With the running of the Daytona 500 and Atlanta in the books, our first practice is less than 5 weeks away!! And to make things better yet, I saw some sunshine & upper 50’s projected in the 10 day forecast today!!!! There is plenty of snow covering the track but not nearly as bad as it was last year at this time! In times where many outdoor entertainment venues (not just race tracks) are struggling & scaling way back or becoming more of a part time venue and worse yet even shutting their doors, Kalamazoo Speedway is coming off our strongest year of the past 14 seasons and we are all looking forward to operating season number 15 with even more success than last year!
Two weeks ago at the National RPM Promoters meeting in Daytona, the Howe’s received the highest award in short track racing for owners/promoters, as over 1100 tracks have the opportunity to vote and the Howe’s were voted by their peers as the National Promoters of the Year. Gary quickly made note to the overflowing crowd of promoters that this award was not an award for him & Donna but rather this award was being accepted for the entire track of Kalamazoo Speedway. Between our key employees, many of whom have 10-15 years of service to the Howe’s, as well as our core of nearly 100 weekly drivers who again have been with us for many years……..this award was accepted for the entire Kalamazoo Speedway Family, and every one of you should be extremely proud to call Kalamazoo Speedway your home!!!! One other award that was presented back in January by the Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club group went to our very own Jason Seltzer for being selected for the Announcer of the Year Award for the entire state of Michigan!
We are looking at very solid car counts in all of our weekly classes, where we have assembled a very aggressive schedule for 2015, which is geared mostly towards our weekly drivers. We again have two Saturdays where we won’t be racing; so I suggest for you wives to get those family vacations booked around June 13th as well as August 15th!! We offer a very competitive pay structure in all weekly classes, we continue to offer the best participant insurance program that any track in the nation has and we are still offering a $30,000 weekly point fund for our drivers, thanks to Lane Automotive & Nascar. We continue to have one of the strongest & best equipped Safety Crew’s as any short track in the entire nation has to offer. We are excited as we are featuring plenty of new & exciting concepts for the 2015 racing season that will for sure keep both new as well as seasoned Kazoo race fans sitting on the edge of their seats all year long! A few important reminders & new items coming to the Zoo this year are:
- April 25th will be the Zoo’s Season Opener for all 6 weekly classes, featuring the Intimidator 100 for the Outlaw Super Lates! We are bringing back 100 laps, we are bringing back $2000 to win and will be paying $400 to start, possibly capturing the Super Late car count to be over 30-35 cars!
- We again have the Kalamazoo Klash for the Outlaw Super Lates and with the addition of the CRA Super Series; the Klash will again rank as one of the biggest single day Late Model Shows in the entire nation!
- As we strive to have our program done each week near the 10:00 hour, with very solid car counts as well as splitting our Cyber Stocks into two separate classes, we will be starting our regular Full House Nights at 6:30 PM. The first four heats of each event will feature the rockem’ sockem’ action of the Outlaw and the Flip Flop Cyber Stocks!
- For the ultimate in fan interaction, Kalamazoo Speedway is building a new Victory Lane, which will be located in the midway area behind the bleachers down towards turn One. All Feature Winners will drive their car to Victory Lane & will remain up top until the next feature is completed. This will give fans extra time to interact with the drivers & the photo taking process won’t need to be rushed nearly as much. Friends & family of the feature winner will have a much easier time getting photo ops in the new Victory Lane!!
- We have a new entry level class with the running of the Flip Flop Cyber Stocks for 2015! And to make things real interesting, Kalamazoo Speedway will be having 6 Rent-a-Ride Flip Flop cars where all of the arm chair drivers sitting in stands can have a full race day experience, including hot laps, qualifying, and racing a full-fledged race car for a chosen night, all for less than $200. This will make a great gift for that race fan in your life, but hurry as you need to call the speedway office at 269-692-2423, as the available dates for the rent-a-ride cars are filling up fast.
- We will be clarifying a few changes in the tire program for the 2015 season. With the threat of very high dollar tire soak looming out there in the high tech racing world, stay tuned for some announcements of how we will be managing our 970 Hoosier tires for the Super Lates & Super Stocks!
- In the next few weeks, we may be getting some new insurance regulations/changes for minors. This will not change any of the age restrictions for young drivers or for minors getting into the pit area. However the age for which weekly minor releases and a yearly notarized release that needs to be signed by a parent or legal guardian could be going from the age of 18 up to the age of 20 years old. We should know for sure within a couple weeks & we will post this online as soon as we know for sure.
- New Express Pit Pass Window to open up one hour prior to the pit gates opening. For anyone arriving early to the track, we will be selling pit passes one hour prior to the posted pit opening time. This should help alleviate some of the long lines that occur as soon as the pit windows are open. You won’t be going into the pit area early but as soon as the pit gates open, we will have teams heading to their spots instead of standing in sometimes long pit pass lines!!
- For you Open Wheel fans, we have the Auto Value Super Winged Sprints coming in early June & Late July. We will have the best sprint car drivers racing at our track but one thing we do different than most tracks…….when the Super Sprints are racing at the Zoo, so are our top classes as well! That’s right; we don’t send the Super Lates or Super Stocks home to rest. And as a matter of fact, on our June 6th show, you fans can all be a part of history as Kalamazoo Speedway will be attempting to run 7 classes of cars that night…….could we see 140 cars in the pits…..and will they all fit??
- Super Shoe & Call of the Wild…….do we even need to waste space talking about these two classics??
- And of course we still have our FWD Enduro Series, Fireworks Spectaculars on both July 3rd & 4th, and the entertainment slayer of them all……The Night of Destruction!
- Nascar Licenses are required for all Drivers in all Classes by opening Night- Every driver is required to purchase a NASCAR license to be able to run on opening night. If you are not planning on running the entire season, you can purchase a 15 day license which would allow you to run 3 consecutive Saturday races. The cost is $50 for the Outlaw Super Lates and $25 for the other 5 classes. These temporary licenses can be purchased at any time during the season! Neither the KLASH nor the Super Shoe is a NASCAR sanctioned event so a license is not required. You can go on the website & purchase your license on line thru NASCAR! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at 269-692-2423 for more NASCAR license info.
- New for 2015…..you will need to show your Nascar License in order to get your transponder each night.
- An all-new 2015 Driver Information Sheet will be required before payoff on the opening night will take place. Even if you have raced with us for years, a new sheet will need to be completed before you will be paid!!
- Kalamazoo Speedway has some cool new Rookie incentives and Class Sponsors that are adding some $$$ to our weekly & year ending payouts. All drivers will be required to run these contingency decals in order to be eligible for these new cash payouts. The same will go for any Nascar Decals or Point Fund Sponsor Decals……these must be displayed on your car in a legible fashion or payout and/or point fund money could be deducted from your winnings, starting at week one.
- Pit Parking Spots in the main infield: although every pit spot is spoken for in the infield, many checks have not been received to pay for these. Contact Kenny at 269-692-2423 to take care of this payment. We have over 15 drivers on a waiting list and as of March 21st, all unpaid spots will be sold to the drivers on the waiting list. We have over 80 paved spots with electric in the upper two pit areas and this is where all drivers will be forced to park if they don’t have a reserved spot in the main lower infield.
- Grandstand & Pit Pass Punch Cards are available at a great price. Any pit pass punch cards will only be sold to drivers or crew members that have a Nascar License. These are a great savings and work very well for both the pit passes or grandstand passes!
- VIP Skybox rentals are available for weekly or full season rentals. Call the office for details…….heated and air conditioned…..there’s no better place to watch the action than high above the race track.
- There will not be a Meet & Greet for 2015, however tables will be set up in the infield to accommodate all necessary paperwork that needs to be completed, at both preseason practice sessions!
Kalamazoo Speedway will again be the Entertainment Capital of the Midwest in 2015……we have it all and we are not slowing down as we continue to add several fresh new events to the Zoo!
Please e-mail (email@example.com) or call the speedway office (269-692-2423) if you have any questions on any of the above items. Thank you and see you all in early April at Kalamazoo Speedway!