Brainerd International Raceway Is Going Full Speed Ahead In 2019
Shockwaves were sent through Brainerd’s racing community last November when Jed Copham, the co-owner of Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) died in a swimming accident in Florida.
“It was tragic,” Geoffrey Gorvin, BIR’s Marketing Director, said. “It was a great loss for the family obviously, but also for the racing community, BIR, and the staff. He was certainly beloved by everybody and was the face of BIR.”
Jed co-owned BIR with his wife, Kristi, and the track will stay in the family as Kristi has taken over as the solo owner.
“She decided fairly quickly that she wanted to do that,” Gorvin said. “She’d been involved with the day-to-day operations from the get-go, she’s been out here at all the events, so I think it’s going to be a fairly easy transition for her.”
The 2019 race schedule looks similar to any other season, filled with drag and street races along with their marquee event in August, the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. Fans can also experience the track first hand as BIR’s performance driving school, and their Wednesday Street Drag Nights are back.
“We’ll have great racing all year long, people can expect that,” Gorvin said. “The racers, the fans, and everyone has showed a lot support throughout this whole thing, and they’re excited to get back on the track and get back to BIR itself. So, we are looking for a good year again and it’s going to be fun.”
But the track and the racing community in Brainerd will never forget Jed Copham, as BIR plans to honor their former owner throughout the year.
“We want to keep his legacy alive obviously, he pumped his heart and soul into this place, and he kind of got it to where he really wanted it,” Gorvin said. “Like I said, people have been really supportive.”
2018 ended in tragedy for the BIR family, but they are putting their foot back on the gas for 2019.
“We’re working hard to get ready for the season,” Gorvin said. “It’s going to come fast and it’s going to be a blast.”
The racing season at Brainerd International Raceway officially kicks off with their annual racer banquet on February 23rd. For more information on events happening at BIR, check out their website at https://www.brainerdraceway.com/events/.