This years winners at the Zoo in Brainerd Raceway
Not only did the fans win in terms of numbers yet again in the ever growing “zoo”, but as many may have forgot after hours, there was also an NHRA national event taking place that showed us more 1st timers than any other. This race is in kind of a weird slot in the schedule, falling between the western swing and what is pretty much the Superbowl of NHRA, Indy. Competitors showed up for this 4-day race with a great forecast in the future and shockingly enough mother nature let them play, with nothing to deter sportsman from getting their 3 hits and all rounds completed, winners had plenty of time to celebrate there huge accomplishment Sunday evening.
Ben Line consecutively wins his 2nd Brainerd wally as he also puts a stop to the reign of Randi Lyn Shipp, who has been to the final round 3 out of her last 5 events. In an exciting C/SA, no sticker, head-up final, where Line had the edge in qualifying, he was not afraid to hit it with a .009 light to the .024 light of Shipp. As they go down the track, Line never trailed running 10.538 while Shipp eventually was out of the gas slowing to a 10.679. In Super Stock Brian Johnson took home the win as it appears as though the
runner up Jason DeForrest blocked the wrong bulb when he turned it -.499. Johnson was average at best all weekend being between .009-.071 and continued in the final with a .064 tree but ran his Duster down the 1/4 mile to a dead on 4 lap to his 11.16 dial.
When you have nearly a 7 hun advantage at the starting line, 9 times out of 10 that is going to turn into a win for any racer, as that was the case here this weekend in Super Comp when Donald Leisdon let go .071 to the .004 of Don Nichols. At the end of the track both drivers ran too quick but Nichols ran under by just -.001 at 8.899, technically making his pass only 5 thou from perfect, giving him his 1st ever win. While Jeff Crooks also walked away with his 1st win in an all D5 Super Gas match up when Tom Carlson grabbed it touch too soon with a -.005 red light.
JR Lobner is no stranger to the winner circle and adds another when he took down Michael Freischel for the Top Sportsman crown. In the closest race of the weekend in terms of dials and MOV, Lobner was behind with a .021 light to the .010 of Freischel. But Lobner was better on the dial running 7.559 on the predicted 7.54, giving him a .001 MOV. D6 Todd Fleck was yet another recipient of the 1st timer award when Ross Laris broke on the starting line and couldn’t make the run in the Top Dragster final. Fleck left 1st with a 7.44 dial and smacked the tree with a .007, but luck was definitely on his side because if he hit it .008 sooner the win light would have been on in the other lane with Laris still sitting on the starting line. Once Fleck realized he was the only car making noise, he backed out of the throttle and coasted for the easiest (1st) win of his career.
Photos By – Auto Imagery