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March 2001 Minutes



Another racing season is just about upon us and I can’t wait. Our club is growing with all kinds of new members and any old members have returned again after long absences. Racing is a major part of most of our lives and we should be grateful to our families who allow us to continue our most favorite past time. Remember your family is most important and racing is and can be a family sport. Keep safe and race hard for those 2001 Championships.

Bill Barnhart
President MARFC


The February Meeting was held at the Toledo Speedway Bar and Grill.  Unfortunately, business committments prevented scheduled speaker Ron Drager, ARCA President, from attending the meeting.  There were however, plenty of folks on hand to make the meeting informative and entertaining.


Greg Riddle, Assist General Manager of Toledo Speedway informed all about some of the changes the speedway will incur in 2001 including a new pit road between turns 1 and 2 of the 1/2 mile.

Jack Calabrase from Auto Value Super Sprints was on hand to talk about his series and the special show between the AVSS and the ISMA Supermodifiieds at Toledo on June 8, 2001.

Dan Ford Jr. announced his return to full time competition at Flat Rock and Toledo in the Late Model Division for the 2001 Season.

Regan Ford also made the announcement that he will run the entire 2001 season at Toledo in the LM division.

Dennis Strickland let everyone know about his trip to Atlanta when he drove an ARCA car.  A trip scheduled for 4 days turned into 7 after all the bad weather and race postponement.

"The Rebel" Dennis Whisman also enlightened us with his race plans for 2001.

ASA – MARCH 2001

Dear Fan Club Members,

ASA is involved in a continuing effort to capture the entire history of the Winchester 400 stock car race.  It is an event annually held in autumn.  For a second consecutive year, the American Speed Association will sanction the Winchester 400, as part of the ASA ACDelco Series.  The 2001 Winchester 400 is scheduled for September 14, 15 and 16.


We are asking for any input you may be able to provide in our compilation of Winchester information.  Photos, records, programs, stories and any applicable information that would apply to the Winchester 400 in the time period of 1970 through the present is what we are searching for.  Anything that we might borrow will be returned in a timely manner.


We are also attempting to correspond with any former competitors, not exclusively event winners.  Information or any input you may have might seem trivial, but it may also be pertinent to our efforts.


Please direct your correspondence to:

Kyle Larson
American Speed Association, LLC
202 South Main – P.O. Box 350
Pendleton, IN  46064
(Ph) 765-778-8088
(fax) 765-778-4006
(e-mail) klarson@asaracing.com


If you might publish this in your newsletter or distribute it to your
membership, we would be grateful.




Kyle Larson

February 2001 Minutes

FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENTOnce again another fantastic banquet for the Fan Club. With nearly 400 people in attendance made it one of the best banquets in years. Welcome to all the newest members who joined that night and we hope that you enjoy all your future newsletters to come. As we start our 36th year the club has a lot of plans and hopes to bring you yet another racing facility to be able to attend as a MARFC Fan Club day. A list of Fan Club days will be listed in next month’s newsletter. Best Wishes and a speedy recovery to Earl Baltes after heart surgery last month.

Bill Barnhart
President MARFC



February 22, 2001

Once again the world of auto racing has lost a true and great legend of our sport. Many people around the world are mourning following the death of Dale Earnhardt.  The name Earnhardt will be remembered for many generations to come.  NASCAR has lost not only a friend but also, one of its largest icons.  The Intimidator passed away in a crash during the 2001 Daytona 500.

We here at the Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club send our thoughts and prayers to the Earnhardt family, the entire DEI family, as well as the family of Richard Childress Racing.

We do know that God has a purpose for all things even though we might not understand them.  He has taken Dale to be with him and Dale now stands beside him in the most glorious victory lane there will ever be…”Heaven”.

God’s Speed Dale!

Bill Barnhart
President MARFC

Farewell to the Champ
In Memory of Dale Earnhardt


January 20, 2001-Warren, MI—The 2001 MARFC Awards Banquet was enjoyable as always.  Honored were Champions from member tracks and a host of others dedicated to auto racing and true race fans.

All Photographs on this page courtesy of Paul Anton Racing Photos.


Michigan Auto Racing Personality of the Year, Ron Drager.

ARCA President, Ron Drager(m), received MARFC’s top honors as Michigan’s Auto Racing Personality of the Year.  Shown here with Herb Fishel(r)-past recipient of the award and President, Bill Barnhart(l).


Lifetime AchievementBob Studt

Bob had quite a story to tell.  After many years of Driving he is now Helping his son Gregg tear up the 8 just as he did.

Bob Studt(l), Bill Barnhart(r)-MARFC President

Electronic Media AwardSandy Heng-WXYZ/Channel 7 Sports

Sandy Heng of Detroit’s own WXYZ/Channel 7 News received the Electronic Media Award.  Sandy made light of other sportscaster’s lack of interest in reporting motorsports and told of us her upcoming assignments.

Bill Barnhart-MARFC President(l) and Sandy Heng(r)

Motorsports Writer of the Year

Mike Pryson of The Jackson Citizen Patriot


Based on his acceptance speech mike has learned alot about motorsports—the hard way!!!


Mike Pryson(l), Bill Barnhart-MARFC President (r)


Mechanics of the YearKen (Pap-Paw) Ahlgren and Bill Meade


Most appropriately, this honor was awarded to two fantastic mechanics for the first time in MARFC history.


Top-Bill Barnhart-MARFC President (r)

Ken Ahlgren (l)


Bill Barnhart-MARFC President (r)

Bill Meade (l)


Promoter of the YearMerritt speedway


Ed and Carmen Van Duinen


Ed VanDuinen (l),  Carmen Van Duinen (m)

Bill Barnhart-MARFC President (l)


Michigan Auto Racing Fan of the Year

Dave DeHem


Bill Barnhart-MARFC President (l), Dave DeHem (r)



Quarter MidgetThese kids really steal the show.  Congratulations!!
Crystal Motor Speedway ChampsPictured left to right

Jim Buckley-MARFC Vice-President

Jeff Reist-Pro Stock

David Dancer-Pro Truck

Greg Wiles-IMCA Modified

Larry Carman-Hobby Stock

Flat Rock Speedway ChampsPictured left to right

Jim Buckley-MARFC Vice-President

Rick Knowles-Late Model

Ron Allenl-Street Stock A

Bill Kollinger-Street Stock B

Ken Ahlgren-Figure 8

Spartan Speedway ChampsPictured left to right

Jim Buckley-MARFC Vice-President

Rick McDaniels Representing Doug Finley-Late Model

Lee Taylor-MMA Modifieds

Rob Marten-Street Stock

Springport Speedway ChampsPictured left to right

Jim Buckley-MARFC Vice-President

Brian Huntley-Street Stock

Toledo Speedway Champs

Pictured left to right – Jim Buckley-MARFC Vice-President, Don St. Denis-Late Model, Ron Allen-Street Stock, Paul Duffin-Factory Stock, Ken Ahlgren-Figure 8

Owosso Speedway Champs Pictured left to right – Jim Buckley-MARFC Vice-President, Rick McDaniels representing Doug Finley-Super Late Model, Marty Babbit-Late Model, Laci Donnert with daughter Jessica-Street Stock
ARCA Series ChampsPictured left to right.

Jim Buckley-MARFC Vice-President, Jim Clarke representing Frank Kimmell-ARCA Bondo Mar/Hyde, Kevin Bockstanz representing Gene Lee Gibson-Midgets, Robbin Slaughter-Trucks

Michigan Legends SeriesPictured left to right

Jim Buckley-MARFC Vice-President

Mike Lowe.-Semi Pro Series

Todd Clees-Rookie Champion

John Turmbull Jr.-Pro Series

Bill Simmons-Masters Series

Michigan Modified Asphalt SeriesBrad Roberts


Pictured left to right

Jim Buckley-MARFC Vice-President

Brad Roberts

Butler Speedway ChampsPictures L to R, Jim Buckley-MARFC Vice-President

Terry Sroufe-UMP Late Models

Ken Mackey-Sprint Car

Eric Wilson-Street Stock

Special Appreciation Awards
Roger Blackstock-For displaying the MARFC logo on the hood of his ARCA Bondo Mar/Hyde Series Car during the 2000 Season.  Roger also said that the logo will appear on the car as long as he is racing.


Jim Buckley-For his service in the club.


The late Elmer Simko-Daughter Deana Simko/Howe accepts his award presented for his true devotion and support of auto racing.


Special thanks to the race teams of Ken Ahlgren and Roger Blackstock for preparing and bringing their cars to display at the banquet.

In Memory of Dale Earnhardt

“NASCAR has lost its greatest driver ever, and I personally have lost a great friend.”
–NASCAR chairman Bill France Jr.

The feelings expressed by Bill France Jr. are shared  among the entire racing community.  There exists no sport where fans and competitors are closer than they are in auto racing. We may never have met Dale nor shaken his hand but fans still considered him their friend.  Whether love or hate for his aggressive driving style, we ALL respected Dale for his talent, abilities and accomplishments.  Even during the 2001 Daytona 500, Dale gave his fans the excitement they had come to expect–wheel to wheel racing, a nudge here, a push there and even some driving instructions to the rookies, “Intimidator style”.  NASCAR has truly suffered a great loss.  The tragedy of Dale’s death will soon pass, but one thing is certain, the Intimidator will always be remembered in our hearts.

We at the Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club extend our most heartfelt sympathies to the Earnhardt family and to all friends and fans touched by this tragedy.  May the Good Lord see you through this time of grief.