For three days of drag racing last weekend, Rick Schmidt had the fastest car on the track. His 2011 Mustang qualified No. 1, heading into Sunday’s elimination rounds, with a best time of 6.373 seconds at 219.47 mph.
It looked like Schmidt was going to extend his Pro Outlaw Class victories streak to three, dating back to last year’s Muscle Car Shootout, but he fouled at the starting line against Joseph Wilczek in the semifinal round, leaving Wilczek and Rene Rivard to decide the class winner in the finals. Wilczek and his 2000 Mustang ran a very quick 6.723 seconds and 206.92 mph in the finals, even though he was guaranteed the win when Rivard fouled at the starting line.
Wilczek was one of many winners on the drag strip last weekend, during the second leg of the three-race Muscle Car Series, which was part of the 29th Annual PleasureLand RV Show & Go. As usual, the drag racers entertained fans with some amazing racing, but Sunday’s focus was on the Competition Road Course, where the Trans Am Series had its 40-lap, 100-mile Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic. The National Auto Sport Association was on the road course Saturday and Sunday as well.
Back on the drag strip, the Outlaw Class ended in similar fashion. Peter Campbell was the top driver in the class, qualifying No. 1 with the fastest time (7.081 seconds) and the top speed (208.36 mph). In Sunday’s semifinal round, he disposed of Warren Peterson, who won the class Memorial Day weekend during the Street Car Showdown and was looking to start a winning streak of his own. That moved Campbell into the finals against Greg Schmidt, who was winning rounds with times almost a second slower than Campbell. But Campbell fouled at the starting line and then broke, handing Schmidt and his ’88 Camaro an easy win with a final pass of 7.745 seconds and 179.40 mph.
The 24-car King Street field featured some great drag racing and followed the script a little closer than the top two classes. The finals pitted Jason Geiger and his ’68 Camaro against Josh Knudsen with his ’79 Mustang. Geiger qualified No. 1 with the fastest time (7.914 seconds) while Knudsen qualified No. 2 with the fastest speed (176.12 mph).
Knudsen was first off the starting line but couldn’t hold off Geiger, who won with a time of 7.935 seconds and 173.36 mph. Knudsen ran 8.001 seconds and 176.12 mph. The win moved Geiger into first place in the standings, just two points ahead of Knudsen.
In Real Street Unlimited, Dave Hodgman and his 1968 Chevelle knocked off the No. 1 qualifier, Duane Godbout, in the semifinals to set up a showdown with Jad Carlson. On paper, the matchup would’ve been a good one but Carlson fouled at the starting line, handing Hodgman the easy win.
Darrell Godbout and his 1969 Camaro had the best qualifying time (7.187 seconds) and top speed (148.14 mph) in the Real Street Natural Class, and then won his way to the finals against Bill Meyers. Meyers was quicker off the starting line but he couldn’t hold off Godbout, who came storming past him for the win with a run of 9.437 seconds and 147.60 mph. Meyers ran 10.124 seconds and 132.78 mph.
The True Street Class finals ended in another starting-line foul. Dan Gefre and his ’83 Chevy Malibu Wagon qualified No. 1 and was rolling through the elimination rounds. He faced off against Ian McNiven in the finals but he fouled, giving McNiven a free pass to the Winner’s Circle.
Chris Gullilkson and his ’68 Chevelle was the top qualifier in the 660 Street Outlaw Class, although Lucas Mlinar had the fastest time (4.799 seconds) and the top speed (161.30 mph). So it was fitting that the two ended up in the finals. Their reaction times off the starting line were almost identical but Gullikson’s Chevelle was the quicker car in that race, finishing with a 4.899-second, 154.46 mph pass. Mlinar finished with 6.164 seconds and 84.72 mph. The 660 Street Outlaw Class is an eighth mile race.
Gary Olson and his ’79 Camaro was crowned the Index Class Champion with his win over Kevin Sand. The winners of the 10 Index Classes were paired up for a runoff to determine the Index Class Champion. Olson won the 12.00 Index Class, with Sand winning the 10.00 Index. Olson won the showdown with a time of 11.965 seconds at 111.24 mph.
The Muscle Car Series’ grand finale is Labor Day weekend during the 27th Annual GSTA Muscle Car Shootout, when class champions will be determined, so fans and drivers alike can expect some intense drag racing.
Below are the winners of each class:
Finals: Joseph Wiczek of Little Falls def. Rene Rivard of Winnipeg, Manitoba
Semifinals: Wiczek def. Rich Schmidt of Dickinson, N.D.; Rivard had a bye
Finals: Greg Schmidt of Baxter def. Peter Campbell of West St. Paul, Manitoba
Semifinals: Schmidt had a bye; Campbell def. Warren Peterson of Duluth
Finals: Jason Geiger of Hanska def. Josh Knudsen of Fontenac
Semifinals: Geiger had a bye; Knudsen def. Mike Sterling of Oak Grove
Real Street Unlimited
Finals: Dave Hodgman of Ramsey def. Jad Carlson of Clearwater
Semifinals: Hodgman def. Duane Godbout of Cloquet; Carlson had a bye
Real Street Natural
Finals: Darrell Godbout of Carlton def. Bill Meyer of Andover
Semifinals: Godbout had a bye; Meyer def. Robert Wilczek of Little Falls
Finals: Ian McNiven of East Selkirk, Manitoba def. Dan Gefre of Coon Rapids
Semifinals: McNiven def. Todd Malik of Andover; Gefre def. Randy Belchar of Detroit Lakes
660 Outlaw Street
Finals: Chris Gullikson of North Branch def. Lucas Mlinar of Winnipeg, Manitoba
Semifinals: Gullikson had a bye; Mlinar def. Aaron VanHell of Otsego
Strip Eliminator 1
Finals: Sean Hutmacher of Gonor, Manitoba def. Kevin Sand of Cambridge
Semifinals: Hutmacher def. Logan Loesch of Hastings; Sand had a bye
Strip Eliminator 2
Finals: Scott Davich of Pequot Lakes def. Brad Schottenbauer of Zimmerman
Semifinals: Davich def. Lonnie Ellenson of Park Rapids; Schottenbauer def. George Dinzeo of Woodbury
Strip Eliminator 3
Finals: Jessica Purdham of Albertville def. Jessica Enberg of Minnetrista
Semifinals: Purdham def. Kyle Lendt of Farmington; Enberg had a bye
Finals: Troy Novak of Rice def. Chad Rach of Aitkin
Finals: Gregory Dancer of Foley won
Index Class Champion
Finals: Gary Olson of Sartell (12.00) def. Kevin Sand of Cambridge (10.00)
Finals: Bill Reiling of Pine Island def. Patrick Heubner of Bloomington
Finals: Kevin Sand of Cambridge def. Jim Kielty of Barnum
Finals: Steve Winter of Rochester def. Brian Peterson of Park Rapids
Finals: Bryan Hansen of Minneapolis def. Jason Hartkoff of Eden Valley
Finals: Jon Kelly of Newport def. Brian Brinkman of Maplewood
Finals: Gary Olson of Sartell def. Daniel Richier of Eden Valley
Finals: Kevin Hemenway of Park Rapids def. Reid Watson of Laport
Finals: Jesse Backstrom of Grand Marais def. Aaron Hall of Rogers
Finals: Gary Nelson of North Branch def. Bryan Brager of Pillager
Finals: Gary Tesar of Medina def. Sue Seidel of Battle Lake