2015 “Winter’s Winding Down” Newsletter for Kalamazoo Speedway

Mike Brooks

Mike Brooks

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 SeriesFireworks 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 donna@kalamazoospeedway.com 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 (gary@kalamazoospeedway.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!

 

2015 Kalamazoo Speedway Rookie Class Sponsors Announced

Billy Shannon

Billy Shannon

Kalamazoo Speedway is stepping up their game as they strive to attract Rookie Drivers to run in all of their classes. Five local racing affiliated businesses are stepping up to the plate to make it even more lucrative for new drivers or drivers who have been away for a few years, to try and tackle the high banks of the Zoo!   The five Rookie Class Sponsors are adding point money for the highest two finishing rookies as well as adding additional bonus money. Below is a list of the Rookie Class Sponsors for 2015 and what their program will consist of:

Outlaw Cyber Stock 2015 Rookie Sponsor: Perhaps one of the most recognizable drivers in the Cyber Stock Class is stepping up to support the class that he & his two sons participate in each week. United Collision Center in Wayland, owned by Jerry Jansen Jr and with his wife Vanessa, is the 2015 Rookie Sponsor. Jerry has captured the last two Cyber Stock Championships and his two sons, Jerry III and Kyle, are in hot pursuit to knock their dad off that podium. Jerry started both boys racing well before they had a driver’s license and wants to continue to see this trend follow. The Outlaw Cyber Rookie Program will include the following:

  • $150 bonus to the highest finishing rookie in the Outlaw Cyber Stock point standings
  • $100 bonus to the 2nd highest rookie in points
  • $100 bonus for any rookie for their first A Feature win
  • $25 bonus for any heat race win by a rookie for the entire 2015 season.
  • $100 bonus (for their first feature win) for any Outlaw Cyber Stock A Feature winner who has not won a Outlaw Cyber Stock feature at Kalamazoo Speedway from 2012 thru the present.

Mini Stock 2015 Rookie Sponsor: Kalamazoo Speedway would like to welcome Pro Automotive Services in Plainwell as the official Rookie Sponsor for the 2015 racing season.   Pro Automotive Services is a complete automotive repair facility owned by Donnie Brest & Jeff Meyer since 2009 (www.proautomotiveservicesllc.com).With the addition of the front wheel drive 4 cylinders cars allowed to race this year, the Mini Stock Class promises to be the class to watch in 2015. The guys at Pro Automotive believe that getting new youth involved in our sport is vital to the continued growth of short track racing & they are sponsoring the following programs:

  • The Pro Automotive Youth Performer Award will add $300 to the point fund for the top performing rookie driver (ages 14-21) in the Mini Stock class. They will give a check of $100 to the 2nd highest finishing rookie driver.
  • $100 bonus to any driver (ages 14-21) for each Mini Stock feature win in 2015.
  • $25 bonus to any driver (ages 14-21) for each Mini Stock heat race win for the entire 2015 season.
  • $100 bonus (for their first feature win) for any driver who has not won a Mini Stock feature at Kalamazoo Speedway from 2012 thru the present.

Pro Stock 2015 Rookie Sponsor:   Kalamazoo Speedway is pleased to announce Tough Coat Powder Coating as the official Rookie Sponsor for the Pro Stocks for 2015. Brent Hook has owned & operated Tough Coat since its inception in 2001. Both Brent & his son, Chaz will be fighting it out for Pro Stock Championship this year……but perhaps the biggest battle may be the competition & fun between father & son! Tough Coat is pleased to announce the following sponsorship program, again geared up to introduce our sport to new drivers:

  • $150 bonus to the highest finishing rookie in the Pro Stock point standings
  • $100 bonus to the 2nd highest rookie in points
  • $100 bonus for any rookie for their first A Feature win
  • $25 bonus for any heat race win by a rookie for the entire 2015 season.
  • $100 bonus (for their first feature win) for any Pro Stock A Feature winner who has not won a Pro Stock feature at Kalamazoo Speedway from 2012 thru the present.

Super Stock 2015 Rookie Sponsor: WQXC & WZUU will be the Rookie Class Sponsor for the Super Stock Class in 2015. Bob Brink, owner of both radio stations has been a longtime supporter of short track racing at Kalamazoo Speedway since the mid 80’s. Bob has seen many drivers start from a very young age and climb up the short track ranks. He too realizes just how vital it is to keep new blood coming into this sport that we all love and nobody supports short track racing any better than Bob does! The WQXC/WZUU Rookie Class Sponsorship package will include the following:

  • $300 bonus to the highest finishing rookie in the Super Stock point standings
  • $150 bonus to the 2nd highest rookie in points
  • $150 bonus for any rookie for their first Super Stock A Feature win
  • $25 bonus for any heat race win by a Super Stock rookie for the entire 2015 season.
  • $150 bonus (for their first feature win) for any Super Stock A Feature winner who has not won a Super Stock feature at Kalamazoo Speedway from 2012 thru the present.

Outlaw Super Late 2015 Rookie Sponsor: City Cab of Battle Creek, owned by Greg Cady will be the Rookie Class Sponsor for the Outlaw Super Late Models. Greg has been involved in short track racing as a car owner for many different drivers & a track sponsor for well over 30 years. NASCAR offers a great package for Kalamazoo’s Super Late Model Rookie of the Year so the City Cab Rookie Class Sponsor package is a bit different than the other 4 packages; it includes:

  • $300 bonus to the 2nd highest finishing rookie in the Outlaw Super Late Model point standings
  • $200 bonus for any rookie for their first A Feature win
  • $25 bonus for any heat race win by a Super Late Model rookie for the entire 2015 season.
  • $200 bonus (for their first feature win) for any Super Late Model A Feature winner who has not won a Super Late feature at Kalamazoo Speedway from 2012 thru the present.
  • $50 bonus for any Kalamazoo Speedway Super Late Model Rookie driver who sets fast time at a KS weekly point race

To be eligible to participate in any of these programs, all cars will have the furnished decal from the sponsor displayed on both sides of your car. Please support these local businesses that all support the greatest sport that we all love; that of course being short track racing found every Saturday night at Kalamazoo Speedway!

Kalamazoo Speedway Announces “Rent-a-Ride at the Zoo” Program

Jerry Jansen

Jerry Jansen

How would you like to fulfill a longtime dream……..possibly knock something off your bucket list…….or maybe even test drive a race car to see if you have what it takes to be the next Jeff Gordon? Well Kalamazoo Speedway is excited to announce their all new Rent-a Ride at the Zoo Program for 2015.

If you have ever wondered what a Saturday race day for our weekly drivers at Kalamazoo Speedway is all about, you now will be able to say to your friends & family “Hey, I did that”!   We are going to have a fleet of race ready Flip Flop Cyber Stocks that will be available to rent for a regular Saturday Night Full House show. You could be racing with our weekly racers in front of a several thousand spectators, not just out on an empty track with another car or two. You will hot lap your car, qualify your car and then you will race in your heat race and in your feature event.   We will furnish the crew chief for Rent-a-Ride cars but you will need to bring along your pit crew to help you prepare for your race day! We will also be supplying all of your safety equipment, including your fire suit, racing gloves, helmet and Raceceiver. We can also set up a practice session on a week night before your big racing debut so that we can get you properly fitted for your car, go over all racing & safety procedures and get you out on the track so you are ready to race on Saturday!!

All Rent-a-Ride programs will need to be booked two weeks minimum in advance, so that you & we both have adequate time to prepare you and your car for race day. The cost for your race day Rent-a-Ride program is $185 and that price includes the drivers pit pass. You will also receive an 8×10 picture of you & your car in Victory Lane. Additional pit passes are $30 and we will have special pricing for general admission tickets for all of your friends, co-workers & family that come out to cheer you on (discounted prices for groups of 10 tickets or more).   Call or e-mail the office now to book your Rent-a-Ride at the Zoo, with the first race date being May 2nd.  (269-692-2423 or gary@kalamazoospeedway.com )

You could be the next the Super Star at Kalamazoo Speedway……..what are you waiting for??

Pro Automotive Services to Sponsor Mini Stock Division in 2015!

Keith Dunham

Keith Dunham

Kalamazoo Speedway would like to welcome Pro Automotive Services in Plainwell as the official Mini Stock Class Sponsor for the 2015 racing season.   Pro Automotive Services is a complete automotive repair facility owned by Donnie Brest & Jeff Meyer since 2009 (www.proautomotiveservicesllc.com).

With the addition of the front wheel drive 4 cylinders cars allowed to race this year, the Mini Stock Class promises to be the class to watch in 2015. The guys at Pro Automotive believe that getting new youth involved in our sport is vital to the continued growth of short track racing & they are sponsoring the following programs:

  • The Pro Automotive Youth Performer Award will add $300 to the point fund for the top performing rookie driver (ages 14-21) in the Mini Stock class. They will give a check of $100 to the 2nd highest finishing rookie driver.
  • Pro Automotive will pay a $100 bonus to any driver (ages 14-21) for each Mini Stock feature win in 2015.
  • Pro Automotive will pay a $25 bonus to any driver (ages 14-21) for each Mini Stock heat race win for the entire 2015 season.
  • Pro Automotive will also pay a $100 bonus (for their first feature win) for any driver that hasn’t won a Mini Stock feature in the previous 3 years during the entire 2015 season.
  • Pro Automotive is also responsible for getting the start money up to $80 for each Mini Stock feature in 2015!
  • Any Mini Stock will have to have a Pro Automotive decal displayed on both sides of their car to be eligible for any of the bonus money!

So please stop in to Pro Automotive & talk to Donnie & Jeff about anything that you need serviced or repaired on your street vehicles……and mention to them your appreciation for their support for local short track racing!

“Celebration of Life Luncheon” Scheduled for Craig Schweikert

Kalamazoo Speedway Logo

Kalamazoo Speedway Logo

A “Celebration of Life” Luncheon has been scheduled for Saturday, January 10th at the Oak Grove Bible Church for Craig Schweikert.  The “Celebration of Life” will go from 2-4pm.  Better known as “Craig at the Gate”, Craig who was 62 years old started working at the track selling Marc Times Racing News when he was just 6 years old.  He did it all out there as he was the caretaker of the track for the past 14 years for the Howe family.  For more information call Donna Howe at 269-692-2423.

 

Reserved Pit Spots for 2015

Kalamazoo-Speedway-Logo-NEW1111

Kalamazoo-Speedway-Logo-NEW1111

  • Anyone who had paid for a reserved pit spot during 2014 has until January 16th to pay for that same spot for 2015.

 

  • If you are looking to purchase a reserved pit spot for 2015, you can start paying for these now but exact spots will not be decided on until after the 16th.

 

  • We will do our best to accommodate everyone for their desired spots they are looking for but with car counts climbing, three or more pit spots together will be at a premium.

 

  • Lower Infield Spots are $100 and the Upper Two Pit reserved spots are $50 for the regular season.  On certain occasions like when Winged Super Sprints are at Kazoo, some pit areas will have to be relocated for the night.

 

  • Keep in mind all of our spots are paved with electric nearby; so you do not need to purchase a parking spot as there will be open spots available.  However if you have a large tow rig/trailer or need more than a single spot for 2 or more cars, reserving a spot may be a good idea.

 

  • All spots will be officially reserved as the payment has been made for said spot.

 

Judy Bussema Passes Away

Kalamazoo-Speedway-Logo-NEW111

Kalamazoo-Speedway-Logo-NEW111

Our thoughts & prayers go out to Billy & Terry and the entire Bussema family, with the passing of Judy Bussema.  The Bussema family has been a staple of the local short track racing community for many many years and Judy’s presence up in the stands will be missed.

Craig Schweikert Passes Away

Kalamazoo-Speedway-Logo-NEW11

Kalamazoo-Speedway-Logo-NEW11

Our thoughts & prayers go out to our Kalamazoo Speedway friends & family with the passing of Craig Schweikert.   Better known as “Craig at the Gate”, Craig who was 62 years old started working at the track selling Marc Times Racing News when he was just 6 years old.  He did it all out there as he was the caretaker of the track for the past 14 years for the Howe family.   Details will be released at a later date for any service that may be held in the near future.

Race For Kids Sake Texas Hold Em Charity Poker Tournament Information

Poker Tournament

Poker Tournament

Friday December 5th, 2014 @ Otsego Elks Club

Doors open @ 6:00pm Cards dealt @7:30pm

$50 Buy In

Also check out our Facebook page for current events

https://www.facebook.com/race4kidssake

If you have any questions contact me at jamiejohncock@gmail.com or call 269-615-4687

2015 Tentative Rules Posted

Kalamazoo-Speedway-Logo-NEW1

Kalamazoo-Speedway-Logo-NEW1

The 2015 Tentative Rules for our weekly classes have been posted.  We call them tentative for about two weeks until our “On-line Rule Nazi’s” have dissected the rules & show us all of our spelling & grammar mistakes!!   Please look them over ASAP & email me back at gary@kalamazoospeedway.com with any comments or suggestions.  Thank you!!

Gary Howe

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