This weekend: Street Car Showdown

If the competition among drivers in this year’s Outlaw Class is anything like last year, fans better strap themselves in for a good ol’ fashioned battle royal.

The Outlaw Class in Brainerd International Raceway’s three-race Muscle Car Series couldn’t get any closer for the top three drivers last year. Greg Schmidt finished as the series champion but was only one point ahead of defending champion Warren Peterson and Bubba Romanyshyn, who tied for second place.

Schmidt will be behind the wheel this weekend to defend his title and, with any luck, repeat as champion. But based on last year’s finish, it won’t be easy.

The Outlaw Class is one of the seven Heads-Up classes that will be featured this weekend during the 9th Annual Street Car Showdown, which kicks off the Muscle Car Series. More than 300 drag racers are expected to compete in the three-day event, which includes the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Harvey West Memorial Day Classic on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course.

The Street Car Showdown, which runs Friday through Sunday, is also BIR’s first major race of the 2017 season. The other two races are PleasureLand RV Show & Go on the Fourth of July weekend and the GSTA Muscle Car Shootout on Labor Day weekend.

Ray Fuchs will be another Muscle Car Series drag racer who will begin defending his Pro Outlaw title this weekend. Fuchs and his mean-looking 1953 Studebaker swept the Pro Outlaw Class last year, knocking off two-time defending champ Rick Schmidt. Pro Outlaw is typically the fastest class in the Muscle Car Series, and Fuchs proved that last year by posting sizzling times (6.380 seconds) and ridiculous speeds (220 mph).

In addition to Pro Outlaw and Outlaw, the Muscle Car Series’ Heads-Up Classes include King Street, Real Street, True Street and the new 660 Outlaw Street. The race also has 10 Index Classes, the winners of who have a separate run-off to crown the Index Class Champion. Three Strip Eliminator classes, Truck Eliminator, and Manual Transmission class round out the race schedule. It’s a full weekend of racing, with qualifying that runs Friday and Saturday, and eliminations on Sunday.

On the road course, the SCCA will feature a variety of race cars piloted by some of the top amateur road racers in the Midwest. The road racing program is Saturday and Sunday and includes practice, qualifying and racing each day.

Prior to the Harvey West Memorial Day Classic, BIR will host the SCCA Competition Racing License School, which is how racers can get licensed to compete in SCCA races. The school runs Wednesday through Thursday at BIR and includes both classroom instruction and on-track sessions.

Gates open at 10 a.m. on Thursday and then daily after that at 7 a.m. Racing starts each day at 9 a.m. Daily admission is $25 and kids 12 and under are free. One ticket gets fans in to see both events. Parking is free and camping is free with a multi-day ticket.