BRAINERD, Minn. – The Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals takes place at one of the most unique facilities on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series circuit, Brainerd Int’l Raceway and Resort.
Located in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, this multi-purpose motorsports facility on the shores of North Long Lake is one of the marquee attractions in a town of resorts, offering recreational opportunities for almost anyone.
The recently completed Western Swing and a grouping of seven consecutive races over an eight week span tested the determination and resolve of every team in the NHRA Mello Yello Series. Before the start of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, many racers will enjoy a well-deserved vacation. Battery Extender Top Fuel dragster pilot Spencer Massey, an avid fisherman, says Brainerd is the perfect location to try to catch the big one.
“It’s just nice to be able to hang out there,” Massey said. “Coming off of our Western Swing where we don’t have too many days off it’s just nice to go up there, find a lake and try and catch some fish for a couple of days. It’s relaxing. It gets me ready for the races because after I have a couple of days off I’m ready to get back in my Battery Extender dragster and go racing again.”
The Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals is the 17th of 24 events in the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and the penultimate race in the 18-event regular season. Last season, Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Erica Enders-Stevens (Pro Stock) earned victories at the event.
The town of Brainerd welcomes the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series with open arms as restaurants and local businesses will be overflowing with racers and fans of the sport. Current Funny Car points leader Matt Hagan and his Magneti Marelli/Rocky Boots Dodge Charger team enters the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals on the strength of four wins and he is excited to see the energized Minnesota fan base.
“To come into town and have everyone pumped up that you’re there, it’s a pretty cool deal,” Hagan said. “Hopefully we can do well there, have the car run well. We’re getting closer to the Countdown. We have a lot of stuff going on, a lot of stuff to focus on and we definitely want to have some time to spend with our fans while we are there.”
Pro Stock racer Jeg Coughlin has four Pro Stock wins and one Super Stock victory at BIR. Through the years he has taken advantage of the resorts in the area as well as enjoyed the racing aspect of the event.