|Roughly six klicks north of Brainerd, Minnesota, on Highway 371, is where you'll find Brainerd International Raceway(BIR), the fastest quarter-mile drag strip in the world. It earned that honor after Tony Schumacher set a world record there in his Top Fuel Dragster in 2005. This year for the 31st Annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, BIR once again offered up ideal conditions for racers, and with temperatures in the mid 70s and low humidity, new track records came in bunches much to the delight of the huge throng of spirited fans.
Bruno Massel currently has the lead in both the Divisional and National points standing
The BIR Nationals is the 16th of 23 events on the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series calendar and doing well here is on everyone's must-do list. The final duel in Competition Eliminator came down to Addison, Illinois' Bruno Massel and David Rampy. When the thunder faded it was Massel piloting his 1400 plus horsepower Turbocharged Chevy Cobalt that took the victory with at 7.001ET at 179.40 mph. Massel now has a 4-0 record against Rampy this year alone.
As wins go, how does winning the 31st annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals rate for you?
"It was a big win for me in terms of the national points chase as well as on a
personal level. Brainerd has always been special to me. I was at the Inaugural
event with my dad when he was running Super Gas back in the day, and the late
August stop in Minnesota, became a family tradition. We'd come into town early
in the week and stay a few days at a cabin on the lake and make a mini vacation
out of it. So it was really special to be able to stand up on stage in the
winner's circle with my two sons, my wife and my dad, and celebrate the victory
together as a family. As far as the National points chase, the win was critical
as it gave me a perfect score on the National level with three national event
victories for the season."
You are now 4-0 against Rampy, why do you figure that is?
"What can you say about David that hasn't been said before? He's a great racer
and an all around great guy. I guess I've just been part lucky and part good
alongside of him over the years. I really can't explain it, but I was told by
someone from NHRA after Brainerd that I've beaten David now 12 straight times in
Comp. I think I should get a lifetime achievement award for that record. (LOL)
The thing is, he is more than capable of beating me the next 20 times we race!
I'm a realist, I know the streak can't last forever, but I'd love to squeak out
a few more along the way."
How did the 2012 season treat you overall?
"It started about as bad as it could. Second round at the Charlotte National
event I lost to the timing system. I was told that something tripped the Guard
beam at the starting line and I received a red-light without my car ever moving.
It was tough to swallow and made for a long ride home. Definitely not the kind
of mojo you want to have to start the season. Once the warm weather came around,
so did our performance on the track. We won the Brainerd points meet to lock us
into our fourth straight All-Stars race by a single point, which emotionally
really turned the season around. From there we won the Topeka National and than
doubled-up at our home track in Joliet, Illinois, winning the Jegs All-Stars and
Route 66 Nationals the next day. As we speak, I'm trying to hang onto our lead
in both the Divisional and National points standing with just three races to go,
it's a bit nerve racking to say the least!"
So when and where do you race next?
"Not sure, where debating on hitting a few heads-up Sport Compact Races in
Florida or towing out west to try and act as a spoiler for the other
Championship hopefuls. I just want to add how important the support of
Autogeek.net and Detailer's Pro Series waxes and polishes have been to my racing
program. Without them and the support of K&N and my other sponsors, we
absolutely wouldn't be racing this season."
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