Full house of fans and racers for our meeting at JDKarting in Novi. Our guest speakers for the night were 2014 Flat Rock Speedway Late Model Champion Steve Cronenwett Jr. who told us about growing up as a third generation racer and everything he learned from his family to be able to win his championships also talked about taking on the role of advisor to our next speaker and 2015 Late Model Rookie Clarity Newhouse who also spoke of what it takes to be a woman driver with only a short time of racing under her belt and hopes to take it up to a higher level next season. She also talked about her traveling to schools this past fall and informing the kids about the science and technology it takes to go racing. We also had rookie F-8 driver Dennis Whisman Jr. on hand he told us how he was able to start racing in cage karts and then run in the F-8 division at Flat Rock and his Dad Dennis Whisman Sr. is his biggest fan and Dennis Jr. said of how many times he had beaten his Dad this past season and only being 14 years old. Then Laura Tucker was on hand to tell us about their Midwest Indoor Racing Series event in Battle Creek, Michigan during the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. She talked about the time frame it takes to bring in the track and set it up and then take it down after as well as all the different divisions that they will have running that weekend. Then it came time to ride the karts and those who ran them had a great time and yours truly even put on my helmet and went for run. Slow Run but still a run! Many Thanks to Clarity Newhouse who donated and additional race session for those who wished to race twice that evening! Once again thanks to all of our guest speakers for making our meeting a great one.(Photo Top Left: Steve Cronenwett Jr. Top Center: Clarity Newhouse Top Right: Dennis Whisman Jr.) ( Bottom Left: Laura Tucker, Bottom Right: Race action) ( Photo’s by Rand Thompson)
Our first general fall meeting for 2015 at Papio’s Food & Spirits is now it the books as one of the best we have had in a while. Both the Hilliker brothers told us of how they got started in racing and that Steven has amassed 18 championships through the years while David is at 12 total championships. They have the next generation of Hillikers on the way but neither has the thought of retiring anytime soon. Both Leo “The Chef” Pego & “Shut Up” Roger Williams informed us of how they got started in racing. Roger was raised in racing and credited Leo for helping in his start of announcing. Leo stated that he had no plans on becoming a track announcer he started with driving but lettering the race cars was his first passion and announcing was just pushed on him and he has done a great job throughout the years He and Roger are a great tag team. (Top Left: Steven Hilliker Top Center: David Hilliker Top Right: Roger Williams Bottom: Leo Pego)
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.
Mother Nature tried to make the day a wash but track official’s and workers pulled it off with just a short delay and the Glass City Late Model 200 was underway. Just before the event both Gary Lindahl and Rich Frantz were on hand to PR our auction and Gary did a great job as auctioneer for the day. We are very thankful for the speedway to help us raise some extra funds to help us celebrate our 50th anniversary banquet coming up in January 2016. Thanks to all who gave the winning bids for the great items we had on hand. Many thanks to the Late Joy Fair for the autographed door donation so many years ago and to Vito LoPiccolo for the Autographed Ricky Rudd jacket! Our surprise items were from our friend Walter Czarnecki from the Penske Corporation for the two 1/24 die-cast cars and hats both autographed by Brad Keslowski and Joey Logano. We say THANK YOU once again to all these great supporters of our club. (Top Photo: MARFC Vice-President Dave DeHem & Board member Rand Thompson at MARFC auction items table) ( Bottom Photo: All four winners of the auction with their winning auction items)
Attention all MARFC Members & Race Fans! The Toledo Speedway will give all MARFC Members $ 5.00 off general admission tickets for this event by showing your current 2015 membership card. Also the Michigan Automobile Racing Fan Club will be holding a fund raising auction at the Toledo Speedway on September 19, 2015 around 4:30pm during the Glass City Late Model 200. There will be three items up for bidding at this event. (1) An Autographed body panel off the ARCA # 1 Late Model Legend Joy Fair. (2) A autographed Ricky Rudd Havoline Racing Jacket and (3) will be one other surprise item. Get their early and check them out and be ready to bid big for these great pieces of racing history. So coming on down and help support our club and see some of the best Late Model auto racing in the area.
Thanks for all your support! Bill Barnhart MARFC President
We here at MARFC are deeply saddened by the news of long time MARFC member Eugene Lindahl. Eugene and his wife Stella have been long time supporters of the club in every way possible. He was the father of Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame Member and track announcer Gary Lindahl. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lindahl family at this time. We are also saddened to hear of the passing of local racing legends Skeeter Ross who raced at the old Motor City Speedway and many time track champion at both the Spartan & Owosso Speedways Jim Aldrich who was also a member of the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame. Gene Playter racer from the Crystal Motor Speedway passed away just the other day too. So many fans and racers to lose at one time they will all be greatly missed. May God be with them all now and forever more as they have taken their final checkered flag!
Sincerely, Bill Barnhart MARFC President
Great weather along with a very large car count and add kid’s night along with lots of race fans made for an outstanding night of racing at Mid-Michigan Raceway Park. Modified make up feature winner # 21 Dave Reay was awarded our MARFC Uniform/Helmet Bag for the night. Dave also won his heat race and second feature that night. Maybe our MARFC Bag brought him good luck! The MARFC members raffle was won by Stanley Town. Many thanks to Gene & Linda and the crew for rescheduling our rained out fan club night from earlier in the season. (Top Photo: Dave Reay Bottom Photo: Stanley Town)
Attention all MARFC members our fan club day event at the Onaway Speedway has been cancelled do to a scheduling on conflict. There is no racing at the speedway for August 22, 2015! Sorry for all who planned to attend we hope to get something done for next season.
Bill Barnhart President MARFC