Racing: Larson, Vandeventer, Line among Thunder at the Lakes winners
True to its name, Thunder at the Lakes experienced soggy, unpleasant weather conditions Sunday, delaying the final rounds of 11 drag racing classes and causing the Comp Eliminator class to complete its elimination rounds next month in the next NHRA Division 5 race at Tri State Raceway in Earlville, Iowa.
By noon Monday, the 11 winners had been determined, though, including Kendra Larson, Jeremiah Vandeventer and Ben Line. The winners took home Wally trophies and earned points toward an NHRA West Central Division title and a possible trip to Pomona, Calif., in November to compete for a national championship.
Thunder at the Lakes is Brainerd International Raceway's annual Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series divisional race, and it now signals the start of MegaWeek, which concludes this weekend with the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. Many Sportsman drag racers who raced last weekend will compete again this weekend during Nationals.
Larson had her 2007 dragster dialed in, mowing through the Fineline Madcap Top Dragster field and earning a trip to the finals against Todd Bruce. Larson beat Bruce off the starting line and held him off to win with a time of 7.486 seconds at 179.49 mph. Bruce crossed the line at 7.665 seconds and 169.15 mph.
In the Jerry Haas Top Sportsman class, Vandeventer and his 1996 Mustang pulled out a finals win over Michael Freischel. Freischel took a huge lead off the starting line but gave it all back to Vandeventer at the finish with Vendeventer posting a winning time of 8.818 seconds at 182.11 mph to beat Freischel's 7.518 seconds and 177.86 mph.
In Stock Eliminator, Line showed why he's a perennial powerhouse in BIR's Bracket Drag Racing Series. He outlasted 83 other racers, meeting up with Ron Mattson in the finals. Mattson was nearly perfect off the starting line but Line and his '69 Mustang ran him down at the finish with a 10.515-second winning time at 121.39 mph to Mattson's 10.837 seconds and 119.73 mph.
Reigning West Central Division Lucas Oil champion Brett Speer drove his '87 Camaro to the Super Stock win over Eric Bell. Speer crossed the line in 10.038 seconds at 124.02 mph to Bell's losing but quicker 9.170 seconds at 142.42 mph.
Gary Stinnett added a win to his impressive resume. Stinnett and Ed Shaughnessy squared off in the finals of the Super Comp class. They nearly had identical reaction times off the starting line but Stinnett and his 2017 dragster won with a time of 8.894 seconds and 181.18 mph.
One of Monday's winners Brett Speer of Pierz who captured the Super Stock title.
The NHRA Summit Jr. Drag Racing League was also in action last weekend with Chelsey Mohr picking up a win in the Advanced class. She beat Chandler Niemeyer of Brainerd with a winning time of 7.873 seconds to Niemeyer's 8.046.
Monday's final-round results:
SUPER STOCK: Brett Speer of Pierz, 10.038 seconds, 124.02 mph def. Eric Bell of Chandler, Ariz., 9.170 seconds, 142.42 mph
STOCK ELIMINATOR: Ben Line of International Falls, 10.515, 121.39 def. Ron Mattson of Cloquet, 10.837, 119.73
SUPER COMP: Gary Stinnett of Emporia, Kan., 8.894, 181.18 def. Ed Shaughnessy of Coleraine, 8.889, 154.92
SUPER GAS: Kevin Dyck of Winnipeg, Manitoba, 9.913, 163.22 def. Scott McMasters of Rose Creek, 9.885, 145.39
SUPER STREET: Corey Bentley of Fremont, Neb., 10.939, 145.08 def. Ronnie Luberda of Foley 10.884, 140.31
TOP SPORTSMAN: Jeremiah Vandeventer of Hastings, Neb., 8.818, 182.11 def. Michael Freischel of Cottage Grove, 7.518, 177.86
TOP DRAGSTER: Kendra Larson of Starbuck, 7.486, 179.49 def. Todd Bruce of Horace, N.D., 7.665, 169.15
SPORTSMAN MOTORCYCLE: Kyle Lundberg of Isanti, 8.598, 147.34 def. Toby Giese of Kandiyohi, 10.132, 124.67
JR. DRAGSTER ADVANCED: Chelsey Mohr of Mitchell, S.D., 7.873, 82.64 def. Chandler Niemeyer of Brainerd, 8.046, 81.14
JR. DRAGSTER INTERMEDIATE: Joseph Lindberg of Lindstrom, 9.104, 73.08 def. Aspen Meagher of Hudson, Wis., 8.921, 74.24
JR. DRAGSTER NOVICE: Blake Noysen of Foley, 12.377, 50.25 def. Eleanor Lindberg of Lindstrom, 14.113, 44.40