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DRAG RACING: Mickle, Line repeat as series champs in bracket series

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Call Brad Mickle “The Comeback Kid.”

Mickle has now won back-to-back series championships at Brainerd International Raceway, both in dramatic come-from-behind fashion. He’s one of 10 racers in the Bracket Drag Racing Series to be crowned series champions after the final series race last weekend.

Racing in the Sportsman Class, Mickle was sitting in sixth place, about 500 points behind the points leader. Mickle and his 1967 Mustang got hot Sunday, winning four close matchups, including the final race against Mark Pease and his 1972 Chevelle. Mickle escaped with a narrow victory, running 11.981 seconds and 106.95 mph.

It was similar to last year, when Mickle made the quarterfinals in the final race to vault him from fourth place to first in the point standings and steal the series championship.

But the main difference between the two season finales for Mickle was that he was using his back-up motor after blowing up his main motor last month.

“I wasn’t even thinking of winning the championship again,” he said. “We were just trying to get the car running consistent. I had the ET finals (this weekend) on my mind, but all the planets lined up for me last weekend. The car ran great and I did my job when I had to. This is fantastic!”

The series points system rewards drivers with 100 points for competing at the race, another 100 or so for winning each elimination round and bonus points for winners, runners-up and semifinalists.

In Stock/Super Stock, Ben Line continued to dominate. He won his fifth series championship in the last six years and now has two wins in a row.

Going into the weekend, Line was comfortably in first place, with his brother Lance Line in second. Neither competed last weekend, which opened the door for Glen Demenge, who was in third place. Driving a ’69 Camaro, Demenge beat Don Anderson in Sunday’s finals, which moved him into second place ahead of Lance Line.

In Street Trophy, Michelle Emmans and Taylor Arneson of Pillager were locked in a battle royal all season at the top of the point standings. They entered last weekend with Emmans holding a slim lead but she lost in the second round while Arneson drove her 1989 Camaro to the finals where she beat Suzie Helberg with a run of 16.933 seconds and 83.24 mph.

Arneson needed to win one more race Sunday to score a trifecta — finals win, series championship and a Wally trophy. She lined up against Henry with the winner taking home a Wally as part of Sunday’s National Dragster Challenge. The reaction times were close but Henry finished ahead of Arneson and took home the hardware.

Each year, the National Dragster Challenge is a chance for drivers in certain classes to win a Wally, just like the NHRA pros. Winners of the Super Pro, Pro ET, Sportsman, Pro Bike/Sled classes win a Wally as well as the winner in a run-off between the Street Trophy and Comp Trophy winners.

Zach McFarland had a big lead in Junior Dragster Novice and won the championship without having to race last weekend. Camryn Takacs finished third after beating second-place-finisher Trevor Jelinski of Little Falls in the finals.

Top three in each class

Super Pro

First: Mike Campbell, Brooklyn Park

Second: Rodney Thompson, Anoka

Third: Myron Streit, St. Cloud

Pro ET

First: Steve Roehrs, Frederic, Wis.

Second: Wally Higby, Maple Grove

Third: Dave Engler, Ramsey


First: Brad Mickle, Lino Lakes

Second: Lee Dugdale, Scandia

Third: Marie Swenson, Champlin

Pro Bike/Sled

First: Brad Harder, Waconia

Second: Ken Doble, Clearwater

Third: Josh Luberda, Foley

Stock/Super Stock

First: Ben Line, International Falls

Second: Glen Demenge, McGregor

Third: Lance Line, Cromwell

Comp Trophy

First: Chris Henry, Sauk Rapids

Second: Darren Arnold, Hopkins

Third: Mike Voss, Maplewood

Street Trophy

First: Taylor Arneson, Pillager

Second: Michelle Emmans, Dayton

Third: Michael Bombich, Gilbert

Junior Dragster Advanced

First: Erin Johnson, Nowthen

Second: Max Gust, Isanti

Third: Maggie Ruzich, Hibbing

Junior Dragster Intermediate

First: Sydney Thompson, Nowthen

Second: Cassidy Takacs, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Third: Sarah Johnson, Nowthen

Junior Dragster Novice

First: Zach McFarland, Sabin

Second: Trevor Jelinski, Little Falls

Third: Camryn Takacs, Thunder Bay, Ontario

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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