Andretti, Archer Among Trans Am Series Racers This Weekend at Brainerd International Raceway

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Familiar racing names like Andretti and Archer bring back glory days of the Trans Am Series at Brainerd International Raceway. This weekend's race features two 100-mile races to cap off three days of drag racing, road racing and more.

Amy Ruman won last year's Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic in the TA class for pro drivers.

"Our fans are in for a real treat this year with a pair of 100-mile races, plus drag racing, live music, fireworks and everything else that's going on this weekend." - BIR Owner Jed Copham

With household racing names like Andretti and local racing heroes like Archer, the Trans Am Series is returning to Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) this weekend to headline the 30th Annual PleasureLand RV Show & Go.

The three-day event (July 1-3) features big horsepower on the drag strip, quick cars on the road course, a classic car show, fireworks, live music and more. But the showcase event is Sunday, when the Trans Am Series’ Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic caps off weekend with a pair of 40-lap, 100-mile races on BIR’s 2.5-mile Competition Road Course. It’s the first time the series has had two finale races at BIR, and both will be televised in late July on CBS Sports Network.

The Trans Am Series has a colorful past at BIR that dates back to the 1970s and '80s, when thousands of fans would camp along BIR's road course to watch some of the country’s top racers compete. Now, three decades later, it's still attracting familiar names, like Adam Andretti and Tommy Archer, for example. Andretti is Mario Andretti's nephew and is one of the top drivers in the TA2 class. Archer is from Duluth’s famed Archer Brothers Racing team, which has raced - and won – at nearly every level in the world. Archer is 58 and had a bout with cancer but is scheduled to race again this year. He finished second last year in a three-car dogfight at the end of the race.

The second Trans Am Series race features the TA class, which is for pro racers, including defending champ Amy Ruman, who’s currently second in the standings. BIR owner Jed Copham will also be in the TA field. When the Trans Am cars aren’t on the track, the National Auto Sport Association will be racing Saturday and Sunday.

The Ryan Companies Independence Day Classic will be the featured race, but there will be plenty of other intense racing action throughout the three-day event, starting with the Muscle Car Series on the drag strip. Time trials and qualifying are Friday and Saturday, followed by elimination rounds on Sunday.

The Muscle Car Series is a chance for fans to see some huge horsepower and speeds over 220 mph by the fastest classes. The seven Heads-Up Classes provide the most entertainment, with the Pro Outlaw and Outlaw classes as the biggest fan favorites because of the high speeds and times that are 6-7 seconds.

"The Trans Am part of Show & Go just keeps growing and getting better," Copham said. "The racing is amazing and the car counts keep growing, which is a great sign for the series. Fans are in for a real treat this year with a pair of 100-mile races, plus drag racing, live music, fireworks and everything else we have going on. It's a crazy place to be for the Fourth of July weekend."

Off the track, fans have plenty to do and see as well. Saturday’s schedule includes a classic car show, a fireworks display and live music by Junk FM.

Daily admission is $25, and kids 12 and under are free. One ticket gets you in BIR to see all the races. Camping is free with a multi-day ticket, and parking is free as well.

The TA2 race starts at 1 p.m. Sunday and will be televised at noon on July 31. The TA class will be joined by the TA3, TA4 and TA5 classes, which are scheduled to start at 3:10 p.m. It will be televised at 11 a.m. July 23 on CBS Sports Network. The elimination rounds for the Muscle Car Series start at 9 a.m.

BIR is in its 48th season. It’s one of North America’s largest racetracks, featuring a world-class quarter-mile drag strip, two road courses, 300 acres for rustic camping, 164 full-service RV sites and 12 on-site condos. BIR is about 120 miles north of the Twin Cities.

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Geoff Gorvin
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