Here it is…race weekend in the Brainerd Lakes Area. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 100-thousand race fans will descend on the lakes area for the 38th Annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals this Thursday through Sunday.
I have to admit, I never gave racing much of a thought growing up. I was into football, hockey, and baseball. Motorsports were not on my radar. After moving to the lakes area in 1978 and working in radio, I had a chance to attend the big drag race weekend. What I saw totally blew my mind!!
Specially manufactured and engineered vehicles were able to travel a quarter-mile in around 6 seconds and reach speeds of over 200 miles-an-hour. Now, the dragsters and funny cars do the quarter mile in about four seconds and reach speeds over 300 miles-an-hour. To see a vehicle go from zero to over 300 miles-an-hour in about 4 seconds is nothing short of breathtaking. But that’s not even the best part.
The sound generated by such horsepower literally makes the air rumble! You can feel it on your face! The ground pounds and it is something that everyone should experience at least once. Plus, race fans are friendly, and you can get a pit-pass and go back and walk around to check out the crews as they work on the cars. A trip to the Nationals is truly something you should do at least once in your life, especially if you live in the lakes area.
I would also like to say “welcome” to all the race fans traveling to the lakes area for the races. There is so much to do in the Brainerd Lakes Area if you want to take a break from the track. Check out the Chamber website for ideas.
Keep in mind, the Highway 371 Corridor Project is on through the rest of the summer, with extra patrols by a number of law enforcement agencies. They will be looking for speeders, impaired drivers, and enforcing the new “hands-free” law in Minnesota which makes it against the law to drive and hold your phone.
With the extra traffic from race fans and the normal lakes area increase in traffic from summer cabin owners and those staying at area resorts, it will be a weekend where we all need to take our time, be patient, and practice Minnesota-Nice on the roadways.