No announcement available.

Michigan Dirt Cup Modifieds to make multiple appearances at Merritt again in 2016

(Lake City, MI – 11-25-15) – Merritt Speedway’s 2016 schedule continues to take shape as the snow begins to fall in Michigan. The speedway, which will be in its second year of ownership under Mike Blackmer, will continue to host multiple outside divisions and traveling series next season, coupled with special races and nights recognizing the tracks seven weekly divisions.

The Allstar Performance Michigan Dirt Cup Modified Tour will compete at Merritt Speedway on three separate occasions in 2016. The 2nd Annual Merritt Speedway Showdown on Wednesday, June 8 will mark the tours first appearance on the season. Last years edition of the midweek special turned out to be the speedways largest event in its long history, with hopes that the second annual show is similar. The Wednesday event for the Michigan Dirt Cup Modifieds, along with each of the other two races will be point events for the series as well as for Merritt’s Modified division.

Saturday, August 20 will be the tours second trip to Merritt, joining the Sprints on Dirt, MTS Sprints, and others for Open Wheel Night. And finally, the Gene Kregear Championship Weekend will host the Dirt Cup Tour, on Saturday, September 3rd. All three of the Dirt Cup race dates mark a few of the tracks largest and events of 2016, with the buzz surrounding the June 8th races, open wheel night spectacular, and the huge championship weekend finale on Labor Day weekend.

“The Dirt Cup Tour is certainly one of the best run racing series that competes anywhere in the Midwest,” stated Mike Blackmer. “When they come, we know that things are going to be done correctly and some of the states best drivers will be on hand to race as well. We look forward to hosting them again several times next season.”

Merritt Speedway, which opened in 1968, hosts weekly racing from mid-May through Labor Day weekend every year. For more information, find them on Facebook or visit the Merritt Speedway website.


Big winged sprint cars to tear around Merritt multiple times in 2016

(Lake City, MI – 11-24-15) – The high horsepower big winged sprint cars will invade Merritt Speedway multiple times in 2016. While Merritt Speedway is largely considered a Late Model track, there will always be room for some lightning fast sprint cars on the docket as well.

One of the most consistent scheduling aspects at Merritt over the years, is the inclusion of the winged Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt. The series, which has been around for more than three decades, will again make its return to the Lake City, Michigan speedway in 2016. The SOD Sprints will own the night on Saturday, June 18, for the Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt Night, being joined by Merritt’s Modified, Lightning Sprint, Pro Stock, and Pro Truck divisions, as well as the traveling M.O.R.A. Mini Outlaw division.

Sprints on Dirt will make their second and final trip on Saturday night, August 20, for the Open Wheel Spectacular. Also racing that night will be the Lane Automotive Michigan Traditional Sprint cars, M.O.R.A. Mini Outlaws, Lightning Sprints, Modifieds, and Four Cylinders.

The newly formed Great Lakes Super Sprints will also put on a show for Merritt Speedway race fans in 2016. Saturday night, July 30 will feature the GLSS, accompanied with Merritt’s Late Models, Lightning Sprints, Pro Stocks, Pro Trucks, and Four Cylinders.

“We were thankful for the feedback on Merritt’s Facebook page that we received regarding the two touring sprint car divisions,” said Mike Blackmer, owner. “After lots of conversation and thought, we decided that continuing the tradition of hosting the great SOD Sprints, as well as the addition of the new Great Lakes Sprints division next year should be the perfect combination for fans.”

The 2015 open wheel nights were some of the most successful events of the entire race season, and Merritt Speedway intends to continue growing these specials. The season kicks off on Saturday, May 14 with all seven Merritt divisions racing, as well as a fireworks show! The 3/8-mile speedway holds events every Saturday night through Labor Day weekend, as well as numerous special shows throughout the summer.

For more information, find Merritt Speedway on Facebook or visit

DIRTcar Summer Nationals Hell Tour Joins Merritt’s Wood Tic, Thursday, July 14

(Lake City, MI – 11-24-15) – Merritt Speedway is pleased to announce the addition of one ‘hell’ of a great new race event to the 2016 schedule. The DIRTcar Summer Nationals Hell Tour will come storming in to the 3/8-mile clay oval on Thursday night, July 14, with the Late Model race paying $5,000-to-win!

The big Thursday event, will tag on to the front end of the annual Wood Tic Weekend at Merritt Speedway. Wood Tic returns to its longstanding traditional mid-July weekend, the 14th, 15th, and 16th. Some of the top Late Model drivers in the region will compete against Merritt Speedway regulars like Eric Spangler, Rich Neiser, Billy Bray, Brook Brasington and others, to name just a few.

Merritt Speedway encourages drivers, teams, and race fans to schedule those days off, to come enjoy the three days, beginning Thursday night, and on in to the weekend. It will be an event you won’t want to miss and would love to have everyone on hand!

The DIRTcar Summer Nationals Hell Tour travels to roughly 30 different speedways spanning across Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, and Michigan. The Thursday, July 14 race date will work perfect, as the series will also run at a neighboring Michigan racetrack the night prior. Top drivers in the Late Model Hell Tour include Bobby Pierce, Billy Moyer Jr., Shannon Babb, and Ryan Unzicker.

The 28th Annual Ed VanDuinen Wood Tic will stay consistent to 2015’s successful event format, with dash for cash events for the tracks top divisions, Late Models, Modifieds, and Lightning Sprints, with the Pro Stocks, Pro Trucks, Factory Stocks, and Four Cylinders running feature events both Friday and Saturday. Thursday night, July 14, will see the Hell Tour Late Models, Summer National Modifieds, and Merritt’s Factory Stocks and Four Cylinders both running a full show including features.

“We are thrilled to bring the Hell Tour to Merritt next summer, with many of the top Late Model and Modifieds stars traveling with them,” stated Mike Blackmer, Merritt Speedway owner. “This is a unique opportunity for Merritt, in an event that will help kick off our annual Wood Tic weekend and the potential for even greater interest from racers to stay and race with us all weekend, starting with the big Thursday show.”

Merritt Speedway is located in Lake City, Michigan and hosts multiple large events each year, with racing every Saturday night from mid May until Labor Day weekend. The season kicks off on Saturday, May 14 with a full 7-divisions on hand. For more information, please visit or find them on Facebook by searching for ‘Merritt Speedway’.


Mike’s Monday Thoughts – Nov. 23

Well Merritt is now all white, with a snow-covered speedway as we near Thanksgiving this week. It reminds me of the first time I looked at the property last winter, when there was several feet of snow and I wasn’t sure if my car would make it back out of the parking lot. How times have changed since then, and I am very happy we are where we are now!

This past weekend I was lucky to escape the cold and snow, and traveled down to Homestead-Miami Speedway for NASCAR’s championship weekend. It was a unique and kind of cool trip for me, as my past came back to the forefront of my mind while watching some of those guys race.


Ryan Blaney

During my time owning the Berlin Raceway in Marne, we were blessed to host several drivers that made even bigger names for themselves last weekend. First, Ryan Blaney made the announcement with his team, the Wood Brothers, that they will go back to full time in 2016 with Ryan behind the wheel. A young man with a ton of potential will have the chance to keep putting his name among future NASCAR champion watch lists.


Chase Elliott



Chase Elliott, the son of legendary champ Bill, will take over for the now retired #24 of Jeff Gordon, beginning in 2016. Chase won the Xfinity Series title in 2014, and will no doubt be a name we will hear for many many years to come. It was also pretty special to be at Gordon’s final race.


Erik Jones came to Berlin and accidentally wrecked a competitor on the first lap of practice for a race that day. The young Michigan driver has grown leaps and bounds, and won the Camping World Truck Series Championship on Friday night.

Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch

And finally the big one. We started a race known as ‘The Rowdy 251’ several years ago, named after and centered around up and comer Kyle Busch. The event, which had grown to be among the most prestigious races in the nation, had all the above-mentioned drivers compete it in almost every year. Kyle, won the race in its second edition, and became a Grand Rapids favorite in his time with us and I am so happy to see him reach the pinnacle of winning the Cup title.

While Berlin management has gone away from the Kyle Busch special, I remain proud of what that race meant and how it had grown so big so fast. My hope is that Merritt Speedway can do some of these same things, hosting the nations largest rising talent and big names. Old traditions will continue, and new ones will be formed.

I hope each and every one of you have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving.

Michael Blackmer

Mike’s Monday Thoughts – Nov. 9

Good Monday afternoon everyone,

Even though I almost fell and took out the huge table of trophies, which were all mixed up much to my frustration, I think last Saturdays banquet was a great success! I would like to thank all the great folks that helped set up and help put on the banquet. There was a lot of work behind it in preparation and hopefully it showed.

Thank you to everyone who has sent kind comments and responses to us and I am glad you all enjoyed yourselves. If you missed the awards banquet, plan on Saturday, November 5, 2016 (same weekend). More than $24,000 in points prize money was paid out on Saturday night. At the bottom, you will see the full listing of special awards handed out at the banquet last Saturday night as well.

Now that 2015 is completely behind us, all focus is now on next year. I touched on this at the banquet but with the first year of experience in the book with little to no changes made, we are going to start making some various changes. This will potentially include some race day staff assignments or general changes, division rules, race procedures and lengths, etc.

While there will likely be some changes that you will like, there will no doubt be a change or two that isn’t as well received. I ask that you give it a chance, as Merritt Speedway continues to grow and we work toward provider a more enjoyable and fluid experience to everyone from the racers, crewmembers, and fans in the stands. The continuous goal is to improve Merritt and we will not be caught standing still or being held back. 2015 was good… so we simply have the expectation for 2016 to be great.

In the next couple weeks you will see the majority of the 2016 season schedule announced as we work to finalize dates and special shows for each of our divisions. Also, drivers can expect to have your division rules completed relatively soon as well as we work with our neighboring speedways to bring a unified package of rules.

Thank you again to everyone for your support in 2015 and stay tuned for announcements as we begin another year.

Michael Blackmer


Perfect Attendance Award

  • Sonny Tulick- 26 Years
  • Brent Banning-25 Years
  • Bob Hammar- 17 Years

Sponsor the Year Award

  • R.W. Riedel Company
  • Hardcore Performance

Rookie of the Year Awards

  • 4 Cylinders – Radian Schmidt
  • Factory Stock – Jacob Flickinger
  • Pro Stock – Peni Lalonde
  • Pro Truck – Leon Degeer
  • Lightning Sprints – Bud Schrader
  • Modifieds – Jeremy Wood
  • Late Model – Andrew Terrill

Most Improved Driver

  • 4 Cylinders – Dwight Crawford
  • Factory Stock – Kenny Keller
  • Pro Stock – Rick Spencer
  • Pro Truck – Bob Hammar
  • Lightning Sprints –Mack Erickson
  • Modifieds –Kyle Novak
  • Late Model – Merv Hudson

Hardest Crash Award

  • Jacques Julin

Most Popular Driver Award

  • Lindsey Erickson
  • Frank Seder

Crew Chief of the Year Award

  • Brett Little

Sportsmanship Award

  • Chad Foster

Racer of the Year Award

  • David Mielke

Employee of the Year Award

  • Kevin Schilling
  • Mary VanDuinen
  • Rachel VanDuinen
  • A.J. VanDuinen
  • Dorene Baldwin

Humanitarian Award

  • Carmen VanDuinen
  • Lonnie VanDuinen
  • Heather VanDuinen

Contact Us:

Contact Our Office: 231-328-RACE(7223)
Facebook Iconfacebook like buttonTwitter Icontwitter follow button