Fan Experience Tops List of Improvements
Marne, MI (Thursday, March 4, 2021) - After a season that was difficult for nearly every race track across the country, Berlin Raceway is gearing up for the excitement of a new General Manager for the 2021 season. Longtime Berlin Raceway ambassador as well as former announcer, driver, broadcaster, and team owner, Jeff Striegle was announced as the new General Manager late last month and is excited for the improvements the western Michigan facility will see.
On a recent episode of the Horsepower Happenings podcast, Striegle tells the program that the role of General Manager is just another feather in the timeless Berlin cap. Striegle recalled memories of attending races at Berlin with his father as well as having his first chance behind the microphone at the NASCAR Home Tracks sanctioned facility. Striegle says the move to GM was all about making it work for everyone.
“I was honored to be asked to be a part of that team,” Striegle said. “I accepted that opportunity in December and I’ve been working hard with everyone over there for, what we hope will be, doors open in April.”
Berlin Raceway was restricted to just four race events in 2020 due to Executive and Health Department orders in response to COVID-19. Three of the four events featured a $5,000 payday for the Super Late Models while the rubber event of the mini-series was the $10,000 to win Money in the Bank 150. The events saw decent car counts and good racing action, leaving everyone wanting more for 2021. Striegle says the focus heading into the new year is currently on the spectator experience.
“What we are going to put a focus on is when a customer walks through the gate at the Berlin Raceway, they are entertained to a greater detail than they were in the past,” stated Striegle.
With that in mind, fans will see an increased importance on getting through the concession lines quicker and back to the racing action. Plus, Striegle says there will be multiple satellite concession locations serving an abbreviated menu to cut down the lines for those who just want something quick. Keeping the fan experience at the forefront, Berlin Raceway officials also announced earlier last month an earlier start time through the end of the school year.
“We [are] going to open the gates earlier on Saturday during the months of April and May in order to accommodate better weather and getting people out and on the roads quicker,” Striegle explained.
In 2021, gates at Berlin Raceway will open at 2 pm with the first green flag of the night at 4 pm. Plus, fans will be invited to a post-race party should they want to stick around a little longer.
Listen to the full interview on-demand.
“I’ll have more details on [the post-race party],” exclaimed Striegle. “That is something that we’re pretty big on right now. We’re putting a lot of focus on some things that we’re doing on the concourse. I think there’s going to be some things that we’re going to introduce there that are not being done currently at other venues.”
Fans this season will also witness treats on the surface of Berlin Raceway with a number of well-known sanctions coming to race. Berlin is scheduled to host events for the ARCA Menards Series, ARCA/CRA Super Series, JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour, Reveal the Hammer Outlaw Late Models, and Auto Value Bumper to Bumper Super Sprints (wing and non-wing) among others this season.
“We’re pretty proud of the schedule, there’s no doubt about that,” Striegle said. “We’re going to see some drivers at Berlin that will be at the [NASCAR] Xfinity [Series].”
In closing, Striegle invited fans to come to Berlin, saying that just a few steps inside the gate fans will notice a difference at the Marne, Michigan facility. Their full schedule and more details are available online at www.berlinraceway.com. Find and follow Berlin Raceway on Facebook and Twitter.
For more stories from around the region, be sure to log ontowww.horsepowerhappenings.com. Listen to on-demand episodes of the Horsepower Happenings Podcast, with new episodes every Monday night at 9:00 pm.
Story - Zach Hiser
Photo - Motor Racing Network