Berlin Raceway releases 2005 schedule

Berlin's 2005 season schedule packed with excitement New events join returning favorites to provide something for everyone MARNE, MI -- Berlin Raceway's 2005 schedule, announced today, is packed with excitement for everyone, from the weekly ...

Berlin's 2005 season schedule packed with excitement
New events join returning favorites to provide something for everyone

MARNE, MI -- Berlin Raceway's 2005 schedule, announced today, is packed with excitement for everyone, from the weekly racing series to the prestigious ARCA series to first-time appearances by the MSA Supermodifieds and the USAC Midwest Ford Focus Midgets.

The 2005 season begins on April 16 and runs through September 24. Included in the 25 nights of racing are the two annual Wednesday specials, the Berlin 100 presented by Meijer and Tony's Pizza on June 15 and "The Chet" presented by Comerica on August 17. These races are 100-lap Coors Light Late Model features with Grand Rapids star Johnny Benson and a NASCAR driver TBD scheduled to race in each. All other race dates are on Saturdays.

The ARCA 200 (www.arcaracing.com) will return on July 16 for a race that promises to feature the NASCAR Nextel Cup stars of tomorrow. However, the ASA series is not on the 2005 schedule due to sharply declining attendance annually since 2001.

The up-and-coming CRA Super Series (formerly Sunoco Super Series), a Midwestern touring series for stock-appearing Late Model cars, returns for the third straight year and is scheduled to run twice (June 18 and August 20) due to its popularity. Last year's Sunoco Super Series event at Berlin was a sweep for local drivers, as Berlin regulars Fred Campbell, Brian Cambell and Tom Thomas finished 1-2-3 in the 150-lap feature.

The MSA Supermodifieds (www.midwestsupers.com) series on May 14 promises to please open-wheel fans, who have gone without a Supermodified series racing at Berlin since the ISMA Supermodifieds appeared in 2002. The MSA Supermodifieds are a new series out of Sandusky, OH, with drivers from Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, and is considered to be very close to the highly talented and exciting competition level of ISMA. Supermodified cars are some of the fastest cars to race at Berlin.

Midget racing also returns to Berlin on August 20, with the USAC Midwest Ford Focus Midgets (www.usacracing.com) coming to town. The series, entering its third season of competition, races at tracks less than a half mile in length and runs exclusively Ford engines. The 2005 season will mark the first foray into Michigan for the series, which raced in Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Kentucky, Tennessee, Kansas and Wisconsin in 2004.

The fan favorite, lightning-quick Auto Value Super Sprints Series (www.supersprints.com) is scheduled for two visits in 2005, on June 25 and September 3. The AVSS, known as the fastest cars in the land, proved their speed prowess in last year's September race as Troy Underwood broke the Berlin speed record with a 12.947-second qualifying lap, an amazing 121.789 mph average.

Finally, the Vintage Racing Organization of America, a racing series based in West Michigan and Northern Indiana that features cars built with pre-1949 steel bodies made in North America, rounds out the roster of traveling series with a return visit on July 30, the 55th Anniversary Night. Also appearing on that night will be local legend Johnny Benson, scheduled to race in the Coors Light Late Model feature. Benson will again race three times at Berlin in 2005.

Weekly racing takes a night off on July 2, with the Berlin Raceway/UMS Demo Scramble Off-Road Race taking its place. The Demo Scramble also returns on Saturday, October 1. Several other outside events will be added to the events list in upcoming months.

Other highlights of the 2005 schedule include the return of weekly racing on the Saturday of Berlin Fair Week (July 23). Race fans spurred the return by speaking of the popularity of a night of racing with the bonus of enjoying fair activities before and after the races. The historic 150th Berlin Fair is scheduled for July 17 through 23. Grandstand events for the fair week will be announced at a later date.

School Bus Races, which debuted during Fair Week's Night of Destruction last year and were wildly popular, have been added to the schedule on May 7 and June 4 as part of Reading Club Nights.

A new holiday promotion promises to be popular among fans. Dollar Beer and Hot Dogs night makes its debut on Memorial Day Weekend (May 28) and Labor Day Weekend (September 3). Two Kids Nights (April 23 and August 27) feature free tickets for all kids 12 and under as well as Monster Truck rides and other activities. And the ever-popular Fireworks Nights have expanded from four nights in 2004 to six nights in 2005.

A new structure to the "weekly show" local racing series takes place in 2005 with the addition of the Standale Lumber Pro Stock Division. The top two racing divisions, the Coors Light Late Model and Engine Pro Super Stock divisions, remain the same, while the former Standale Lumber Sportsman division has essentially split into the higher-level Standale Lumber Pro Stock and entry-level Standale Interiors Sportsman divisions. These two divisions will run the same types of cars but will run on different tires.

Mike Strevel, Berlin's Director of Race Operations, said he feels this schedule is a winner. "We went back to the 2003 schedule as a model for this one, because we felt that schedule was a successful one," Strevel said. "As a racing fan, I'm particularly excited about the addition of the MSA Supermodifieds - the return of supermodified racing to Berlin will make a lot of fans happy."

Strevel noted that the ticket prices for 2005 remain similar to last year, even decreasing from eight specialty-priced shows to seven. A total of 18 weekly races have ticket prices of $11 in advance and $12 on the day of the race, while three dates listing ticket prices of $15 in advance/$16 day of race; one date priced at $19/$20; one date at $20/$25; and the two Wednesday shows priced at $25/$27. Children 3-12 are half price and 2 and under are free.

Group tickets for the 2005 season go on sale December 15. Season tickets will be available in January and individual tickets will go on sale later in the spring.

The complete schedule is available online at www.berlinraceway.com/schedule.shtml.

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About this article
Series Midget , Stock car
Drivers Johnny Benson