Back to his roots: BIR owner Jed Copham races this weekend
While he is the owner of Brainerd International Raceway, Jed Copham's roots with the race track go back further--as a competitor. "Twenty-one years ago this weekend was my first time (racing) at BIR," reflected Copham, who will compete in his fou...
While he is the owner of Brainerd International Raceway, Jed Copham's roots with the race track go back further-as a competitor.
"Twenty-one years ago this weekend was my first time (racing) at BIR," reflected Copham, who will compete in his fourth Trans-Am Series road race in the TA1 class this weekend during the 30th Annual Pleasureland Show & Go Event.
His car, a souped-up Chevy Corvette pushed by an 850-horsepower gas engine and topped with a 2004 body style, is custom built by Jed and his team at BC Racing. "He's racing professional drivers who are on the national Trans-Am circuit," said Geoff Gorvin, BIR public relations coordinator. "He's raced with them in previous years and held his own, which is pretty impressive."
This event will be televised for the second year in a row by CBS Sports with a two-week tape delay. According to the BIR website, the televised schedule for the Trans Am Series TA1 race is 11 a.m. July 23. The TA2 race will be televised starting at noon July 31.
Inspired by successful people but mainly just having fun, Copham not only enjoys being the top dog running the business but he said he also loves to get back to his first passion, which is being a racer.
Back in 2006 Copham bought BIR with a dream and plenty of ambition. Through the years, with upgrades, regular maintenance and special projects like Lakes Jam, BIR has become a force to reckon with in the industry.
"I can't believe how many great memories this place has made," said Copham. "This is Minnesota's playground, not just the BIR but the whole Brainerd lakes area."
Anticipating his upcoming race, Copham said: "As a driver every lap is a new challenge, every race is a new mountain to overcome.
I just love to compete. As long as you enjoy what you do. I would love to win but I would be really happy if I finished toward the top and I come in with my car in one piece and still running."
What he likes best best about being behind the wheel of a race car, Copham said, is "pushing a car to the limits and pushing yourself to your limits. There's nothing more exhilarating."
Expecting thousands of campers, racers, and spectators, this event has become one of the largest in the Minnesota racing community, according to Copham. Aside from drag racing there will also be a fireworks display with live music to follow on Saturday night.
Trying not to get too far ahead of himself, Copham said he doesn't like to look at extended forecasts. "Weather people don't realize what a bad forecast can do to a business like mine," Copham said.
The local forecast should cooperate, however, with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70s to low 80s.