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Mike’s Monday Thoughts – July 27

Whew! What a weekend. The 27th Annual Ed VanDuinen Wood Tic weekend was an outstanding success. What an event it was, with blue skies, a packed pit area, and lots of fans in attendance to see the big show. From riding around the campground and talking to the fans that traveled great distances to watch the races, to spending time talking to drivers and fans during the live music and getting to know everyone quite a bit more… I truly enjoyed the weekend.

Thursday we kicked things off with a nearly full golf outing, and I enjoyed playing 18-holes in Houghton Lake and spending time with the participants. Thank you to Debbie Tomei for taking the reigns on the outing and all the golfers who joined us. Thursday night we had two new track records set, with Jim Miller Jr. break the Factory Stock record, and Brendan Powell set the 4-Cylinder record. Congratulations to those two, and stay tuned for 2016 when we really up the stakes to see if we can get others broken.

Friday, I don’t feel we could’ve asked for a better night of racing than what we had. With the car count that we had, from the extended heat races, the Pro Truck and 4-Cylinder features, and Bank Robber races were all outstanding. I was shocked with how many people stopped me all day and night on Saturday to tell me how much they enjoyed Friday night, so that is something that we will continue to do. The post race party with the live band and hanging out by the fire and bar area was a blast too.

Saturday morning, Dorene Baldwin put on one heck of children’s carnival for all the kids. We had dozens of prizes and awards that were given out to the children, with about 15-different games, face painting, and various fun activities. Thank you to each and every volunteer that woke up early to help put it all together, and to all the drivers, teams, and individuals that made a donation. I think each one of the dozens of kids that left there, had a giant smile on their face and that is a pretty special thing. In all my years of being in racing and traveling to different tracks, I have never seen anything like this and from what I hear this years event was the biggest ever held at Merritt. Very proud of this, thank you again to everyone, and stay tuned for 2016.

Racing on Saturday night was much like Friday and was extremely enjoyable end to end. The big winner was Dona Marcoullier, who took home the $4,000 check and giant trophy after a great race that was full of passing and hard racing. All the different divisions put on great races as I mentioned, with lots of new cars and faces on the property for the big weekend and over 125 cars on the property to race. The Modified field was the only one that I was slightly disappointed with. David Mielke has shown that he is a force everywhere he races week in and week out, and took home the Modified trophy Saturday night. I believe that Merritt Speedway is privileged to have a driver like David, choosing to race with us on a weekly basis and provide a challenge and raise the bar for competitors. It is a pleasure to have David race in front of our fans weekly and want to encourage the other Modified drivers to come try and knock him off the top! All in all it was a truly great field of cars and I am blessed to be able to inherit such an elite event like the Wood Tic is and will continue to be.

We learned a ton last weekend and really do look forward to hosting the 28th annual next year. On that note, the Wood Tic will be moved back to the third week of July like it used to be. Mark it on your calendars, to be at Merritt Speedway on July 14, 15, and 16 2016 for Wood Tic 28!

Thank you to every driver, wife, crew member, family member, friend, enemy, acquaintance, and fan that was in attendance at any point last weekend. Thank you to Keyser Manufacturing for being the presenting sponsor. It was a truly memorable experience and I hope it was for you as well.

I also would like to take a moment to give a special thank you to all my employees for putting in long hours to ensure that everything goes smooth and an enjoyable experience for everyone. Needless to say, without your dedication none of this is possible.

This coming weekend is Kids Night, with all children 12 and under getting in absolutely free. We will also have $1.00 Beer and $1.00 Hot Dogs ALL NIGHT LONG! Late Models, Modifieds, Pro Stocks, Pro Trucks, Factory Stocks, and 4-Cylinders will all be racing. Hope to see you Saturday!

Wood Tic Q&A

Weather: Forecast shows beautiful Friday, and a chance of rain Saturday. There is often a chance of rain when the temperature is what it is. We will do everything in our power to get the event in on Saturday, even if it is late. If the weather really fights us we will race on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

Can drivers race just Saturday? Yes. You will start in the back of the odd/even heats (LM & Mod), and back of your feature (LS, PS, PT, FS, 4C).

Camping: $30 no matter one night, or all weekend. Priced by lot, up to one camper and two tents per. In the pits, you can camp within your pit stall only. You cannot park a camper next to your trailer, unless you rented the stall for the season.

Tickets & Pit Passes: There is no pre-sale for tickets. Grandstand is free Thursday to see our ‘Spank the Record’. Friday $10 for Adults, and $5 for Kids 6-12. Saturday Adults $15, and Kids 6-12 $6. Two-day tickets are $20 for Adults, and $10 for Kids 6-12. Pit Passes: Thursday $15-Adult, $10-Child (1-12). Friday $25-Adult, $15-Child. Saturday $35-Adult, $15-Child. Two-Day $55-Adult, $30-Child. Three-day $60 Adult, $35-Child.

Restrooms: Will be open 24-hours a day. Porta potties will be added and scattered around the property for your convenience.

Payout: Over $50,000 in driver pay will be handed out this coming weekend. Fridays Dash for Cash races will start 8-cars in each division, with all positions paying. Late Models will race for $4,000-to-win Saturday, and Modifieds $2,000-to-win. We hope that this payout and race program will be rewarding for drivers and teams, as well as race fans that see a spectacular show.

Updates: Find us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest information and updates.

Mike’s Monday Thoughts – July 20

Good Monday afternoon,

Last weekend the weather looked bad and rained across much of the state but it only rained for about 3-minutes at the track. I think that may have scared away some of the race fans, coupled with the heat and humidity during the day. I believe we were one of the only tracks in the state to race Saturday.

On to the racing, the Allstar Performance Michigan Dirt Cup Modified Tour was up with us Saturday and put on a great show. Even with all the big guns on hand, David Mielke still came out on top and congratulations to him and his team. The battle from second on back was one of the better races at Merritt this season. Thank you to all the drivers and teams that came up and raced and congratulations to Steven Hilliker, Bob Liuzzo, Jim Miller, and Chad Tomczak. The Australian pursuits were added at the last moment and provided some fun racing, so thanks to all the drivers for participating.

WOOD TIC IS HERE! I remember going to the very first Wood Tic, and am honored to be putting it on this year. The 27th annual Ed VanDuinen Wood Tic is shaping up to be a good one, as we continue many of the longstanding traditions. From the children’s games on Saturday morning, to the big races and payouts on Friday and Saturday nights! We have a live band on Friday and fireworks on Saturday. And much more, so be sure to be there for the weekend of fun that we are planning.

Ticket and pit admission prices are all down this year over 2014. Fans will pay $10-less per adult 2-day ticket over last years event as we want as many people to come enjoy the weekend as possible. I would also like to thank Keyser Manufacturing for joining Merritt Speedway this season, and is the presenting of the Wood Tic.

Thank you once again to everyone who came out on Saturday, and is planning on coming out for the Wood Tic for a weekend party!

Mike Blackmer
Merritt Speedway

27th Annual Wood Tic Schedule


Mike’s Monday Thoughts – July 13

Another great night of racing in the books as we race into the second half of the season! We welcomed the Lane Automotive Michigan Traditional Sprints on Saturday, and want to thank them along with all the other drivers who came out and put on a fantastic show for the fans in the stands, who I also thank for coming out!

Steven Hilliker, impressive national anthem singer, and Eric Spangler once again got back into Allstar Performance victory lane on Saturday. And while those two having been leading the charge this season so far in their divisions, they have had to fight for and really earn the wins. So congratulations to them, along with Michael Burkin, Richie Sutherland, and Jim Miller on your victories.

Factory Stocks and Pro Stocks … we gained a few cars this week with the $110-to-start for Pro Stock and $75 for Factory Stock. That is exciting to see and hope it continues to climb. Pro Trucks have been racing hard but have had a few accidents and that count is back down.

Wood Tic is around the corner! I’ll be up marking out sites this week based on what the Health Department states. Starting Saturday you can come to me or Storm to choose your space, as we get ready to ramp up for that big weekend! Also, a reminder to sign up for the golf outing that will be held on Thursday morning, July 23. More information can be found HERE. On Thursday night we will also be holding the ‘Spank the Record’, to see if anyone can top the old track records like was done in past years.

To close… I want to tell you that the dirt is getting in my blood! I spent last Friday night at Cherry Speedway watching the American Ethanol Late Models run and enjoyed myself there! Cherry is a fine facility and congrats to them a great show.

I hope to see you all Saturday as the Allstar Performance Michigan Dirt Cup Modifieds come to town and join our weekly divisions!

Mike Blackmer


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