Chris Zaworski can't wait to get behind the wheel of his dragster again.
The next race won't start soon enough for the Brooklyn Park racer but that's what happens when you're on a roll.
Zaworski outlasted more than 200 other racers Sunday to win the E.T. category in the Brainerd International Raceway 5000. He ran a perfect light at the starting line, which was the difference in the finals against Dan Schei of Anoka.
"This is easily my biggest win ever," said Zaworski, who's been racing at BIR for 15 years. "I won my first Wally last weekend in Topeka, Kan., (for winning his category) and I won the Gambler's Race Friday night, so we're on a roll."
Sunday's race didn't start so well for Zaworski, who lost in the first round. But first-round losers could pay a fee to re-enter the race, and he's glad he did -- the win earned him $5,000.
About 250 racers, from as far away as Oregon, Florida and Saskatchewan, competed last weekend in the 5000, which featured $50,000 in prize money. Racers competed in the E.T. category, for amateur bracket racers, or the Stock/Super Stock category, for more serious racers who must adhere to stringent rules about how cars are configured.
The race was set up like three races in one. The E.T. and Stock/Super Stock categories had winners Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Winners in each category Saturday and Monday earned $2,500 each. Sunday's two winners earned $5,000 apiece.
In Stock/Super Stock competition, Tom Meyer of Pierce, Neb., won Saturday's finals, defeating Scott Dugdale of Circle Pines. On Sunday, Mike Manns of Rogers defeated Chris Knudsen of Grimes, Iowa. Knudsen came back on Monday, claiming first place by beating Bob Swan of Belle Fourche, S.D.
In the E.T. competition, Dan Hyttsten of Becker defeated Mel Knott of Prior Lake for first place on Saturday.
On Sunday, Zaworski took first place, and on Monday, Rodney Thompson of Elk River squeezed out a first-place win over Jeff Cheney of Cambridge.
Hyttsten and Zaworski tied for the BIR 5000 points championship. Racers receive points as they advance through the bracket. Knudsen is the points champion in the Stock/Super Stock category.
Stock/Super Stock semifinalists were Kevin Haugaard of Forest Lake and Kevin Borgstrom of North St. Paul (Saturday); Rick Rayn of Aberdeen, S.D., and Dale Rethke of Milbank, S.D. (Sunday); and Dugdale and Brad Harris of Bloomington (Monday).
E.T. semifinalists were Mark Ryberg of Foley and Dave Picht of Oakdale (Saturday); Dan Carlson of St. Croix Falls and Brian Johnson of Ramsey (Sunday); and Jason Korkosky of Annandale (Monday).
Junior Dragsters also competed last weekend. Alex Basmettler of Maplewood defeated Cortney Krause of Maple Grove for first place.
The next major event at BIR is the Grand Casino/Viking Coca Cola Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series June 6-8. The top racers from the 11-state NHRA Division 5 will be competing for points in a variety of categories, including Top Alcohol dragster and Funny Car categories, and Sportsman classes.
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