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Kalamazoo Speedway Set for Continued Improvements; Repave Slated for Near Future




Kalamazoo, MI - In a state that's suddenly seen a power struggle for bragging rights and the attendance of fans and drivers to their pavement facilities, Kalamazoo Speedway boasted a laundry list of expected improvements in their latest digital newsletter release. The letter spoke of the amount of money already poured into the west Michigan facility as well as the plans to dump more money in, including a potential repave of the race track.


Suddenly in Michigan, track owners and promoters have been challenged to "up their game" in terms of the presentation of their facility to not only the fans, but also the drivers. Tracks like Berlin Raceway, Birch Run Speedway & Event Center, Owosso Speedway, and of course, Kalamazoo Speedway have been working tirelessly to improve their fan experience and give their drivers a place they're excited to compete at on a regular basis. The latest Kalamazoo Speedway e-newsletter made it clear, Kalamazoo is also sitting at the table of big movers.


A section of the newsletter was dedicated to long-time Kzoo Promoter, Gary Howe. There, Howe shared the speech he had prepared for the Kzoo Race Party which was cancelled due to weather. In his speech, Howe tipped his cap to Speedway owner, Randy Ritchey and his family.


"[Randy] will have invested over two million dollars above what he paid for the place by the end of this coming season," Howe said. "You may have already or are going to see a lot of great improvements, for both the racer and the race fans. A new state-of-the-art PA system, new bleachers, a new concession stand, plus new track and midway lighting," Howe continued. "You’ve all seen the new bathrooms already (wow, what an improvement), the elevator serving the front stretch skyboxes and you wouldn’t believe the 10’s of thousands of dollars that have gone into infrastructure improvements that no one sees," he said.


But that's not all! Howe also spoke on the plans in place to provide a new racing surface by the year's end. Should that repaving take place, it would bring Kalamazoo Speedway to the top of the list with the newest surface in the state after Owosso Speedway repaved prior to the 2023 season.


"Probably the week after this year’s Super Shoe, Randy is hoping to grind up the old and put down a new racing surface," Howe explained. "The old girl just can’t be repaired anymore. So, all in all, we are going to see a lot of great improvements at 'The Zoo'," he finished.


Howe also touched on the new Outlaw Limited Late Model division set to appear at Kalamazoo in 2024, however did not go into details about the class or rules. Howe said the bigger announcement was the new Hoosier Tire program. Kalamazoo will race on the new Hoosier 980; a 9" slick with 970 compound rubber and no grooves. That tire will be featured on the Late Models and Outlaw Limited Late Models. The new Hoosier 890 is an 800 series casing, 8" tire with treaded Commanche rubber. Howe says the program will ultimately save racers money and the tires are expected to last longer.


The season opener at Kalamazoo Speedway is scheduled for Friday, April 19th featuring Late Models, Outlaw Limited Late Models, Street Stocks, and Front Wheel Drives. Find the full e-newsletter here.


Story - Zach Hiser

Photo - Unknown

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