Pro Stock Motorcycle to return to next summer’s NHRA race in Brainerd, Minn.


Drag racing fans of the two-wheel variety, namely Pro Stock Motorcycle, will be happy to know that the bikes will return next summer to Brainerd (Minn.) International Raceway for the annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.

Sanctioning body officials announced Friday that the bikes will be back at Brainerd after a two-year hiatus, ready to click off 190-plus mph speeds at under seven seconds.

Andrew Hines, who won his fourth NHRA PSM national championship last month, holds both ends of the PSM track record at Brainerd: 6.865 seconds (set in 2012) and a blistering 196.82 mph (set in 2005).

Hines also has the most individual event wins among PSM riders at Brainerd with two triumphs.

Other past Brainerd winners are Hector Arana Sr., Eddie Krawiec, Matt Smith and LE Tonglet.

PSM’s return to Brainerd will be part of a 16-race schedule for the two-wheelers, with 10 races during the regular season (which begins March 12-15 at Gainesville Raceway in Florida) and six races during the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.

2015 NHRA Mello Yello Series Schedule (Pro Stock Motorcycle)

Regular Season

March 12-15, Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla.

March 27-29, NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Charlotte, N.C.

May 15-17, Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals, Commerce, Ga.

June 4-7, Toyota NHRA Summernationals, Englishtown, N.J.

July 2-5, Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio

July 9-12, NHRA Route 66 Nationals, Chicago

July 24-26, Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, Denver

July 31-Aug. 2, NHRA Sonoma Nationals, Sonoma, Calif.

Aug. 20-23, Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Brainerd, Minn.

Sept. 2-7, Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis


Countdown to the Championship

Sept. 18-20, NHRA Carolina Nationals, Charlotte, N.C.

Sept. 25-27, AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis

Oct. 1-4, NHRA Keystone Nationals, Reading, Pa.

Oct. 15-18, AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, Dallas

Oct. 29-Nov. 1, NHRA Toyota Nationals, Las Vegas

Nov. 12-15, Auto Club NHRA Finals, Pomona, Calif.

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Jo Shimoda joins Seth Hammaker, Austin Forkner on injured list; Musquin remains out

Shimoda injured
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.

“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”

Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.

The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.

Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.

Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.

Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.

Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.

Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”