2003 Minutes

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May 2003 Minutes

President’s Desk

May 2003

This month will be a very busy month for all race fans across the state. Remember to check our fan club days schedule to be sure you don’t miss any of them this month. We here at MARFC are very sad to hear that the Calhoun County Speedway will be delayed in it’s opening this year do to legal and township problems. Keep checking our web site for information as we hope that it will soon be worked out and we can get down to some great racing at another fantastic facility. Best wishes to ‘Poor” Paul and his gang on getting this matter taken care of as soon as possible.

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome the Kalamazoo and Dixie Motor Speedways to our club. Both of these great racing facilities will be great venues for our members. We hope that we will have a long lasting relationship will both of these fantastic tracks. I will have fan club day information in next month’s newsletter. We take pride that our club keeps growing & growing.

MARFC wishes a speedy recovery to Kevin Stahl late model driver at the Toledo Speedway who was injured in a bad crash on April 27th. Kevin will be out of action for the rest of the season.  For more information on Kevin go to the ARCA website for updates.

Bill Barnhart

President MARFC

April Events

Kids Christmas Party Raffle

Tickets are now on sale for the Eddie Sachs 1/18-scale die cast 1961 Indy 500 Pole winning racecar and our Racing Patch Quilt.  Two winners will be drawn with the first winner to choose either item.  The second winner to receive remaining item.  Please help support our Children’s Christmas Party with the purchase of tickets for this great event.  Tickets are only a $ 1.00 donation. If you would like to purchase tickets to help support our Children ‘s Christmas Party please contact me and I will get them to you.  Remember the children are our future members and racing champions.  I thank you in advance for your support and so do the children.


What a great turn out for our final spring meeting before the season gets started with fan club days.  We will return to our monthly meetings in October, so stay tuned.

We had some great guest speakers with us that night.  First up was “Big” Ed Inloes former announcer from the Owosso Speedway and now the new announcer of both the Spartan and the Calhoun County Speedway’s for “Poor” Paul Zimmerman.  Ed told us of how he got started with the help of Greg Yost and all about his time spent with his latest partner in the press box “Hollywood” Matt Prieur.  He has worked at Dixie, Auto City, Owosso, and even worked with Greg Yost on a radio program.  Ed says it was hard to leave Owosso but fells that his family there backs his discussion to move on and we wish him luck for this season.

Michigan Legend Series Champion Rick Kilbourn was on hand and told us all about his career from starting in the ¼ midgets all the way up to late models.  He is very proud that his daughters have taken up the sport and they too have had a great career in the ¼ midgets one of which we honored at our banquet years ago.  He worked hard with them through out the years and after they got older it was time for Dad to get back to racing himself and in just a few years have picked up this championship and hopes to be able to defend it in 2003.  Rick is also proud of his charity events that he puts on to help raise funds for children’s hospitals.  Great going Rick keep up the good work.

Our surprise guest was none other the Mr. “Hollywood” Matt Prieur himself.  Matt informed us of all that will go on at the Owosso Speedway for 2003.  He also told us many funny stories of how he got started in the business of announcing.  He too has worked at Auto City, Dixie, and Owosso.  Matt works hard not only doing the announcing but, also writes columns for various racing papers through out the state.  Matt may be a youngster to some but, his is a veteran when it comes to working at the Speedway’s. Best of Luck to you Matt and have a great season at Owosso.

April 2003 Minutes

President’s Desk

April 2003

It’s that time of year again. You can just about smell the racing fuel and the tire smoke. What a feeling that is and I just can’t wait for it to begin. Hope everyone is ready for a great 2003 season. I do wish that all of you have a safe and victorious racing season.

Let us not forget about our troops who fight for us to have the right to do what we love to do. May we all pray for them and their families. Pray that peace would be here soon. No matter if you agree or disagree with what is going on you must still support our troops as they do the job that they have signed up to do. May God Bless and bring them home soon.

Bill Barnhart

President MARFC


March Events

Motor City Meltdown

On March 8, The Motor City Meltdown was held at the Michigan State Fair Coliseum in Detroit.  Many fan club members came together to assist with staffing the event promoted by The Michigan Legend Series and Auto City Speedway.

Above:  The fan Club’s own Dave DeHem (#45) rounds turns 3 and 4 of the tight indoor track.  Dave earned his very first Legend Series race win that night.

SIGN ME UP!!  Along with helping to staff the event, other members were on hand to help sign up new members.


March was make up Month for the February Meeting that was cancelled due to bad weather, and the Motorsports Hall of Fame & Museum in Novi, Michigan was a great location for it with well over 50 people attending.

First up was Bill Lackey from the Spartan & New Calhoun County Speedways informing us of all the new events and things that will go on at both tracks this season. They are working hard at getting Calhoun ready for opening day.

Al Blixt Jr. came up from Ann Arbor to tell us about the book he and his son are working on that is about racing from the old Motor City Speedway & Mt. Clemens Race Track days. He has over a thousand photos that his father Al Sr. took that will make for the basis of the book.

Greg Yost from the Auto City Speedway talked about the new Good Neighbor nights at the speedway that will allow certain neighbor hoods in free the night that they are schedule for. Just another way of giving back to the community that helped make Auto City what it is today.

Ron Varney Jr. informed us about his venture in organizing a new race series called USPRO Racing. He has over 25 teams already signed up and has nearly a dozen races schedule at this time with more pending.

Next up was John Turnbull Sr. who along with Greg Yost gave a very strong thank you to all of the MARFC members who assisted at the Motor City Meltdown event at the State Fair Coliseum last month. John also informed us of the full 22-race schedule that the Michigan Legends have for 2003. They have a great field of cars and a great rookie class for this year. John let us know that their race on September 12th at the Whittemore Speedway will now be called the Drew Simmons Memorial race in tribute to Drew.

We also had John Turnbull Jr. on hand and told us of his past racing endeavors and about his new late model and ARCA Re/Max Series events he will race in 2003.

Ron Watson President of the Hall of Fame told us all about the Museum. He also told us about how to become a volunteer at the Museum and the perks of being a volunteer. Special thanks to Ron for allowing us to use the meeting room and tour the museum for the evening.

March 2003 Minutes

MARFC like NASCAR has problem with the weather. Mother Nature wins first round on general membership meetings in 2003. Waited to the last minute to see what she had in store for us and then headed down to Toledo and just got about half way there and had to turn around and come home. We thank the Toledo Speedway and ARCA for the opportunity to have a meeting at their facility and are truly sorry it didn’t work out.

Keep checking back for updates on this years 2003 Fan Club Days. We will have a complete list very soon. A tentative list will be posted in upcoming events page.

Motor City Motorsports, along with its host Vito LoPiccolo, will celebrate 25 years with the start of the 2003 season on Wednesday, April 2, 2003 at 7:00pm on WLQV 1500 AM. We here at MARFC Congratulate Vito on 25 years of great race coverage here in the Michigan area.

Bill Barnhart

President MARFC


Since our February meeting was snowed out,  Yes!!! even mother nature has her way with indoor events sometimes.  We thought we would take the time to note the presence of our founders at our 2003 Awards Banquet, and show some photos from MARFC’s past.

It was great to see the founding fathers on hand at our banquet this year. Vito LoPiccolo (bottom left), Bob Lewis (bottom right), and Willis & Marion Flokstra (top left & right) were in attendance. These folks were the ones who started our club over 37 years ago. It was great to have all of them with us that night.

Pages From the Past

Drew Simmons

MARCH 11, 2003

The Michigan Auto Racing Fan wishes to send it’s deepest sympathies to the family of Michigan Legends driver Drew Simmons. Drew was fatally injured in a snowmobile accident on Monday. He was just 18 years old. Drew competed in his final race at the Motor City Meltdown on Saturday night. He finished fifth was running third at midway in the feature and spun doing a 360 and back on the gas. This young man was a great talent and will be missed by many. Our thoughts and Prayers are with his family as we know that he is now in God’s care.

Bill Barnhart

MARFC President