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American Iron Race Report – Brainerd International Raceway May 27th & 28th 2006

Back to back weekends of racing found the Midwest Region of National Auto Sport Association (NASA) at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota on Memorial Day Weekend. This is just one short (much too short) week after visiting Putnam Park Road course near Indianapolis.  The weekend can be described in three words; Hot, Windy, and FAST!   

A hot lap in an AIX Mustang:

 Brainerd International Raceway pulls double duty as a drag strip.  Turn 10 is a banked corner that has cars through the corner at about 60 miles per hour. An AIX car can reach up to about 180 m.p.h. as you hit the burnout boxes for the drag strip, go through the ¼ mile drag strip, another nearly 1/2 mile of cool down for the drag cars, into a banked turn one.  The main straight added up to over a 4700 foot straight away into a banked turn one, wow!  Top speed in my AIX car was around 175 miles per hour against a strong head wind.  If that wasn’t fast enough, you didn’t have to brake going into turn one, you just simply lifted your foot off the throttle, turned in for the banking then accelerated through turn one with an exit speed just under 155 miles per hour heading for turn two.  Turn two was a similar corner, but with no banking.  Turn one & two are a true test of man & machine. The rest of the course was a much more traditional slow-in, fast out, late apex series of corners.  Average lap speed of 104 miles per hour is about 4 miles per hour faster than my best time at Road America, which is also known to be a very fast track.  If you every have a chance to drive this track, check your testosterone at the door and give it a try! 

The NASA group would be sharing the track with a local Vintage & Open wheel group. NASA also ran the HPDE sessions for the street cars drivers to get a taste of some driving on really fast road course track.  The weekend was hot, hot, hot.  Mid 90’s with a lot of humidity was the weather for the entire weekend. 

Qualifying on Saturday had Chris Griswold on the AIX pole, Richard Cranston on the AI Pole.



Saturday Qualifying

AIX                                        Best Time

1. Chris Griswold                  1:47.285 

2. Tom Koetter                      1:57.379



1. Richard Cranston             1:54.849

2. Brian Groth                        1:55.335

3. Tom Fueher                       1:58.996

4. Jeff Henderson                 1:59.104 

The Saturday race once again had Griswold disappear into the sunset on lap one and take the overall win.  Richard Cranston had a transmission problem at the start and couldn’t find 3rd gear when the green flag dropped.  That allowed Brian Groth to get a good jump that he would maintain for the entire race.  Richard worked his way back to 7 seconds behind Groth at the line.  Fuehrer took 3rd, Henderson 4th as struggled with overheating problems the entire weekend.





Saturday Race Results:

AIX                                        Fast Lap

1. Griswold                            1:47.416

2. Tom Koetter                      2:00.457


1. Brian Groth                        1:54.490

2. Richard Cranston             1:54.695

3. Tom Fuehrer                     1:57.834

4. Jeff Henderson                 2:02.086

Sunday’s qualifying order ended up being the same as the day before.  The weather was a bit warmer, and a stiff headwind down the entire straight.

Sunday Qualifying

AIX                                        Best Time

1. Chris Griswold                  1:47.727

2. Tom Koetter                      2:00.422


1. Richard Cranston             1:54.670

2. Brian Groth                        1:55.064

3. Tom Fueher                       1:57.631

4. Jeff Henderson                 2:00.844


The Sunday race again had Griswold & Groth up front. Cranston struggled with oil pump issues, Tom Fuehrer struggled with transmission problems and Henderson with over heating problems.


Sunday Race Results:

AIX                                        Fast Lap

1. Griswold                            1:48.563

2. Tom Koetter                      2:01.552



1. Brian Groth                        1:55.460

2. Richard Cranston             1:56.391

3. Jeff Henderson                 2:02.513

4. Tom Fuehrer                     1:57.199

 It was a great weekend of racing.  The unofficial season points are located Here. Come see the next round of racing for the Midwest Region at MAM in Pacific Junction Iowa on June 17th & 18th, 2006.  Information & registration for the event can be found Nasa MidWest Region - National Auto Sport Association.  Why not bring your street car out on the track? See you there!


 Chris Griswold

AI/X/ CMC Director – Midwest Region

#17 AIX












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