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Geyer: 10 Things I'm Excited to See in 2024




It appears to be a huge year of racing in the region, with multiple big-paying races and a plethora of new additions to the local short-track racing scene.  With that said, here are ten things that I’m looking forward to seeing play out in 2024.

 

ASA/UARA

After race fans clamored for a national touring asphalt Super Late Model series for years, we now have two of them.  The ASA STARS National Tour is in the midst of their second season of competition, while the newly-minted UARA National Series (formerly SRL National) begun their third campaign last weekend.


ASA STARS once again has a ten-race schedule, with visits to traditional major Super Late Model races like the Winchester 400, Redbud 400 and All American 400.  Meanwhile, UARA has an 11-race schedule, which includes three stops in the state of Michigan.  Owosso Speedway will host both ASA and UARA in 2024, so it’ll be interesting to see how the two races will compare.


Battle At Berlin 250

One of the aforementioned UARA National stops in Michigan, the Tekton 250 Battle at Berlin at Berlin Raceway will pay an astounding $40,000 to win on Wednesday, August 7.  As of now, it is set to be the highest-paying Super Late Model race in the country in 2024.


This comes in addition to a $50,000 points fund that will be paid out for drivers who compete in 70% of the scheduled Super Late Model events at the 7/16ths mile oval.  The Money in the Bank is scheduled for Wednesday, June 12 and will pay $15,000 to win. 


Continued Rise of Street Stock Racing

Big money has found its way into Street Stock racing and it returns in 2024, highlighted by the $10,000 to win Home Run Street Stock special at Plymouth Motor Speedway.  The Raber’s Rumble (Kalamazoo), Flagger Boy (New Paris), Pap’s Dream 100 (Galesburg) and Judgement Day (M40) are just a few other marquee Street Stock races scheduled in 2024.


Outside the immediate area, Lorain Raceway Park (Ohio) will host the Trident Stock Car Nationals with $7500 up for grabs for the winner.  Further south, the CRA Street Stock Five Crown returns with increased purses and a point fund.


First Full Year of Russell Ownership at M40

The sale of Russell’s M40 Speedway to Bill and John Russell was announced in mid-July 2023 and was received well by drivers and fans alike.  Running independently on Sunday afternoons, car and fan counts rose quickly through the final events of the season, capped off with 40 Street Stocks and a packed house for the Street Stock Showdown in late August.


The Russell’s now enter their first full season of ownership in 2024.  M40 moves to Saturday nights and have added a Limited Late Model division to its weekly lineup.  Special events include the inaugural Judgement Day for Street Stocks, a Limited Late Model special and an appearance from the Outlaw 350 Supermodifieds.


Great Lakes Super Sprints Ready For Biggest Season Ever

The premier 360 Sprint Car series in the region has seen major growth over the past few years, which included the purchase of the former NRA Sprint Invaders.  The 2024 season sees nearly 50 dates between the Michigan and Ohio divisions of the Great Lakes Super Sprints.


A $78,400 points fund was announced between the Michigan and Ohio divisions and the Tour.  Max Stambaugh is the defending Wolverine Region and overall Tour champion, while Jared Horstman is the reigning Buckeye Region champion.


JEGS/CRA All Stars Tour Championship BattleThe 14th season of the JEGS/CRA All Stars Tour is poised to be one of the biggest seasons in the history of the Pro Late Model touring series.  As of now, 12 drivers have declared intentions to chase after the series title, which would be the most all-time.


Much of the 2024 series championship will be decided in the state of Michigan, led off with the Masters of the Pros at Owosso Speedway in August, along with races at Berlin Raceway, Corrigan Oil Speedway, Flat Rock Speedway, Whittemore Speedway and Birch Run Speedway.  Anderson Speedway, Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, Toledo Speedway and Winchester Speedway will also see JEGS Tour races.


Growth of Limited Late Models

The Limited Late Model division is growing in 2024, with Kalamazoo Speedway, Galesburg Speedway and Russell’s M40 Speedway all adding the division to their weekly lineups.  This includes a rules package that will allow drivers to compete at all three tracks with minimal changes.


Limited Late Models have been around in the area for a few years now at New Paris Speedway and Berlin Raceway.  We’ll get our first chance to see the new division at Kalamazoo on April 19.


Big Upgrades And Big Money At Owosso

Year two of Owosso Speedway under the ownership of Rex Wheeler will see big money races aplenty.  Nine races are scheduled to pay at least $10,000 to win and it is all spread out – five Outlaw Super Late Model races, two template-bodied Super Late Model races, and one race each for Modifieds and Pro Late Models.


This comes in addition to the continued upgrades that have been taking place since Wheeler purchased the facility before the 2023 season.  New updates taking place during this offseason has included paving the infield, the creation of a pit road and new back pits.


Reveal The Hammer

Coming off their biggest season ever with at least 20 cars at each race and 50 at the Bob Finley Memorial, Reveal The Hammer is looking to go even bigger in 2024.  The Owosso 500 Series returns with five races that will pay at least $10,000 to win, topped with a $20,059 to win Bob Finely Memorial in June.


Berlin returns to the schedule after a year absence, as well as New Paris as the Summer Sizzler will be a sanctioned race for just the second time.  Kalamazoo Speedway will host their first Reveal The Hammer race in the inaugural Marty Jones Memorial.


Tyler Roahrig’s Return to Outlaw Racing

Outlaw Super Late Model racing as a whole enjoyed a resurgence year in the region, and that came without an appearance from its biggest star for much of the year.  Tyler Roahrig only competed in select Outlaw races while his focus was on the 500 Sprint Car Tour championship, though he still picked up a win at New Paris during the Cabin Fever Classic. 


In an interview with Top Row Racing Media during 500 Sprint Car Tour media day, Roahrig expressed his intention to compete in more Outlaw Super Late Model races in 2024, starting with the Intimidator 100 at Kalamazoo on April 26.  From there, his Outlaw schedule will depend on what his Sprint Car duties entail.

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