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Industry Leaders, Champions, and Fans Honored during Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club Annual Banquet

Chesterfield TWP, MI - On Saturday, the Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club (MARFC) held their annual Awards Banquet for MARFC Member Track Champions, Special Award Winners, and fans to enjoy a night with others from across the state. A sold-out crowd filed into Zuccaro's Banquet hall in Metro Detroit for the dinner and cocktail hour that previewed the awards ceremony.

The first award handed out on the night was the MARFC Media Award. The award was presented, via video call, to Kalamazoo, MI native, Dave Burns. For over a quarter-century and counting, Burns has provided racing coverage from pit road and the broadcast booth for groups like NASCAR, IMSA, and IndyCar.

After Burns was dismissed, Zach Hiser and Rich Frantz of Horsepower Happenings began the presentation of Championship Awards. Champions from MARFC Member Tracks were presented awards and had their photos taken. Champions from Arthur Raceway, Auto City Speedway, Birch Run Speedway, Capitol City Quarter Midgets, JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour, Crystal Motor Speedway, Flat Rock Speedway, Great Lakes Super Sprints & Great Lakes Traditional Sprints, Kalamazoo Speedway, Motor City Kids Racing Series, Merritt Speedway, Mid-Michigan Raceway Park, Midwest Classic Racers, Must See Racing Sprints, Mt. Pleasant Speedway, National Dirt Compact Touring Series, Owosso Speedway, Showcase Auto Sales Mini-Wedge Series, Silver Bullet Speedway, Springport Mid-Michigan Speedway, Thunderbird Raceway, Toledo Speedway, Tri-City Motor Speedway, Vore's Compact Touring Series, Whittemore Speedway, and Winston Speedway were all honored. A full list of Champions can be found here.

Special Awards were handed out following the Champions including the MARFC President's Award, presented by Club President, John Jackson. John and Butch Vandoorn of Vandoorn Racing Development were the first to be honored. Ronnie Johncox of Technique, INC, who is responsible for the production of NASCAR Cup Series Chassis' and other competition chassis, was awarded the Vito Lopiccolo Memorial Contribution to Motorsports Award.

The Eddie Sachs Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to longtime car owner and competitor, Richard "Dick" Myers. A special award dedicated to the next generation of drivers, the Future of Auto Racing Youth Racer of the Year was awarded to Katie Robinson.

The MARFC "Of the Year" awards began by honoring the 2023 Promoter of the Yeary, Barry Marlow. Credited with not only owning and operating the Great Lakes Family of Sprint Cars, Marlow also stepped up and promoted events at I-96 Speedway in 2023. Ron Finkbeiner, the man behind the Bozell camp of racers was awarded the MARFC Mechanic of the Year. Finally, Jeff Saumier was presented with the MARFC Fan of the Year after attending nearly every MARFC event held in 2023.

The night concluded with dancing, drinks, and celebrating the award winners in the building.

Story - Zach Hiser

Photos - Rand Thompson, Level Pebble Racing Pics



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