BIR’s ET Finals team takes 2nd place. Congrats!

A drag racing team from BIR took second place among 15 teams from throughout the Midwest competing in the NHRA West Central Summit Racing ET Finals last weekend at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kan.

Jimmy Paulson was runner up in the Motorcycle Class Race of Champions and Bob Ingman outlasted 166 other drivers in the Pro ET class before losing in the finals.

BIR’s 35-member team took on race teams from 15 other tracks from the NHRA’s West Central Division, which stretches from Wyoming to Wisconsin and from Colorado to Kansas, including part of Canada. There were about 500 drivers competing.

BIR’s drivers were picked based on their success in the Bracket Drag Racing Series, which is an eight-weekend, 16-race series with one weekend left (Sept. 28-30). The racers on the team are at the top of the point standings in their respective classes. Points are awarded to the team based on how many rounds each drivers goes in the elimination rounds.

The event includes a Race of Champions, where each team designates one driver per class to represent the track in a best-versus-the-best runoff. In the Motorcycle class, Paulson mowed through three other riders in the eliminations rounds to earn his way to the finals. But his win streak ended there, finishing as runner up with a time of 9.166 seconds and 134.91 mph.

The Pro ET class had the most drivers registered at 167, but Ingman and his 1970 Cougar was up to the challenge. He won seven straight elimination rounds en route to the finals where he faced off against Joe Marx from St. Michael. Marx and his 1971 Duster proved too tough, taking the win from Ingman, who posted a time of 10.372 seconds and 127.22 mph.

BIR’s NIck Engler and his 1969 Dodge Coronet were impressive in the Pro ET class as well, losing in the sixth round (quarterfinals). Zach Zavadil (1971 Vega) and Joe Howell (1986 Mustang) made it to the fourth round before getting knocked out, too.

In the Super Pro class, which featured 135 drivers, Tevin Zavadil and his 1990 Cavalier battled into the sixth round of eliminations (quarterfinals) before getting beat. Ed Holmgren and his 1980 Malibu lost in the fifth round.

Russ Elzy and his 1991 Trans Am put up a fight in the 112-car Sportsman class before losing in the fourth round.

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., during the NHRA’s Auto Club Finals in November.

Below are the members of the BIR team.

SUPER PRO
Steve Roehrs of Frederic, Wis. – Race of Champions
Mike Campbell of Roseville
Travis Reutzel of Annandale
Ryan Scheleck of St. Cloud
Greg Grundman of St. Cloud
Chuck Roycraft of Minnetonka
Dave Engler of Ramsey
Brian Johnson of Nowthen
Cam Grundman of St. Cloud
Trevor Wirtjes of Melrose
Ron Wirtjes of Wheaton
Bryce Miller of Maple Lake
Mike Anderson of St. Joseph

PRO ET
Joe Howell of Big Lake – Race of Champions
Nick Engler of South Haven
Travis Reutzel of Annandale
Christopher Takacs of Thunder Bay, Ontario
Bob Ingman of Andover
Steve Brings of Howard Lake
Zach Zavadil of Clearwater
Mike Casteel of Thief River Falls
Dan Gilgosch of Lino Lakes
Kayla Noyes of Andover
Tevin Zavadil of Clearwater
Jason Charlton of Grand Rapids

SPORTSMAN
Jerry Hieb of Maple Grove – Race of Champions
Joe Moriarty of Ham Lake
Troy Luberda of Foley
Jason Charlton of Grand Rapids
Lee Dugdale of Scandia
Russ Elzy of Becker
Luke Schneider of St. Joseph

BIKE
Jimmy Paulson of Stacy – Race of Champions
Wyatt Niesen of Brooklyn Park
Max Niesen of Brooklyn Park