July 27, 2006 - Brainerd International Raceway, Minnesota's premier motorsports facility long held by Sports Resorts International Inc., a Michigan based company, has been sold to BIR Holdings LLC, held by Jed and Kristi Copham of Forest Lake, Minn. The facility will be known as "Brainerd International Raceway and Resort."
Together, along with Sports Resorts CEO Donald J.Williamson, they take great pleasure in making this announcement for the Brainerd racetrack that has long played historical significance in the Minnesota motorsports landscape and Brainerd community. The 600-acre facility plays host each year to numerous automobile and motorcycle events, including the renowned National Hot Rod Association's (NHRA) 25th annual Lucas Oil Nationals, scheduled for Aug. 10-13.
"As the Mayor of Flint, Mich., and my wife Patsy Lou running for State Senate, we are focusing our efforts within our local community," commented Donald Williamson. "We have owned the Brainerd facility since 1994 and continued to invest each year with numerous capital improvements. We feel this has continued to make BIR a great destination for thousands of motorsports fans and racers. They are pleased to have kept the 6-unit condominium building on the lake, and we sincerely wish the Cophams as much fun and success as we have had. We would also like to thank the Brainerd community for its support and continued well wishes for the new owners."
"As amateur road racers and occasional drag racers, my family and I are excited about the purchase of BIR," Jed Copham said. "Like many around the State of Minnesota and the Midwest, our family has been coming to BIR for years as participants and spectators. The opportunity for our company to purchase this facility and continue its legacy is a welcomed challenge that we look forward to for many years to come. My transition team is eager to continue the work that has taken place in this wonderful facility and we especially look forward to developing new relationships within the Brainerd area and throughout the motorsports community."
"We want to welcome Mr. and Mrs. Copham into the NHRA family and look forward to working with them and the entire staff at Brainerd International Raceway for years to come," said Peter Clifford, Executive Vice President and General Manager, NHRA. "Given their personal involvement in racing, we are confident that as owners of the facility, they will make sure the needs of both the fans and the racing community are met and will be a great asset to the Brainerd community."
Future plans for BIR include a continuance of the current drag racing and road course racing programs while searching for new racing events for BIR's patrons and racing customers. Additional plans may include a revision of the current road course configuration with a goal of separating the current drag strip from the track's main straightaway. As allowed, additional configuration changes may see a new but separate and shorter road course design using turn's 2, 3, 4, and 5 on the current road course. Although BIR's famed 3-mile road course will continue to be an option for users, the construction of a shorter track will allow more options for multiple uses within the facility.