Brainerd International Raceway

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Coordinates: 46°25′01″N94°16′23″W / 46.417069°N 94.273142°W / 46.417069; -94.273142

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.


Brainerd International Raceway
Brainerd International Raceway Logo.jpg
Brainerd International Raceway.svg
Location Crow Wing County, NW of Brainerd, Minnesota, United States
Major events NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals
Length4.989 km (3.100 mi)
Welcome sign in May 1997 BrainerdInternationalRacewayMay1997.jpg
Welcome sign in May 1997

Brainerd International Raceway is a road course, and dragstrip racing complex northwest of the city of Brainerd, Minnesota. The complex has a 0.25-mile (0.402 km) dragstrip, and overlapping 2.5-mile (4.023 km) and 3.1-mile (4.989 km) road courses. The complex also includes a kart track. The raceway hosts the National Hot Rod Association's Lucas Oil Nationals. It is a popular racetrack for the Trans Am Series. The spectator seating capacity of the circuit is 20,000. [1]

Road racing

Road racing is a form of motorsport racing held on a paved road surfaces. The races can be held either on a closed circuit or on a street circuit utilizing temporarily closed public roads. Originally, road races were held almost entirely on public roads however, public safety concerns eventually led to most races being held on purpose built racing circuits.


A dragstrip is a facility for conducting automobile and motorcycle acceleration events such as drag racing. Although a quarter mile is the best known measure for a drag track, many tracks are eighth mile tracks, and the premiere classes will run 1,000 foot (304.8m) races. The race is begun from a standing start which allows three factors to affect the outcome of the race: reaction time, torque, and traction.

Brainerd, Minnesota City in Minnesota, United States

Brainerd is a city in Crow Wing County, Minnesota, United States. Its population was 13,592 as of the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Crow Wing County, and is one of the largest cities in Central Minnesota. Brainerd straddles the Mississippi River several miles upstream from its confluence with the Crow Wing River, having been founded as a site for a railroad crossing above said confluence. Brainerd is the principal city of the Brainerd Micropolitan Area, a micropolitan area covering Cass and Crow Wing counties and with a combined population of 91,067 as of the 2010 census. The Brainerd area serves as a major tourist destination for Minnesota, and Baxter is a regional retail center.


Opened in July 1968 as Donnybrooke Speedway, there were no safety barriers, run-out areas, grandstands or even restrooms. George Montgomery and Bud Stall cleared the racetrack through a wooded area on the south side of North Long Lake. It was SCCA's first venue in the region. [2] It was also an NHRA-sanctioned track, with the first official event there an NHRA race, at the opening; Top Fuel Dragster was won by Doc Halladay. [3] With the help of St Paul sports promoter Dennis Scanlan, it hosted a 2-heat USAC Indy Car race in 1969. The heats were won by Gordon Johncock and Dan Gurney. [4]

North Long Lake lake of the United States of America

At 6,000 acres (24 km²), North Long Lake is one of the larger lakes in the Brainerd Lakes Area of the U.S. state of Minnesota.

Sports Car Club of America American automobile club

The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) is an American automobile club and sanctioning body supporting road racing, rallying, and autocross in the United States. Formed in 1944, it runs many programs for both amateur and professional racers.

National Hot Rod Association North American drag auto racing organization

The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) is a drag racing governing body, which sets rules in drag racing and hosts events all over the United States and Canada. With over 40,000 drivers in its rosters, the NHRA claims to be the largest motorsports sanctioning body in the world.

In 1973 Jerry Hansen bought the track and renamed it Brainerd International Raceway. It played host to CanAm races in 1970, 1971, and 1972. These races were won by, respectively, Denny Hulme, Peter Revson, and François Cevert.

Denny Hulme New Zealander racing driver

Denis Clive "Denny" Hulme, was a New Zealand racing driver who won the 1967 Formula One World Drivers' Championship for the Brabham team. Between his debut at Monaco in 1965 and his final race in the 1974 US Grand Prix, he started 112 Grand Prix, resulting eight victories and 33 trips to the podium. He also finished third in the overall standing in 1968 and 1972.

Peter Revson American racecar driver

Peter Jeffrey Revson was an American race car driver and heir to the Revlon cosmetics fortune. He was a multiple Formula One race winner and had success at the Indianapolis 500.

François Cevert French racing driver

Albert François Cevert Goldenberg was a French racing driver who took part in the Formula One World Championship. He competed in 47 World Championship Grands Prix, achieving one win, 13 podium finishes and 89 career points.

In the 1970s, the track began holding Funny Car events, in particular the Crown Auto Funny Car Championships, and in time, NHRA was convinced to stage a national event at Brainerd: in 1982, Shirley Muldowney (in Top Fuel Dragster), Frank Hawley (Top Fuel Funny Car), and Lee Shepherd (Pro Stock) were the headline winners at the first Quaker State North Star NHRA Nationals. [5]

Funny Car type of racing car

Funny Car is a type of drag racing vehicle and a specific racing class in organized drag racing. Funny cars are characterized by having tilt-up fiberglass or carbon fiber automotive bodies over a custom-fabricated chassis, giving them an appearance vaguely approximating manufacturers' showroom models. They also have the engine placed in front of the driver, as opposed to dragsters, which place it behind the driver.

Shirley Muldowney American Drag Racing Driver

Shirley Muldowney, also known professionally as "Cha Cha" and the "First Lady of Drag Racing", is an American auto racer. She was the first woman to receive a license from the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) to drive a Top Fuel dragster. She won the NHRA Top Fuel championship in 1977, 1980, and 1982, becoming the first person to win two and three Top Fuel titles. She won a total of 18 NHRA national events.

Frank Hawley is a two-time World champion drag racing driver.

In Pro Stock, Bob Glidden won at Brainerd in 1983, 1985, 1986, and 1992. [6]

Bob Glidden American racing driver

Bob Glidden was an American drag racer. He was retired from Pro Stock racing in 1997 and returned in 2010. Glidden retired as the driver with the most wins in National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) history at that time — a feat recently topped by 16-time Funny Car champion John Force — and he was the third-most successful drag racer of the professional class drivers — sixth when counting sportsman national event winners — at the time of his death. Glidden won 85 NHRA National Events. In the Professional classes, he was behind Force (147) and Warren Johnson (97). Currently, Glidden ranks fourth behind Greg Anderson (90). Glidden's ten Pro Stock championships included five in a row beginning in 1985. Among his numerous accomplishments, Glidden won nine straight NHRA national races in 1979 and was the No. 1 qualifier 23 times in a row, including the entire 1987 season. At one point, he won 50 eliminations rounds in a row.

The Brainerd strip became known as "one of the quickest and fastest in the world". [7] It was completely resurfaced in 2003. [8] In 2005, Tony Schumacher turned in a speed of 337.58 mph (543.28 km/h), "the fastest quarter-mile time ever", [9] and in 2016 and 2017, national NHRA records in Funny Car were set there. [10]

Kenny Bernstein won at Brainerd five times, 1983 and 1987 (in Top Fuel Funny Car) and in 1991, 1996, and 2002 (in Top Fuel Dragster)).

In the summer of 2006, Jed and Kristi Copham of Forest Lake, Minnesota, became the new owners of Brainerd International Raceway. [11]

Brainerd International Raceway was damaged during a severe thunderstorm that rocked most of the state of Minnesota on July 12, 2015. [12]

Track Information

Brainerd International Raceway consists of 2 road tracks and 1 drag strip.

Donnybrooke Road Course

Brainerd International Raceway maintains the original name of the now 40-year-old course. The course is used for automotive and motorcycle racing.

The 3.1-mile Donnybrooke Road Course has 10 turns and is considered wide – the main straight is 60 feet wide. There is essentially no elevation change. BIR is a high-speed course; vehicles can reach speeds of nearly 180 mph and take the slowest corners around 80 mph. There are wide runoff areas at most of the corners, which makes BIR's road course extremely safe. This configuration uses the dragstrip as part of the course.

Competition Road Course

The 2009 racing season was the first for the 2.5 mile course which was completed the previous summer.

Turn 1 on the 2.5-mile Competition Road Course is the same as Turn 1 on the three-mile road course. Turn 1 is a narrow but very high-speed banked right-hand 60-degree turn, which is intended be taken flat out by all vehicles. Turns 1 through 8 of the original 3.1-mile road course are used for the new circuit. At Turn 8, a 240-degree right-hand Clover Leaf transitions drivers from the old course to the new stretch of asphalt that winds its way back across the infield, eventually tying back into the original circuit just before Turn 1, avoiding the dragstrip. In all, the Competition Road Course features 13 turns and very little elevation change.


The dragstrip dates back to 1969, when BIR converted the mile-long straightaway on its road course to a drag strip and hosted an NHRA Divisional Points Race. In 1977, BIR hosted the Crown Auto Funny Car Championships and the Crown Auto Winston Points Championship. It was reconstructed in 2005, adding a 700-foot concrete launch pad and new asphalt for the remaining 600 feet was installed. Tony Schumacher, set the world record for top fuel dragsters with a 337.58 mph (543.28 km/h) run in 2005. This speed and time are recorded at the end of a standing start quarter mile acceleration race, before the NHRA shortened top fuel and funny car races to the current 1,000 ft (304.8 m) since 2008. [13]

Related Research Articles

Drag racing type of motor racing in which automobiles or motorcycles compete

Drag racing is a type of motor racing in which automobiles or motorcycles compete, usually two at a time, to be first to cross a set finish line. The race follows a short, straight course from a standing start over a measured distance, most commonly 14 mi, with a shorter becoming increasingly popular, as it has become the standard for Top Fuel dragsters and funny cars, where some major bracket races and other sanctioning bodies have adopted it as the standard, while the 18 mi is also popular in some circles. Electronic timing and speed sensing systems have been used to record race results since the 1960s.

Don Prudhomme American racing driver

Don Prudhomme, nicknamed "The Snake", is an American drag racer.

Frank Manzo, nicknamed "Ace", is an American funny car drag racer, named to the 2010 American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association All-America Team.

Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, originally known as Madison Township Raceway Park, is an American auto racing facility located in Old Bridge Township, in Middlesex County, New Jersey, United States,, in the New York metropolitan area.

Tom McEwen (drag racer) American dragster driver

Tom McEwen was an American drag racer who was a winner of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) U.S. Nationals. His racing career spanned 45 years. He is ranked at number 16 on a list of the 50 most significant drivers of NHRA’s first 50 years.

The NHRA Winternationals are an annual drag racing event held by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.

Dragster (car) specialized competition automobile used in drag racing

A dragster is a specialized competition automobile used in drag racing.

The Hot Rod Magazine Championship Drag Races were a series of drag racing events sponsored by Hot Rod Magazine between 1961 and 1969. It was considered "one of the most significant drag racing events" of that era.

Ronnie Scrima is an American dragster and funny car chassis builder.

The Logghe Stamping Company is a dragster and funny car fabricator based in Detroit, Michigan.

Ed McCulloch

Ed McCulloch, nicknamed "The Ace", is an American dragster and funny car driver.

The NHRA Summernationals are an annual drag racing event run by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).

The 1978 NHRA Summernationals were a National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) drag racing event, held at Englishtown, New Jersey, on 16 July.

Vallco Professional Drag Racing was a card-based drag racing game invented by Greg Zyla in 1963.

Gaspar Ronda, better known as Gas Ronda, was an American drag racer. He was also a restaurateur. In 2016, Ronda was made a member of the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Pawnbroker is a pioneering rear-engined dragster built in 1969.

Doug Thorley is an American Funny Car drag racer, hot rodder and businessman. In 1967, he won the NHRA Nationals' first Funny Car Eliminator title, and was given Car Craft's All-Star Drag Racing Team Funny Car Driver of the Year Award in 1968. Hot Rod magazine describes him as "one of drag racing’s most famous early era drivers."

Dale Emery, nicknamed "The Snail", was an American drag racer. Emery raced Fuel Altereds and Funny Cars, and briefly in wheelstanders, as well as serving as crew chief for several top teams.


  1. "World Stadiums - Stadiums in the United States :: Minnesota".
  2. Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing", written 24 August 2018, at (retrieved 13 October 2018)
  3. Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing", written 24 August 2018, at (retrieved 13 October 2018)
  4. "Brainerd International Raceway". 1969-09-14. Retrieved 2009-09-19.
  5. Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing", written 24 August 2018, at (retrieved 13 October 2018)
  6. Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing", written 24 August 2018, at (retrieved 13 October 2018)
  7. Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing", written 24 August 2018, at (retrieved 13 October 2018)
  8. Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing", written 24 August 2018, at (retrieved 13 October 2018)
  9. Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing", written 24 August 2018, at (retrieved 13 October 2018)
  10. Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Brainerd: Celebrating 50 years of racing", written 24 August 2018, at (retrieved 13 October 2018)
  11. Richardson, Renee (July 28, 2006). "BIR sold". Brainerd Dispatch. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2011.
  12. FOX. "Brainerd, Minnesota twisted by storms, raceway in pieces".
  13. The Summit Racing Web Development Team. (2005-08-13). "BRAINERD - Saturday Wrap Up". Retrieved 2009-09-19.