Jake Waste’s Southern California home is about 2,000 miles from Brainerd International Raceway, but when you’ve got a beefy ’69 Camaro waiting for you at your home track, it’s worth the commute (by air).
The Minnesota native flew back last weekend for BIR’s PleasureLand RV Show & Go, and made the trip very worthwhile. He qualified first in the Outlaw class and then won his way to Sunday’s finals where he beat Mark Freeman.
“It was my first Muscle Car Series win and in the Outlaw class, so it was a great weekend,” Waste said.
"It was my first Muscle Car Series win and in the Outlaw class, so it was a great weekend"
— Jake Waste
Waste breezed through the first two rounds of eliminations Sunday. His opponent in the first round was a no-show and then he drew a bye in the second round. But the third round was a different story. Laura Sterling stood between Waste and the finals.
Sterling won the Outlaw class Memorial Day weekend in her ’66 Chevelle. She has been an annual fixture at BIR over the last three decades with a ton of experience behind the wheel.
“The Sterlings are long-time family friends,” Waste said. “And Laura can drive. She is consistent as all get out. She can cut a light and she has a really quick car. And they win, a lot. That race was where we were experiencing the most anguish.”
Sterling beat Waste off the starting line, but the Camaro had too much under the hood. Waste caught Sterling and won with a time of 8.432 seconds and 174.01 mph to Sterling’s 8.659 seconds and 156.95 mph.
In the finals, Freeman fouled at the starting line, handing Waste the win and making the four-hour flight home a whole lot more enjoyable.
The Outlaw class is the second-fastest class in the 13-class Muscle Car Series, which was on the dragstrip for the second of the series’ three races. The series finale will be the GSTA Muscle Car Shootout on Labor Day Weekend when series champs will be determined. Despite hot and sunny conditions that drove the temperature of the track up to nearly 150 degrees, 440 racers showed up to compete.
A popular Fourth of July tradition for nearly 40 years, the Show & Go is three days of family fun and great racing. In addition to drag racing, this year’s event also featured the Sports Car Club of America on BIR’s 2.5-mile, 13-turn road course for its Mid Summer Classic race. Fireworks, live music and camping rounded out the weekend.
Back on the dragstrip, Jason Geiger thought his weekend was over after his first qualifying run on Friday. Thinking his ’68 Camaro broke, he was ready to load it up and head for home, but his friend and fellow racer Dave Feders helped him troubleshoot the problem and together they figured out what the issue was and how to fix it.
Not only did he get the car running again, but Geiger entered Sunday’s elimination rounds as the No. 1 qualifier in the King Street class. He then began mowing down the competition in one of the toughest heads-up classes. After six rounds, Geiger found himself in the finals where he faced the No. 2 qualifier – his buddy Dave Feders.
“We talked before the race and I told him that I’d feel bad if I beat him,” Geiger said. “I’d get over it, but I’d feel bad.”
"We talked before the race and I told him that I'd feel bad if I beat him. I'd get over it, but I'd feel bad."
— Jason Geiger
Geiger and Feders, driving a ’68 Chevelle, left the starting line with similar reaction times but Feders couldn’t stay with Geiger, who pulled away and finished with a winning time of 7.862 seconds and 188.86 mph. Feders posted a time of 9.097 seconds and 111.00 mph.
“I only got to the finals because of the help from one of my competitors,” Geiger said. “It’s great to race with people who will help out other drivers even though they could end up racing against them.”
Cole Kellar and Chad Sodren on Sunday made more passes than any other drivers while battling the heat, fatigue and some super competitive drag racers. They raced in the 10.50 Index and 11.00 Index classes, respectively, and won their way to the finals. Kellar and his ’88 Mustang won four rounds before beating Jim Lane in the finals to win the 10.50 Index class. Sodren and his ’79 Mustang also won four rounds before disposing of Leon Vinkemeier in the finals to win the 11.00 Index.
Kellar, Sodren and the winners of the seven other Index classes were then paired up in a bracket format to determine the Index Class Champion. The two drivers made it through three more rounds before facing off against each other in the finals. Kellar proved to be too much for Sodren and took home the hardware and title of Index Class Champion.
The following are the finals of each class.