After over a year of anticipation, Dixie Motor Speedway celebrated its season opener on Friday, June 27th. The fans enjoyed the new-look grandstands as well as some great racing including the Auto Value Super Sprints and the Main Event Super Late Models.
Ryan Litt led time trials for the Super Sprints with a 12.826. Heat winners were Jason Blonde and Tim Cox. In the 30-lap feature California's Jojo Helberg jumped ahead from his third starting spot. Jacob Wilson gave chase for several laps but Helberg led from flag-to-flag to take the win. Blonde worked his way through the field to take second while Wilson, Litt and John Turnbull,Jr. rounded out the top 5.
In the Super Late Models Drew Charleson was fastest with a 14.532. Second generation drivers Mickey Maier and Marcus Malcuit started on the front row, but on the first lap Malcuit broke something in right rear, slowing him down right at the green flag. The field did a masterful job of missing Malcuit and each other, as Marcus was forced to take his wounded race car to the pits. When the race resumed Johnny Belott took the lead and began to put some distance between himself and the pack. A crash on lap 28 involved many of the top runners from second to seventh place, including Maier, Brent Jack, Harold Fair, Jr. and Eric Lee. All but Fair were Balt to continue. On lap 50 veteran Scott Hantz caut with Belott and got by him on the back stretch. Hantz looked like he had checked out until the very end. Hantz's started to go away late in the race, allowing Dakota Carlson to reel him in. But Carlson came up just short as Hantz held him off to take the win. Rounding out the top 5 were Lee coming all the way from the rear, Scott Pemberton and Charleson.
The VORES Compact Touring Series is in their inaugural season and the front-wheel drive, four-cylinder cars made a stop in Birch Run this night. Heat race winners Todd Metz, Jr. and Mike Richardson. Illinois' Craig Fraser started on the pole in his Volkswagon, but he gave the lead to Marq Eaton. Five laps later Mike Westphal grabbed the top spot. On lap 6 Ron Fizzell flipped over and slid on his roof nearly 300 feet from the flag stand to turn one. He was uninjured but his night was over. When the race resumed Metz took over the lead on lap 7 and ran away for the win. Chris Jennings was second followed by Westphal, Richardson and William Hartman.
Dixie's next event is Friday, July 11th as Draper Chevrolet presents the Eve of Destruction. For more info go to dixiemotorspeedway.com.
For Immediate Release
Birch Run, MI
Main Event Racing Series owner Kevin Jaycox and Dixie Motor Speedway owner Mike Kern announced today, for the betterment of Outlaw Super Late Model racing, the June 6 Main Event show at Dixie Motor Speedway has been canceled.
Both Jaycox and Kern cited a couple reasons for the cancellation. “With there being a scheduling conflict with the Gold Cup Series at Toledo Speedway that was missed by me, we both decided it was in the best interest of Super Late Models teams, sponsors and fans as a whole to cancel this date,” Jaycox said.
Kern agreed that there are many teams that would have to choose between the two tracks and added, “It would not be fair to the teams that want to run for a championship in these two outstanding series. Kevin and I are both very passionate about SLM’s and believe that it’s not about us as promoters; it’s about our racers and teams.” Kern went on to say, “And of course, most everyone is aware of the bleacher project we are working on at Dixie and the fact that Mother Nature hasn't been very cooperative this spring. We have a lot on our plate right now and this allows us a little time to take a breath and get ready for the Main Event later in the month.”
Jaycox went on to say, “Mike, Krista and Dixie Motor Speedway are very important to The Main Event Series. Mike is a great friend of mine and I really have to thank him for helping me fix this issue.” We look forward to our other two races at Dixie on June 27 and Aug 1.
Both promoters want to thank everyone for their support and understanding and hope to see you all on June 27 at Dixie for the Main Event Series and the Auto Value Super Sprints.
Just wanted to give everyone an update on the bleacher progress.
We have located a set of bleachers and have been working with engineers to get them certified. This process can take some time.
Once they are approved, we still have a lot of work to do to get them in place with the required upgrades. We are still looking at June 6 for opening day…..assuming everything goes well.
We will keep you updated as things progress.
Tentative schedule for you...
...all special events thus far.
June 27 MERS, Sprints + VORES Compact touring series
July 11 EOD
Aug 1 MERS & Sprints
Aug 15 EOD
Sept 6 EOD
Update Spring is just around the corner and that means racing. But it won’t be racing “as usual” at Dixie this year.
Our apologies for not getting the word out sooner on what to expect this year at Dixie, but it proved problematic to get all the variables nailed down, all at once, with certainty. We have rec’d many inquiries regarding the 2014 racing season; will we be open, what will the schedule be, what about seating? Understandably, there are lots of questions.
It typically has not been our approach to announce what we are doing before we do it. From bathrooms and offices, to new track lighting and the new half-mile, we tried not to talk too much about our ideas because there are always unexpected developments that can derail the best laid plans.
Of course, the grandstand issue has resulted in many inquiries about the upcoming season. After much thoughtful consideration and prayer as well as research and consultation, we had our plan in place. And as we had occasion to talk to racers, sponsors, and fans, we were a bit more open about what our plans were. We determined the best approach was to replace (rather than upgrade) the grandstand. So we had our best option in place and began to move forward; permanent seating with lots of leg room on a large earthen berm. However, we did not consider what impact the most severe winter in decades would have on our timetable. With the frost deeper than usual and significantly more snow than we have had since the 60’s and 70’s, this has derailed our plans to open in the spring. It’s been so cold, even our furnace froze. (Once again….we should’ve kept our plans silent until they began to unfold.)
So, consequently, we have abandoned Plan “A” and are now looking at Plan “B”. Plan “B” involves conventional bleacher seating. We do have a line on new bleachers, but if any of you knows of good used bleachers, please let us know.
To bring you up to date if you haven’t already heard, Dixie’s main grandstand has been demolished in order to make room for new seating. But our season opener will still be pushed back to June. We would’ve been hard pressed to open before August with Plan “A”.
Considering our current circumstances, we will be running a “special event only” schedule in 2014. Thus far, it includes the Main Event Series, Super Sprint Series and Eve of Destruction events, with the first event tentatively set for June 6. Six to eight events are expected. The support divisions have yet to be determined.
We appreciate the support we have received from all of you over the years and trust that you understand our situation. Our first priority is to open and then we can take a look at everything else, but for the time being, we must give that all of our attention.
Thanks, Mike and Krista