Last updated on November 3rd, 2018
Brainerd International Raceway is filled with speed, muscle and a whole lot of nitro. But what’s amazing is the amount of energy you feel when you walk in. Every year the Raceway attracts amazing talent. It levels the playing field between men and women.
The Brainerd International Raceway
Tickets range in price from $145 for the week to $25 a day. Over the weekend you will pay $55 a day. Kids get in free. This general admission ticket gets you in the gate and the pits. There are a few spots on the side of the track that you can watch the races. These are incredibly full and not centrally located. I recommend purchasing a Grandstand ticket. Those will run $60 for the whole weekend or $25 a day. While kids are free to get in, you have to buy them a seat. To get into the races, we paid $225. To put the cost in perspective, I paid just over $300 to get my family into Disneyworld for a day. Going for a day on Saturday or Sunday is the most expensive way see the races.
Be Prepared to Wait in Lines
The ticket system at the Brainerd International Raceway needs improvement. It’s the first impression people have of the races and for that reason they desperately need work. When purchasing tickets online you have the option for mobile or paper tickets. Paper tickets will need to be mailed to you. You can also purchase tickets at the venue. Avoid waiting until you get there to purchase tickets because you will be in line for a good 30 minutes.
Once you have tickets in hand you get in another line to get your wristbands for entry. They had one person that was accepting mobile tickets and the 5 people were accepting paper tickets. Guess what the majority of people had? The lines were not marked, so people ended up going in multiple lines trying to figure out where to go. To avoid all the line problems, I recommend you purchase tickets online and have them mailed to you. This way the likelihood of getting in the correct line is better.
Park onsite for the best deal. It’s $10 a day and you are right on the race track. The downside of that is there is no shade. They do provide shuttles. I highly recommend getting on one of these if you can find them. The walk is longer than you think. Getting back, wait around for the next shuttle. Do not make the mistake I did and walk, with 2 children that are incredibly hot and tired. If you feel like you are faced with this dilemma of walking, have the driver walk and pick up the rest of your party at the gate.
If you are camping, you are in for an experience. There are two sections, adults only and family. The adults only is a non-stop party, filled with people making their own custom vehicles to drive around in. Music and entertainment is provided, followed by an amazing firework show. They call this area ‘The Zoo’. From the stories I heard, it is one. The family second has a curfew but you’ll still get treated to the fireworks show.
Camping is charged by person and includes general admission to the races. It can range between $275 – $175 for the week or weekend. The is no daily rate. Camping is a first come first serve on spots. A lot of people will camp out the weekend before to ensure they get the spot they want. Most people rent or bring golf carts to get between the raceway and campground. It cost extra to have a permit for your golf cart.
In-between races, make sure to check out the pit. It’s part of your admission ticket and it will get you up close and personal with some of the cars. You can also get to meet some of the drivers and get some autographs. We also found some interactive things to do with the kids while we were back there.
What to Bring
This is a tailgating event. Pack a cooler for your car, or bring a bag and fill it with some water. If the temperature is over 75 degrees, you will need it! Make sure to stay hydrated.
Ear protection is highly recommended. I think it should be required. I’ve been to air shows before and felt the thunder of the jet engines. These are louder and more consistent. You can wear inexpensive earplugs or heavy-duty ear protection. If you bring your kids, make sure to have them with a good set of earphones.
Hat and sunblock are necessary. Even on a cloudy day, it’s needed. I recommend bringing them with you. They do sell all of these things in the shops, but they charge a premium. A child’s hat cost $20 each and adults hats for $50.
The Brainerd International Raceway is a lot of fun. If you want to save yourself some headache, its best to plan ahead. Even with some of the pain points I experienced, they put on a good show and I would go back again. I think with my camel back this time!
More Info: Brainerd International Raceway
Directions: Directions to the Raceway
Recommended to Bring: Snug Kids Earmuffs
Other Recommend Things to do: The Brainerd Zip Line | Crossing It Off The Bucket List & Saying Hi to the Legend in Brainerd at Paul Bunyan Land
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