Grass drags, swap meet Saturday at fairgrounds
The 10th annual Brainerd Sno Deos Grass Drags and swap meet will be Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds.
The drag racing track is one of a few in the country that was built as a snowmobile drag race track. Built by volunteers in 2001-02 and updated annually, the track is one of the finest in North America. With a clay-starting surface, a 500-foot race surface and an additional 700-foot run-off area, this was made to be a fast track.
When the track was built, drag racing was a big-dollar sport with racers coming from as far away as Canada and the East Coast. It was a 2-day event with big payouts and more factory backing.
Today, the event has low entry fees with classes for everyone and every machine.
The event features a professional track announcer and former pro racers who help the event run smoothly.
The focus the last few years has been on grassroots racing and local racers but speeds are still in the 100 mph range. Racers compete side by side with as many as four racers at a time on the track.
The fastest growing classes are the Vintage racers with machines dating into the late 1960s and 1970s.
Prizes no longer are thousands of dollars but neither are entry fees, ticket prices or expenses.
There are Kitty Cat and 120 race classes for kids where everyone is a winner.
There will be an award for the top driver of the day as well as a Brainerd Lakes Area Snowmobile Trails/Crow Wing County Trails Association traveling cup challenge race open to any member of 12 snowmobile clubs in the association.
The Sno Deos, Bay Lake Sno-Packers, Baxter Snowmobile Club, Fort Ripley Trail Busters, Gull Lake Drifters, Merrifield Marathons, Ponto Knight Riders, Garrison Commercial Club, Ideal Sno Pros, Pequot Lakes Brush Pilots, Emily-Outing Snowbirds and the Sno Serpents snowmobile clubs are all members of the Crow Wing County Snowmobile Trails Association.
The Jaycees will also have a spot in the swap area along with MnUSA Snowmobile Club with raffles and drawings expected.
The swap is a popular stop for buyers and sellers with many local dealers setting up booths and displays.
The event is officially put on by the Sno Deos, whose membership continues to grow. With the 10th anniversary event a week later this year than Hay Days at North Branch, the event in Brainerd is expected to draw quite a crowd.
Information about the event can be found at www.brainerdsnodeos.com.
Swapper and racer gates open at 7 a.m. with general admission gates open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Races start at approximately 10 a.m. and end about 4 p.m.
The price for spectators is $5 with kids 12 and under free. Swap fees start at $20.