Brainerd International Raceway will find itself in the center of the drag racing universe again Aug. 14-17, 2014, surrounded by the world’s best drag racers, the fastest cars, the most insane race fans and an experience like no other. It’s the 33rd Annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
Everyone has heard stories about BIR during the NHRA Nationals but you have to experience it yourself because there’s nothing that compares. Gates open Aug. 12 for Superweek campers.
At center stage is four days of ground-pounding, lightning-fast, blow-your-mind drag racing. Every household name in drag racing competes at the NHRA Nationals on BIR’s world-renown track – the fastest drag strip in the country. Names like John Force, Tony Schumacher, Larry Dixon, Ron Capps, Antron Brown, Brandon Bernstein, Cruz and Tony Pedregon, and Minnesotans Greg Anderson and Jason Line push themselves and their cars to the limits as they compete for a world championship in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
This kind of racing isn’t for the faint of heart. The Top Fuel Dragsters get down the quarter-mile track in less than 4 seconds at speeds over 300 mph. They crank out about 8,000 horsepower along the way. Blink at the wrong time and they’re long gone.
There’s just as much to see off the track. Every ticket comes with a pit pass, so fans can watch teams tear down their race cars and rebuild them between races. You can stand within feet of the crews as they crank up the car, sending the smell and burn of nitro fuel into the crowd. You can’t get that anywhere else. Bring a pen and paper because drivers are readily available for autographs.
On the Nitro Alley midway, manufacturers and sponsors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and freebies.
But what makes BIR unique among other tracks on the NHRA circuit is its on-site camping, specifically, The Zoo campground, which has a reputation among drivers, teams and fans alike for being THE place to be at the end of race day. With live bands Thursday through Saturday, a spectacular fireworks display, 24-hour food, a constant parade of Partywagons, bonfires and rickshaw races, The Zoo is the only place to stay to really experience NHRA Nationals at BIR. It’s all good clean fun.
For those with small children or who want quieter evenings, the reserved and family camping areas have early noise and traffic rules that are strictly enforced to give families a break from the all-night celebrations.
A major change to the event again this year will make fans very happy. BIR moved the ticket gate inside the track and eliminated ticket scanning to reduce the long lines at the front gate and to get fans into the track quicker. For day parking, fans drive into the track and park before buying their ticket. Campers and those with premium parking will drive inside to the new ticketing site.