Wow! What a weekend. Thank you so much to all the drivers, teams, fans and employees that joined us for what was a jammed packed high excitement weekend! It was certainly one of my best events and I think everyone was surprised with how great the turnouts were each night.
On Saturday, we kicked things off with a solid night that included a great battle between Greg Gokey and Andrew Terrill for the race lead, with Gokey prevailing. Jacob Poel claimed the victory in the UMP Modified division, starting his run through the weekend. Timmy Near, Jordan Erickson, Chad Tomczak, Katie Robinson and Jake Erickson all got feature wins as well, with 144 cars on the property for night one! Congratulations to them and everyone who found victory lane Saturday, and all weekend.
Sunday was incredible, with 207 cars on the property and 204 starting their races. On the grandstand side, we sold it out again, which was definitely great to see. We continue to learn in these instances on how to improve, and moving forward there are a handful of things that will be done differently. One item is we won’t have a camping weekend during our $5 night again, to provide adequate and better parking options for fans.
The American Ethanol Late Model Tour put on a heck of a show for the fans, as Eric Spangler led much of the race until Dona Marcoullier who started deeper in the field, chased him down and would hold on for the victory. Jacob Poel went back to Allstar Performance victory lane on Sunday, with Timmy Near, Andrew Scheid, Marc Super, Mike Vandermark Jr and Willard VanHaitsma all claiming wins. Special shout out to the Factory Stocks, as we had 44 cars at the track in that division alone! Fans were treated to some great fireworks that we shot off at about 10:45, and hope you all enjoyed that. While we hope for huge car counts, when you get as many cars as we had Sunday, the night inevitably runs late with so many heats, last chance events, etc. Thank you all for the patience and putting on great races.
Monday, the American Ethanol Modified Tour was in the spotlight, featuring our $10,000-to-win feature for that series. Jacob Poel won again, earning himself not only that prize, but Merritt Speedway’s bonus challenge. I was proud to see Jacob run so well and really earn that payout, and Merritt is pleased to pay out $28,000 in total winnings to him for his accomplishments last weekend. We had another stout Late Model race, with Eric Spangler coming from mid-pack to get the win, while Cody Bauer, Rob Westergard, Robbie Sternberg, Willard VanHaitsma, Hunter Lange and Chase Strunk all got feature wins!
One of the biggest crowd reactions happened on Sunday, and you may’ve seen it on YouTube by now as well. We had a racecar go over the banking in turn 3 and not able to stop in time before making contact with a parked car in the field. The owner of the Cadillac was in pretty good spirits considering, and we’ll be sure to help with the damage coverage - but I’m not sure how he’ll turn that one into his insurance lol.
This weekend, the Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt will be with us, after getting rained out on June 24th. Make plans to be with us, as they join an already packed lineup of racing which including our UMP Late Models! It is going to be a huge show.
The same can be said for next weekend’s WoodTic! If you love auto racing, Merritt Speedway is the only place you need to be right now. The Hell Tour starts off WoodTic next Thursday, July 13, with the UMP Late Models and Summit Modifieds! Pro Stocks and Lightning Sprints… you have been taken off from next Thursdays race lineup, simply because that night is going to be really busy already. We will have all our divisions run on Friday and Saturday, with all the WoodTic details released in the next 24 hours. A couple items though include $25 camping for the whole weekend, and a very similar schedule to what we had last year.
This years WoodTic theme is ‘Christmas in July’ and we will give out a couple great prizes to the best campsite that is decorated and themed accordingly! Wear your Santa hats and make it fun! Drivers and teams, we could use your support for the kids activities, including bikes, etc like we’ve done in the past. You can message Dorene Baldwin or see her at the pit pass building to discuss details. Again, full details will be announced soon for the entire weekend.
Thank you again for your support of Merritt Speedway! If we keep this up, things will continue to grow and get bigger and better year after year. I’ll see you all on Saturday!