14 different winners have claimed victory in the prestigious Outlaw Super Late Model event known as the Kalamazoo Klash. 12 time Kalamazoo Speedway Outlaw Super Late Model Champ Andy Bozell has won 4 Klash’s including the 1st two events in 1993 and 1994. Former latemodel star Chris Orr is the only other repeat winner of the event taking the trophy in 1999 and 2002.
In the 18 year history of the Klash the event has brought in some big names such as Johnny Benson who won in 2006, Butch Miller, Tim Steele, Glenn Allen Jr., Joe Shear, Gary Fedewa, Matt Kenseth, Ken Schrader, Scott Bloomquist, and the late Adam Petty. Names like Andy Bozell, Mike Vansparentak, Bob Holley, Brian Cloud, Chris Orr, Todd Currier, Ken Schefler, Tom Thomas, Fred Campbell, the late Lee Anderson, Johnny Benson, Terry Senneker, Steve Needles, and Rick Sexton have been awarded victory in the event.
Probably the most talked about Kalamazoo Klash was Klash VI in 1998 otherwise known as “The Pass”. Andy Bozell had a healthy lead with 3 laps to go when the caution came out. On the restart Bozell pulled away as the leader ahead of latemodel veteran Mike Vansparentak. As the two drivers took the white flag, Vansparentak looked to the outside of Bozell and was able to run side by side with him coming out of turn 2 and down the backstretch. As they came off turn 4 Vansparentak was able to slightly edge out Bozell at the line to take his 1st Klash victory before later retiring at the end of the season.
2011 will see three big stars that will attempt to make Klash 19 including former Klash Champ Johnny Benson, young Ross Kenseth will pilot a Bozell Racing machine in his 1st attempt at the Klash. Kenseth’s dad Matt Kenseth has also competed in this event in 1994 before making his presence in Nascar. Probably the biggest surprise entry is multi-time Nascar Modified champ Ted Christopher who will drive a car for Bob Blount.
Other expected local drivers for Kalamazoo Klash 19 include: Andy and Phil Bozell, J.R. and Tyler Rhoarig, Tom Thomas, Terry Senneker, Steve Needles, Scott Hantz, 2010 Klash winner Rick Sexton, Trent Hellenga, Tim Devos, Ross Meeuwsen, Terry VanHaitsma, Caleb Bisacky, Mark Shook, Jimmy Carter, Mike Root, Chris Anthony, Brian Campbell, Andy Ponstein, and many more stars.
Also featured on the same night will be the Premier Boyne Machine Superlates. This newly formed series is a template body latemodel series that races at primarily at Berlin Raceway and will travel to Kalamazoo Speedway in this already big night of latemodel racing. Some big name stars expected to enter will be Ross Kenseth, Johnny Benson, Brian Campbell, Chris Koslek, Johnny Vandoorn, Chris Anthony, Jordan Dahlke and Andy Ponstein.
The Klash is one of the most anticipated latemodel events in the midwest and promises to present some of the best latemodel racing ever seen in addition to the Premier Boyne Machine Superlates.
In 2011, the Klash will payout a wealthy $10,000 to the winner including many bonuses to be earned throughout the evening that will total to a possible $18,000 to the winner. The event will be held Wednesday, August 17th and will start at 7pm. Rain date will be Thursday, August 18th. Open practice will be Tuesday, August 16th 5-9pm pit gates will open at 2pm. Wednesday pit gates open at 1pm and hot laps at 3pm. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for teens, and $5 for children 9 and under.
Story by Nick Smith