Written By Jennifer Chandler
Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota, hosted Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings for the first time in its history this past weekend. This was the seventh race of the season, and proved interesting for the points championship. This week, there were some movers and shakers and some huge success stories, and a huge crowd was on hand to witness this epic event.
Photographer by the Author
Stephen Brindle lined up against Jim Howe Jr in Friday night grudge action. Brindle, who had a very successful weekend in Bowling Green, didn't fare as well this weekend at Brainerd. He launched his 2019 Ford Mustang, and it made a move toward the center line followed immediately by a hard right. The result was a pretty hard hit into the wall. Fortunately, Brindle was alright, but that took him out of contention for the rest of the weekend. In other grudge news, Cody Baker was making his second grudge hit of the night when one of his rods kicked a hole in the block, and ended his night early. Baker's team thrashed throughout the night to change the engine out, but came up a little short on time. Team Shake N Bake says it will be ready for the next race.
More Friday night action brought us the Battle of the Great 8. Scott Taylor, Justin Swanstrom, Daddy Dave, Ryan Martin, Jerry Bird, Kye Kelley, Lizzy Musi, and Disco Dean Karns made up the list of the top eight drivers in points this week. Noticeably absent from this week’s race was Karns, who had a catastrophic engine failure last weekend. First-round match ups narrowed the field down to Swanstrom, Martin, Kelley, and Musi. Swanstrom bested Musi, and Martin got the best of Kelley. The finals brought what most people would call an upset, Swanstrom crossed the stripe first to grab twenty extra bonus points—Martin gets ten extra points as the runner up.
Saturday brought a bigger crowd, and an amazing sky. Though it looked like it might rain at any time, the race went on as scheduled. In round one of the Future Street Outlaws class, it was a battle of the new vs. old car and battle of the Gregs. Local Minnesota racer Greg Schmidt, in his beautiful green Camaro faced off with Greg Chandler in his black Twisted Metal Camaro. Schmidt left well, but the car turned unexpectedly into the wall. Schmidt hit the wall head on, then spun off it, and headed toward the opposite wall. He sustained minor methanol burns when he lifted his visor, and had some bumps and bruises to his neck, back, and arms. Chandler went on to take the win in Future Street Outlaw class.
David Gates Jr. took the win in Outlaw Big Tire even after a rough Friday night where the car suffered a rear gear failure after some great grudge hits. The Red Rum racing crew thrashed, and got the car ready for racing on Saturday. Gates lost first round in the invitational, but entered Outlaw Big Tire, and ran through a host of contenders to grab the win. Gates is a relative newcomer to the invitational, but has been racing many years in the no-prep scene.
It was a rough weekend for Ryan Martin, as he went out first round to NOLA racer, Scott Taylor. Other upsets in round one included Kallee Mills over Murder Nova, and Adam Jennings over Lizzy Musi. “Dominator” Joe Woods picked up a competition bye in the first round against Tony McKinney. Round three winners were Swanstrom, Kelley, Jeff Lutz, and Dominator. Kelley and Lutz made it to the finals.
In the final race of the night, Lutz kicked a rod, had a fire, and bounced to a stop near the safety crew. Kye Kelley won No Prep Kings at Brainerd International Raceway, and is tied with Martin for 1st Place. Jerry Bird sits in 3rd. Dominator was the biggest mover of the week in the point chase, moving up seven spots to 12th. Swanstrom moved up three spots to 4th. Race 8 of the season is at Houston Raceway Park June 24-25, and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.