RACE: New owners at Brainerd

NEW BIR OWNERS PLAN TO KEEP WHEELS TURNING AT POPULAR MINNESOTA MOTORSPORTS COMPLEX BRAINERD, Minn. -- Brainerd International Raceway, Minnesota's premier motorsports facility and host of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals POWERade Drag Racing Series...

NEW BIR OWNERS PLAN TO KEEP WHEELS TURNING AT POPULAR MINNESOTA MOTORSPORTS COMPLEX

BRAINERD, Minn. -- Brainerd International Raceway, Minnesota's premier motorsports facility and host of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals POWERade Drag Racing Series event, has been sold to BIR Holdings LLC, held by Jed and Kristi Copham of Forest Lake, Minn. The new owners plan to continue the current drag racing programs and road course racing programs while searching for new racing events for BIR's patrons and racing customers.

The sale in no way affects the running of this year's 25th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, scheduled for Aug. 10--13.

The 600-acre facility, long held by Sports Resorts International Inc., a Michigan-based company, will be known as Brainerd International Raceway and Resort.

"As amateur road racers and occasional drag racers, my family and I are excited about the purchase of BIR," said Jed Copham. "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 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 all 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."

Sports Resorts CEO Donald J. Williamson, the mayor of Flint, Mich., cited his need to focus on his community and his wife Patsy Lou's bid for a seat in the state senate as reasons for the sale.

"We have owned the Brainerd facility since 1994 and continued to invest each year with numerous capital improvements," he said. "We feel this has continued to make BIR a great destination for thousands of motorsports fans and racers ... and sincerely wish the Cophams as much fun and success as we have had. We would also like to thank the Brainerd community for their support and continued well wishes for the new owners."

Additional future plans for the new owners may include a revision of the current road course configuration with a goal of separating the current dragstrip from the track's main straightaway. As allowed, additional configuration changes may allow a new but separate and shorter road course design.

-nhra-

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Series Automotive , NHRA , SCCA
Teams Williams