When Labor Day weekend rolls around each summer, only one thing comes to mind for race fans: muscle car drag racing and high-flying Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) road racing.
It’s the 27th Annual Gopher State Timing Association (GSTA) Muscle Car Shootout, which features the lethal combination of big horsepower and wicked-fast speed. It also means many other traditional activities off the track, like a classic car show, live music, activities for kids and a unique fireworks display. The show is Sept. 4-6.
For drag racing fans, the Shootout signals the grand finale of the three-race Muscle Car Series. More than 400 drivers are expected to compete in the three-day event, where they’ll make qualifying runs Friday and Saturday and then get paired up for elimination rounds on Sunday. It’s their last shot at earning a series championship.
At center stage are the seven Heads-Up Classes, where speeds can top 220 mph and times can be in the low 6 seconds. It’s an impressive display of wheel stands and head-to-head racing. The point standings for most of the classes are tight at the top so drivers will be leaving it all on the track.
Meanwhile, the SCCA Jack Pine Sprints will be on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course for two days of thrilling wheel-to-wheel road racing. More than 75 cars from throughout the Upper Midwest will be competing in a number of different classes. Practice and qualifying sessions are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday mornings, followed by racing sessions both afternoons. The schedule includes a 45-minute endurance race Saturday afternoon.
Those who are camping Friday and Saturday night will get the rare chance to see adisplay of handmade fireworks. The Northern Lighter Pyrotechnics is hosting the Lake Shoot, where Northern Lighter club members from throughout the country will show off handmade and unique fireworks, including shells, gerbs, wheels, girandolas, rockets and mines. The show will start at dusk both days.
“Every year, the GSTA Muscle Car Shootout is one of our biggest and best events,” BIR Owner Jed Copham said. “A lot of families make this their last outing of the summer before school starts, so it’s a really fun atmosphere. And since it’s the last race in the Muscle Car Series, drag racers are fighting for every available point. And then there’s the Lake Shoot fireworks display, which will blow our fans away.”
With a single ticket, fans can watch both drag racing and road racing. Daily admission is $25 and kids 12 and under are free. On-site camping is free with a multi-day ticket. Tickets are available at the front gate.
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SCCA Photo by Rick Corwine