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.


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

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. 20 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 (starting the week of Oct 30).

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!

Here’s to the best race crew in the business!

Thanks to Brainerd International Raceway’s race crew for another phenomenal year of racing! They’re an amazing collection of dedicated and passionate individuals who get giant kudos for the great work they do to ensure a safe, fun racing environment. Thanks for making BIR one of the best tracks in the Midwest and for making the racing experience enjoyable for drivers and their crews!

Your 2017 Racing Crew: Phil Abramson (resting comfortably on the ground). 1st row from left: Cory Buchanan, Cindy Fairchild, Bruce  Kerber, Steve Roberts, DeDe Roberts, Dick Reineck, Kristi Copham, Jed Copham, Paul Burkland, Trevor Lang, Joyce Cuturia. Back row: Steve Koch, Tracy Fairchild, Keith Harris, Jason Waste, Gary Potvin, Jeff Korol, Krissi Martin, Erica Pilarski, Matt Page, Dusty Ziemet.

Your 2017 Racing Crew: Phil Abramson (resting comfortably on the ground). 1st row from left: Cory Buchanan, Cindy Fairchild, Bruce Kerber, Steve Roberts, DeDe Roberts, Dick Reineck, Kristi Copham, Jed Copham, Paul Burkland, Trevor Lang, Joyce Cuturia. Back row: Steve Koch, Tracy Fairchild, Keith Harris, Jason Waste, Gary Potvin, Jeff Korol, Krissi Martin, Erica Pilarski, Matt Page, Dusty Ziemet.
























Season ends with pair of World Racing League enduro races

The World Racing League was on BIR’s Competition Road Course last weekend for a pair of endurance races, an eight-hour race on Saturday and a seven-hour race in the rain on Sunday. The objective is pretty simple: Complete more laps than anyone else. Below are results from each day. Photos below are from Jerry Winker, ComicOzzie Autosport Photography.

SATURDAY’S RESULTS – click on graphic below






SUNDAY’S RESULTS – click on graphic below
































































Goblins and more at BIR for the finale

There was a little of everything during the final weekend of racing. A wedding proposal, a Halloween costume party, treasure hunts, games and some great racing action. Here are some photos from the weekend. Have a fabulous winter and we’ll see you at the track next year for the 50th Anniversary!

His & Her Wallys

His & Her Wallys

There might be a BIR owner or 2 here.

There might be a BIR owner or 2 here.




Scary. Very scary.

Scary. Very scary.

Looking good.

Looking good.




The kids were in the Halloween spirit...

The kids were in the Halloween spirit…












 were the adults.

…as were the adults.















The Proposal.

The Proposal.

She must've said yes.

She must’ve said yes.


Hjelle, Brings among winners in season finale

With series championships on the line and a chance for drivers to win Wally trophies, 322 drag racers punctuated the end of the racing season Saturday at Brainerd International Raceway with an exclamation point, or two.

Travis Hjelle, Super Pro

Travis Hjelle, Super Pro

Steve Brings, Pro ET

Steve Brings, Pro ET

Last weekend was the final spectator event of BIR’s season. It featured the Bracket Drag Racing Series on the drag strip and the World Racing League on BIR’s Competition Road Course. Mother Nature didn’t cooperate for drag racing on Sunday but the World Racing League ran in the rain and completed its pair of endurance races, an eight-hour race on Saturday and a seven-hour race on Sunday.

There was a lot on the line for drag racers. In addition to battling for series championships, Saturday’s race was also the annual NHRA All Access Challenge, commonly called the Wally Race. The winners of all the classes took home a Wally trophy, just like those that the NHRA pros win. Even the Junior Dragsters got in on the action. They also competed for Wally trophies as part of the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League Challenge.

Jerry Heib, Sportsman

Jerry Heib, Sportsman

Richard Tadych, Pro Bike//Sled

Richard Tadych, Pro Bike//Sled

On the drag strip, the Super Pro class was awfully crowded as 107 drivers competed. One of them was Travis Hjelle, who won seven races Saturday to earn a spot in the Winner’s Circle. Driving a 1964 Nova, Hjelle lined up against Joe Schmall in the finals. Hjelle was almost perfect off the starting line, with a .004 reaction time, and wouldn’t be caught at the finish line, winning with a time of 9.889 seconds at 130.12 mph.

The Pro ET class also had high car counts, with 105 cars competing. The seventh and final round featured Steve Brings and Pat Haubrich, slugging it out for a Wally. Brings and his 1964 Ford Falcon beat Haubrich off the starting line and never looked back, posting a winning time of 9.208 seconds and 141.30 mph.

Amy Jo Luberda, Comp Trophy

Amy Jo Luberda, Comp Trophy

Ryan Rennquist, Street Trophy

Ryan Rennquist, Street Trophy

Hjelle and Brings then squared off in the Super Pro/Pro ET Shootout, with $3,000 in prize money at stake. Hjelle was a little over-anxious, though, and fouled at the starting line, giving Brings the easy win and a check for $2,000. Hjelle’s payoff was $1,000.

Jerry Hieb ran the table in the Sportsman class, outlasting 30 other drivers and beating Neil Webster in the finals. Driving a 1974 Camaro, Hieb was slower off the starting line but caught Webster at the finish line with a winning time of 12.029 seconds and 110.34 mph.

Richard Tadych rode his 2003 Arctic Cat F7 snowmobile to a win in the Pro Bike/Sled class. He beat Kayla Filipiak in the finals after flirting with a perfect reaction time (.002 seconds) and finishing her off at the finish line with a time of 10.764 seconds and 115.22 mph.

Sydney Thompson, Jr. Drag Advance

Sydney Thompson, Jr. Drag Advance

Ally Giese, Intermediate

Ally Giese, Intermediate

In the Comp Trophy class, Tim Williams handed Amy Jo Luberda a finals win by fouling at the starting line. Driving a 1994 Camaro, Luberda still ran 12.518 seconds and 109.18 mph.

Ryan Rennquist has a Wally for his trophy case after winning the Street Trophy class. He beat Michael Ische in the finals with a time of 14.602 seconds and 92.42 mph.

Wally trophies went home with three Junior Dragsters drivers as well: Sydney Thompson, Ally Giese and Daniel Dancer.

Thompson drove her dragster to a Junior Dragster Advanced finals win over Jazper Wiebusch, with a winning time of 8.003 seconds and 79.52 mph. In Junior Dragster Intermediate, Giese beat Megan Cielinski in the finals by posting a time of 9.471 seconds and 65.13 mph. And Dancer shuffled home with a finals win in Junior Dragster Novice when Daniela Krech fouled at the starting line.

Daniel Dancer, Novice

Daniel Dancer, Novice

On the road course, 21 cars made up the field for the World Racing League’s Comp Du Lacs Brainerd, a pair of endurance races. Although 21 cars started the race on Saturday, only 14 finished. The team that completed the most laps after seven hours had elapsed was In The Red 1, which completed 254 laps. Team Braunschweig was second with 252 laps and North Loop Motorsports was third with 250 laps.

Braunschweig turned in the best single-lap time of 1:45.480 and the top speed of 85.324 mph, both of which were achieved in the team’s final lap of the race.

On Sunday, the same three teams finished on top of the standings, but Braunschweig nudged out In The Red 1 for the win, with North Loop Motorsports taking third again. Braunschweig completed 189 laps, while In The Red 1 finished with 188 laps and 187 for North Loop Motorsports.

Braunschweig turned in the best single-lap time and speed again, with 1:58.729 and 75.803 mph, respectively

Drag Racing results from Saturday, Sept. 30

Super Pro
Finals: Travis Hjelle of Karlstad def. Joe Schmall of Lino Lakes

Pro ET
Finals: Steve Brings of Howard Lake def. Pat Haubrich of New Ulm

Super Pro/Pro ET Shootout
Finals: Steve Brings of Howard Lake def. Travis Hjelle of Karlstad

Finals: Jerry Hieb of Maple Grove def. Neil Webster of Little Canada

Pro Bike/Sled
Finals: Richard Tadych of Fertile def. Kayla Filipiak of Isanti

Comp Trophy
Finals: Amy Jo Luberda of Sauk Rapids def. Tim Williams of Corcoran

Street Trophy
Finals: Ryan Rennquist of Cloquet def. Michael Ische of Minnetonka

Junior Dragster Advanced
Finals: Sydney Thompson of  Nowthen def. Jazper Wiebusch of Ham Lake

Junior Dragster Intermediate
Finals: Ally Giese of Kandiyohi def. Megan Cielinski of Gilman

Junior Dragster Novice
Finals: Daniel Dancer of Foley def. Daniela Krech of Inver Grove Heights



Season finale features drag racing, enduro races

The final spectator event of the season is this weekend as the Bracket Drag Racing Series determines its series champions while the World Racing League spends two days on the road course for a pair of endurance races.

Saturday is a significant day of racing for 300-plus drag racers competing in the Bracket Drag Racing Series. It’s the annual NHRA All Access Challenge, commonly called the “Wally Race.” The winners of all six classes – Super Pro, Pro ET, Sportsman, Pro Bike/Sled, Comp Trophy and Street Trophy – will take home a coveted Wally trophy, like the ones that the stars of the NHRA win.

BrianJohnson_WDrag racers in the three Junior Dragster classes get in on the action, too. They’ll be competing Saturday in the annual NHRA Summit Racing Junior Drag Racing League Challenge, where winners will claim their own Wally trophy. The Junior Dragster classes is for racers ages 8-18.

While drag racers would love to add a Wally to their trophy case, most are gunning for a series championship as well. They’ve been accumulating series points over the previous 10 races, culminating in this weekend’s race for the title. Winners are determined both Saturday and Sunday, giving racers two more shots at earning valuable points. Fans can expect some high-intensity racing.

Over on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course, the World Racing League will have a pair of endurance races. Saturday features an eight-hour endurance race while Sunday’s race is a seven-hour affair.

IMGP8248_wDaily admission is $25 and kids 12 and under are free. Parking is free and on-site rustic camping is free with a multi-day ticket.

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