Bob Van Houten was named drag racing manager at Brainerd International Raceway, effective this week.
Van Houten's history with BIR dates back to 1977 when he was hired to help start a formal drag racing program. At that time, BIR had a loosely organized program that had no race classes. Van Houten worked with the National Hot Rod Association to develop the amateur bracket drag racing program that has grown into a series of races that attracts more than 400 racers per event.
Van Houten was still at BIR in 1981 when the NHRA started making BIR a stop on its NHRA Nationals circuit. He eventually left the track in 2000. Prior to joining BIR, Van Houten worked at Minnesota Dragways in Coon Rapids in 1976, when the track closed.
"I'm really looking forward to returning to BIR," Van Houten said in a news release. "It's a great track that drivers just love to race on. I've got so many memories of the track and watching the drag racing program grow. I'm excited about building the car counts for the bracket races and strengthening the contingency drag racing program. It'll be fun to reacquaint myself with a lot of the racers out there."
In addition, he will work with returning technical inspection team members, Tim Giese and Daryl Gabrielson.
"We're really fortunate to have been able to hire Bob," BIR president Jed Copham said. "He's been involved in drag racing for over 40 years."
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