Blog

Fan Guides are now available

BIR’s 2018 Fan Guide have been printed and mailed, and are available at the track and in various locations. Pick one up today!

The Fan Guides that were mailed include a coupon for discounted apparel and merchandise from BIR’s Online Shirt Shack. This offer is available throughout April only.

The Fan Guides include the 2018 Race Schedule as well as descriptions of our major events and an improved facilities map. To download a copy, CLICK HERE.

 

Deadline for renewing seats, condos is April 11

The deadline for renewing your grandstand seats and condos for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals is April 11.
Letters with instructions for renewing seats, condos and campsites were mailed in February. If you didn’t received yours, contact the BIR Ticket Office asap by phone: 1-866-444-4455 or email us at tickets@brainerdraceway.com.
The deadlines for renewing campsites for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals was Feb. 22. This applied to the PleasureLand RV VIP Campsites, Quarter Mile Campsites, and Custom Campsites.
And if you haven’t heard, we made a major change in our NHRA Nationals ticketing structure. Beginning this year, every admission ticket includes a grandstand seat. This will make it easier to purchase tickets and more efficient to move fans through the front gate. NOTE: The seats you had for the 2017 NHRA Nationals are still on hold in your name and can be purchased any time before the April 11 deadline by calling the BIR Ticket Office or going online at www.brainerdraceway.ticketforce.com.
And don’t forget that it’s BIR’s 50th anniversary this year! A lot of fun stuff in store for the upcoming season!

 

BIR honors drag racers, contributors during Racer Banquet

Brainerd International Raceway honored its drag racers and those who made an impact on the track’s racing program, while celebrating the end of one season and the beginning of the next.

BIR hosted its annual Racer Banquet Feb. 24 at Cragun’s Resort. With more than 170 racers, family members and fans in attendance, BIR recognized the champions of the Bracket Drag Racing Series and the Muscle Car Series, as well as four individuals who made significant contributions to racing at BIR.

Al Schmidt, from drag racing sponsor Paradigm Performance, presented the third annual Dick Roe Appreciation Award to Keith Harris for his outstanding service to the drag racing community. Keith can be found in Race Control during drag racing weekends, keeping the racing program running smoothly.

BIR’s Rookie of the Year award went to Zach Zavadil, who finished in 11th place in the Pro ET Class. In 2016, he raced in Junior Dragster Advanced and finished third.

Zach’s dad, Terry Zavadil, won the Joe Angelo Sportsmanship Award for displaying great sportsmanship toward the other racers.

Racer Ron Zenzen presented the Outstanding Dedication Award to track photographer Barry Bergeron, who was unable to attend the banquet.

The Bracket Drag Racing Series was well represented, with nine of the 11 series champs in attendance. The winners survived an extremely competitive season again in most of the classes. The series was over six weekends, with winners crowned on both Saturdays and Sundays. The races typically attract more than 250 dragsters, cars, trucks, bikes, snowmobiles and Junior Dragsters.

The Muscle Car Series was well represented as well. The three-race series continues to grow as the cars get faster and quicker. More than 300 cars compete, featuring seven Heads-Up Classes, 10 Index classes, four Eliminator classes and a class for manual transmissions. In all, 13 championships were awarded after the season.

Congratulations to all the winners, all the racers and their families and friends!

The Bracket Drag Racing Series Champs:

Brian Johnson – Super Pro
Reno Loeffelholz – Pro ET
Shawn Carlson – Sportsman
Glen Demenge – Stock/Super Stock
Jimmy Paulson – Pro Bike/Sled
Devrin Walcheski – Comp Trophy
Todd Anderson – Street Trophy
Sydney Thompson  - Jr. Dragster Advanced
Dylan Dancer – Jr. Dragster Intermediate
Daniel Dancer – Jr. Dragster Novice

Muscle Car Series Champs:

Rick Schmidt – Outlaw Pro Mod
Jake Delmonico – Outlaw
Brian Mahnke – King Street
Duane Godbout – Real Street Unlimited
Bob Wallin – Real Street Natural
Wayne Bellanger – True Street
Brian Carpenter – 660 Outlaw Street
Bob Lacey – Strip Eliminator 1
Gary Olson – Strip Eliminator 2
Kurt Loftis – Strip Eliminator 3
Jerry Jablonski – Truck Eliminator
Kelly Ruiz – Manual Transmission
Gary Olson – Index Class Champion

 

Dick Roe Appreciation Award winner Keith Harris.

Dick Roe Appreciation Award winner Keith Harris.

 

Rookie of the Year Zach Zavadil (left) with BIR's Jed Copham.

Rookie of the Year Zach Zavadil (left) with BIR’s Jed Copham.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Angelo Sportsmanship winner Terry Zavadil (left) with BIR's Jed Copham.

Joe Angelo Sportsmanship winner Terry Zavadil (left) with BIR’s Jed Copham.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bracket Drag Racing Series champs. Back row from left, Jimmy Paulson, Brian Johnson, Reno Loeffelholz, Shawn Carlson. Front row: Glen Demenge, Sydney Thompson, Dylan Dancer, Daniel Dancer.

Bracket Drag Racing Series champs. Back row from left, Jimmy Paulson, Brian Johnson, Reno Loeffelholz, Shawn Carlson. Front row: Glen Demenge, Sydney Thompson, Dylan Dancer, Daniel Dancer.

 

 

 

Muscle Car Series champs: Back row from left, Greg Schmidt, Dave Feders, Chris Willemssen, Christina Meyer (for Shannon O'Leary), Kurt Loftis, Bob Wallin, Jerry Jablonski. Front row, Jake Delmonico, Mike Sterling, Jason Waste (for Jake Waste), Bill Meyer, Thomas Meyer (for Brian Carpenter), Gary Olson, Wayne Bellanger.

Muscle Car Series champs: Back row from left, Greg Schmidt, Dave Feders, Chris Willemssen, Christina Meyer (for Shannon O’Leary), Kurt Loftis, Bob Wallin, Jerry Jablonski. Front row, Jake Delmonico, Mike Sterling, Jason Waste (for Jake Waste), Bill Meyer, Thomas Meyer (for Brian Carpenter), Gary Olson, Wayne Bellanger.

Lodging deadline for Racer Banquet is Jan. 19

The deadline to reserve rooms at Cragun’s Resort for the 2018 Racer Banquet is this Friday, Jan. 19.

Join us for an amazing weekend as we celebrate the accomplishments of last year’s drag racing winners in the Bracket Drag Racing Series and the Muscle Car Series. The banquet is Feb. 24 at Cragun’s Resort. In order to secure a room at the guaranteed rate – $319.90 for two nights or $181.46 for a single night - you must reserve your room with Cragun’s by this Friday. But to reserve your room, you need to register for the banquet first with BIR’s Ticket Office, and you must do that by this Thursday because the office is closed on Friday. Registrations will be accepted after this week but you won’t be guaranteed room availability and the discounted rate. BIR’s offices are open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday this winter.

The banquet program starts with a social hour at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. The awards ceremony follows dinner. The cost for the banquet  is $38 per person, $17 each for kids 8-12 years old, and $11 each for kids 4-7 years old. Please be aware that those who attend the banquet must pay for dinner as well.

The Racer Banquet is BIR’s chance to recognize the top drag racers during the 2017 season. Champions of BIR’s Bracket Drag Racing Series and Muscle Car Series will be honored, and individual awards will be given out as well. It’s a fun night for racers as well as their families and friends.

Make it a full weekend by staying both Friday and Saturday nights. Make a weekend out of it and enjoy snowmobiling, ice fishing or any of a host of other fun things to do at Cragun’s and in the Brainerd Lakes Area.

The BIR Shirt Shack is now online!

The BIR Shirt Shack is now online, giving fans the opportunity to buy BIR apparel and merchandise all year round! Visit the site today and start shopping!

Gift certificates are available as well. The two types are:

BIR Gift Certificates – You can buy them for any value. They’re good for admission to any BIR event (including the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals) as well as apparel and merchandise. Gift Certificates can only be purchased at the BIR Ticket Office or by phone: 1-866-444-4455.

BIR Performance Driving School Gift Cards – The BIR Performance Driving School has Gift Cards that can be used for any school date. Values start at $25 and they can be purchased online by clicking here.

Happy holidays from BIR!

 

New ticketing structure in place for 2018 NHRA Nationals

Brainerd International Raceway has made a major ticketing change for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals that will make it easier to buy tickets and improve the admission process by moving fans into the track and into their seats quicker and more efficiently.

Starting in 2018, all admission tickets for the NHRA Nationals will include a reserved seat in the grandstand. In previous years, fans were required to buy an admission ticket and then buy a reserved seat. Combining the two will make the purchasing process easier and will eliminate the need for fans to wait in line inside the track to pay for a grandstand seat if they were unaware that an admission ticket got them into the track but not into the grandstands.

Kids 12 and younger will still be admitted in free if they’re accompanied by a paying adult. Their free admission includes a reserved seat. Camping passes for kids need to be purchased.

“Fans will really like this change because it will really improve how we move fans through the front gate and into the grandstands,” BIR owner Jed Copham said. “We’re constantly trying to improve the experience for our fans, and eliminating lines is the first thing that we address. This change should eliminate most of the long lines and make it easier to buy tickets.”

Advance tickets for the 2018 Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals go on sale Dec. 4. Click here for ticket prices and changes to the grandstanding seating. Fans will be able to keep the seats that they’ve had in the past. Letters were mailed on Dec. 1 to fans with instructions on how to reserve their grandstand seats for this year’s NHRA Nationals.

Scheduled for Aug. 16-19, the NHRA Nationals is the single largest annual sporting event in Minnesota. The best drag racers in the world descend on BIR with dragsters that crank out 10,000 horsepower and fly down the track at 330 mph. All fans have access to the pits, and the event’s midway has a carnival-like atmosphere that features interactive displays, merchandise, sampling and more.

This will be the third year that BIR has a Megaweek ticket for Nationals. Thunder at the Lakes, which is BIR’s annual NHRA West Central Division drag race, is scheduled for the weekend before Nationals. Most of the Sportsman drag racers competing at Thunder at the Lakes return the following weekend to compete at Nationals. BIR is open the entire week, where fans can be on track for 12 straight days, from Aug. 9-20.

 

Win a new race car while helping cancer patients

Here’s your chance to help cancer patients by buying a $100 raffle ticket to win a 2018 Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Car from Long Road Racing!

Lemons of Love is a non-profit organization that delivers hand-crafted goodie bags to cancer patients to make their day a little brighter. This is the fourth year of the program. All proceeds from the raffle goes to Lemons of Love. A maximum of 2,500 tickets will be sold.

The drawing for the $59,000 race car will be during the 12 Hours of Sebring race on March 17. Lemons of Love is also giving the winning ticket holder a F.A.S.T. driver cooling system, one season’s supply of Pagid Brakes, PRO Series Model Bell Helmet, G-Force 745 Driver’s Suit, Battery Tender charger and more.

Don’t delay, buy your tickets today.

Click here to visit the official website where you can buy your raffle tickets. Or to learn more about Lemons of Love, click here.

flyer

BIR announces 2017 Bracket Series champs!

Whether you call it beginner’s luck, pure skill or anything in between, Shawn Carlson’s drag racing season was incredible, and one he’ll never forget.

Carlson and 11 other racers in Brainerd International Raceway’s Bracket Drag Racing Series were named 2017 Series Champions. They’ll be honored Feb. 24 at BIR’s annual Racer Banquet.

Shawn Carlson, Sportsman

Shawn Carlson, Sportsman

Brian Johnson, Super Pro

Brian Johnson, Super Pro

Reno Loeffelholz, Pro ET

Reno Loeffelholz, Pro ET

Carlson has raced at BIR for many years but this was his first season competing in the Bracket Drag Racing Series for points and a shot at a championship. He raced in the Pro ET and Sportsman classes, taking the points lead in the Sportsman class after the first weekend of racing. Five months later, he was still on top of the point standings, having earned the series title.

“It was kind of fun,” Carlson said, admitting that the pressure of being No. 1 continued to increase as the season went on. “More than once I would pull over on the return road to see who was winning and who was losing. I felt myself watching over my shoulder a lot.”

Driving a 1973 Plymouth Scamp, Carlson also won BIR’s King of the Track title in July, beating the top racers in the bracket series. It was a good year for Carlson.

“Racing in Pro ET is really tough and really prepares you for anything,” he said, shedding a little light on the secret to his success. Carlson finished 16th out of 60 drivers in the Pro ET class.

Glen Demenge, Stock/Super Stock

Glen Demenge, Stock/Super Stock

Jimmy Paulson, Pro Bike/Sled

Jimmy Paulson, Pro Bike/Sled

Devrin Walcheski, Comp Trophy

Devrin Walcheski, Comp Trophy

Carlson said he’s looking forward to next season, partly to defend his title but mainly to watch his twin 5-year-old boys compete in the Junior Dragster class for the first time. “I’ll really be wearing a smile on my face watching them go down that track,” he said.

Brian Johnson is wearing a smile as well, after repeating as Super Pro champ. It wasn’t easy, though. Johnson and Gary Loeffelholz were in a dogfight all season on the drag strip and in the point standings. Johnson grabbed the points lead after the third weekend and wouldn’t surrender it for the rest of the season. Loeffelholz was right on his heals in second place but couldn’t catch him.

Johnson and Loeffelholz have dominated the ultra-competitive Super Pro class, which typically attracts about 90 racers each weekend. The two racers have combined to win the class title the last five years. Johnson won in 2013, 2016 and 2017 while Loeffelholz won in 2014 and 2015.

When Loeffelholz won the title in 2014, his son Reno won the Pro ET class. Reno found his way back to the top of the standings this year again, winning his second Pro ET championship.

Todd Anderson, Street Trophy

Todd Anderson, Street Trophy

Michael Freischel, Quick 16

Michael Freischel, Quick 16

Sydney Thompson, Jr. Drag Advance

Sydney Thompson, JD Advanced

Driving a 1968 Mustang, Reno took over first place after the fourth weekend and never looked back. Second-place finisher Joe Schmall couldn’t catch him.

Jimmy Paulson was another racer who returned to championship form this year. Paulson raced Super Comp for many years at BIR but decided to give Pro Bikes a try in 2015. His first year on two wheels went well as he dominated the class and took home the series championship. Last year was a different story.

“I struggled a lot with my reaction time last year,” Paulson said. ” I got that straightened out and then this year I was in the right place at the right time for the most part.

“Kayla (Filipiak) was on fire at the end after figuring out her bike, and Kyle (Lundberg) is always tough,” he said. “They kept the pressure on all season. They kept me sweating.” Filipiak took second and Lundberg third.

In Stock/Super Stock, Glen Demenge chased Ben Line all season in the point standings. Line grabbed the points lead after the first weekend and wouldn’t relinquish it until the final race, which Demenge won. That gave him just enough points to steal the championship from Line in dramatic fashion.

Dylan Dancer, JD Intermediate

Dylan Dancer, JD Intermediate

Daniel Dancer, JD Novice

Daniel Dancer, JD Novice

The winners of the two Trophy classes are collecting their first championships in those two classes. Devrin Walcheski won the Trophy Class and Todd Anderson won the Street Trophy class.

The Quick 16 class only had four races on last year’s schedule and one of them was rained out, so there was added pressure to win. Michael Freischel only needed two races to secure the top spot in the standings and a series championship. He was runner up once and he won the class once, giving him enough points to earn the title.

A drag racer who is not new to winning championships is Sydney Thompson. She repeated this year as champion of the Junior Dragster Advanced class for ages 13-18. She also won the series championship in 2013 when she was racing in the Junior Dragster Intermediate class for ages 10-12.

The Dancer brothers – Dylan and Daniel – were series champs in the Junior Dragster Intermediate and Junior Dragster Novice classes, respectively. Both were second-place finishers last year in those two classes.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Below are the top 3 finishers in each class.

Super Pro
1 – Brian Johnson
2 – Gary Loeffelholz
3 – Mike Campbell

Pro ET
1 – Reno Loeffelholz
2 – Joe Schmall
3 – Brandon Schmall

Sportsman
1 – Shawn Carlson
2 – Lee Dugdale
3 – Rory Emmans

Stock/Super Stock
1 – Glen DeMenge
2 -  Ben Line
3 – Brad Haugaard

Pro Bike/Sled
1 – Jimmy Paulson
2 – Kayla Filipiak
3 – Kyle Lundberg

Comp Trophy
1 – Devrin Walcheski
2 – Mike Larson
3 – Andrew Walcheski

Street Trophy
1 – Todd Anderson
2 – Heather Ingman
3 – Luke Schneider

Quick 16
1- Michael Freischel
2 – Henry Wiebusch
3 – Dan Narusiewicz

Jr. Dragster Advanced
1 – Sydney Thompson
2 – Jazper Wiebusch
3 – Samantha Cielinski

Jr. Dragster Intermediate
1 – Dylan Dancer
2 – Riley Luberda
3 – Megan Cielinski

Jr. Dragster Novice
1 – Daniel Dancer
2 – Brody Thompson
3 – Carter Luberda

 

 

 

Jed Copham to compete at Daytona’s Trans Am Series race

Brainerd International Raceway owner Jed Copham is hauling his Corvette to Daytona International Speedway in Florida to compete in the Trans Am Series’ final race of the year Nov. 11.

This will be the fifth Trans Am race that Jed has competed in. The first four were at BIR, including the one during last summer’s PleasureLand RV Show & Go. He races in the TA class, which consists of professional drivers and teams that complete all over the country. Jed finished fourth last summer, his best finish to date.

The field will be jammed packed with cars in Daytona. There are 55 cars registered for the race in all four classes. The schedule calls for all to be on the 3.5-mile, 12-turn track at the same time.

Join the BIR staff in wishing Jed good luck in Daytona!

Jed Copham behind the wheel of his BCRaceCars/TesarEngines/BIR Chevrolet Corvette during last summer's PleasureLand RV Show & Go.

Jed Copham behind the wheel of his BCRaceCars/TesarEngines/BIR Chevrolet Corvette during last summer’s PleasureLand RV Show & Go.

 

Get registered for BIR’s annual Racer Banquet on Feb. 24

Brainerd International Raceway’s annual Racer Banquet is set for Saturday, Feb. 24 at Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd.

The program starts with a social hour at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. The awards ceremony follows dinner. The cost for the banquet  is $38 per person, $17 each for kids 8-12 years old, and $11 each for kids 4-7 years old. Please be aware that those who attend the banquet must pay for dinner as well.

The Racer Banquet is BIR’s chance to recognize the top drag racers during the 2017 season. Champions of BIR’s Bracket Drag Racing Series and Muscle Car Series will be honored, and individual awards will be given out as well. It’s a fun night for racers as well as their families and friends.

Make it a full weekend by staying both Friday and Saturday nights. BIR is receiving these special rates: $319.90 for two nights or $181.46 for a single night. Reserve your rooms by Jan. 19 for guaranteed rates and availability. But you cannot reserve rooms at Cragun’s until you’ve contacted BIR and registered for the banquet. So your first step is to call Rachel at BIR by phone at 218-824-7223. She will get you registered and then turn you over to Cragun’s to reserve your rooms. BIR’s offices are open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday during the winter.

Make a weekend out of it and enjoy snowmobiling, ice fishing or any of a host of other fun things to do at Cragun’s and in the Brainerd Lakes Area.

Visit the Cragun’s Resort website for more details about what they offer and where they’re located. Or visit the Visit Brainerd website to learn more about what’s happening in the Brainerd Lakes Area that weekend.

Hope to see you there!

Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE