Sorry for the delay in getting this post out. We had connectivity issues most of the day yesterday and last night I gave up after it took single clicks 5 minutes to page up.
We arrived in Brainerd, MN at 2:00 am and were up by 6:00 to make it to the track for a walk. At 3.1 miles, Brainerd International Raceway is one hell of a track. The main circuit has a rich history of racing and many famous drivers over the years have shown their skills and "manhood" in great fashion. The main circuit shares the NHRA drag strip straight, including the drag cool down/safety extension. With the drag strip plus the cool down the main road course straight is a mile long that leads on to a long right hand sweeper with a 10% +/- banking. If you can go down the main straight and not lift going in to the right hander you have shown your manhood. Coming on to the main straight from turn 10, one enters the start of the drag strip. So.....at the exit of the road course turn 10 is the starting tower for the drag strip. Nothing like pushing the peddle down and coming straight toward a building with a few tires in front of it. Track notes might read something like this......pedal to the floor then light a cigarette, brush your teeth, comb your hair, smile for the camera, and then turn right.
I drove the morning session which included the full circuit. Rafael drove the afternoon session which was shorter and did not include the main straight. Our results were very good, considering we have never driven the track before. I posted 18th overall fastest (just could not help but touch the brakes to know I had them going in to turn one - but then I was doing 150+ MPH entering). In the afternoon, Rafael posted 23rd fastest.
After the road course sessions, it was time to put the Brainerd drag strip to use. The first pass was our ET (elapsed time). I was driving the drag strip session. My ET was a weak 13.619. It was good enough for 34th, but not what we needed.
After the ET comes the bracket drag racing. I was up against a BMW X5 M. The "christmas tree" goes through its sequential paces and lights up GO!!! I launch and immediately get tire hop. I need to let out of the throttle just a touch and just like that it is over. I could have taken a leisurely drive for 1/4 mile, but I went back to work only to be disappointed in seeing the X5's brake lights come on before the finish line. Why did he brake? Because he did not want to breakout of his selected ET. Nothing like someone slowing down so you can catch up.
So where did this leave us after the day at Brainerd International? We dropped from 17th overall to 19th. We are still squarely in the top 20 and Road America looms. Another high horse-powered track and very fast.