MN - Greg Schmidt (pictured above) will
be the first to tell you that when it comes to drag racing
in the Muscle Car Series, every point
counts. After the three-race series concluded Labor Day
weekend, only one point separated the top three drivers
in the Outlaw Class. Fortunately for Schmidt, Bubba Romanyshyn
and defending champ Warren Peterson came up one point
short, and tied for second."That was a close one,"
said Schmidt, who finished off the season by winning the
GSTA Muscle Car Shootout to solidify his series title.
He was runner up at the PleasureLand RV Show & Go
after winning that event in 2015.
was kind of cool to win the (Muscle Car Shootout) and
keep the championship in Brainerd." Schmidt and his
1989 Camaro ran about 7.5 seconds at 180 mph all season.
He didn't have the fastest car in the class so he relied
on consistency, good reaction times and a little luck.
He plans to return next year to defend his title. "We'll
make a couple small changes to the car but for the most
part, we'll have the exact same car next year," he
said. Schmidt was among more than 300 drivers who competed
in the eight annual Muscle Car Series, which included
the Street Car Showdown Memorial Day weekend, the Show
& Go on the Fourth of July weekend and the Muscle
Car Shootout on Labor Day weekend. The Outlaw Class was
one of seven heads-up classes, where both drivers start
at the same time, with the winner being the first car
to the finish line.
and the rest of the series champs will be honored Feb.
25 at BIR's annual Racer Banquet at Cragun's Resort. There
was only one repeat series champion last season, Dan Gefre,
who won the True Street Class for the second year in a
row. Scott Davich won the series championship in Strip
Eliminator 3 this year after winning the Strip Eliminator
2 title last year.
pretty happy about (the championship)," Gefre said.
"Last year I was in every final but everyone stepped
it up this year. You had to run your best every round.
The new guys are running faster than I've ever seen before."
Driving a 1983 Malibu Wagon, Gefre had some good news
for the other racers in True Street: He's changing cars
and moving to the 660 Street Outlaw class next season.
of the first-time series champions was Ray Fuchs (pictured
below) and his mean-looking 1953 Studebaker. He swept
the Pro Outlaw Class, knocking off two-time defending
champ Rick Schmidt, who finished second. Fuchs won all
three races while posting sizzling times (6.380 seconds)
and speeds (220 mph).
rebounded well after a disappointing 2015 season that
was plagued with car problems, which landed him in 11th
place in the standings. "We had a lot of breakage
last year but we got everything under control so we can
push (the car) a little harder," he said. "The
car is set up pretty well now. We always have plenty of
power. It's better to just beat the other car by a couple
tenths (of a second) rather than beat them by a mile because
then things can start going wrong."
pair of brothers came from Superior, Wis., this year to
win the King Street and Real Street Unlimited classes.
Chris and Dennis Orr are both first-time series champs.
Dennis swept the Real Street Unlimited Class while Chris
won the King Street Class with win, a runner-up finish
and a quarterfinal loss in the Muscle Car Shootout. "We
had a really good year equipment-wise," Chris said.
"We were fast enough to win but not so overpowered
that stuff was breaking."
Orr's '67 Pontiac Firebird was consistently around 7.7
seconds at about 180 mph. He was up against 31 other King
Street drivers, so consistency and good reaction times
were the name of the game, he said. His brother agreed,
even though Real Street Unlimited is a smaller class with
12 drivers. The competition is still tough even though
Dennis made it look easy. His '70 Camaro was running 7.9
seconds at 180 mph.
wasn't an ideal season but we're getting it figured out,"
he said. "We switched fuels during the qualifying
rounds (of the Muscle Car Shootout) and that seemed to
work pretty good. We picked up 2 mph and 2/10ths of a
second." Dennis plans to be back next year to defend
his title. "We'll add a bigger turbocharger to it
next year and try to squeeze a couple more tenths (of
a second) out of it."
Wilczek is all too familiar with disappointment. He came
into this season with a chip on his shoulder from last
year after loosing the 2015 Real Street Natural title
by only one point to Bill Meyer despite qualifying No.
1 in all three races. He admits that he thought a lot
about that finish over the off season. "(Coming into
this season) I wanted to win races but I really wanted
the championship," he said. He did both. He only
qualified first once but he ended up in the Winner's Circle
all three times with his '69 Mustang that was running
at 9.1 seconds and 145 mph.
Carpenter's been racing at BIR for 20 years but showed
up this year with a 2003 Mustang car and proceeded to
win the 660 Street Outlaw championship. For the 660 class,
BIR shortens the track to an eighth mile, so the cars
are very quick. Carpenter said the new car required a
lot of learning and changes but was still able to win
two of the races and finish as runner up in the final
race. Below are the top three finishers in each class.
1 Ray Fuchs of Bowman, N.D.
2 Rick Schmidt of Dickinson, N.D.
3 Joseph Wilczek of Little Falls
1 Greg Schmidt of Baxter
2 Bubba Romanyshyn of Belfield, N.D.
2 Warren Peterson of Duluth
1 Chris Orr of Superior, Wis.
2 Jake Waste of Loretto
3 Brian Mahnke of Proctor
1 Dennis Orr of Superior, Wis.
2 Jesse Nelson of Mountain Iron
3 Duane Godbout of Cloquet
1 Rob Wilczek of Little Falls
2 Bob Wallin of Superior, Wis.
3 Bill Meyer of Andover
1 Dan Gefre of Coon Rapids
2 Jason Nelson of Champlin
3 Zach Novak of Sauk Rapids
1 Brian Carpenter of Forest Lake
2 David Senderhauf Jr. of Zimmerman
3 Dan Boyko of Winnipeg, Manitoba
1 Scott Hielscher of Otsego
2 Kevin Sand of Cambridge
3 Jeremy Brostrom of Brooklyn Park
1 Gary Olson of Sartell
2 Lonnie Ellenson of Park Rapids
3 Wendy Lane of Brainerd
1 Scott Davich of Pequot Lakes
2 Heather LaClare of Zimmerman
3 Cameron Novak of Rice
1 Bob Peterson of Roseville
2 Taylor Tesar of Medina
3 Corey Winkelman of Clear Lake
1 Keith Sand of Cambridge
2 Mike Hed of Menahga
3 Jeremy Reitmeier of Crookston
1 Jesse Haugesag of Prior Lake
2 Gary Olson of Sartell
3 Jeff Purdham of St. Michael