Kalamazoo Speedway’s 2017 “Virtual Drivers Meeting”
Welcome to the 67th consecutive season of short track racing at Kalamazoo Speedway. We deeply appreciate each & every one of you (drivers, teams, spouses & owners) who help make Kalamazoo Speedway one of the most successful short tracks in the nation!! With our shortened Friday Night event schedule and an onslaught of racecars this year, we are finding it very hard to have time to fit in a drivers’ meeting. Thus, below are some very important facts that every one of you should take note of as I throw out to you our first “Virtual Drivers Meeting”!
NASCAR Licenses – EVERY driver who races at Kalamazoo Speedway needs to have a NASCAR license. We have a list of drivers updated daily from NASCAR who have purchased their license. If you are not on that list, you must fill out a NASCAR license before you will receive your transponder. If you are just joining us for a race or two, 15-day licenses are available. You can pick up a NASCAR license form at the ticket office, at either transponder table or in the infield tower.
A Special Safety Note to all drivers: It is your responsibility to look over and upgrade all of your personal safety equipment. A full containment seat, a head & neck restraint, a fuel cell with all of the proper check valves in place, a new fire suit including the proper under garments, gloves, socks & shoes that are all to the highest of safety ratings. Highly recommended that all safety equipment get upgraded to a Snell 2015 rating and be SFI/1 approved. Look over your fire suit rating and general condition, and check over the condition of your racing gloves and shoes. Look at your five-point safety harness manufacture date, the condition of your safety harness, the mounting brackets and fasteners, as well as the way these belts are mounted to your chassis. Look at how your fuel cell is mounted; check for the proper straps below and above the actual fuel cell can. Check the check-valve on your fuel cell fill spout and vent tube and check your fuel line from front to rear. Highly recommended are a collapsible steering shaft, a higher quality racing seat, and a short track head and neck restraint system. If your fire suit, helmets, racing safety harness, racing gloves, fuel cell, etc, is not up to safety standards, it is time to put an investment into these items, before spending a penny on your car. If you are not sure about any for-mentioned items, contact the speedway office, we will get you in contact with someone that does understand the importance of these items.
General Driver & Crew Conduct – Although we all participate in a highly emotional sport, we are still expected to act professionally and courteously while at the track as well as on non-race days of the season. We ask that you be fair & considerate on social media to all involved parties of any racing or other incident. Drivers are the stars of this track and ultimately will be the voice of reason to the many thousands of followers; many of whom are children! The use of Improper Language or Gestures towards the fans or track officials will not be tolerated on race days. Negative Social Media Postings, especially calling out people by name, may result in suspensions from participating at Kalamazoo Speedway. Suspensions and/or fines will be strictly enforced for fighting or any other acts that management of Kalamazoo Speedway deem inappropriate. Any serious infractions will be handed over to the Kalamazoo County Sheriff Department to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Pit Passes – Any person entering the restricted Pit Area will need to have stopped at the ticket office to get signed in & to get their wristband & pit pass. No one is allowed into the pits after the pits officially open to drop off tires, gas, parts, etc., without a pit pass. No personal vehicles will be allowed into the pit areas.
Minors Sign In Policy – The insurance industry controls the minor release rules; our ticket office employees are only there to enforce them. There are several rules that apply to entering the restricted pit areas when a person is under 18 years old. Call the office at 269-692-2423 or talk to Donna or Lacey about these rules & policies. Most of the rules can be handled at the ticket office if the minor is present with a parent. However, if the minor is a participant, there is an annual form that needs to be signed & notarized by both parents to allow the minor to enter the pits in the future with only one parent present.
Parking in Assigned Pit Spots – Kalamazoo Speedway is very fortunate to offer paved parking for all competitors. In 2017 most of the pit spots in the infield and several in the upper pits have been rented by teams for the season. If you are one of those teams, please make sure to park in your designated spot. If you are unsure of its location, find any uniformed official and they will be able to help you. If you do not have a spot, that is ok also. You will be parking in either the upper pit area or the third pit area. If you have rented a spot for the year & your car is absent for an event, that spot belongs to the track to use for another vehicle (unless you have made prior arrangements with Gary for another competitor to use your spot). It will not be for your personal vehicle to park in or to haul in a BBQ trailer.
Tires – Tires are available for purchase in the barn next to the infield tower. If you brought your own tires, that is fine also. Just make sure that they are not soaked or altered in any way, shape or form.
Transponders – Transponders are required at all times a car is on the race track. If you pull out onto the track without a transponder, we will be unable to score your car, so you will be black flagged immediately. New for 2017, there will be transponder tables in the lower pits (in front of the tire barn) and in the upper pits (in front of the upper pit barn). Please make sure you know the correct way to mount the transponder. If it is mounted incorrectly and doesn’t pick up, you will have to start at the tail of the field and not get any qualifying points. If you are unsure of the proper mounting technique, ask any uniformed official or perhaps one of the veteran competitors around you.
Raceceivers – New for 2017, Raceceivers are now mandatory at ALL TIMES drivers are on the track. These communication devices are priceless in letting the tower communicate information to the drivers and we will utilize these more than ever in 2016. If a driver is found to not have a Raceceiver at any time they will be black flagged and done for that session. If that happens during group qualifying all of their times will be taken away, they will receive no points for the session and they will start at the tail. Please put a new battery in your Raceceiver EVERY week. If you need a battery, they are available for purchase in the infield tire barn. The Raceceiver channel is 454.0000. If you are having trouble with your Raceceiver ask a fellow competitor or a uniformed official. If you need to purchase or rent a Raceceiver you may do so in the infield tower.
Contingency Decals – We are extremely fortunate to have a great relationship with both Lane Automotive and NASCAR. Our partnerships with these organizations have been vital in getting Kalamazoo Speedway to the place it is today. We are also very proud that 2017 marks the 31st anniversary of our partnership with Lane Automotive. To celebrate that all Kalamazoo Speedway teams will be required to run the Lane Automotive windshield decal at the top of their windshield for the entire 2017 season. There are also a few smaller decals (Allstar Performance, Edelbrock & Aeroquip) that must be on all Kalamazoo Speedway cars. Any team that does not run these decals will be ineligible to receive Kalamazoo Speedway point fund money. Also, due to our excellent relationship with NASCAR it is mandatory that all divisions run the NASCAR contingency decal pack. All decals will be available at the infield transponder table on race nights.
Sunoco Race Gas – Sunoco Race Gas is available to teams at a reasonable price in the center of the infield.
Race Day Lineup – The schedule for race days will always be posted no later than Thursday on kalamazoospeedway.com. It is recommended that teams print out a copy of the schedule and bring it with them to the track. We will post schedules on all three lineup boards (lower pit, upper pit and third pit). We will do our best at sticking EXACTLY to the posted schedule, unfortunately, sometimes weather and/or other circumstances force us to make some adjustments.
Tech – Tech may take place both pre-qualifying and post-qualifying as well as pre-race and post-race. Tech may take place in the tech area and/or at your pit area. After a qualifying session or after a race, if you are instructed to head to the tech area, go directly there immediately. The rules have been posted since last November: read and understand the rules for your class. Whenever one of our uniformed tech officials shows up to your car, I expect that you will treat them with the same respect that you want to be treated with. Work together with our tech guys and they for sure will work with you.
Listen to the PA Announcements – once the track goes green for the first qualifying session (approx. 5:30PM) the next two hours are very hectic & fast paced. Pay attention to the PA announcements and to the printed schedules that are posted throughout the venue. Don’t miss your track time because you didn’t pay attention when your class was qualifying.
Pit Road Speeds – When exiting off the track into either pit area, slow your car immediately down to 5 MPH as you drive thru the pit areas. Our pits are extremely tight and any excessive speed or spinning your tires while driving thru the pits could get you parked for the remainder of that race or the entire event. If you have a flat tire and drive thru the pits going 20 MPH, an official will quickly let you know that you are done for that race. This is a safety matter and will not be up for debate. Always drive Slow & Cautious as you are driving through any of our pit areas!!
Pit Road Directions – In the main lower infield, as you exit off the track from the backstretch, you will only drive in a counter clockwise direction. No turning to the left until after you go past the scoring tower.
KTS Safety Truck – Kalamazoo Speedway is fortunate to have one of the finest safety crews and safety equipment of any short rack in the nation. The “Big Red KTS Truck” is parked on the top side of the track above turn 2. When one of our many caution lights turn yellow, slow your car down and head to the lower half of the racing surface. Keep a straight line & don’t be scuffing your tires by swerving your car from lane to lane. Our safety truck will be in route heading to where assistance is needed and they need to have the top lane of the track to do so.
Exiting Your Car When Involved in the Caution – If you are involved in an incident on the track and the yellow or red flag comes out, no driver is allowed to exit their car until a track employee (KTS worker) gets to your car and releases you, unless you see smoke or fire in the cockpit or under the hood or you smell gas! The driver should not loosen any personal safety equipment until directed to do so by safety personnel or a track official. Upon exiting your car, stay beside your car and do not move at all on to the track. No walking down on the track to wave to the driver who may have just spun you out. Stay in or with your car!
Exiting Your Car on a Caution or Red Flag – On a yellow or red flag that happens on the start of a race, any car(s) that enter the pits will go to the tail of the field, even though a full lap has not been completed. On a yellow flag, any driver getting out of their car will be DQ’d for that event. On a red flag, a driver may exit their car to check over their own car but can only make an adjustment on their own car without any tools. You may pull out your own fender but due to the danger of having excess tools in your cockpit, no tools will be allowed to be pulled from your vehicle or from anyone in the pit area to work on your car. No driver will be allowed to leave the racing surface & enter the infield for any reason during a red flag. The driver must be back in their car ready to go when the yellow flag comes out. Violations will result in the car being placed at the rear of the field. Certain circumstances may arise on a delayed red flag that would be dealt with over the PA system.
Entering the Track from the Infield – Always enter the track from the front stretch only. There will always be an official standing there who will inform you when it is clear to pull onto the track; never pull out on the track without an official instructing you to do so. There is bright yellow line painted coming out of the infield. Stay below that line until you get to turn one. This is for your safety as well as the safety of the other competitors. NEVER enter onto the track from the backstretch.
Exiting the Track into the Infield – Keep your speed up and get to the bottom of the track in turns 1 and 2. When you would typically begin to drive up the hill out of turn 2 simply hug the bottom of the track and make sure you are slowed down to a very safe speed before entering the pits on the backstretch. Do everything you possibly can to exit the track from the backstretch but if you absolutely must, you may use the front stretch. Just make sure you are incredibly slow (less than 5 mph) and that people see you coming. Only use this route if you absolutely have to.
Entering the Track from the Top Pits – There will always be an official standing there who will inform you when it is clear to pull onto the track, never pull out on the track without an official instructing you to do so. Stay above the yellow line when blending onto the track from the top pits. Begin to pick up speed immediately. We will try to get you in as good of a hole as possible but be aware of your surroundings and try not to impede someone else’s lap while getting a gap that will allow you to get a good lap as well.
Exiting the Track into the Top Pits – When you come off of turn 4 have your hand waiving out the window so the cars behind you know you are coming into the pits. As you would typically start to make your arc into turn 1 simply hug the outside wall and begin to slow down. Stay above the yellow line the entire time. When you crest the hill be slowed way down as you won’t be able to see for a brief instant. Once you can see again, slowly drive back to your pit area.
Qualifying Sessions – All cars, regardless of what pit area you are parked in, will start the qualifying session from the make ready chute. After going back to your pit area if you chose to make another qualifying run you will be put out from your respective pit area. Please see the “2017 Kalamazoo Speedway Qualifying Procedures” document for a complete explanation of qualifying rules and regulations.
Scoring Tower Lockdown – During the 90 minutes of qualifying each day, there will be no one admitted into the infield scorer’s tower. There are several uniformed officials who can help you with any and all questions but the tower will be locked so we can get qualifying & race lineups done in a timely fashion. Also with the free Race Monitor app that everybody is using, we won’t be able to print off your personal times for each team; just get on Race Monitor and you can easily track every lap your car is on the track.
Break Out Rule – The break out time will be set prior to qualifying taking place. It will usually be between two tenths and four tenths of a second. If during any race you run two laps under your break out time, you will be black flagged. If this occurs in a heat race, you will be done for that race and your time will be reset for the feature. We will never move a car into the inversion however, so the best you would start is one position outside of the inversion. If this happens in a feature or last chance race, you must exit off the track into the main infield off the backstretch and slowly drive up the make ready chute. An official will stop you and let you rejoin the race at the tail of the field. At that point you will be exempt from breaking out again. If any driver chooses to start at the tail of the race behind the fastest car, that driver would be exempt from breaking out.
Watch the Flagman When on the Track – Always watch the flagman for multiple reasons. First of all if you are being black flagged and your Raceceiver isn’t working for some reason. Secondly, if you are about to be lapped the flagman will point at the leader to inform you they are getting close. At that point maintain your line and it will be the leader’s responsibility to pass you.
Keep an Eye on Race Lineups – We pride ourselves on running an extremely fast paced show. With that said keep an eye on the race lineups and always be ready. If you are in the upper pit or third pit you need to be down in the infield the race before yours during features, so that you can run through tech. Tech will open for Feature #2 as soon as Feature #1 hits that track and we will not wait on anyone. Be ready and always know where we are at in the lineup so that you don’t miss your race.
Racing Common Courtesy – The general rule of thumb would be to treat and race others as you would like to be treated and raced. None of us here are getting rich off of this sport. It is a hobby that we all love. Let’s treat each other with respect and have some good, clean, hard racing. If a driver is caught running into cars on the track after the checkered flag comes out or on a Yellow Flag, we will have the option of taking away points and money for that race. This is senseless and all drivers need to act professional enough to control emotions and put an end to this sort of aggression. Unsportsmanlike driving, rough driving, or unnecessary bumping is prohibited and may result in removal from a race. Flagrant and/or repeated unsportsmanlike conduct on the track or in the pits may result in suspension. This suspension may span the winter hiatus and be completed in the following season.
Victory Lane – We will again be using Victory Lane in behind the turn 1 grandstands for all features other than the last feature of the night. Preliminary races will have in-car pictures done on the front stretch.
Pay Window – Kalamazoo Speedway pays in cash at the end of each race night. The pay window is located at the base of the infield tower, on the front stretch side. Please pick up your pay before you leave the track each night. Before any car is paid off for the night, you must: 1. Turn in your transponder at the lower pit transponder table, located next to the payoff window. 2. Have your 2017 driver registration sheet filled out 3. Have your NASCAR License paperwork completed 4. Have your tire bill paid for.
THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH!!! – None of this would be possible without all of you supporting us each and every week. We sincerely thank you for your support of Kalamazoo Speedway and we hope you have a great race day experience!! Good Luck & Be Safe!