BRAINERD, Minn. – The NAPA Auto Parts Show & Go has been a Fourth of July tradition at Brainerd International Raceway for the last 27 years, and this year’s event will show fans why Show & Go continues to be one of the most popular races at BIR each year.
This year’s event is July 5-7 and will feature drag racing, Superbike racing, a classic car show, fireworks, live music, kids activities, on-site camping and more.
At center stage, the second leg of the three-race Muscle Car Series will be on the drag strip for three days of intense racing by drivers battling for series championships. Fans will be treated to cars showing off huge horsepower and mind-blowing speeds, especially the cars competing in the Heads-Up Classes: Pro Outlaw, Outlaw, Real Street, True Street and the new 660 Outlaw Street Class. Fans can expect to see speeds over 200 mph and 6-second runs.
The series’ first event was Memorial Day weekend during the Street Car Showdown. Bill Krech and his 1969 Camaro took the Pro Outlaw Class after posting the weekend’s fastest speed of 214.66 mph and the fastest time: 6.449 seconds. Jake Delmonico and his 1968 Camaro took the Outlaw Class after No. 1 qualifier Brian Carpenter posted the top speed in that class at 188.25 mph and the fastest time: 7.318 seconds.
BIR shortens the quarter-mile drag strip to one-eighth mile for the new 660 Outlaw Street Class. Equipment requirements level the playing field for this class, which was evident in the times during the Street Car Showdown. David Senderhauf Jr. beat No. 1 qualifier Jim Friendt in the finals to win the event’s first race. He ran 137.69 mph at 5.130 seconds. Friendt had the fastest time of 4.968 seconds all weekend, and Lucas Minor’s 156.64 mph run was the top speed for the weekend.
Senderhauf made the switch from the Real Street Natural Class, which he won in 2009, to 660 Outlaw Street because of the class’ parity. “It creates parity between the turbo cars and the nitro cars,” he said. “In this class, it’s anyone’s game. If you goof up, the race is over – you have no chance to recover.”
In addition to the Heads-Up Classes, the Muscle Car Series includes three Strip Eliminator Classes, Truck Eliminator, Manual Transmission and 10 Index Classes. The winners of the Index Classes get paired up to determine the Index Class Champion.
Time trials and qualifying are Friday and Saturday. Elimination rounds are Sunday. Racing starts at 9 a.m. daily.
While the drag racers are duking it out on the drag strip, motorcycle racers will be on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course for three days of insane Superbike racing, courtesy of the Central Roadracing Association (CRA). Fans can watch knee-dragging racing by some of the top amateur Superbike racers in the Upper Midwest who scream around the 13-turn highly technical track at over 80 mph. Superbikes run rain or shine.
The CRA’s main event will be at 3 p.m. Saturday during a three-hour Team Challenge race. Otherwise, most of the racing is eight-lap sprints Saturday and Sunday, with practice sessions on Friday. Superbike racing starts at 9 a.m. daily.
There will be plenty to see and do off the track as well. Saturday’s schedule includes activities for kids from noon to 3 p.m., a classic car show from 1-4 p.m., a fireworks display and live music by Junk FM starting at 9 p.m. in BIR’s Wheelie Bar & Grille.
“There’s a good reason that the NAPA Auto Parts Show & Go is one of our most popular events,” BIR Owner Jed Copham said. “We have so much for our fans to do, especially on Saturday, with great racing on two different tracks, activities for kids, a classic car show and a lot more. And with our on-site camping, you get a really affordable weekend with the chance to seen some great racing.”
Tickets are available at the gate. Daily admission is $25 – kids 12 and under are free. On-site camping is free with the purchase of a multi-day ticket.
BRACKET DRAG RACING THIS WEEKEND
Brainerd International Raceway's Bracket Drag Racing Series is on the quarter-mile drag strip this weekend, with racers battling for championships in 10 classes.
The six-weekend, 12-race series features more than 250 amateur drag racers competing for series points, prize money and, ultimately, a series championship. Drivers compete in dragsters, cars, motorcycles, trucks, snowmobiles and Junior Dragsters. In past years, class winners were determined on Sunday only, after time trials and qualifying all day Saturday. But this year, class winners will be determined Saturday AND Sunday. Each class will have one round of time trials at the beginning of the day and then start elimination rounds until class winners are determined at the end of the day. Racing starts at 9 a.m. daily.
Bracket racers will be sharing BIR this weekend with the Zalusky Advanced Riding School, which will be on the 2.5-mile Competition Road Course Sunday. The school is an advanced instructional program for motorcycle riders, some of whom are skilled Superbike riders and challenge themselves and the 13-turn course.
BIR will also be hosting Lakes Jam this weekend, a two-day music and camping festival. The schedule includes three bands Friday night, headlined by the Kentucky Headhunters. Saturday's schedule is headlined by REO Speedwagon and includes Great White, Night Ranger, ThundHerStruck and Sena Ehrhardt.
Tickets are being sold separately for Lakes Jam. Admission to watch the Bracket Drag Racing Series and the Zalulsky school is $15. Kids 12 and under are free, and camping is free with a multi-day ticket.
Bracket drag racing has been part of BIR’s racing program for over 30 years and has turned out some of the Midwest’s top amateur drag racers, many of whom have gone on to race professionally. It’s an exciting form of racing that created a unique community, where racers and their friends, families and fans enjoy a weekend at the track and a chance to socialize with others with a passion for racing. But it also means some highly competitive drag racing for fans.
Bracket racing is a handicapped form of competition where two vehicles of varying performance potentials can race on a potentially even basis. The anticipated elapsed times for each vehicle are compared, with the slower car receiving a head start equal to the difference of the two. With this system, virtually any two vehicles can be paired in a competitive drag race.
Now in its 45th season, Brainerd International Raceway is one of North America’s largest race tracks, featuring a world-class quarter-mile drag strip, the 3.1-mile, 10-turn Donnybrooke Road Course, the 2.5-mile, 13-turn Competition Road Course, 300 acres for rustic camping, 164 full-service RV sites and 12 on-site condos. BIR is about 120 miles north of the Twin Cities. For more information, visit www.BrainerdRaceway.com, or call 1-866-444-4455.