Lake Odessa, MI – I-96 Speedway has had a “For Sale” sign in front the track the past two seasons! Even though we all know that anything is for sale, seeing the sign as you drove in the track raised a lot of questions for the loyal fans and drivers. The sign is gone and the questioning thoughts should fade away as well!
The number one question everyone asks is, “Who bought the track?” My response to that question, is who cares? The number one question should be is it going to remain a track? That answer is a resounding, 'yes'! The suitors looking at buying the track the past couple of years had no intentions of leaving I-96 Speedway as a track. The best news is the new people involved are local and have lived with the track for 50 years and they have as many sentimental thoughts of the place as you and I!
With the final transactions being done a few weeks ago, and the season starting in two weeks, the checklist of things we wanted done before opening has been carved down to essential things that involve the safety and well-being of everyone. A group of us met at the track Thursday night and we have a hit list of things we are working on and want to get done. Our commitment to the track is a long-term one, but it will take time to get everything we want done, finished. It will be a work in progress as we start with baby steps and keep trying to make things better for everyone.
I stepped in last summer and finished out a handful of races and this year will be running nine scheduled races. Believe it or not, it was a difficult task to put a limited schedule together for the summer! Unlike a track promoter, I own four traveling series and race at dirt tracks in the Great Lakes Region. So all the local tracks I’m scheduling against are theoretically my customers!
We tried to schedule a nice mix of classes to run with our sprint car classes. Keeping in mind car counts I also wanted to limit each night to roughly 3 different classes. We are going to revamp the mini wedge program, but I do feel it’s important to get the kids and parents involved and they will be running with us at every show. Along with the Winged Sprints, Non-Wing Sprints, and Lightning Sprints, we’ll have a couple of Late Model shows, four IMCA Modified shows, three visits from the Midwest Compact Tour, and three shows with Pro Stocks on hand.
Times have changed since the track opened in 1971. There is a lot of competition for everyone’s time. We want our fans to know when they come to I-96 Speedway that you can go to the pits or to the parking lot holding your child’s hand instead of carrying them over your shoulder like a sack of potatoes because the features ended at 1 am!
The season will start in two weeks on Friday, April 21st. There will be a new starting time for the Friday night shows of 7:45 and 7:00 pm on Saturday, June 3rd. We will have tickets available at every show, but to avoid the lines, we will have tickets for all the shows set up online as well. We look forward to seeing everyone and getting this season rolling!
VOLUNTEERS: If there are any Girl Scout, Boy Scout, 4-H, Youth Groups or any other groups that would like to help out on race nights with the kid's play/activity area or parking and seating assistance or potentially service work during the week, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or 989-737-6150.
Join us for our season opener next Friday!