelholz (Pro ET), Brandon Schmall (Sportsman) and Jimmy Paulson (Pro Bike).

“BIR always has some of the best bracket drag racers in the country,” said BIR owner Jed Copham. “Last year’s team placed third in Denver, which is really good considering the competition. But this year’s team really wants first place, and we sweetened the pot with the bonuses for a class championship, so everyone will really be gunning for wins this weekend.”

Below are the members of BIR’s ET Finals team – good luck!

Gary Loeffelholz of Shafer (Race of Champions)
Dan Narusiewicz of St. Paul Park
Tony Leonard of Hastings
Bruce Kaul of Racine
Ryan Schelek of St. Cloud
Mike Campbell of Roseville
Mike Anderson of St. Joseph
Brian Johnson of Nowthen
Steve Roehrs of Frederic, Wis.
Wally Higby of Maple Grove
Larry Wiebusch of Coon Rapids
Chris Anderson of Eagan

Reno Loeffelholz of Shafer (Race of Champions)
Joe Howell of Big Lake
Brandon Schmall of Lino Lakes
Dave Engler of Ramsey
Travis Reutzel of Annandale
Mike Casteel of Thief River Falls
Steve Brings of Howard Lake
Chuck Roycraft of Minnetonka
Scott Dugdale of Stacy
Jenna Jahnke of Stillwater
Tevin Zavadil of Clearwater
Tony Leonard of Hastings

Brandon Schmall of Lino Lakes (Race of Champions)
Lee Dugdale of Scandia
Joe Moriarty Sr of Ham Lake
Russ Elzy of Becker
Brad Mickle of Lino Lakes
Rory Emmans of Nowthen
Steve Elzy of Lindstrom

Jimmy Paulson of Stacy (Race of Champions)
Mike Voss of Maplewood
Jeremy Berg of Newport
Kyle Olson

Tracy Arneson of Pillager
Abby Haben of Hibbing

Steve Roehrs of Frederic, Wis.
Michelle Emmans of Nowthen