Fans of asphalt racing will have lots of options in 2015
By Bert Lehman
Fans of asphalt racing won’t have a shortage of events to attend this summer. No less than four touring series will be visiting area tracks. This is in addition to local specials individual tracks are hosting.
ARCA Midwest Tour
Ownership of the ARCA Midwest Tour changed during the offseason when Tim Olson, president of the ARCA Midwest Tour, sold the ownership of the tour to Gregg McKarns, former Big 8 Series director and Rockford Speedway general manager.
Olson remains involved with the tour as raced day director and tire sales.
“Gregg has shown what he can do with the success of the Big 8 Series and his passion for this sport will really help take the ARCA Midwest Tour up to another level,” Olson said in a press release when the sale was announced. “I think the teams and fans will be excited about this announcement.”
In 2014, Ty Majeski became the first driver in series history to win both the season championship and rookie of the year honors.
The 2015 schedule includes 12 races held in six states — Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The tour was originally formulated after the old ARTGO Series. In addition to traveling throughout the upper Midwest, it has a group of drivers who are contracted to come to every event. Having some of the drivers contracted to appear at each event gives fans an idea of who to expect at each event.
Some of the touring stars include: Majeski , Cardell Potter, Austin Nason, Nick Barstad, Chris Weinkauf, James Swan, John DeAngelis, Casey Johnson, Jonathan Eilen, Ricky Baker, Jason Weinkauf, Andrew Morrissey, Skylar Holzhausen, and Matt Kocourek.
The tour began May 3 at Madison International Speedway with the running of the Joe Shear Classic 100.
The next race is the Cabin Fever 100 at State Park Speedway in Wausau, Saturday, May 16.
The tour has its first race outside of Wisconsin on Monday, May 25 at Illiana Motor Speedway in Schereville, Indiana with the running of the Chicagoland Showdown 150.
June has the tour back in Wisconsin with the Bill Meiller Memorial 101 at Dells Raceway Park in Wisconsin Dells on Saturday, June 13.
Crossing the state line once again, the tour travels to Rockford Speedway in Loves Park, Illinois on Saturday, June 27 for the All-Star 100. Staying in Illinois, the tour travels to Grundy County Speedway in Morris, Illinois on Friday, July 17 for the Wayne Carter Classic 100.
The tour comes to northeast Wisconsin Tuesday, Aug. 4, for the Dixieland 250 at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna.
Norway Speedway in Norway, Michigan hosts the Duel for Diabetes 100 on Friday, Aug. 14.
More out-of-state races follow. Saturday, Sept. 5 has the tour at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the Summer Shootout 100. That race is followed by the Thunderstruck 125 at Elko Speedway in Elko, Minnesota.
The tour wraps up its season at the 46th annual Oktoberfest at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway for the Oktoberfest 200 Oct. 10-11.
Big 8 Late Model Series
The Big 8 Series features the top weekly short track Late Model drivers from northern Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin in marquee events each season. Four of the eight races are in Wisconsin.
The series got its season started April 12 at Rockford Speedway.
The series resumes Friday, June 5 at Hawkeye Downs in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The first appearance in Wisconsin is Friday, June 26 at Madison International Speedway, followed by an appearance at State Park Speedway Friday, July 24.
A couple of weeks later the series travels to Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna Tuesday, Aug. 4.
The next two races are outside Wisconsin. The first is in Minnesota at Elko Speedway Saturday, Sept. 26. It’s back to Rockford Speedway in Illinois Saturday, Oct. 3.
The season concludes at Oktoberfest at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway.
Mid American Stock Car Series
The Mid American Stock Car Series has 11 races on its 2015 schedule, with five of them in Wisconsin.
The first Wisconsin event was May 3 at Madison International Raceway.
Dells Raceway Park in Wisconsin Dells will host an event Saturday, June 13.
A month later the series is at State Park Speedway in Wausau Saturday, July 11.
The series makes its only appearance at a dirt track when it travels to Dodge County Fairgrounds Speedway in Beaver Dam Friday, Aug. 7.
The series concludes its season at Oktoberfest at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway Saturday, Oct. 10.
The United Northern Drivers Racing Association (TUNDRA) is embarking on its third year as a traveling series.
The series features asphalt Super Late Models racing in a six-race series at six different tracks.
The series kicks off its season Saturday, May 9 at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna.
After a five week break, the series moves to Jefferson Speedway on Saturday, June 20.
Fourth of July weekend has the series at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway on Friday, July 3.
Dells Raceway Park is next on the schedule with a race on Saturday, July 18.
Round five has the series at State Park Speedway in Wausau on Saturday, Aug. 1.
The series concludes its season at Golden Sands Speedway with an afternoon race on Monday, Sept. 7.
Dalton Zehr won the TUNDRA championship in 2014. Reagan May was the rookie of the year.
The 36th annual Superseal Slinger Nationals presented by Miller Lite will be held Tuesday, July 14 at Slinger Speedway. The rain date is Wednesday, July 15. Chris Wimmer won the ever-popular race in 2014.
Larry Detjens Memorial
The two-day Larry Detjens Memorial is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, July 24-25. This is a race every Super Late Model driver wants to win. Tim Sauter won the event in 2014.
Red, White & Blue
The fabled Red, White & Blue Series will once again be held at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna. This year’s dates include: Red Race — Thursday, June 11; White Race — Thursday, July 16; and Blue Race — Thursday, Aug. 13.
Maxwell Schultz and Brett Piontek tied for the championship in 2014.
(This article first appeared in the May 2015 issue of Full Throttle magazine.)