Listen up! KQDS is broadcasting live from BIR Friday morn

The top radio station in the Duluth area, KQDS-FM, will broadcast its morning show live Friday from Brainerd International Raceway.

KQDS logoThe KQ Morning Show, starring Jason Manning and Scott Savage, will broadcast from BIR’s Tower Suites overlooking the starting line on the drag strip from 6-10 a.m. tomorrow. If you can’t listen to the broadcast on the radio, KQ will stream the show live online. Click here for the link.

The KQ Morning Show is previewing this weekend’s Street Car Showdown, which features the kickoff to the three-race Muscle Car Series on the drag strip and the SCCA Harvey West Classic on the 2.5-mile Competition Road Course. Manning and Savage will be interviewing some of the drivers competing this weekend as well as some of the guys from BIR to talk about the event and what’s coming up on the schedule.

Rumor has it that Scott Savage will also be taking the KQ Mobile down the drag strip during the show in an attempt to beat the time and speed posted by Chris Zooch from the KQ Train Wreck show, which broadcast live from BIR May 7. Zooch took the KQ Mobile down the quarter-mile track with a reaction time of 1.293 seconds, a time of 16.531 seconds and a speed of 79.46 mph.

Stay tuned.





Round 2! Wednesday Night Drags is tonight

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to race your own car on a championship drag strip, or if you’d like to know how to get into competitive drag racing, here’s your chance. The Wednesday Night Drags – Street Legal Style is the perfect way to either test the waters of competitive drag racing or just have some fun with your buddies.

BIR opens the track to anyone with a helmet (Snell 2005 or newer), a valid drivers license and a street-legal car, truck or motorcycle. The gates open at 4 p.m. You can make as many runs as possible until the track closes at dusk. During that time, you get to use the starting line tree, the scoreboard and the burn-out box, just like the pros do. We even have an announcer calling the action over the PA system.

Click here for more details.


Street Car Showdown returns as first major race of 2014!

Brainerd International Raceway hosts the first major race event of the season this weekend, a dual event that features huge horsepower on the drag strip and thrilling wheel-to-wheel racing on the road course.

It’s the 6th Annual Street Car Showdown, a three-day celebration of wicked speed and amazing driving skills. It starts Friday and runs through Sunday.

Jake Delmonico, Outlaw Class Champ

Jake Delmonico, Outlaw Class Champ

The Showdown kicks off the three-race Muscle Car Series on the drag strip. Time trials and qualifying are Friday and Saturday, with elimination rounds on Sunday. More than 300 cars are expected to compete in 22 classes. At center stage, though, are the seven Heads-Up Classes, which typically feature the fastest cars, some of which top 200 mph and crack 7 seconds. This is old-school drag racing, where both cars leave at the same time and the one that reaches the finish line first wins. The other classes are structured with a handicapped format or an index time that racers try to hit.

Two of the drag racers expected this weekend are Jake Delmonico and Brian Mahnke, both of whom are looking to extend their win streaks from last year. Delmonico won the Outlaw Class Championship by sweeping the three-race series last year, which includes the PleasureLand RV Show & Go on the Fourth of July weekend and the Muscle Car Shootout Labor Day weekend.

Mahnke, and his 1972 Camaro, has been the toughest driver to beat since the series began in 2009. Not only did he sweep the King Street Class last year en route to another series championship, but he now has swept the series twice in the last three years and has 10 finals wins and one runner up in the series’ 15 races.

The action will be amazing on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course as well. The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) returns with the Harvey West Classic, which features national- and regional-level racers on Saturday and Sunday. The program includes practice and qualifying sessions both mornings and then 10-lap races during the afternoons.

Harvey West Classic racing

Harvey West Classic racing

On Friday, the road course will be busy with drivers who are earning their SCCA Competition Racing License, which allows them to compete in SCCA races like the Harvey West Classic. The track is open to spectators Friday as well.

Not all the action is on the track, though. FlashMob! is providing live music Saturday night at BIR’s Wheelie Bar & Grille. The band covers Bon Jovi, The Killers, Journey, Michael Jackson, Pink, Poison and more.

“The racing season is here – finally!” BIR Owner Jed Copham said. “It’s been a long winter for everyone but it’s time to get cars on the track and fans in the grandstands, and the Street Car Showdown is a great event to showcase both drag racing and road racing. Super talented drivers will be competing during the Harvey West Classic, and the cars on the drag strip are insanely powerful. If you like wheelies, you’ll love the Muscle Car Series. There’s going to be a lot of great racing packed into this weekend.”

Gates open daily at 7 a.m., with road racing starting at 8 a.m. while drag racing starts at 9 a.m. Tickets are available at the gate. Daily admission is $25; kids 12 and under are free. On-site camping is free with the purchase of a multi-day ticket.

Photo of Harvey West Classic by Rick Corwine

Stay at BIR in style with our Bracket-Condo Special!


Round up your friends and family to take advantage of Brainerd International Raceway’s Bracket-Condo Special!

For only $500, you get four days and three nights in one of BIR’s two-bedroom, two-bath deluxe condominiums and four weekend passes to watch Bracket Drag Racing Series action. This offer is for June 26-29 only and it does not include passes to Lakes Jam, which is that same weekend at BIR – June 26-28.

condosThe condos feature a kitchen, fireplace and deck, and are right behind the grandstand – a short walk to the drag strip’s starting line. It’s also adjacent to The Wheelie Bar & Grille, BIR’s full-serve bar and grille with off-sale liquor. Free parking is included in the package.

The Bracket Drag Racing Series will be on the track for the third of six weekends. It features more than 250 dragsters, cars, trucks, bikes, snowmobiles and Junior Dragsters that are battling for prize money, series points and, eventually, a series championship at the end of the season. Time trials, qualifying and elimination rounds are both Saturday and Sunday, with winners crowned each day.

Call BIR today at 1-866-444-4455 to take advantage of this smokin’ offer and enjoy the races in style!

Click here for details about Lakes Jam.


Familiar faces in Winners Circle after first Bracket race

With the first weekend of racing for the Bracket Drag Racing Series completed, some familiar names have already found their way to the top of the points standings.

Kaul_WBen Line, for example, won his third straight Stock/Super Stock championship last year and appears to be gunning for a “four-peat” this year. He won Saturday’s race and lost in the semifinals Sunday to take the early lead in the standings.

Travis Reutzel, who won the King of the Track title last season and took home the Pro ET Class championship, is back on top of the points standings, too, after winning Sunday’s Pro ET race despite losing in the third round on Saturday.

The winner of last year’s Sportsman Class championship, Rory Emmans, won a pair of runner-up honors last weekend, which leaves him sitting on top of the points standings as well.

Baklunda_WThe weekend was the first of six weekends on the schedule for drivers in the Bracket Drag Racing Series. Despite rainy weather on Friday, more than 300 dragsters, cars, trucks and bikes competed in the 10 classes, including 30 Junior Dragsters for ages 8-18.

Each weekend’s racing features time trials and eliminations both Saturday and Sunday, giving drivers twice as many chances to win each weekend. Most are collecting series points with the goal of winning a series championship at the end of the season.

The next race in the series is June 6-8. Saturday’s racing will Hildreth_Beer_Winclude the NHRA Summit Racing Junior Dragster Challenge, where the winners of the three Junior Dragster classes will receive Wally trophies, which are the same that the NHRA’s pro drivers win.

Below are the final two rounds for each day and class.

Top: Bruce Kaul won Sunday’s Super Pro race
Middle: Brad Backlund and his 1963 Corvette won Saturday’s Super Pro race
Bottom: Mel Knott doused Dale Hildreth with beer after Hildreth won Saturday’s Pro ET race


Super Pro
Finals: Brad Baklund of Rogers def. Myron Streit of St. Cloud
Semifinals: Baklund had a bye; Streit def. Dave Engler of Ramsey

Pro ET
Finals: Dale Hildreth of River Falls, Wis. def. Brenden Bungert of Lakeville
Semifinals: Hildreth had a bye; Bungert def. Nicholas Engler of South Haven

Finals: Mandy Anderson of Sartell def. Rory Emmans of Dayton
Semifinals: Anderson def. Troy Luberda of Foley; Emmans had a bye

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Ben Line of International Falls def. James Findell of Zimmerman
Semifinals: Line def. Gene Mosbeck of Elk River; Findell def. Lance Line of Crowmwell

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Jason Clampitt of Lino Lakes def. Mike Voss of Maplewood
Semifinals: Clampitt def. Bruce Sampson of Forest Lake; Voss def. Cameron Belisle of Hugo

Comp Trophy
Finals: Michelle Emmans of Dayton def. Jared Hutar of Cromwell
Semifinals: Emmans def. Dean Markuson of Pequot Lakes; Hutar def. Brian Schraut of Sauk Rapids

Street Trophy
Finals: Andi Pesola of Duluth def. Josh Luberda of Foley
Semifinals: Pesola def. Darla Pesola of Nashwauk; Luberda def. Tyler Young of Nisswa

Jr. Dragster Advanced
Finals: Zach Zavadil of Clearwater def. Emma McFarland of Sabin
Semifinals: Zavadil def. McKenna Bungert of Lakeville; McFarland had a bye

Jr. Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Aaron Clampitt of Lino Lakes def. Zach McFarland of Sabin
Semifinals: Clampitt def. Wyatt Niesen; McFarland had a bye

Jr. Dragster Novice
Finals: Alex Clampitt of Lino Lakes def. Ally Giese of Kandiyohi
Semifinals: Clampitt def. Riley Luberda of Foley; Giese had a bye


Super Pro
Finals: Bruce Kaul of Racine def. Jesse Leonard of Inver Grove Heights
Semifinals: Kaul had a bye; Leonard def. Jeff Anderson of Sartell

Pro ET
Finals: Travis Reutzel of Annandale def. Brett Speer of Little Falls
Semifinals: Reutzel def. Reno Leoffelholz of Shafer; Speer had a bye

Finals: Bob Gillespie of Brainerd def. Rory Emmans of Dayton
Semifinals: Gillespie def. Mike Pfepsen of Duluth; Emmans had a bye

Stock/Super Stock
Finals: Tim Lisson of Solon Springs, Wis. def. Brian Zenzen of St. Cloud
Semifinals: Lisson def. Ben Line of International Falls; Zenzen def. Tim Mosbek of Andover

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Bruce Sampson of Forest Lake def. Jason Clampitt of Lino Lakes
Semifinals: Sampson def. Mike Voss of Maplewood; Clampitt had a bye

Comp Trophy
Finals: Nick Arnold of Maple Grove def. Dean Markuson of Pequot Lakes
Semifinals: Arnold had a bye; Markuson def. Tony Michaels of Andover

Street Trophy
Finals: Joe Moriarty Jr. of Ham Lake def. Tracy Arneson of Pillager
Semifinals: Moriarty def. Tony Loberg of Pequot Lakes; Arneson def. Tyler Godacz of Little Falls

Jr. Dragster AdvancedFinals: Emma McFarland of Sabin def. Maggie Ruzich of Hibbing
Semifinals: McFarland had a bye; Ruzich def. McKenna Bungert of Lakeville

Jr. Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Trevor Jelinski of Little Falls def. Zachary Jaenicke of Roseau
Semifinals: Jelinski had a bye; Jaenicke def. Cameron Beaulieu of Cambridge

Jr. Dragster Novice
Finals: Ayden Copham of Brainerd def. Alex Clampitt of Lino Lakes
Semifinals: Copham def. Owen Jaenicke of Roseau; Clampitt had a bye

PleasureLand takes over BIR for RV Show & Sale

PleasureLand RV Center, a valued sponsor at BIR, is taking over the track May 14-17 for its annual RV Show & Sale .

photo[1]PleasureLand has moved 240 RVs, including motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth-wheel trailers, onto the BIR grounds for this free event that’s open to the public. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

With stores in Brainerd, St. Cloud, Willmar and Ramsey, PleasureLand sells new and used recreational vehicles of all types and sizes. They have more than 500 units on display are the largest RV inventory in the Midwest. BIR’s full-service RV campground is now called the PleasureLand RV VIP Campground, and the Show & Go is now the PleasureLand RV Show & Go.







BIR welcomes the 26th Annual Supermileage Challenge

Brainerd International Raceway is buzzing this week with dozens of small home-built contraptions that are competing in the 26th Annual Supermileage Challenge May 13-14.

photoThe small one-person vehicles are designed, engineered, built and run by high school students from throughout the state and into Wisconsin. About 100 teams will be at BIR representing about 50 high schools as they drive their fuel-efficient vehicles with single-cylinder, four-stroke engines around BIR’s 3.1-mile road course in an effort to prove that their vehicle is the most fuel efficient.

The Supermileage Challenge is coordinated by the Minnesota Technology and Engineering Educators Association.


Season kicks off this weekend with drag racing, Superbikes

Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) will be filled with the unmistakable sights and sounds of drag racing and Superbike racing this weekend as the 2014 racing season kicks off with the first spectator event.

DragBrkt1-13BIR’s drag strip will be busy Friday through Sunday as the Bracket Drag Racing Series kicks off its six-weekend, 12-race schedule. Meanwhile, BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course will host the Central Roadracing Association’s (CRA) Superbike racing, the first of five weekends this season at BIR.

The Bracket Drag Racing Series features dragsters, cars, trucks, bikes, snowmobiles and Junior Dragsters. One of the classes is for street-legal vehicles, which is typically how drivers get involved in the sport at a relatively low cost because they can use the same car they drive to work. Three Junior Dragster classes are for kids as young as 8 years old, Racing6up to 18. Drivers in those classes and the other six are chasing series points and a shot at a series championship at the end of the season.

Friday is a Test & Tune day on the drag strip while Saturday and Sunday will feature time trials and racing each day. Winners in each of the 10 racing classes will be crowned at the end of each day.

The CRA features some of the best amateur Superbike racing in the Midwest as riders scream around the track’s 13 turns, laying down their bikes on the corners as they drag their knees. It’s a thrilling spectator sport Friday through Sunday.

CRA Superbike photo courtesy of SDE


Duluth’s KQDS to broadcast from Wednesday Night Drags

The season’s first Wednesday Night Drags – Street Legal Style is scheduled for this Wednesday (May 7), and participants will be in store for an added bonus. Duluth’s KQDS radio afternoon show, The Train Wreck, will broadcast live from BIR’s Tower Suites that overlook the starting line. The show is from 3-6 p.m. and is broadcast on 94.9 FM in the Duluth listening area. It also streams online at

KQDS logoThe Train Wreck jocks, Kevin Key and Chris Zooch, will have a little fun on the drag strip as well. One of them plans to drag race the KQ-mobile and may even have a little contest with those who are racing.

The Wednesday Night Street Drags are for anyone who wants to drive their street-legal car, truck or bike on BIR’s world-famous quarter-mile drag strip. Racers need a helmet and $25, and then they can make as many runs as times allow. Gates open at 4 p.m., with racing starting at 5 p.m. and ending at dusk.

All vehicles and drivers must meet safety requirements. Once on the track, drivers use the light tree and the scoreboard, and there’s even an announcer calling the action. For more details, go to the Wednesday Night Drags page.


PleasureLand RV Center returns to BIR as a major sponsor

PleasureLand RV Center has signed a three-year sponsorship agreement with Brainerd International Raceway.

The agreement, which extends through the 2016 season, includes title sponsorship of BIR’s 28th Annual Show & Go, naming rights of BIR’s full-service RV campground, space for a display during the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals and four other events and signs throughout the facility.

PleasurelandBIR’s Show & Go will now be called the PleasureLand RV Show & Go. Scheduled for July 4-6, the event is a Fourth of July tradition and is one of BIR’s most popular events. It features the second leg of the three-race Muscle Car Series on the drag strip and the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) regional road racing. It’s also the debut of the Cheerios Racing Great North Legends Cars, which are five-eighths-scale replicas of 1930s coupes and sedans that road race.

The Show & Go is very popular among families because it also includes kids activities and games, fireworks, a classic car show, live music and camping.

BIR’s full-service RV campground will now be called the PleasureLand RV VIP Campground. It features 164 sites that have water, electric and sewer hookups, as well as picnic tables and fire rings, and wrap around BIR’s water feature.

“We are really excited to have PleasureLand RV Center back as a sponsor,” BIR owner Jed Copham said. “They’re a great fit for our full-service RV campground, and they used to be the title sponsor of Show & Go for many years so this all fits together well. We couldn’t be happier to have them back at the track as a sponsor.”

With locations in Brainerd, St. Cloud, Willmar and Ramsey, PleasureLand RV Center sells new and used recreational vehicles of all types and sizes, and is a dealer of Winnebago, Keystone, Crossroads, Dutchmen, Itasca, Skyline, Prime Time, Grand Design, Forest River, Palomino, and Thor RVs. With more than 500 units on display, PleasureLand has the largest RV inventory in the Midwest. For more information, visit

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