Brainerd International Raceway has been purchased by a Forest Lake family and the new owners said Thursday that they plan to continue racing. Jed and Kristi Copham, operating as BIR Holdings LLC, purchased the track for an undisclosed amount from Michigan-based Sports Resorts International Inc. and are renaming the facility Brainerd International Raceway and Resort.Queue the Hallelujah Chorus!
Jed Copham, a 33-year-old mechanical engineer with a passion for cars, said he first talked to the track's former owners when the 550-acre raceway was listed for sale more than a year ago. Copham, who worked with the family printing business Liberty Enterprises until it was sold in June 2005, said he has built two cars and has raced at BIR. He described himself and his family as amateur road racers and occasional drag racers.
The raceway, with a number of ownership and management changes, has been part of the Brainerd Lakes Area almost continuously since it opened in 1968 as Donneybrooke Speedway.BIR's signature event is the annual NHRA event, but the real gem is the 3.1 mile, 10 turn road course. I was fortunate enough to turn some laps there in my previous GTI, and really hope those wern't my last. Given the implied stability of the new situation, it makes a guy wonder if he's able to cobble together the resources for a dedicaded piece of race machinery in the near future.