The final showdown of the five-race Bracket Drag Racing Series is scheduled this weekend at Brainerd International Raceway, where racers will be battling for championships in 11 classes.
More than 300 dragsters, cars, trucks, bikes, snowmobiles and junior dragsters are expected to compete on BIR’s quarter-mile drag strip, starting with qualifying Saturday and elimination rounds Sunday.
Points standings in most classes show several racers within striking range of the No. 1 spot. A few classes have a racer who’s dominating the field.
Ben Line, who won the Stock/Super Stock Class two of the last three years, has the biggest points lead in any of the classes. He’s about 500 points ahead of second-place Terry Johnson, who didn’t compete in the last race when his car broke. In 10th place is Scott Dugdale, who won the class last year and stood between Line and a “three-peat.”
Mike Voss has the best chance of repeating as series champion again this year. He won the Pro Bike/Sled Class last year after tying for points with Glenn Van Zee. Voss won the tie-breaker and the championship last year, and has been tough to beat this season, having won two of the four races.
The Comp Trophy Class is sizing up to be a repeat of last year’s finish, when Keith Larson and Darren Arnold dominated the class all season and ended in a tie after the final race. Larson won the tie-breaker and the championship after finishing second the two previous seasons.
Super Pro, the largest class this year, has a logjam at the top of the points standings. Each race has attracted more than 90 racers in this class, with 69 racers competing for points. There are six racers within 300 points of the top spot, including defending champion Jim Higgins, who’s in sixth place. In first place is Terry Pease, who has a slim 100-point lead over Rodney Thompson.
The series points system rewards drivers with 100 points for showing up, 109 points for winning each elimination round and bonus points for winners, runners-up and semifinalists. So a driver can close a points gap quickly.
The Pro Class could have a new champion this year after Steve Roehrs won the championship the last two years. He’s currently in ninth place but only 300 points behind leader Kelly Gjovig.
The Sportsman Class is up for grabs, as only 16 points separate the top three drivers. Russ Elzy, who won the class last year, is currently in sixth place but is only 300 points out of first. In all, 12 racers are within 400 points of the lead, with Scott Heintzman holding a 6-point lead over Vernon Murphy and a 16-point lead over third-place Lee Dugdale.
Although most drivers this weekend are not in contention for a series championship, there’s still a lot at stake. This weekend is also the National Dragster Challenge, where racers in most classes will be competing for one of five Wally trophies, just like NHRA stars race for.
Winners of the Super Pro, Pro and Sportsman classes Sunday will each receive a Wally trophy. Winners of the Pro Bike/Sled and Street Bike classes will race against each other with the winner receiving a Wally. And the Comp Trophy and Street Trophy winners will also race against each other for a Wally.
“This weekend’s event should be incredible racing for the fans,” BIR owner Jed Copham said in a news release. “These racers are either gunning for a series championship, a Wally trophy or both, so we’re expecting these guys to put on a great show.”
For more information, visit www.BrainerdRaceway.com, or call 1-866-444-4455.