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Michigan Motorsports History Month: Mace Thomas

As the current namesake for one of dirt Sprint Car Racing's coveted wins, The Mace Thomas Classic, it seems only fitting to look at the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame induction biography as part of Michigan Motorsports History Month Presented by Sweet Manufacturing. A race that was once sanctioned by the All-Star Circuit of Champions, the Mace Thomas Classic is now a part of the High Limit Racing schedule and returns to Quincy, Michigan's Butler Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 1st. A $12,000 payday awaits the race's winner. So, who exactly is being honored in this race? Learn more about Mace Thomas.


Mace Thomas was born on June 3, 1926, and lived in Hastings with his wife Helen. They have 4 daughters 2 sons and 10 grandchildren.


Mace got involved in racing in 1953 when he worked on his brother Owens car. Then in 1955 he bought the car and put Gordon Johncock in the drivers seat. They went on to win several championships and features until 1964 when he sold the car. Mace helped Gordy get his first ride in USAC sprint car and then USAC championship cars. Also championship dirt cars and worked with them for some time. Mace worked for Federal Engineering, Grant King and Usona Purcell and still works on champ cars all during the month of May.


In 1968 he started building the Mini-Champ race cars and formed a club called North American Mini-Champ Racing Association. The last few years the Mini-Champ car building has gotten too big for one person to handle so his oldest son Jim went into business with him while his younger son Jack drives one of the cars for them.

Mace has done a lot for racing by helping many, many people get started in racing and keeping them going. He is always lending someone a truck or trailer to get someone to the track. Mace is a racer in every sense of the word.


Mace Thomas died on November 3, 2015 at the age of 89.  (1926 - 2015)



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