Happy Monday everyone,
Wanted to check in today on a few things since we’ve gone awhile without much activity. Hope you are all having a good winter so far.
We’ve had a few sporadic announcements over the last couple weeks regarding our 2018 schedule. If you missed it, we will race on both Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Weekend this year. $1,500-to-win for the B Modifieds on the 26th, and $2,000-to-win for the UMP Late Models and $1,500-to-win for the UMP Modifieds on the 27th! May 26 will see an invasion in the form of the Great Lakes Super Sprints, while the Sprints on Dirt rumble in on August 25. The Merritt Showdown returns on Wednesday, June 6, and will again feature the American Ethanol Late Model and Modified Tours! $5 Night will take place on July 3, that will include fan appreciation night autographs and fireworks. Wood Tic slides back a week and will be a Saturday-Sunday show, July 21 & 22. Still much more to come soon, as we meticulously structure our schedule for a successful 2018 season for everyone.
Last Saturday, the Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club gathered to recognize and celebrate champions and special accomplishments from the past year. Congratulations to all the winners and those that supported the event! I haven’t been able to make it down for that event yet due to other conflicts, but I plan to be there next season. Bill Barnhart does a wonderful job with everything there, and we look forward to having them back to Merritt on August 18 for MARFC Night.
Rules: Our intent is to be very much in sync with other area tracks, to keep things as unified and simple for everyone. That includes no major changes from what we’ve used in the past, and basically mirroring Tri City, Thunderbird, Crystal, etc., with the exception that Merritt does not and will NOT be having a Claim rule. Formal updated rules will be posted in the next couple weeks.
Last season we discussed and more recently announced that we would be having two ‘divisions’ of Four Cylinders. We want to have a true “entry-level / rookie” class, as well as an “experienced / supped up” class. We’re still in the early stages of figuring out exactly how to make this separation for the good of all involved. If you have ideas or suggestions, feel free to private message us. We will also discuss it at our registration meeting on March 10 in Cadillac.
The Mini Wedge class rapidly gained momentum over the last two-years while at Merritt and we love to watch the next generation of racers being groomed on our little bull ring! Since Aaron Morey sold the Mini Wedge Association, things seem to have turned sideways with this division of cars. At Merritt I feel we did a pretty good job at policing and enforcing rules and providing an even playing field for this very entry level form of racing, like most of our sister dirt tracks. There have been rules created that will be used at Crystal, Tri City and others, and Merritt will also be using that same rule book. I certainly have no ill-will toward anyone, and hope that things can be unified and come back together across the board, but for now we will be going on this path with the other tracks. Merritt will not be an ‘official’ Mini Wedge Association track in 2018, as it stands now. A year ago, there was a tremendous amount of buzz and talk of cars being built, etc., and this year it seems like that has all but completely fizzled out. Hopefully for everyone involved, things can be worked out and we can give the kiddos a great racing platform again.
All of our same classes will return in 2018, including DIRTcar UMP Late Models, UMP Modifieds, B Modifieds, Lightning Sprints, Pro Stocks, Factory Stocks, Four Cylinders (split), and Mini Wedges! All classes are invited to attend our registration meeting at The Pines in Cadillac on Saturday, March 10, at 3:00 p.m. Pit stalls can be renewed starting that day, through March 31.
Auto racing is right around the corner again, with Daytona only a few weeks away now and dirt track racing at Volusia! Hope your car rebuilds are going well and we will begin to count down the days to opening night soon!
Until next time,