BIR sends 2 drag racing teams to the NHRA Summit Racing ET Finals

Brainerd International Raceway today announced the list of drag racers who comprise two teams representing the track this weekend during the NHRA West Central Summit Racing ET Finals at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan.

BIR’s ET Finals teams have taken second place the last two years, so everyone’s zeroed in on a championship this year. The team will be 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 BIR drag racers compete in the track’s Bracket Drag Racing Series, which was supposed to be a six-weekend, 12-race series this year before the Covid-19 pandemic shortened the season.

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 next month in Las Vegas. BIR rewards its drivers with payouts for class wins. For example, anyone who wins the Super Pro or Pro ET class will win an 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 Las Vegas 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 Chris Bishop (Super Pro), Jason Charlton (Pro ET), Shawn Carlson (Sportsman) and Max Niesen (Motorcycle).

Below are BIR’s teams. The first name under the class name for Team 1 will compete in the Race of Champions:


Super Pro
Chris Bishop – Grand Rapids – ROC
Amy Jo Luberda – Sauk Rapids
Keith Johnson – Nowthen
Tom Carlson – Two Harbors
Dan Haight – St. Cloud
Brian Johnson – Nowthen
Donnie Durenberger – Dayton
Tevin Zavadil – St. Joseph
Randy Merrill – Brooklyn Park
Travis Reutzel – Howard Lake
Mike Campbell – Roseville
Steve Roehrs – Fredric, Wis.

Pro ET
Jason Charlton – Grand Rapids – ROC
Travis Reutzel – Howard Lake
Mike Sandstrom – Aitkin
Brian Johnson – Nowthen
Kayla Noyes – Oak Grove
Tevin Zavadil – St. Joseph
Mike Casteel – Thief River Falls
Lane Zuidema – Zimmerman
Dave Engler – Zimmerman
Bob Ingman – Andover
Nick Engler – Clear Lake
Brad Mickle – Lino Lakes
Travis Hjelle – Karlstad

Shawn Carlson – Elbow Lake – ROC
Grant Pesola – Nashwauk
Troy Luberda – Foley
Dan Butler – Fargo, N.D.
Jerry Hieb – Maple Grove
Joe Moriarty – Ham Lake
Luke Schneider – St. Joseph

Max Niesen – Brooklyn Park – ROC
Jason Ponsness – Foley
Brad Harder – Waconia
Brooke Neyssen – Foley

High School
Jazper Wiebusch – Ham Lake
Samantha Cielinski – Gilman
Jack Anderson – Holdingford



Super Pro
Toby Giese – Kandiyohi
Trevor Wirtjes – Melrose
Ron Wirtjes- Beardsley
Troy Luberda – Foley
Wyatt Niesen – Brooklyn Park
Jason Charlton – Grand Rapids
Bob Thiel – Dumont
Jeff Rue – Waverly
Dan Gilgosch – St. Paul
Jim Higgins – South Haven
Tanner Schiffner – West Fargo, N.D.
Mike Anderson – St. Joseph
John Helmin – Rice
Joel Sandstrom – Pengilly

Pro ET
Dan Wiebusch – Ham Lake
Trevor Wirtjes – Melrose

James Findell – Zimmerman
Steve Roehrs – Frederic, Wis

Pro Bike
Donnie Durenberger – Dayton
Wyatt Niesen – Brooklyn Park
Toby Giese – Kandiyohi
Billy Devries – Brainerd