51's Midwest Times
Musical Chairs, Promoters' Version, at Several Tracks
By Matt Prieur, Midwest Editor - Twitter: @mattprieur
New Ownership Takes Over Berlin Raceway

There’s been a small influx of Promoter shifting during the off-season in the state of Michigan starting with the famed Berlin Raceway, located west of Grand Rapids in Marne, MI as a group of investors led by Don DeWitt purchased the lease from previous promoter, Mike Blackmer.  The trio of Mike Bursley, Kurt Dietrich, and Brian DeWitt will lead the management team into the upcoming 2012 racing season.

The historic 7/16 (0.437) mile semi-banked paved oval will ride off the rousing success of the Premier Boyne Super Late Model Series for CRA-type machines with the addition of the Port City Racecars Outlaw Super Late Model Series.  Both series will consist of eight 100-lap features for each series with each paying $2,500 to win and $500 to start.  The Outlaw Bodied Super Late Models will start the year off with the Ice Breaker 100 on Saturday, April 14th while the Template Bodied Super Late Models kick off their season on Saturday, April 28th.

In addition to the 16 total (8 Template and 8 Outlaw in house races), the ARCA/CRA Super Series will make two stops on Saturday, May 12th and again on Monday-Tuesday, June 18-19th for the traditional midweek Rowdy’s 251 featuring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star, Kyle Busch. The JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts stops in for a visit on Saturday, August 4th.

Speedway Entertainment Group Secures Springport Motor Speedway

Southeast of Berlin, Jeff and Pam Parish of Speedway Entertainment Group will be at the helm of the fast 3/8s (0.375) mile high-banked paved oval of Springport Motor Speedway in Springport, MI, located north of Jackson and south of Lansing.  Highlighting the weekly card on Saturday nights starting on May 5th will be the Outlaw Bodied Super Late Models, which will utilize the Hoosier 970 rubber. There’s one event slated for Saturday, August 25th which will see the Supers strap on the Hoosier slicks.  In addition to the Supers, the Non-Winged Sprints will also make select appearances on the nights that the Supers are off.

Previously, the Parish’s were the Promoters at both Dixie Motor Speedway in Birch Run, MI and Owosso Speedway in Ovid, MI over the past three seasons. Their tenures at both facilities ranged from 2009-2011 at Dixie and from the midway point of 2008 up to the beginning of last season at Owosso.

Two of the highlighted events of the upcoming season in Springport, MI includes the ARCA/CRA Super Series first-ever appearance at the facility on Saturday, June 16th featuring NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran, Kenny Schrader.  A JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts date is also tentatively set for a special Sunday Evening show on July 1st.

New/Old (Returning) Promoters Prepare Dixie Motor Speedway for 2012

Meanwhile moving Northeast to Dixie Motor Speedway, where the Parish’s previously settled in, the old guard of sorts returns.  Veteran Promoters Mike and Krista Kern reassume controls of Dixie Motor Speedway in 2012.  Dixie, is a 4/10s (0.400) mile progressively banked paved oval with an adjoining 1/3 (0.333) mile semi-banked paved oval with a Figure 8s course inside of that.  From 1996-2008, the Kern’s constructed the current 4/10s mile configuration as well as a high-quality Musco Lighting system around the speed plant located north of Flint and south of Saginaw in Birch Run, MI.

For the 2012 racing season, the Kerns will feature Pro Late Models as the premiere weekly division starting on Friday, May 4th, sharing that honor with the open wheeled Modifieds.  Highlights of the 2012 racing season include an appearance each by the ARCA/CRA Super Series on Friday, August 17th and the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts on Friday, June 15th.  The Dixie Cup Triple Crown Series for Outlaw Bodied Super Late Models will feature three 100-lap mains throughout the year and those dates are “to be determined” and will be announced as soon as they are deemed final.

Miracles Abound At Owosso Speedway For The 2012 Racing Season

As for Owosso Speedway, Co-Promoters, Rick and Jennie Miracle will begin their fourth full season at the historic speed plant.  It will be their first full season at the helm by themselves after starting 2011 teamed up with the Jeff and Pam Parish.  The weekly card will feature Pro Late Models as the premiere division on Saturday nights with Opening Night set for May 5th. Just like at Dixie, the open-wheeled Modifieds will also share the headlining honors.

The JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts will highlight the schedule over Labor Day Weekend on the fast multi-grooved 3/8s (0.375) mile high-banked paved oval located north of Lansing and east of Flint in Ovid, MI on Saturday, September 1st.  In addition, the Outlaw Bodied Super Late Models will invade 1-2 times during the season with those dates “to be determined”

Editors Note

Throughout the course of the 2012 racing season, the Midwest Times will focus on all aspects of short track racing throughout the Upper Midwestern states of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana in both Template Bodied and Outlaw Bodied Super Late Models racing. The primary focus will include, but not limited to, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by GM Performance Parts, Main Event Racing Series, Template Body Racing Association (TBRA) Series, and several more one-track mini-series’ throughout the three states.

Outlaw Bodied Super Late Models racing is still the featured attraction in the state of Michigan as well as Northern Ohio and Northern Indiana. In a country dominated by Template Bodied machines, these three states still flock to speedways throughout the Midwest to watch the sleek, wedge-bodied, high-horsepower rocket ships battle on bullrings all over the Upper Midwest.

In addition, the state of Michigan is the only track in the United States where Pro Late Models (as they are widely known around the U.S. as Crate Motor cars) allow for both Template and Outlaw Bodied cars along-with Built and Crate Motored machines to run together utilizing the Hoosier 970 rubber.

All these, and much more, will be our focus in the coming weeks and we’re very privileged to bring the great fans of Speed51.com a new perspective on racing from a different part of the country where both Outlaws and Templates share the throne as supreme rulers of short track racing.

The ARCA/CRA Super Series will make two stops at Berlin Raceway in 2012. 
Dixie Motor Speedway will have a new, yet familiar, managing family in 2012. 
Outlaw Super Late Models will play a big part of the "Midwest Times"