Well our 50th Annual Awards Banquet is now part of history. With nearly 500 racers, promoters, champions, and race fans on hand the night was truly outstanding. Our top award winners were all on hand to accept their awards. One of the highlights of the evening was when the three families who founded our club were presented with special appreciation awards for their foresight in setting up the standards that our club is still following today. Vito LoPiccolo, Willis Flokstra and Sandy Lewis-Modena all were there and thanks all of the fans for keeping our club moving forward. It was also great to see one of our past presidents Bill Stone attended the banquet as he has had health issues for a long time now. Our Special award winners were Promoter of the Year was Jeff & Pam Parish & the Springport Motor Speedway. The Mechanic of the Year went to Steve Marquiss who built championship motors for several race teams in 2015! 2015 MARFC Fans of the Year were Gene & Linda Hurd. A Special MARFC Contribution to Motorsports Award was presented to Jim Kinsler. Other Special Awards were given to Elaine Yager who 50 years ago designed our clubs logo. Other MARFC Appreciation awards went to the following for their continuous support of our club over the years: Bob & Diane Shalla, Paul & Iris Anton, Eddie Sachs III, John Nece, Milt Wood, David Hilliker, Quick Made Trophy’s, Gary DeCarlo & DeCarlso’s Banquet Center and to Jimmy Gullett & Jim’s Industrial Catering. Then Ron Drager President of the MSPA presented their 2015 Promoter of the Year Award to Ron Flinn of the Crystal Motor Speedway. We also saw Terry Fitzwater present his Drivers of the Year Awards to; David Mielke for Dirt and Jeff Ganus for Asphalt and he also with the help of Bob Jenkins awarded Jeff Striegle with the Tom Carnegie Announcer of the Year Award. We as so thankful for all who donated items for our silent auction it helped so very much. Just so many folks to thank for helping make this banquet the most fantastic one we have had in many years. THANKS TO EVERYONE!(Photos Top: Founders of Club) (Second photo: Bill Barnhart, Bill Stone & Bill Walters)(Third Photo: Pam & Jeff Parish & Bill Barnhart) ( Forth Photo: Steve Marquiss & Bill Barnhart)(Last Photo: Eddie Sachs III, Bob Jenkins & Bill Barnhart)(Photos Provided by Paul Anton & Rand Thompson)
OK Folks! Here are just a few items that will be in our silent auction at our 50th Annual Awards Banquet held on January 23, 2016. We have many more items that will be up for bid at this auction so be sure to help us raise funds for our club and bid big to win! Many Thanks in advance to all the winners who show up and bid! Bill Barnhart MARFC President
Ok Folks, This is just a reminder that this is your last chance to get tickets to our 50th Annual MARFC Banquet on January 23rd! Just contact me and send in your request for tickets no later than January 8th in order to get them returned to you on time. This is a once in a lifetime event for us here at MARFC and again if you have never been to the banquet before or have not attended it in a long time you might need to do so. Contact me ASAP so you don’t miss out on a great time with all the champions who attend as well as our top award winners for 2015! If you are a champion that has been invited to our banquet and have not yet responded you need to do so RIGHT NOW as the awards have already been ordered and the program is set to got to printers on January 8th! ABSOLUTELY NO TICKETS WILL BE SOLD AT THE DOOR! We are also having a silent auction at this year’s banquet with a great collection of items and we have a large Dale Earnhardt & Richard Petty collection with some autographed Penske die-cast also available as well as many other racing items to be auctioned off so remember to bring extra cash to be able to bid for these great items. All these items auctioned off will help with all the added cost of the 50th Anniversary Celebration for this special event. Many thanks in advance for your support! So bid often and high to win! Check our web site to see some of the auction items. As always any questions or comments contact me at: Bill Barnhart at: email@example.com.
Another fantastic day for our Annual Children’s Christmas Party! All the kid’s young & old were treated to lunch while balloon sculptures were made for all the kid’s and then we held the kid’s door prize raffle and everyone won a great prize. Then “Barry the Great” stopped in for a great magic show. And then a few of the kid’s helped President Bill Barnhart lead all in attendance sing in Santa with some Christmas songs and it worked as Santa found his way to the hall and meet all the kid’s giving each of them a gift. Many Thanks to all who donated to make this an outstanding event for the kid’s and the family we were able to help out with our non-perishable food items that we collected. Special thanks to Jimmy Gullett for the donation of all the food for the luncheon and a bit thanks to Barb Gullett who chaired the event again this year and did a great job. To all who helped out set up and take down for the party I say a Big Thank You to you all!(Top Photo: Barry the Great with his helpers)(Bottom Photos: MARFC Board of Directors with Santa)
On October 22, 2015 the Michigan Speedways Promoters Association held its annual fall meeting at the Michigan International Speedways media center. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss various topics like: How to get more fans to attend, to overall costs in running their facilities, what kinds of advertising is the most beneficial to their tracks, how to give the fans the best bang for their buck. They even had a promoter from a national series who was there to say they are trying to form an association like the MSPA down south to help benefit their state also. They talked about the younger kids coming into the sport and the cost of making sure everyone is safe by installing more safety equipment for the racers and the track crews. How to use social media better to get more people involved in our sport! Also the rising costs of insurance for all who race and attend races. Many discussions take place on what venders they have at the different tracks and how to keep prices down and still make it financially. All the associate members each get the opportunity to talk about their organizations. There are many different ones on hand, racing series, tire distributors, insurance companies, safety venders, fan clubs and racing fuel companies. We here talk all the time about how the promoters are making big money off the fans and racers! I personally would say to anyone who would like to try to trade places with a promoter for a week or two to see if they could get the job done I’d say go try it sometime. They battle with Mother Nature, local stick & ball sports, bad economy in some areas, the rising fuel cost for racers, fans & track vehicles, and the cost of running a special show and bringing in a large racing series these are just a few things we as racers and fans don’t realize what the promoters have to go through to put on a weekly show for about 16 to 18 weeks a year and still have taxes, utilities, and maintain their facilities for the rest of the year. So with many race tracks loosing fans and racers because of the economy we are slowly seeing them fold and shut down and never to reopen again. I say take the time to say thank you to the promoters for giving us fans and racers a place for us to come and enjoy the sport we all know and love.
ATTENTION ALL MARFC MEMBERS! Don’t forget that on Sunday October 25, 2015 is our first fall general meeting and our cheer raffle drawing will be held at Papio’s Food & Spirits, 2280 S. Reese Rd., Reese, and Mi. 48757. This will be a Sunday afternoon meeting and will be getting started at 2:00 pm. We will be drawing our MARFC Raffle winners at this meeting. Our speakers will be Leo “The Chef” Pego & “Shut Up” Roger Williams along with both the Hilliker brothers Dave & Steve. So come and join us for a great meeting. Directions are take I-75 from the north or south to exit 151 (M-81 E). Take M-81 east 9.3 miles to S. Reese Rd. and turn right (South) to 2280 Reese Rd.
As I sit here thinking about how the fan club got its start 50 years ago I have to recall the stories that I have been told by our club founders. On September 25, 1965 six people who enjoyed our sport of auto racing sat down and put to paper the guide lines of what we now call our bylaws and formed the Michigan Automobile Racing Fan Club. They never believed that the club would go on for more than a few years not only to see it get to fifty. Those six people were Vito & Barbara LoPiccolo, Willis & Marian Floskstra and Bob & Norma Lewis. With their leadership they built the club up and had some great people volunteer to help keep it going all these years. I for one am glad to have the chance to see it become what it is today and give thanks to those six individuals for their foresight in creating our club and enjoy helping to keep it moving forward and into the future. So HAPPY 50th ANNIVERSARY MARFC and here’s to the next fifty years! To see more about our clubs history go to the links page and click on history.