Racing in 2010 & Beyond at the Zoo

As the 2010 Kalamazoo Speedway Season nears the “100 days away” mark and Speedweeks at Daytona is about a month away, many teams are busy preparing for the up-coming season.  With every new season comes the normal “Racin’ Rumor Mill” as well as the “Complaint Hotline” starts to kick in. 

Any rule tweak or change in a policy at Kalamazoo Speedway has one common denominator and that is to keep weekly short track racing alive & well at the Zoo.  Go ahead & surf the websites of the neighboring 12 or 15 tracks in the tri-state region; look close at the Super Late Model appearance dates on many of those websites schedules.  Although these tracks are all top notch facilities, many of them are running 3, 4, 6 or maybe 10 Late Model shows in 2010.  I feel that most tracks that have been forced to scale back on these shows have done so due to low car counts due mainly to the skyrocketing costs of these cars as well as the cost of hosting this very expensive class. 

At Kalamazoo Speedway, you will see all 5 of our classes, including our Outlaw Super Late Models have close to 18 weekly shows as well as a couple special events.  Our plans for 2011 and beyond are to continue having our Outlaw Super Lates as a weekly class averaging 18-20 shows each season.  This can only be done by keeping a substantial car count which will only continue if we can have a quality class of cars at a somewhat affordable cost.  Although I know that this has worked fine for several out of state tracks, I personally do not want to be forced to have 3 or 4 classes of street stock or front wheel drive cars & have the premier classes only come a few times each year for special events.  

Many tracks nationwide have been forced to adapt tire impounding rules, crate engines, a spec carburetor rule, mandatory shock packages, even a complete spec dirt late model was introduced this year by one of the premier dirt late model builders.   These & so many other cost cutting measures have been implemented to try & ensure full fields of competitive cars.  If you think for a minute that these “tech nightmare” measures are what we promoters are looking for, you are sadly mistaken.  The bottom line is that if you don’t have enough cars, you won’t have weekly classes and if we continue letting you spend X amount of dollars each week when you are racing for maybe 10 or 20% of that amount, you are not going to continue to afford to race & we will not have enough race teams!

We have been fortunate at Kalamazoo to have very strong car counts while having some of the finest race teams in the nation.  We can also boast that we still have some of the best side by side racing to be found at any track in any state.  We will continue doing what we feel we need to do to govern the outlandish spending on these cars so we can say that same statement in 2010 and the years beyond!

Gary Howe


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