2012 Minutes

49 posts

MARFC First Fall Meeting on October 20, 2012!

The first meeting of our off season was held on October 20, 2012 at DeCarlo’s Banquet Center in Warren. We had three guest speakers and also drew the winners in our annual Cheer Raffle. First prize of $300 went to Richard Stevens of Albion, Second prize of $150 went to Rudy Walkley of Ludington, and Third prize of $100 went to Thomas Hunt of Jackson, congratulations to all of our winners and thank you to all who bought or sold tickets and thank you to all three winners who made donations back to our Childrens Christmas Party. Our first speaker was Jim Hanks of Must See Racing and the Extreme Motor Sports Sprint Car and Super Modified Series. Jim shared a bit about his history in racing and then really shared his passion for open wheel racing, especially the fire breathing Winged Sprint Cars and the wild and wooly Super Modifieds. Must See Racing has been around a few years and has been putting on Sprint Car races all over the Mid-West and as far south as Pensacola Florida and Mobile, Alabama. Must See Racing has some big things on tap for 2013 that include televised coverage of ten Sprint Car shows on Fox Sports Net with more coming in the Super Modified portion  once all the final preparations and scheduling are completed.  Jim’s passion for Auto Racing, the fans, and the drivers was very evident in his speaking especially as He spoke about the big three day event they have partnered up with the city of Winchester Indiana next spring that will include Winged Sprints one night, Super Modifieds the next night, and a speed trial on another night at Winchester Speedway that they are inviting the fastest of the fast to see just who really is the fastest. All that culminates later on with the running of the “Little 500” at Anderson Speedway, just up the road from Winchester. The Must See Racing group has put on races at eleven different tracks in five states with over sixty race teams and looks to do even more in 2013. Truthfully, Jim shared so much that it I could write an entire newsletter on what this Michigan based organization has on tap for 2013 and beyond with not only 15 Sprint Car races, 10 Super Modified Races, and their 48 ft. Fan Zone trailer that includes an actual alcohol breathing Super Modified with a starter that fans can get their picture taken in as well as hit the starter button, crank it up and actually feel the rumble and smell the fumes from the 800 horsepower alcohol breathing monster under the hood. This group put on races at Kalamazoo, Berlin, and the Auto City Speedways in 2012 and is looking to do the same if not more in 2013. Their website is www.mustseeracing.com if you want take a look.

 As Jim wound down, He brought up his friend and our 2012 MARFC/Eddie Sachs Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Tom Bigelow who traveled from Indiana to be a part of our meeting. Tom started off by sharing about being raised on a farm in Wisconsin and as a kid, heard the radio broadcast of the Indianapolis 500. Upon hearing that broadcast Tom was bitten by the racing bug and let it be known that He was going to race in that race someday. He made good on his promise and raced in that race 9 times with a best finish of sixth in 1977. Tom shared a few stories with the group and also spoke about the budding careers of his grand kids and you could just sense the pride that He has in what they are doing. Tom spoke about getting his start in racing by driving Stock Cars back at Sun Prairie Wisconsin and how he learned early on how to get one of those cars to act like turtle with its wheels stuck up in the air. When asked what his favorite track was he said that really he liked them all but mostly liked Winchester and Eldora as Tom’s career never pigeon-holed him into being either a pavement or a dirt driver.

Scott Menlen was also on hand and shared with us about the new Promotional group that He is a part of called the “Midwest Indoor Racing Series”. They will have their first indoor race on November 3rd in Flint and will then have another race on December 22nd in Birch Run. The group is planning on hosting Winged and Non Winged Mini Sprints as well as go-karts, Legends cars, Quarter Midgets, Lawn mowers , and Mini Cups.  Thier website is www.MidwestIndoorRacingSeries.com and they will have races in the Perani Arena in Flint and in the Birch Run Expo Center in Birch Run.

(Top Left: Jim Hanks Top Right: Tom Bigelow) (Bottom: Scott Menlen)

MARFC Attends Fall MSPA Meeting!

The Michigan Speedways Promoters Association held their fall meeting for 2012 at the Michigan International Speedway on October 25, 2012. The promoters discussed many of the things that keep their facilities up and running such as cost of insurance, how the weather affected their racing season, safety of the racers and fans as well as the attendance of the fans.

For many the state of the economy has had a deep affect on their season not only for them but their racers and fans. Talks of how to keep the fans coming to the races and keeping the cost down for them and be able to keep their gates open are a big concern for all racing facilities here in the state of Michigan as well as across the county. Even the President of MIS Roger Curtis discussed the state of the economy that affects race fan and racing not only here in Michigan but across the country.

The MSPA has 28 members and 30 associate members in their organization. The associate members of whom MARFC is a member all get the opportunity to talk to the promoters and give them the chance to sell their products, services, or racing series to the promoters and get them on their up coming racing season schedules. We here at MARFC are proud to be part of the MSPA. It is here where we are able to work with the promoters in arranging our Fan Club Day Schedule each year. When we are asked from a fans stand point we inform them of what we as fans look for when coming to the races.

(Top: MSPA Board: Left: Ron Flinn, Jim Leasure, Joe DeWitte, Ron Drager, & Tom Sprague) ( Middle: Members of MSPA) (Bottom Left: MIS President Roger Curtis & Bottom Right: MARFC President Dave DeHem address the members on hand)



The MSPA is the first of it’s kind in the country and now two other states have now formed Associations like the MSPA with others are coming to see how Michigan runs and are looking to form their own in the near future. This organization with all the members are a loud voice as one in helping with working together to help some tracks who are in need when it comes to local & state communities who want them shut down for noise or other reasons. If a track tries to stand alone it could lose and be shut down but as a group they all pull together to see that it doesn’t happen.

Whether or not you are members of MARFC when you get the chance to talk to these promoters you need to say Thank You for keeping our sport going forward by keeping their racing facilities open in these bad economic times and look forward to the up coming 2013 racing season. Let’s just hope that all of our tracks here in Michigan are able to return next year.

For more information about the MSPA you can visit their web site for a list of all track members and associate members at: www.michiganspeedways.com.

As Always Keep Racing!

Bill Barnhart
Race Fan

MARFC Set to Start Fall Monthly Membership Meetings!

Hi Race Fans, The first winter meeting of the season is coming up in a week from now on Saturday October 20th at the DeCarlo’s Banquet Center in Warren, Michigan. We will have the drawing for the annual Cheer raffle at that time so if you have not gotten your raffle tickets in that were sent out this past summer you need to get those sent back to Sue Ginter right now. You can bring them to the meeting along with the ticket money but it would be better of you could send them in. We are planning on three speakers to be there as well. Jim Lamb, driver of the #17 Orange Machine out at the Waterford Hills Road Course is scheduled to be there to share about what Waterford Hills has to offer as well as to talk about his program in road racing. We are scheduled to have two speakers from Must See Racing Exrtreme Racing. Jim Hanks, the head honcho will be there to speak about just what these folks do with both the Super Modified and the Sprint Car Series. Jim is bringing along an extra special guest to speak a bit more about what they do and also to share a bit about himself. That special guest is the 2012 (to be presented in 2013 on 1-19-13) MARFC/ Eddie Sachs Jr. Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award winner Tom Bigelow. Tom has a storied career in USAC Sprint Cars and Indy Cars as well as Midgets with numerous wins as well as starts at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Tom is very active in racing these days and is one of the color commentators for Must See Racing. The meeting doors will open at 6:30 PM with the meeting getting underway very quickly after that. Soft drinks will be available with Beer available for purchase from the hall. We look forward to seeing you at the first winter meeting of the 2012 / 2013 indoor MARFC Schedule.

Yours in Racing, Dave DeHem MARFC President

Racing World Loses Chris Economacki

What a tough week in Motor Sports. First we lose Jack Doering, then Bob Newton, founder of Hoosier Tire joins him and now it appears that they need somebody to write a story for them and they have called Chis Economacki to be with them. It is with sad news that I share with you the passing of the “Dean of Motor Sports” Mr. Chris Economacki. Economacki was the recipient of the 2007 Eddie Sachs Jr. Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award at our banquet on January 21, 2007. Chris stayed in touch with MARFC for many years and to this day continues to receive our monthly newsletter and from time to time, if there was a mistake in the newsletter, He would make a phone call to let us know. To me thats a great honor to know that a person of his magnitude and experience in racing took an interest in what the race fans in Michigan were doing. Personally, knowing that Chris was reading our newsletter made me pay attention a bit more and to that I say Thank You.
God Speed Chris Economacki
Yours in Racing,
Dave DeHem
MARFC President