To guarantee seniority for racing in this summer’s Bracket Drag Racing Series, those who participated in the 2019 Bracket Series points program must fill out the online survey below by 9 p.m. Monday, June 1.
On Tuesday, June 2, we will call all non-points program participants to fill available spaces.
Please DO NOT call our office after survey submission. We will be calling you.
If you need auxiliary stickers, please download and print the 2020 season ATV waiver and present it at the front gate. The waiver is available here: https://www.brainerdraceway.com/season-auxiliary-vehicle-form.
Gold cards will not be accepted for 2020 and will be valid for the 2021 racing season.
We at BIR have been working extremely hard to get our Bracket Drag Racers back on the track and be able to do it safely. The Governor’s Executive Order that was released Tuesday, May 28 states that racetracks in Minnesota can open starting June 1. The hard part for us at BIR is that the order restricts us to only 250 people – including staff – for a race. We are being forced to make some really difficult decisions. We also need to make this as fair as possible for the racers and the track. PLEASE READ ENTIRELY TO SHORTEN THE CALLS FOR MONDAY.
- We will have a Test & Tune on Friday, June 5 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a Jackpot race in the afternoon, weather permitting.
- Entrants who want to attend all 3 days will be given priority and the remainder of the spots will be given to people in the order in which we received them online.
- Anyone who is not racing Saturday and Sunday will need to vacate BIR property by 7 p.m. Friday.
- We will race on Saturday and Sunday but we will only be running 3 classes: Pro, Super Pro and Sportsman.
- In order to attend, you will be required to double enter both Saturday and Sunday. Each racer will only be allowed 1 crew member.
- A link on how to sign up will be provided on our website and Facebook page at 9 a.m. Monday.
- All attendees will need to fill out an online survey that will be limited to accommodate the 250-person rule.
- Racers who were in the points program in 2019 will be given priority.
- This will be done on a first-come first-served basis.
- The remainder will be filled by order in which we received them.
Admission Thur – Fri $40
Fri Only $30
Thur – Sun $60
Fri – Sun $55
Sat – Sun $45
Test & Tune – $55 basic test and tune. (Make as many runs as time allows)
Racer Entry – $300 to double enter 2 days.
Credits will be issued on a case-by-case basis.
Payout will remain the same as a normal Bracket race. Please go to www.brainerdraceway.com for details.
We are aware that by putting these rules in place we are eliminating a number of racers from being able to attend. We feel this is the best option given the limitations put in place. We are asking you for your understanding at this time and apologize to anyone we have upset with the decisions we have made for the upcoming weekend. We simply are trying to open our gate for the first time this season and follow all guidelines put in place by authorities and keep people safe.
Thank you for your patience and support and we hope to see all of you in the near future.
Important information for the weekend.
- When you arrive, you will enter through Gate B.
- You will be given a packet with everything you will need. Your tech cards will be filled out and waiting for you in Tech.
- Please consider doing your ETI this weekend while the car counts are low.
- Camping will be allowed but you must have a minimum of 50 feet between campers. We will have spaces marked in advance.
- The Wheelie Bar & Grille will NOT be open.
- Please plan your food and beverages before you arrive for the weekend to minimize the traffic at Gate B and trips to town or gas stations.
- VIP camp sites will NOT be available.
- We will be practicing all MDH and CDC along with other agency guidelines.
- Bring as many of your own essentials as possible, such as hand sanitizer, masks, pens and gloves, and be prepared to use your own facilities as often as possible.
To Our Racing Community,
The racing season is here but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the track. It’s pretty desolate out there, but that’s where we’re at with this COVID-19 pandemic.
We appreciate your patience with us during these past few months and we apologize for not providing you with more updates, but the situation is this: We’re in limbo. We’re working closely with Crow Wing County, which has done a great job of giving us a little wiggle room to get small private groups on the track. But they need to move forward very cautiously as well, and we understand that and are happy to comply with their directives.
Needless to say, we’re just as frustrated and impatient with the situation as you are. Maybe more. We’ve heard from many of you but most of you have taken a wait-and-see approach, which we appreciate. Here’s where we stand:
Last weekend’s Bracket Drag Racing Series race was postponed and moved back to this weekend (May 8-10). The Central Roadracing Association was scheduled for Superbike racing this weekend but they cancelled, so we moved Bracket Drag Racing back a week. As of right now, it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to race this weekend either. We’re looking at the schedule for an open weekend for rescheduling it.
We’re still not sure about the Bracket Drag Racing Series weekend, May 15-17, which includes the Glacier Lakes Audi Club on the road course Saturday and the Slowpokes Car Club on Sunday. We’re holding out hope that we can get some cars down the dragstrip and on the road course, but we just don’t know right now. The same goes for the rest of the season. I keep telling people that I feel like a plane that’s full of passengers and sitting at the end of the runway ready to take off but the control tower won’t let me!
For the time being, we’re trying – at the very least – to get our racers on the track. We still don’t know exactly what that would look like or how it would work but we’re working on it. It could be that there would be no camping, and it could be that racers would be restricted to a certain number of family and crew members, and it would most certainly involve mandatory social distancing everywhere on the property. We would look to everyone for self-policing, and those who don’t comply will be immediately removed from the track. The Wheelie Bar, of course, would be closed except for possibly off-sale liquor sales and take-out.
There will be changes to our Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals weekend. The NHRA West Central Division 5 just announced that we’re moving Thunder at the Lakes (our divisional race) back from Aug. 7-9 to Aug. 13-14. So the divisional race will be Thursday and Friday, and then the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will start qualifying Friday afternoon and run through Sunday. There are a bunch of moving parts to this that we’re addressing, including pricing, ticketing, etc., so we’ll keep you updated as we get everything set.
An important thing you should know about the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, as well as ALL our races, is that if you’ve purchased tickets for one of our events that is cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak, you will either be fully refunded or you will receive a credit that you can use for future events.
This COVID virus is a nasty thing, and we’re taking it very seriously here at BIR. The last thing we want is for racers and their families to contract it while at BIR and infect people back in their communities. So, we ask for your help to make sure that doesn’t happen, and that starts with everyone being patient with us while we work with Crow Wing County and try to salvage as much of the season as possible.
Stay safe, everyone, and we’ll try to update you as often as possible. Keep an eye on our website, our Social Media channels and our app for more updates.
Kristi Copham – BIR Owner
Some important deadlines are coming up this week for some who are attending the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, all three Muscle Car Series events, the Bracket Drag Racing Series season and the Minnesota Street Rod Association’s August event.
Wednesday, April 29 is the last day to renew the following:
Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals – Reserved grandstand seats and condos
All 3 Muscle Car Series events – Pro pad reservations, campsites in the PleasureLand RV VIP Campground and condos
The MSRA – campsites in the PleasureLand RV VIP Campground and condos
Friday, May 1 is the last day to renew season-long pro pad reservations for the Bracket Drag Racing Series.
You can renew online or by phone by contacting our Ticket Office at 866-444-4455 or 218-824-RACE or at email@example.com with questions.
If you have a special race fan on your Christmas list, think BIR for gift ideas. Nothing says “you’re special” like a date with Nitro! Or, admission to any other race we host here.
Check out these gift ideas, which you can buy over the phone or at BIR’s Ticket Office:
• Pre-Sale Tickets to the 2020 Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. These are discounted tickets that will go up in price after Dec. 31, so buy now!
• A BIR Gift Card that can be used for admission to our events and BIR apparel and merchandise at the Shirt Shack. We can make them for any denomination.
• A BIR Performance Driving School Gift Card that can be used to purchase school date or any other school event, like the StreetSmart Advanced Defensive Driving for Teens program. Visit the school’s website for more details and to purchase a card.
Nobody has better fans and racers than we do here at BIR. Nobody. Generosity was on display in a gigantic way April 18 when 65 volunteers came to BIR to help us clean up the track and get it ready for the 2019 season. They fixed things and cleaned things and painted things – you name it, they did it. We can’t thank you enough.
When Nick Engler landed his first Bracket Drag Racing Series championship last fall, one would think that he’d have family bragging rights for the entire year.
But the 27-year-old Engler found himself in a delicate situation with his dad, Dave Engler, who’s been drag racing at BIR for decades. Nick won the 2018 Pro ET championship, well ahead of his dad’s 17th-place finish, but Nick is the first to admit that he may not have won had it not been for his dad.
In the final round race of the season last fall, the Pro ET point standings were tight, with Nick sitting in first place by a slim margin over the next few racers. But he lost in the first round of eliminations, opening the door to the other racers who could’ve passed him in the standings by winning a few rounds. All he could do was sit and watch the race unfold. But dad came to the rescue.
In the first round, Dave knocked off Joe Howell, who was sitting in second place, and then he beat Steve Brings, who was sitting in fourth, which was enough to secure the first series championship for Nick. He admits that it’s not the ideal way to win your first title, but he’ll take it anyway he can.
“Things fell into place pretty well,” he said. “I didn’t really expect to win (the championship) but you just hope your car holds together. It seems like it was breaking down every other weekend but it held together enough to win.
Nick’s been racing at BIR since he was 13 years old. He started in Junior Dragsters until he was 16 and then occasionally raced his grandpa’s car – the 1969 Dodge Coronet that he still races.
“We’re ready to go,” Nick said about this season, even though he knows he’ll have a target on his back. “It was a high when we won it, but at the same time, after a week or two you start focusing on next season. So we’ll see how it goes.”
Engler is among more than 250 drag racers who will compete in this year’s Bracket Drag Racing Series, which starts this weekend. Friday is a Test & Tune day. Saturday and Sunday each start with a round of time trials and qualifying, followed by elimination rounds. Winners in the 10 classes are crowned both days. There are seven Bracket Drag Racing weekends this year at BIR.
One of the Bracket Drag Racers who knows a thing or two about winning is Steve Roehrs, who won the 2018 Super Pro series championship. Super Pro is typically the largest class and one of the toughest class, with as many as 90 racers competing each weekend. Roehrs beat 58 other drivers who competed in the points race.
“We had three wins last year, so it was a phenomenal year,” said Roehrs, who has won the Super Pro and Pro ET championships several times. “We’ll be trying to repeat this season but that’s a tall order. (The other drivers) will throw everything at you. Everybody’s tough. If it’s your day, it’s your day. All the planets have to align.”
Two racers repeated as series champs last year and will be gunning for a three-peat this season. Devrin Walcheski drove his 1979 Camaro to three wins and a runner-up finish last season in the Comp Trophy class, generating enough points to leave him at the top of the point standings.
Jimmy Paulson blew away the competition in the Pro Bike/Sled class, ending the 2018 season with six wins and two runner-up finishes, which makes him the guy to beat in 2019.
In Stock/Super Stock, Brad Kovisto proved that you don’t have to end up in the finals every race to take home a series title. Racing his 1974 Pontiac GTO in arguably the toughest class with some of the best racers in the Bracket Drag Racing Series, Kovisto ended the season with a win and two runner-up finishes but won enough rounds each weekend to generate valuable points, all of which contributed to his championship.
Joe Moriarty Sr. drove his 1968 Olds Cutlass to a series title in the Sportsman class. He finished the season with two wins and three runners up.
During the 2017 season, Tyler Gadacz, Tyler Kyllonen and Sally Lowe finished in sixth, seventh and eighth place, respectively, in the Street Trophy class. But they all moved up five places last year, finishing in the same order but at the top of the standings. It was Gadacz’s first series championship, as he drove his ’04 GTO to three wins and five runner-up finishes.
Gary Loeffelholz took home the Quick 16 title after winning the first and last races, which earned him enough points for the championship in a field made up of very fast 7- and 8-second cars.
In the Junior Dragster classes, Samantha Cielinski won four races and finished as runner up once on her way to a championship in the Advanced class.
In 2017, Riley Luberda finished second in the Intermediate class but put together a strong season last year with three wins and three runner-up finishes, which earned him the championship.
The top three racers in the Novice class all moved up to the Intermediate class last season, opening the door for some new racers. Addyson Scheleck took advantage of the situation, winning the title by finishing first three times and runner up three times.
Below are the top three finishers in each class:
- Steve Roehrs
- Greg Grundman
- Travis Reutzel
- Nick Engler
- Joe Howell
- Christopher Takacs
- Joe Moriarty
- Jerry Hieb
- Troy Luberda
- Brad Koivesto
- James Findell
- Glen DeMenge
- Jimmy Paulson
- Brad Harder
- Mike Bolander
- Devrin Walcheski
- Mike Simons
- Aaron Athman
- Tyler Gadacz
- Tyler Kyllonen
- Sally Lowe
- Gary Loeffelholz
- John Lieberg
- Rodney Thompson
Jr. Dragster Advanced
- Samantha Cielinski
- Jazper Wiebusch
- Trevor Jelinski
Jr. Dragster Intermediate
- Riley Luberda
- Daniel Dancer
- Dylan Dancer
Jr. Dragster Novice
- Addy Scheleck
- Blake Neyssen
- Daniela Krech
There’s a lot of new stuff happening this weekend during the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. Here’s a taste of what fans can expect.
Improvements to the ticketing system
To streamline the process by which fans get through BIR’s front gates and into their seats, we’ve made significant changes to our ticketing structure. This year, every admission ticket includes a reserved seat in the grandstand. This includes kids 12 and under, who get free admission. This will streamline access to the grandstand as well.
Happy anniversary to us!
It’s BIR’s 50th anniversary this year, so help us celebrate! Commemorative 50th anniversary apparel is on sale at the Shirt Shack, which is on the ground level of the brick condos, an through the Online Shirt Shack. We’ll be thanking our fans with a massive fireworks display Saturday night that will be bigger and more impressive than anything fireworks we’ve ever had.
Filming for ‘Roadkill’
A crew from the Internet streaming show “Roadkill” will be at BIR filming for a new episode with hosts David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan. They will display cars in the midway that have been featured in previous episodes, and they will race Matt Hagan and Leah Pritchett twice Saturday afternoon.
Nostalgic Pro Stock cars on display
The Midwest Nostalgic Pro Stock Association will have a display in the midway with at least four cars that pay tribute to Pro Stock legends like Bob Glidden. The cars will make exhibition runs on the track about 4 p.m. Friday and about 12:30 p.m. Saturday. They’re known for smokey burnouts, dry hops, burndowns and quick runs.
Meet the NHRA’s Legends
Meet three of the NHRA’s drag racing legends this weekend. Tom Hoover, Doc Halladay and Al Corda will be available for autographs and to meet fans. There are two autograph sessions planned at The Wheelie Bar & Grille, at 3 p.m. Friday and 3:30 pm Saturday. Minnesotans Hoover and Halladay were among the first drag racers to compete at BIR in 1968 when the track opened, and both went on to amazing careers in the sport.
New Zoo T-Shirts on sale
The Shirt Shack has a new design for The Zoo T-shirts this year. Get yours today as a commemorative keepsake for BIR’s 50th anniversary.
We installed new scoreboards at the finish line this year. With different colored bulbs, the new scoreboards are easier to read in all lighting conditions. Scoreboards facing away from the starting line are visible to fans watching downtrack past the finish line.
BIR is running a T-shirt special for the three-race Muscle Car Series.
Muscle Car Series T-shirts are $25 each. Buy three T-shirts and get a free commemorative 50th Anniversary T-shirt for free. T-shirts are available at the BIR Shirt Shack, which is on the ground level of the brick condominiums building.
Below are the T-shirt designs: