BIR announces its drag racing team for the NHRA Summit Racing ET Finals

Brainerd International Raceway today announced the 38 drag racers who will represent the track Sept. 13-15 during the NHRA West Central Summit Racing ET Finals at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan.

BIR’s drag racing team will try to improve on its second-place finish last year, competing against teams from 16 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 500 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 seven-weekend, 14-race series with two weekends left (Sept. 6-8 and Sept. 27-29). 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, Motorcycle 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., in November. BIR also rewards its drivers with payouts for class wins. For example, anyone who wins the Super Pro or Pro ET class will win and additional $5,000. In Sportsman, a class win means $4,000; $3,000 for Motorcycle and $2,000 to the parents of the racer in the High School class. Anyone who wins the Race of Champions title pockets an additional $500.  

The racers competing for the trip to Pomona are those selected for the Race of Champions. Each team identifies one racer in each of four classes (not High School) 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 six other divisions. The BIR teammates competing in the Race of Champions are Rodney Thompson (Super Pro), Mike Casteel (Pro ET), Jerry Hieb (Sportsman) and Brad Harder (Motorcycle).

Below are those on BIR’s team. The first name under the class name will compete in the Race of Champions:

Super Pro
Rodney Thompson – Nowthen – ROC
Ronnie Luberda – Foley
Tevin Zavadil – Clearwater
Kayla Noyes – Andover
Mike Anderson – St. Joseph
John Helmin – Rice
Ryan Schelek – St. Cloud
Ron Wirtjes – Wheaton
Randy Merrill – Zimmerman
Ed Holmgren – Foley
Chuck Roycraft – Minnetonka
Trevor Wirtjes – Melrose
Travis Reutzel – Howard Lake
Mike Campbell – Roseville

Pro ET
Mike Casteel – Thief River Falls – ROC
Joe Schmall – Lino Lakes
Lane Zuidema – Zimmerman
Christopher Takacs – Thunder Bay, Ontario
Dave Engler – Zimmerman
Bob Ingman – Andover
Steve Roehrs – Fredric, Wis.
Nick Engler – Clear Lake
Brad Mickle – Lino Lakes
Travis Hjelle – Karstad
Joe Howell – Big Lake
Jeff Gobernatz – New London
Tevin Zavadil – Clearwater
Zach Zavadil – Clearwater

Jerry Hieb – Maple Grove – ROC
Joe Moriarty – Ham Lake
Luke Schneider – St. Joseph
Shawn Carson – Elbow Lake

Pro Bike
Brad Harder – Waconia – ROC
Bruce Sampson – Forest Lake
Wyatt Niesen – Brooklyn Park
Max Niesen – Brooklyn Park

High School
Jazper Wiebusch – Ham Lake
Sydney Thompson – Nowthen