Friday, November 17, 2017

New Trans Am era at Brainerd International Raceway ends

By Jason D Searcy

The Trans Am road racing series has made the decision to not be returning to Brainerd (MN) International Raceway this year.  Here is the 2018 schedule Trans Am 2018

Here is a portion of the press release with quotes from Trans Am president John Clagett;  "the 2018 schedule was crafted to reduce the time teams spend on the road,” continued Clagett.  “We’ve reduced the number of events by two based on competitor feedback, but we’ve also focused on how we cut back the time commitment for each weekend.  Our goal is a three-day event wherever possible, including load-in and test day.  Over the course of the season, it should save teams over two weeks at the track in comparison to 2017.” 

The Trans Am road racing series had its "glory days" during a twenty year history of racing at Brainerd International Raceway from 1969-1989.  

The Donnybrooke 3 mile road course at BIR hosted some big purses and big name winners, like Parnelli Jones driving a Mustang for Bud Moore winning $3,300 in the inaugural event in 1969 and Mark Donahue in a AMC Javelin scoring $6,500 for his win in 1971.  

Peter Gregg won $2,560 in a Porsche in 1977 and actor turned road racer Paul Newman won $7,500 racing a Datsun 280ZX Turbo in a 41 car field in 1982.  Irv Hoerr in his Oldsmobile Cutlass edged Dorsey Schroeder in 1989 and won $12,000.

Brainerd International Raceway was an integral part of the resurrection of the historic Trans Am series that had dwindled down and finally ceased operations in 2005.  Jason Searcy and Dean Reller with Speed Talk on 1360 covered every Trans Am race at BIR from 2010-2017.   Included in the Race Stories are photos and audio interviews, here is recap:

In 2010 Brainerd International Raceway helped revive the series, they reconfigured a 2.5 mile competition road course and held a race on the Sunday just before Labor Day.  Only 7 cars were entered, Minnesota born racer Tony Ave (photo below with Jason) won the race by almost a full lap over Tomy Drissi and Legendary Minnesota driver Jim Derhaag raced for the 151st and final time of his career finishing 5th.

2010 Trans Am at BIR Race Story 
2010 TA results

In 2011, to help the series, BIR had a double header of races over Labor Day weekend.  Tony Ave won both races, Cliff Ebben finished second on Sunday (after wrecking his primary car the day before, photo below) and Dan Ramoutarsingh was runner-up on Saturday.  Only 12 cars raced.

2011 Trans Am Race Story
2011 TA Results Day 1
2011 TA Results Day 2

In 2012 the field increased to 17 cars and Tony Ave won his fourth consecutive race at BIR on Saturday and then Amy Ruman (photo below) won her first race at Brainerd International Raceway.

2012 Trans Am Race Story
2012 TA Results Day 1
2012 TA Results Day 2

In 2013 the race field increased to 22 and it was a thrilling race to the finish as the top four cars crossed the finish line just 1.356 seconds apart.  Doug Peterson won the race and Tony Ave was second.  Cameron Lawrence won the TA2 event.

2013 Trans Am race story
2013 TA Results

In 2014 Doug Peterson wins TA again with Amy Ruman second and Cliff Ebben third.  Ron Keith won the TA2 race with Tommy Kendall and Adam Andretti joining him on the victory podium. (below)

2014 Trans Am Race Story

In 2015 the race was moved off it's traditional Labor Day weekend to the Independence Day weekend.  Amy Ruman won the TA race over Doug Peterson and Dillon Machavern was the TA2 winner.  The car count went up to 39 with the addition of TA3 and TA4 cars.

2015 Trans Am Race Story

In 2016 Paul Fix (photo below) won the TA race when Cliff Ebben again had bad luck, he experienced mechanical problems on the last lap while leading the race.

2016 TA Race Story at BIR

Gar Robinson and his team (photo below) won a wild TA2 race, which was now run separately from the TA race.  Veteran Tommy Archer, who was fighting back cancer, finished second.

2016 BIR TA2 Race Story

Brainerd International Raceway made a sizeable investment in the facility before the 2017 race by adding curbing, a new paddock area, building a new three story scoring tower and expanding the tunnel by adding an extra lane for race control.

In what would be the final weekend of Trans Am racing in this new era Cameron Lawrence won the TA race and was very emotional in Victory Lane because his racing mentor Mel Shaw died earlier in the day.  We had a heart touching interview with Lawrence after the race.  Ernie Francis Jr led many laps but finished third of the 17 cars entered in the TA race.

2017 TA Race Story at BIR

Tony Buffomante won the final TA2 race at Brainerd, 12 cars entered the TA2 Race.

2017 TA2 Race Story at BIR

Brainerd International Raceway has not announced what will replace the Trans Am series on the race schedule for 2018 but they are looking into their options.  BIR is a wonderful road racing facility and has had incredible success with the BIR Performance Driving Schools and the Street Smarts Advanced Defensive Driving Course for Teens get more information HERE

When events at BIR are announced it will be posted HERE.  2018 BIR Schedule

I hope you enjoyed our coverage of Trans Am at BIR, we want to thank Gary, Jed and everyone at Brainerd International Raceway for their hospitality, they were nothing short of professional at every turn.  The drivers and staff at Trans Am were wonderful to work with and cover.

Results (winner and 2nd place)

2010 Tony Ave, Tomy Drissi
2011 Tony Ave, Dan Ramoutarsingh
         Tony Ave, Cliff Ebben
2012 Tony Ave, Doug Peterson
          Amy Ruman, Simon Gregg
2013 Doug Peterson, Tony Ave
2014 Doug Peterson, Amy Ruman
2015 Amy Ruman, Doug Peterson
2016 Paul Fix, Cliff Ebben
2017 Cameron Lawrence, Vinnie Allegretta

*All photos property of Jason Searcy or Dean Reller Speed Talk on 1360 radio

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Speed Talk on 1360 in 2017

  2017 Podcast Listing for Speed Talk on 1360

Here is the listing of the Podcasts for the 2017 season: Speed Talk on 1360 radio

May-September on KRWC radio in the Twin Cities

The final Speed Talk on 1360 Broadcast of 2017 is posted HERE 

Final Speed Talk show for 2017

Thank you to our Sponsors please support them
Performance Driving School at BIR
ELKO Speedway
Highway 55 Trailer Sales in Buffalo
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STB Screen Printing and Embroidery
Radio-Active Mobile Electronics in Buffalo
Cotten's NAPA

Harry Gant
Michael Waltrip
Bobby Labonte
Rusty Wallace

Elko Drivers:
Taylor Goldman
Owin Giles
Jacob Goede
Dave Reed
Baiden Heskett
Dylan Moore
Joe Neisius
Brent Kane
Michael Beamish
Michael Ostdiek
Derek Lemke
Jacob Goede Memorial winner
Jeremy Wolff memorial winner
Owin Giles 2nd win
Ted Reuvers
Chris Marek
Dave Reed
Nick Panitzke
Mike Homan
Taylor Goldman 2nd win
Dillon Sellner TC win
Jacob Goede CHAMP
Tristan Swanson 1st win

ARCA at Elko:
Austin Theriault
Cole Anderson
Christian Eckes
Riley Herbst
Cole Anderson Post Race
Entire Recap
Kevin Cywinski
Willie Mullins
Final 5 Laps Audio:

Thunderstruck93 Midwest Tour at ELKO:
Dalton Zehr
Ty Majeski
Jonathan Eilen
Brody Willett
Thunderstruck93 Recap

IndyCar at Iowa Speedway:

JR Hildebrand
Charlie Kimball
Ed Carpenter
IndyCar Recap
Racing SFX

Flat Track Motorcycles:

Recap of Race
Jake Mataya
Jake Mataya Post Race

Trans Am at BIR:

Race Recap:
Vinnie Allegretto
Ernie Francis Jr
Cameron Lawrence
Tony Buffomante
Gar Robinson

Xfinity Series at Iowa Speedway

Ross Chastain
Dakota Armstrong
Ty Majeski
Race Recap

Camping World Trucks at Iowa Speedway

Race Recap:
Grant Enfinger
Chase Briscoe
Christopher Bell

World of Outlaws at Granite City Speedway:

Tony V race preview:
Race Recap:
Jason Johnson
Brad Sweet
Donny Schatz
Racing SFX

Kyle Petty Charity Ride:

Harry Gant:
Rick Allen:
Charity Ride Recap

Granite City Speedway:
Shane Sabraski
Danny Vang
TJ Inderieden Race Call
Justin Schelitzche
Dave Cain
Adam Prieve
Matt Baker
Dave Mass
Tyler Kaeter
Keith Thell
Shane Sabraski
Trever Roediger
Corey Mehrwerth
Chris McClain
Shane Sabraski
Eric Cleasby
Clayton Wagamon
Mitchell Hribar
Landon Atkinson
Tim Johnson 3 wins
Randy Laage
Justin Schelitzche
Mike Meuller
Brooke Tatnell
Ashley Mehrwerth
Tim Johnson
Dexton Koch
Ashley Mehrwerth
Justin Schelitzche
Tim Johnson
Dennis Czech


Michael Waltrip at Mystic
Scott Brandt Traditional Sprint car
Natalie Decker ARCA
Bobby Labonte NASCAR Cup Champ
Adam Brachle Youth Impact Racing
Jason's philosophy (April 1)
Dale Jr retirement
LIVE from Indy 500
Silly Season update with Jordan
Lenny Batycki from PRN
Rusty Wallace NASCAR
Snowmobile museum

Race Call 
Owin Giles
Dirk Henry
Chris Marek
Dusty Mann
Jacob Goede
Jackson Lewis
Joe Neisius 3rd win
Jacob Goede
Grant Brown 1st win
Joe Neisius
Final 5 laps of ARCA
TJ Inderieden (Dean)
Dusty Mann Power Stock
Goede win
Brent Kane 7th win
Cole Klein 1st win
Owin Giles 2nd win
Ted Reuvers 1st win
Derek Lemke 8th win
Dusty Mann TC win
Baiden Heskett GNL win
Brent Kane 8th win
Dillon Sellner TC win
Dusty vs Julie PS finish
Tristan Swanson 1st win

Listen for Speed Talk on 1360 radio every Saturday 10-11am May-September on KRWC 1360 am in Buffalo MN or go to or search KRWC on the free Tunein app.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Sammy Halbert wins Flat Track at MOA

Sammy Halbert won the inaugural Flat Track race on a temporary track built in a parking lot at Mall of America to begin the 2017 X-Games.  Halbert had a dominating run, he was fast time in qualifying, won his heat race and led all but the first two laps in the feature event, his margin of victory was over 12 seconds.

JJ Flarity from Wisconsin won the Hooligan race.

The 1/3rd mile flat dirt track had a big hole in the fourth corner but held up pretty well, it was mainly one groove but fairly consistent.  A large crowd estimated 4,000 or so packed into the temporary facility, all the food trucks ran out of food before the feature event started and the lines for the Porta-Pottys were long.

Indian Motorcycle riders continued their strong Flat Track Motorcycle season, #9 Jared Mees and #6 Brad Baker finished 2nd and 3rd.

MN racer Jake Mataya was riding with a separated shoulder, he had a bad start in his heat race and had to run the Last Chance Qualifier, he finished 8th in that race.  Overall he was happy with the experience, "being at X-Games was awesome, I'm so glad I could make it here," said Mataya.  Listen to his entire interview HERE

Here are the official results for the race

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Helio Castroneves silences the rumors and wins Iowa Corn 300

Rumors swirled this week that it might be the final year of racing for Team Penske in IndyCar for Helio Castroneves, he silenced those rumors and ended his long winless drought of 1,134 days on Sunday July 9th 2017 by winning the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway.  It was his 30th career win. He led 217 laps (out of 300) in the race and now is fourth all-time in laps led with 5,947.  The media was instructed not to ask Helio about his upcoming contract in the post-race press conference, we were told that all questions should be addressed to Team Penske and at this time they have no comment.

JR Hildebrand (photo above) led 38 laps but had older tires at the end and held on for second place.  Here is the Speed Talk on 1360 Exclusive interview with Hildebrand after the race.

Ryan Hunter-Reay (photo above) is a three time winner of this race, he started 15th on the grid and drove his way up to third.  The race was Red Flagged for a very brief time on lap 208 for Rain.  It also was very hot with air temperatures in the 90's and track temperatures above 130 degrees.

Will Power (photo above) started the race on the Pole, led the race three different times for 23 laps but dropped back after the last caution period and finished fourth.

Graham Rahal (above) finished the race in the fifth position 10.1811 seconds behind the leader.  2016 race winner Josef Newgarden started the race 16th and finished 6th.

Charlie Kimball (photo above) started the race 14th and with pit strategy actually led ten laps in the second half of the race but he dropped to 15th at the finish.  Here is a Speed Talk on 1360 exclusive interview with Charlie Kimball

Ed Carpenter (photo above) did the Kids "Q and A" earlier in the day and started the race in 4th, he dropped back and finished 12th.  Here is an exclusive Speed Talk on 1360 interview with Ed Carpenter.

Here is the article about the Kids "Q and A" at Iowa Speedway.

Point leader Scott Dixon had a poor qualifying effort starting the race 17th, he finished the race in 8th.

We will have a full recap of the Iowa Corn 300 Verizon IndyCar series race including commentary and full interviews with Jason and Dean Saturday 10-11am (CDT) on Speed Talk on 1360 radio.  Listen on or search KRWC on the free Tunein app.

Here is a :50 Sound Bite of the opening laps for the IndyCar race at Iowa Speedway.

Kids Q & A at Iowa Speedway

Iowa Speedway held a Kids Q & A Session preceding the Iowa Corn 300 for the Verizon IndyCar Series.  It was held at the Crash Course located under the Main Grandstand.  IndyCar driver Ed Carpenter was the celebrity guest and kids were given the opportunity to ask questions, just like the professional media.

Here are some of the interesting Kids Questions that were asked-with a summary of the answer.

Q:  How does it feel to go Airborn?
A:  It is very Quiet.

Q:  Did you watch racing when you were little?
A:  Yes, I was always a big IndyCar fan growing up.

Q:  How long does it take for you to get into the car?
A:  We have a maximum of 6 minutes when it is announced for drivers to do so but, it usually only takes me about 3-4 minutes.

Q:  How does it feel when you need to go to the Bathroom?
A:  I was waiting for that one!  It's just like when you go on a long road trip with your parents, you have to   go to the bathroom before the race and if you don't you just have to hold it.  But we sweat out a lot in the car so it usually isn't a problem

Just like working media, the kids were not allowed to take photos with the driver or get autographs but the parents were allowed to take a group photo at the end.

Iowa Corn 300 IndyCar Iowa Speedway preview

The Iowa Corn 300 IndyCar race at Iowa Speedway is coming up today with green flag scheduled for 4:40pm.  The race will be televised on NBCSN beginning at 4pm (CDT).

Will Power #12 was the fast qualifier with a lap time of 17.3612 seconds, average speed of 185.210 mph on the 7/8th Oval at Iowa Speedway located in Newton (IA).

The 2016 winner was Josef Newgarden Here is the link to our race story

Here is our 2014 Recap

Here is our 2013 Iowa IndyCar Recap

Scott Dixon #9 is the current point leader with 379 pts
Simon Pagenaude #1 is second in points 34 behind
Helio Castroneves #3 is third in points 37 behind Dixon.

Check back for full coverage of this race on

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