(July 8, 2012) – Six years is a long time to be away from drag racing, but that didn’t slow down Tom Jones, who won his second consecutive Real Street Unlimited crown and appears to be on his way to winning a series championship.
Jones was among 377 racers competing this weekend during the 26th Annual NAPA Auto Parts Show & Go at Brainerd International Raceway. It was also the second leg of the three-race Muscle Car Series and a pivotal race for those battling for a series championship. The final race is Labor Day weekend during the 24th Muscle Car Shootout.
Jones used to race in the Pro Outlaw Class at BIR during the Show & Go and Muscle Car Shootout but he sold his car six years ago and started building his 1978 Malibu Wagon. “I really wanted to take my time and do it right,” Jones said after the race. “Fans are kind of baffled by a seven-second station wagon.”
Jones seems to have gotten it right. He drove the wagon to a finals win during the first series race Memorial Day weekend and again this weekend during the Show & Go. He ran a consistent 7.9 seconds and 181 mph all weekend, including a 7.953-second 181.03 mph run in the finals against Jim Ripley, who came up short with a pass of 8.506 seconds and 171.40 mph.
“We were getting pretty lucky all weekend but you need some luck (in this sport),” he said.
The Winner’s Circle for the Pro Outlaw and Outlaw classes had a very familiar look to it today. The father-son combination of Mike and Dean Bauerly won the two fastest classes again. Mike has now won the Outlaw Class in four of the last five races, which includes a series championship last year. He’s looking for a sweep this season with a win during the Muscle Car Shootout.
Driving his 2006 Corvette, Mike dominated the class as the No. 1 qualifier and posted the fastest speed of 199.97 mph and quickest time of 6.984 seconds. He met Vern Laurin Jr. in the finals, winning with a time of 7.235 seconds and 192.91 mph. Laurin ran 8.036 seconds and 171.25 mph.
Meanwhile, Mike’s son, Dean, found his way back into the Winner’s Circle after teammate Luke Volk won the Pro Outlaw class during the Street Car Showdown. Dean won the series championship last year and has a shot at repeating this year.
Although Craig Braun was the No. 1 qualifier in Pro Outlaw with fastest speed of any racer all weekend (212.13 mph) and the lowest time (6.467 seconds), he still couldn’t get by Bauerly in the semifinals. Bauerly faced Ray Fuchs in the finals, nipping Fuchs at the finish line for the win. Bauerly ran 6.971 seconds at 199.43 mph while Fuchs ran 6.925 seconds at 199.67 mph. Bauerly won the race on the starting line, though, launching 56/1,000ths sooner than Fuchs.
Brian Mahnke also found his way back to the Winner’s Circle this weekend. After winning the King Street Class in five of six races during the last two seasons, he lost in the third round of the Street Car Showdown Memorial Day weekend. In today’s finals, he beat Jason Geiger, who broke.
The Real Street Natural final was nearly identical to the final in the Street Car Showdown. Matt Sathre and Todd Malik faced off again, with Malik beating Sathre off the starting line. But Malik couldn’t hold Sathre off, again, as Sathre caught him at the finish line, winning with a time of 8.717 seconds and 132.11 mph to Malik’s 9.158 seconds and 146.88 mph.
In the first series race this year, Dan Gefre lost to eventual winner Nick Hively in the True Street semifinals. This weekend was different. Gefre ran the table. He faced off with Jason King in the finals and snuck by King at the finish line with a time of 9.451 seconds and 142.85 mph. King’s time was 9.389 seconds and 149.05 mph, but the race was won at the starting line, where Gefre was 66/1,000ths better. The different at the finish line was 5/1,000ths of a second.
In addition to the Muscle Car Series drag racing program, the NAPA Auto Parts Show & Go also featured Central Roadracing Association Superbike Racing on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course. A classic car show, fireworks and live music rounded out the weekend.
The grand finale of the Muscle Car Series is Labor Day weekend, with time trials and qualifying on Friday and Saturday, and eliminations on Sunday. On the Competition Road Course that weekend, the SCCA Trans-Am Series brings a double-race event to BIR, with racing both Saturday and Sunday. When the Trans-Am Series isn’t on the track, the regional chapter of the SCCA will be hosting its annual Jack Pine Sprints.
Here are the final results of each class:
Finals: Dean Bauerly of Rice def. Ray Fuchs of Bowman, N.D.
Semifinals: Bauerly def. Craig Braun of Hampton; Fuchs had a bye
Finals: Mike Bauerly of Rice def. Vern Laurin Jr. of Duluth
Semifinals: Bauerly def. Eric Wourms of Grand Rapids; Laurin had a bye
Finals: Brian Mahnke of Proctor def. Jason Geiger of Hanska
Semifinals: Mahnke def. Scott Lorenzen of Coon Rapids; Geiger def. Evan Boettcher of Andover
Real Street Unlimited
Finals: Tom Jones of Coon Rapids def. Jim Ripley of Duluth
Semifinals: Jones had a bye; Ripley def. Richard Brown of Coon Rapids
Real Street Natural
Finals: Matt Sathre of Brooklyn Park def. Todd Malik of Andover
Semifinals: Sathre had a bye; Malik def. Tim Acker of White Bear Lake
Finals: Dan Gefre of Anoka def. Jason King of Duluth
Semifinals: Gefre def. Andy Lehner of St. Paul Park; King def. Dustin Rogers of Duluth
Strip Eliminator 1
Finals: Steven Glubke of Blaine def. Erik Dethlefs of St. Cloud
Semifinals: Glubke def. Tyler Linderman of Victoria; Dethlefs had a bye
Strip Eliminator 2
Finals: Luke Arendts of Dalbo def. TJ Tharaldson of East Bethel
Semifinals: Arendts had a bye: Tharaldson def. Keith Tursso of Mounds View
Strip Eliminator 3
Finals: Dan Hyttsten of Becker def. Tim Conrad of St. Paul Park
Semifinals: Hyttsten def. Wayne Madsen of Ham Lake; Conrad def. Lynne Wiita of Cloquet
Finals: Pete Trombley of Cokato def. Bob Whiting of Mankato
Semifinals: Trombley had a bye; Whiting def. Jerry Jablonski of Duluth
Finals: Jeremy Reitmeier of Crookston def. Greg Dancer of Isle
Semifinals: Reitmeier had a bye; Dancer def. Tim Newton of Albertville
Finals: Eric Dethleff of St. Cloud def. Pat Huebner of Bloomington
Semifinals: Dethleff def. Nathan Torvinen of Menahga; Huebner def. Mike Smith of Mora
Finals: Greg Maaninga of Menahga def. Steven Glubke of Blaine
Semifinals: Maaninga had a bye; Glubke def. Jeff Danielson of Buffalo
Finals: Keith Sand of Cambridge def. Greg Bednar of Mankato
Semifinals: Sand had a bye; Bednar def. Jen Anderson of Isanti
Finals: George Dinzeo of Woodbury def. Joe Howell of Champlin
Semifinals: Dinzeo def. Travis Larson of Rosemount; Howell def. Logan Wesch of Hastings
Finals: Randy Burgraff of Brooklyn Park def. Shawn Baird of Champlin
Semifinals: Burgraff def. Bill Rolow of Crosslake; Baird def. Alan Dancer of Royalton
Finals: Gary Olson of Sartell def. Jerry Eischens of Park Rapids
Semifinals: Olson def. Robb Johnson of New Prague; Eischens had a bye
Finals: Dick Harnois of Brooklyn Park def. Bruce Morley of Brainerd
Semifinals: Harnois had a bye; Morley def. Chad Bednar of Knapp
Finals: Dean Markuson of Pequot Lakes def. Jesse Backstrom of Grand Marais
Semifinals: Markuson had a bye; Backstrom def. Pete Brandel of New Ulm
Finals: Brad Nybo of Coon Rapids def. Brett Johnson of New Market
Finals: David Hyttsten of Monticello def. Gary Tesar of Medina
Semifinals: Hyttsten def. JoAnn Dolezalek of Stacy; Tesar def. Tim Davey of Gilbert
Index Class Champion
Finals: Gary Olson of Sartell def. George Dinzeo of Woodbury
Semifinals: Olson had a bye; Dinzeo def. Eric Dethleff of St. Cloud
Car Show Winners
Classic – Dave Schlegel, 1959 Corvette
Street Rod – Tubby Christianson, 1940 Chevy
Roadster – Greg Klun, 1930 Ford
Coupe – Jerry Ryan, 1929 Ford
Sedan – Randy Baca, 1937 Ford
Special Interest – Pete Maxon, 1960 Vette
Paint Job – Dean Sinne, 1977 Monte Carlo
Mild Custom – Dave Puetz, 1968 Camaro
Street/Pro Street – Tim Johnson, 1957 Chevy
American Motors Late Model – Stephen Halverson, 1979 AMC
Chev Early Model – Tim Johnson, 1957 Hard Top
Chev Late Model – Jason Zahn, 1970 Chevelle
Dodge Early Model – Mick Borka, 1967 RT
Dodge Late Model – Tim Conrad, 2007 RT
Ford/Mercury Early Model – Dean Markuson, 1956 RT
Ford/Mercury Late Model – Jim Eizenhoefer, 1957 Retractable
Olds Late Model – Tom Leonard, 1972 Road Runner
Plymouth Late Model – Alan Panning, 1971 Cuda
Pontiac Late Model – Rocky Soligny, Fiero
Truck/Van Early Model – Mark Zahn, 1955 PV
Truck/Van Late Model – Paul Kiel, 1957 PV