If you were looking for Dan Hyttsten last Sunday, your best bet was to look on Brainerd International Raceway’s drag strip.
If he wasn’t flying down the track, he was waiting his turn in the staging lanes. But that’s what happens when you win 14 of 15 races – you tend to spend a lot of time behind the wheel on Elimination Day.
Hyttsten was on a roll Sunday, winning all three classes he raced in during the GSTA Muscle Car Shootout: Strip Eliminator 3 (SE3), Truck Eliminator (TE) and 13.50 Index. The only race he lost was in the first round of the Index Class Championship run-off, when he lost to the eventual champ, Brian Peterson.
“It was a lot of fun,” Hyttsten said. “The whole family was there so that was pretty special.”
Hyttsten raced his 2019 Chevy 3500 pickup to beat Jessica Purdham in the SE3 finals with a time of 15.267 seconds at 80.89 mph. Then he beat Bob Peterson in the TE finals with a similar 15.278 seconds at 82.50 mph. He then parked the pickup and jumped in his dad’s 1987 Buick Grand National to beat Rachel Sodren in the 13.50 Index finals with a winning time of 13.713 seconds at 87.77 mph. His dad, David Hyttsten, raced the Buick in the Strip Eliminator 2 class.
“I had good runs when I needed them and good luck when I needed it,” Hyttsten said.
Hyttsten swept the TE class this year and will finish the season with the series championship.
“I’m already counting down the days before next year’s season,” he said.
Hyttsten’s trifecta win was even more impressive because of the weekend’s enormous car count. BIR closed car registrations on Friday after 528 cars had registered to drag race.
The Muscle Car Shootout is the third and final leg of the three-race Muscle Car Series on the drag strip, with series championships on the line in 13 classes. The road course was busy as well, with the Central Roadracing Association’s Superbikes competing in a Double Sprints weekend.
The Outlaw Pro Mod final was a replay of last year’s final, with Rick Schmidt facing off against defending champ Chris Willemssen. The result was the same, with Schmidt winning with a time of 6.375 seconds at 230.72 mph, which was the fastest speed of the weekend for any class. The difference between last year and this year was that Willemssen lost the race but still won the series championship. This year, Schmidt swept the class and will take back the title.
In Outlaw, Troy Bednarz’s 1967 Camaro was the fastest car, qualifying No. 1 with a top speed of 204.82 mph. Todd Mueller met him in the finals with a 1966 Chevelle and blew him off the starting line by 3/10ths of a second, but he couldn’t hold off Bednarz, who won with a time of 7.348 seconds and 195.03 mph to Mueller’s 7.838 seconds and 175.09 mph.
The King Street finals featured a pair of familiar foes. After winning the first two races, Dave Feders had his sights set on a sweep, but Dick Fulton had upset aspirations. The two had met in the King Street finals during the Street Car Showdown, but Fulton’s car broke on the last pass, so he was looking to avenge the loss. Feders had other ideas, though. He beat Fulton off the starting line and to the finish line, winning with a 7.524-second run at 183.87 mph. Fulton ran 7.885 seconds at 172.61 mph. Feders will de-throne 2018 champ Brian Mahnke.
The Real Street Natural class had three different winners this year, including David Beck, who won the class last weekend in his 1971 Buick Skylark. He was the top qualifier, with the top speed of the weekend at 150.80 mph. In the finals, he met up with Taylor Gullickson, who won the class during the PleasureLand RV Show & Go in July. Driving a 1998 Chevy S10 pickup, Gullickson was quicker off the line but Beck caught him at the finish line, winning with a time of 9.037 seconds and 149.40 mph. Gullickson ran 9.176 seconds and 147.42 mph.
Like Hyttsten, Brian Peterson was a busy guy on Sunday as well. He won the 9.50 Index class by sneaking past Pat Huebner in the finals with a time of 9.532 seconds and 134.67 mph. He lost in the third round of Strip Eliminator 1 and then ran the table in the four-round Index Class Championship, beating Shawn Hammre in the finals with a time of 9.541 seconds at 139.11 mph.
Below are the finals of each class:
Outlaw Pro Mod
Finals: Rick Schmidt of Dickinson, N.D. def. Chris Willemssen of Steward
Finals: Troy Bednarz of Nowthen def. Todd Mueller of Ham Lake
Finals: Dave Feders of Isanti def. Dick Fulton of Crystal
Real Street Unlimited
Finals: Jason Rolow of Anoka def. Jesse Nelson of Mountain Iron
Real Street Natural
Finals: David Beck of Superior, Wis. def. Taylor Gullickson of North Branch
Finals: Jason King of Saginaw def. Graham Boyd of White Bear Lake
660 Outlaw Street
Finals: Gary Anderson of Ogilvie def. Chris Gullickson of North Branch
Strip Eliminator 1
Finals: Maynard Akkerman of Brownsdale def. John Bolander of Duluth
Strip Eliminator 2
Finals: Paul Baillif of Brainerd def. Wes Matsch of Hammond, Wis.
Strip Eliminator 3
Finals: Dan Hyttsten of Becker def. Jessica Purdham of St. Michael
Finals: Dan Hyttsten of Becker def. Bob Peterson of Roseville
Finals: Chris Mlnor of Browerville def. Wayne Madsen
Index Class Champion
Finals: Brian Peterson of Park Rapids def. Shawn Hammre of Zimmerman
Finals: Brian Peterson of Park Rapids def. Pat Huebner of Bloomington
Finals: Bruce Morley of Brainerd def. Greg Maaninga of Menahga
Finals: Joe Marudas of Milaca def. Mike Plachy of Monticello
Finals: Steve Matsch of Hastings def. Kevin Kneisi of Delano
Finals: Gary Olson of Sartell def. Brian Schottenbauer of Clear Lake
Finals: Shawn Hammre of Zimmerman def. Carrie Sheely of Kasota
Finals: Nathan Olson of Sartell def. Kevin Hemenway of Park Rapids
Finals: Josh Maras of Farmington def. Zach Ellenson of Park Rapids
Finals: Dan Hyttsten of Becker def. Rachel Sodren of East Bethel