Lansing, MI (Friday, March 17, 2023) - Those involved with local auto racing are often some of the most generous when it comes to helping others. That mentality has been showcased for the last six years with the annual MARFC bowling tournament that is gearing up for this Saturday’s event at the Royal Scot Golf and Bowl in Lansing, MI which will benefit the MARFC Randall Ginter Memorial Benevolent Fund and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Originally formed under the now dormant MSTRC message board in 2004, the event was to be held as a social get-together for the racing community to do something in the wintertime. When it was learned that local racer Buck Harsen had suffered a fire, event creators Ed Inloes, Matt Prieur, and Chuck Darling decided to ask if people would mind chipping in to help out a fellow racer. From those origins at the Nic’s Restaurant & Bowl in Ovid and then to Capitol Bowl in Owosso, the tournament grew to benefit two individuals each season and raise thousands of dollars.
The 13th edition of the tournament was slated to be the last-ever charity bowling tournament. With the announcement of the disbanding of the MSTRC internet forum, the decision was made to shutter the annual charity event as well. That’s when then MARFC President “Wild” Bill Barnhart reached out to resurrect the event and put it under the MARFC banner. The first MARFC bowling event was held on February 24th, 2018 at the Capitol Bowl in Owosso and remained there until the alley closed before the 2021 edition.
In 2021, the tournament moved the event to its present location at the Royal Scot Golf and Bowl and picked up a presenting sponsor. Northside Towing & Service and the Finley family came on board and have been an integral part of the growth of the event.
The event this Saturday will get started with sign-in for bowlers at noon. Bowlers will be randomly paired together through a drawing that will take place at 12:45. The bowling action will start at 1 and is slated to end at 3. After the completion of bowling, the scores will be calculated and awards will be handed out for men’s high scores, women’s high scores, team-high scores, and the Greg Yost Never Give Up Award for the lowest score. The Chris Throgmartin Spirit Award Presented by Talin RV will be presented to Dale Spencer.
The MARFC General Meeting for March will be held after the awards and will feature several guest speakers. The Bozell family will be on hand, as Andy, Phil, and Bryce Bozell will talk about their racing careers and what 2023 has in store for them. Also speaking will be sprint car driver Dustin Dagget who is one of the top drivers in the state. Head honcho of the Great Lakes Super Sprints Series, Great Lakes Traditional Sprints, and Great Lakes Lightning Sprints Barry Marlow will talk about his series’ and ice racing adventures with the Sprint Cars on Ice.
The MARFC tournament is fortunate to have generous donors for a raffle prize table. Raffle tickets will be available for items on the prize table and a cash raffle throughout the course of the bowling. Special thanks go out to Andrew Terrill and Chad Finley for their donations of used sheet metal from their 2022 rides that are considered grand prizes.
Those that don’t want to bowl are highly encouraged to come and attend! The tournament has become known as “THE bench racing extravaganza” as drivers, promoters, track officials and fans from all over the state converge to not only raise funds to help those in need but to unofficially kick off the 2023 season!
Story - Chuck Darling