Brainerd International Raceway announced the list of drag racers who comprise two teams representing the track this weekend during the NHRA West Central Summit Racing ET Finals at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan.
BIR’s ET Finals teams have taken second place the last two years, so everyone’s zeroed in on a championship this year. They will be competing against teams from 16 other tracks in the NHRA’s West Central Division, which stretches from Wyoming to Wisconsin and from Colorado to Kansas, including part of Canada. More than 500 racers are expected to compete.
The BIR drag racers compete in the track’s Bracket Drag Racing Series, which was supposed to be a six-weekend, 12-race series this year before the Covid-19 pandemic shortened the season.
The ET Finals has five classes: Super Pro, Pro ET, Sportsman, Motorcycle and High School. At stake are individual and team honors, prize money and contingency awards. Some drivers even have a shot at earning a trip to compete for a national championship next month in Las Vegas. BIR rewards its drivers with payouts for class wins. For example, anyone who wins the Super Pro or Pro ET class will win an additional $5,000. In Sportsman, a class win means $4,000; $3,000 for Motorcycle and $2,000 to the parents of the racer in the High School class. Anyone who wins the Race of Champions title pockets an additional $500.
The racers competing for the trip to Las Vegas are those selected for the Race of Champions. Each team identifies one racer in each of four classes (not High School) to represent the team in the Race of Champions. Racers are paired up in an elimination format by class to determine the class champions, which advance to compete against the top drivers from the NHRA’s six other divisions. The BIR teammates competing in the Race of Champions are Chris Bishop (Super Pro), Jason Charlton (Pro ET), Shawn Carlson (Sportsman) and Max Niesen (Motorcycle).
Below are BIR’s teams. The first name under the class name will compete in the Race of Champions: