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Jamie Dietman (center) guides Phil Schuler (left), NHRA crew chief, and Tommy Johnson Jr., NHRA Top Fuel driver, during a fishing trip last weekend during the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals last weekend at Brainerd International Raceway.
Jamie Dietman (center) guides Phil Schuler (left), NHRA crew chief, and Tommy Johnson Jr., NHRA Top Fuel driver, during a fishing trip last weekend during the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals last weekend at Brainerd International Raceway.

What's Up Outdoors: See you at the races

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outdoors Brainerd, 56401

Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

I have to admit over the last few years I have avoided the big Nationals weekend at BIR, with all the traffic and people we usually try to get out of town. Racing has been a big part of my life, from snowmobiles to ATVs and stock cars. I have always loved things that go fast. With putting so much time into hunting and fishing it is one of those things that got put on the back burner.

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On Thursday I got the opportunity to go on a guide trip through the Power Lodge and Napa Auto Parts. I didn't know who I was taking, all I knew is that it was a bunch drivers and crew members from the races. In my boat I ended up taking out Tommy Johnson Jr., driver of the Make-A-Wish top fuel funny car; and Phil Schuler, crew chief for the Battery Extender top fuel dragster. So it ended up like a dream come true, a day of fishing and talking about racing and engines and everything in between. Oh yeah and we did catch some fish. And by the end of the day it happened, I wanted a race car.

So we decided to go to the track on Saturday to remember what the smell of top fuel was again and to see how wild the "Zoo" was. Everything was better than we remembered, the tears from the fumes of the cars, that moment when your heart skips a beat when the cars go by and the homemade vehicles in the zoo - well, I do not have words for that.

I also got to meet and talk a while with Terry Chandler, the lady who funds the Make-A-Wish car. She was an amazing person that does more good than you could imagine. I would like to thank Power Lodge, Napa and the Make-A-Wish for all the hospitality, it really made for a great weekend for my wife and me. And we will see you at the races next year.

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