Brainerd International Raceway’s drag racing team took third place last weekend during the NHRA West Central Summit Racing ET Finals at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan.
BIR’s team was the defending champion but was unable to repeat this year, finishing only one point behind the second-place team from Rock Falls Raceway in Wisconsin.
Brandon Schmall was the lone winner this year for BIR, winning the Sportsman class in his 1974 Dodge Dart by beating Lindsay Lippert of Wamgeo, Kan., in the finals. His winning time was 12.211 seconds at 95.09 mph.
BIR’s 40-driver team competed against 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 competed.
The drag racers on BIR’s team earned their way onto the roster based on the success they had this season in the Bracket Drag Racing Series, which is a six-weekend, 12-race series with one weekend left (Oct. 1-2). 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.
Schmall represented BIR in the Sportsman class Race of Champions. Each team identified one racer in each of the five classes to compete in the Race of Champions. Racers are paired up in an elimination format 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 this fall. Schmall, who won the Sportsman class Race of Champions last year, lost a close race in the semifinals round. BIR’s Mike Voss lost in the semifinals as well, in the Pro Bike class.
Other notable finishes from the weekend were Brad Harder and Kyle Lundberg, both of who advanced to the quarterfinals of the Pro Bike class before being eliminated.
Below are the members of BIR’s ET Finals team.
Race of Champions
Brian Johnson of Nowthen – Super Pro
Brandon Schmall of Lino Lakes – Sportsman
Bryce Miller of Maple Lake – Pro ET
Kyle Lundberg of Isanti – Pro Bike
Zach Zavadil of Clearwater – High School
Kyle Loeffelholz of Shafer
Mike Campbell of Roseville
Mike Casteel of Thief River Falls
Larry Wiebusch Sr of Coon Rapids
Jenna Jahnke of Stillwater
Brandon Schmall of Lino Lakes
Mike Anderson of St. Joseph
Jim Higgins of South Haven
Gary Loeffelholz of Shafer
Toby Giese of Kandiyohi
Tanner Schiffner of West Fargo, N.D.
Dan Narusiewicz of St. Paul Park
Wally Higby of Maple Grove
Reno Loeffelholz of Shafer
Travis Reutzel of Howard Lake
Tevin Zavadil of Clearwater
Bob Ingman of Andover
Joe Howell of Annandale
Nick Engler of South Haven
Joe Schmall of Lino Lakes
Dave Engler of Ramsey
Scott Dugdale of Stacy
Steve Elzy of Lindstrom
Lee Dugdale of Scandia
Jerry Hieb of Maple Grove
Troy Luberda of Foley
Rory Emmans of Nowthen
Joe Moriarty Sr. of Ham Lake
Scott Dugdale of Stacy
Brad Harder of Waconia
Jim Paulson of Stacy
Kyle Lundberg of Isanti
Zach Zavadil of Clearwater
Emma McFarland of Sabin
Russ Elzy of Becker
Steve Roehrs of Frederic, Wis.