Drag racers, Superbikes take on BIR this weekend

In what will certainly be an emotional weekend at Brainerd International Raceway, an addition to the drag racing and Superbike racing programs that start Friday will be a Celebration of Life for Jed Copham. 

Copham, one of BIR’s owners, tragically died last fall in a boating accident. His life and legacy will be remembered Saturday during a Celebration of Life event, which will be open and free to the public. Gates will open to the public at 3 p.m. A slow lap around the track to honor him will be at 6:30 p.m., followed by an open mic session at The Wheelie Bar & Grille, live music and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.

The track will be busy before and after the Celebration of Life as the Central Roadracing Association makes its first of five stops at BIR this season for three days of high-flying Superbike racing. 

Friday’s schedule includes practice sessions and ends with two qualifying rounds for the Michelin Cup. On Saturday, there’ll be eight-lap sprint races, followed by a pair of 18-lap Trophy Dash races and then two 10-lap Michelin Cup races. The weekend wraps up Sunday with eight-lap sprints.

More than 250 drag racers are expected on the drag strip this weekend for the second of seven Bracket Drag Racing Series weekends. Dragsters, cars, trucks, bikes, snowmobiles and Junior Dragsters will be battling for series points. Friday is a Test & Tune Day. Saturday and Sunday each include time trials and qualifying in the morning and then elimination rounds, culminating with winners both days.

Gates open at 5 p.m. on Thursday. Daily admission is $25 Friday and Saturday but only $10 on Sunday. Kids 12 and under are free. Parking is free, as is camping with a multi-day ticket. 

Now in its 51st season, BIR is one of North America’s largest racetracks, featuring a world-class quarter-mile drag strip, two road courses, 300 acres for rustic camping, 164 full-service RV sites and 12 on-site condos. BIR is about 120 miles north of the Twin Cities.