Polish off your summer with the GSTA Muscle Car Shootout

For three decades, Brainerd International Raceway has ushered out summer with a bang Labor Day weekend. This year will be no different.

The 30th Annual GSTA Muscle Car Shootout starts Friday with huge horsepower on the drag strip and high-flying Superbike racing on the road course, a one-two punch that has been a long-standing tradition at BIR. But the weekend wouldn’t be complete without a classic car show and live music by Waves Collide.

Vern Laurin Jr., races in the Outlaw Pro Mod class.

The competition on the drag strip is expected to be intense this weekend. It’s the finale of the three-race Muscle Car Series, with drivers battling for series championships in 13 different classes. They’ll be leaving everything on the blacktop as they slug it out for points.

The seven Heads-Up classes will attract the most attention because the rules are simple: both cars leave at the same time, and the one that reaches the finish line first wins. The Outlaw Pro Mod class, with the fastest cars, features cars that are flirting with 5-second times and well over 200 mph. All 400+ cars that are expected this weekend are “door slammers” (no dragsters), and most are show quality. So if you’re a fan of vintage muscle cars, BIR is the place for you this weekend.

Qualifying and time trials are Friday and Saturday. Elimination rounds start at 9 a.m. Sunday.

On the 2.5-mile Competition Road Course, the Central Roadracing Association brings its insane brand of Superbike racing to the 13-turn track for three days of thrilling racing. It’s the fourth of five weekends of racing for the CRA at BIR, and this year’s competition has been fierce.

Kyle Ohnsorg sets a BIR track record for wins this year. Photo by Brad Knight

Saturday’s racing includes 6-lap sprints, as well as the 10-lap Michelin Cup 1 and Michelin Cup 2 races, which debuted this year on the CRA’s schedule. These races have produced some ridiculous racing and amazing finishes. Sunday’s racing includes 6-lap sprints all day.

Daily admission is $25, and kids 12 and under are free. Parking is also free. Camping is free, too, with a multi-day ticket. Gates open daily at 7 a.m.