Michigan Sprint Car Scene January 13, 2004 Schedules are Finally Starting to Appear Well, after a lengthy absence over the holidays, we are finally writing again. Basically, I have spent the last week or so trying to finish up the final...
Michigan Sprint Car Scene
January 13, 2004
Schedules are Finally Starting to Appear
Well, after a lengthy absence over the holidays, we are finally writing again. Basically, I have spent the last week or so trying to finish up the final touches on my new Michigan Open Wheel web site, http://www.drtmotorsports.com. This has been a side project of mine for a few years, but I never had the time before this winter. The open wheel theme should help out some, as we will have alot of different open wheel racing in Michigan this summer. From the IRL, to IMCA Modifieds, we will cover it all. We will have sprint cars from several different organizations on dirt, and pavement. As well as midgets, on dirt and pavement. Rumor has it that the Wolverine Outlaw Winged Midget Series may even venture on to the dirt this summer.
The best news, I finally had a chance to talk with Denny Donaldson at Butler Motor Speedway. We got a few things cleared up about the previous promoter as well. Mr. Donaldson seems very excited about things that are taking place this winter. First and foremost, are the changes to the track itself. I also received an e-mail from Mr. Ronnie Johns who is providing the equipment, and employees to do the work on the racing surface. A source of pure red clay has been found, and Mr. Johns says it is the best he has ever found. Stone, sand and silt free. Alot of the old clay with stones and rocks has been removed, and replaced with this new red clay. The track has also been reshaped, and some banking taken out. I have not seen the track, so I do not know how it has been reshaped, but less banking will make for better racing. >From what I under stand, the track is still a 3/8 mile, but will have wider straights, and corners. My biggest fear was car driving off the corners and leaving the ground. I have seen several cars end up in the trees off of turns two and three. This problem should now be virtually eliminated. Mr. Donaldson also tells me that more lighting will be installed as well.
I have never met Mr. Donaldson in person, but I am looking forward to the opportunity. I plan on making a trip down there very soon, and I will post pictures of the work being done at http://www.drtmotorsports.com. I am very much looking forward to a few trips to the Butler Battlegrounds this summer. The All Star Circuit of Champions, Interstate Racing Association, and even a midget show are in the works. That, along with a weekly program of 410 sprints, late models and factory stocks should make for a great summer of racing down by Coldwater.
The Auto Value Super Sprints http://www.supersprints.com are just about ready to release their complete schedule. A couple contracts need to make their way back to AVSS headquarters, but we can look forward to about 22 race dates this summer. For those that have not seen the AVSS in the last couple years, be sure to make the trip this summer. The best racing I saw this summer was the two AVSS shows at Owosso Speedway. Even myself, the die-hard dirt track fan, enjoyed these shows. Watching the rookie Brian Lay dirt track his way around the 3/8 mile high-banks was an awesome site as he claimed his first feature win this last spring. The fall race was even better as a four car battle took place nearly the whole race with Tommy Fedewa, Brian Lay, Jason Blonde and Dave Baumgartner. Alot of track records were broken this last summer, and we expect some more to fall this year as well.
The AVSS will return to Owosso Speedway in 2004. The track has been purchased by two gentlemen out of the Fowler, MI area. Mr. Dave Bigos, and Mr. Ron Hauser have taken control. Things really seem to be on the rise at Owosso. Alot of race teams are talking about the track once again. Some rules meetings will take place soon. For more information, visit http://www.owossospeedway.com/. Also on tap for the AVSS will be the "Trick Track" of Tri City Speedway in Auburn, MI. If you have not seen this place, visit the website at http://tricitymotorspeedway.com and take a look at the overhead photo. We can also plan dates at Baer Field, Auto City, Kalamazoo, Toledo, Berlin, Dixie, the new Calhoun County, Salem, and Angola Speedways. There are a couple more tracks in the works, but nothing official yet.
Another schedule just released was the Wolverine Outlaw Winged Midgets. Chris Hettinger had formed this group a couple years ago knowing that there were a few midgets in the Michigan area that were sitting idle. The basic idea is a standard midget chassis and motor with a wing on top. Currently they have 16 pavement shows booked at places like Auto City, Calhoun County, Tri-City, Baer Field, Berlin, Sandusky, Kalamazoo, Owosso, and Whitmore Speedways. For a complete schedule, http://www.drtmotorsports.com, and look for the story on the main page.
Finally, the World of Outlaws have two dates in the Wolverine State. June 11 at Hartford Speedway Park, and July 30 at Ionia Raceway Park. This should be two great nights of racing. Hartford Speedway Park was nearly sold out last year, and the racing was good with a last lap pass by Brian Paulus for his very first WoO win. We will see if we can get with Mr. Fred Knight at Hartford Speedway Park, and post his plans for 2004 in our next column. Once again, any comments, questions, and smart remarks can be sent to me at email@example.com