Daily Archives: May 25, 2021

4 posts

Three Racing Personalities Pass Away This Past Month!

Once again, we have lost a member of our racing family. Rose Calabrase passed away last weekend. She was an outstanding person to have as a friend and she supported racing across our state for many years. An avid sprint car fan she was always willing to help anywhere she could for race teams here in Michigan. Her lifelong passion for auto racing made her a perfect fit to be on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame for so many years. Always with a smile for everyone she encountered, and she made some of the best cookies to share with all the promoters at the Michigan Speedways Promoter  meetings throughout the years. Rose was a member of MARFC for many years and supported our club when and where she could. I will deeply miss her smiling face and her Hi how are you when we would see each other at the speedways or meetings. We send our condolences to the Calabrase family and her racing family. She took her final checkered flag of life at one of the speedways she loved so much and now is receiving the green flag as the gates of heaven open for her to pass through. Rest Well My Friend Until We Meet Again!

Sincerely Bill Barnhart MARFC President


Back on May 9th the racing world lost a true legend. At 91 years old Ralph Baker passed away. He was an icon in our sport for over 70 years and a member of the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame as well as the Berlin Raceway Hall of Fame. We will miss his great wit and one liners he was always known for. As he has taken his final checkered flag in life, he is now receiving the green flag in heavens eternal race. Rest Well Raphie!

Also, sadden at the news of Indy car racing legend Bobby Unser. Quite the guy all around racer, broadcaster, and mentor to many. I had the fortunate chance to meet him at the Motorsports Hall of Fame Press Party many years ago and was intrigued as I listened to a few stories he was talking about and thought his was a great guy to talk too. Our Thoughts & Prayers are with the Unser family at this time! Rest in Peace!


MARFC Mourns the Loss of Longtime Member!

We just learned of the passing of long lifetime member Charlene Palmer. She was 78 years of age when she passed near the end of this past February. Charlene was the wife on former board member Bill Palmer who also was AKA “Willie the Clown” for many years for our annual children’s Christmas parties. She & Bill spent many years supporting our club with raffle sales and membership drives as well attending many meetings throughout the years. Always with a smile on her face and a big welcome when I stopped by to see Bill in the later years before his passing. Our thoughts are with her family as the deal with their loss. Knowing she is with Bill and in the Lord’s, care will help with pain of missing her. Rest in Peace!

MARFC Returns to the Flat Rock Speedway in 2021!

Sunny skies and very warm temperatures greeted MARFC fans at our annual fan club day event at the Flat Rock Speedway. Plenty of racing action for all race fans young & old who attended that evening. Street Stock driver #5 James Pankow was presented our MARFC Uniform/ Helmet Bag for the many years of dedicated racing support of the speedway and winning his first ever “A” Main feature the week before. Great job James! Thanks to Ron Drager & Scott Schultz for having us back again this season. Special thanks to Gary Lindahl and Rich Frantz for all the PR about the club all evening. Our MARFC raffle winner was Lynn Kurin who just signed up the week before at Owosso. Many thanks to all our table helpers for the evening and they were: John Jackson, Jeff Horan, Paul Anton, Bob Ryder, Spencer Nelson, David Howe, Nancy May, and Rand Thompson. Looking forward to next season!( Photo Top Left: Jeff Horan, Bob Ryder, Paul Anton, John Jackson, Spencer Nelson & Nancy May) (Photo Top Right: Melissa Pankow, youngest Pankow, Nancy May, John Jackson, Little Pankow, James Pankow, Spencer Nelson & David Howe) (Photo Bottom: James & Lynn Kurin)  

MARFC at Owosso for 2021!

A perfect night for racing as the Owosso Speedway hosted the first of our MARFC Fan Club Day Events for the 2021 season. With all protocols in place fans gathered for a great night of racing. Our MARFC Uniform/Helmet bag was presented to Modified driver Chris Begg #x17. Chris was three-time Sportsman champion, and this is his second year in the modified. He also been a longtime track supporter helping anyone who needed it and promoting the  track whenever he can. Brittney Sprague was the winner of our MARFC raffle that evening. Many thanks to Ken & Jerry Williams and the entire staff for having us in on their opening night. A big thank you to “Big” Ed for all the great PR during our event. MARFC table volunteers were David & Eldora Howe, John Jackson, Doug Jakeway, and Robert Dickey. (Photo Top Left: David Howe, Chris Begg & Doug Jakeway) (Photo Top Right: David Howe & Brittney Sprague)(Photo Bottom: John Jackson, Doug Jakeway, Sean & Brittney Sprague)