Mike's Thoughts - August 14

Mike's Thoughts - August 14

Hello all. Hope you each had a nice weekend! Saturday was interesting weather wise, as it was sunny and beautiful when I left Cadillac, and when I arrived at Merritt, it was soaked with puddles everywhere. Things cleared up late in the evening and we had a nice car count and good turnout for Fan Appreciation Night. Our grounds crew accidentally clipped the scoring loop line while weed whacking last week, which forced us to skip qualifying while that was fixed, and was good to go for racing. The autograph session went well, and we want to thank all the racers who brought goodies, candy and signed for the fans. Always cool to see.

Mike's Thoughts - Aug 8

Mike's Thoughts - Aug 8

Hope you all had an enjoyable weekend! Last Saturday, we hosted 108 race cars on our Champion Recognition Night. Thank you to all the competitors who came out and put on a great show for a solid crowd. Special thank you to the former speedway champs who came to the front stretch pre-race and the meal served as well. It was also my pleasure to recognize the Ancel family, as we honored the late Rod Ancel. It was a joy to have them all out at the track last week, as we presented them with a photo, as well as flowers and had a group photo taken.

Mike's Thoughts - July 31

Mike's Thoughts - July 31

Hello all. Hope your weekend was great! Last Saturday we had some beautiful weather, and our first ‘regular’ night of racing in several weeks. The racing was outstanding as well, but the fan count was a bit light from what we expected. Maybe too many specials? Anyway, hopefully we can turn that around moving forward for the final five weekends of racing.

Mike's Thoughts - July 24

Mike's Thoughts - July 24

Happy Monday Merritt family! Another not ideal Saturday weather wise hit us with dark clouds until closer to race time. Fortunately, it did get sunny and we had a nice turnout of fans in the stands to watch what was a great night of racing and value!

Remembering Rod Ancel - Champions Night Aug. 5

Remembering Rod Ancel - Champions Night Aug. 5

Rod ancel memorial - sat., aug 5

They say that you are born with the love of racing in your blood. This was true for Rod who started attending Merritt Speedway at an early age.  What started as turning wrenches for friends Don Chrispell and Rick Mead, quickly turned into a lifelong love for dirt track racing. As a young teenager Rod started at the track parking cars in the pits and as they say the rest is history.

Although Rod never was much of a race car driver (he did try a couple times), he found that officiating allowed him to stay involved in the sport of racing that he loved. Rod started as the assistant flag man under Al Pacman, before working as the head flagman for Ed and Carmen VanDuinen. Each Saturday night, with rarely a miss, he could be found on the flag stand at Merritt Speedway.  He also enjoyed filling in at other tracks when needed, including Winston Motor Speedway.

In 2003, Rod transitioned from the head flagman to the general manager of Merritt Speedway.  At the beginning of the 2006 season, with Ed and Carmen VanDuinen ready to retire, Rod, along with his wife Johnna took over as the promotors of Merritt Speedway. Rod`s dream to have a little racing buddy came true in 2007, when his first grandson was born six weeks early on June 14th, the day one of the largest races that Rod had ever promoted, The Who 55, was scheduled. In true Rod fashion, the show went on. In the later years, spending time at the race track with his grandson`s brought him a great since of joy.

Rod`s love and dedication to the sport of racing was always evident. When not at Merritt Speedway he enjoyed visiting other tracks and attending conference and conventions to keep up with the every changing sport of racing. He also enjoyed golfing and more than anything being a Papa to Gabriel and Isaiyah.

In May of 2013, Rod passed away after a battle with cancer and is missed by many. Johnna still works for Merritt Speedway in the concessions building and is a huge help to our program.

On Saturday, August 5, we invite all former Merritt Speedway champions to the track for free admission, a special dinner served complimentary under the champions pavilion, and recognition.

Mike's Thoughts - July 17

Mike's Thoughts - July 17

And just like that, it’s the middle of July and two of our bigger shows are in the rearview mirror. Now we have a few ‘normal’ weeks in a row, first with the Great Lakes Super Sprints coming to town this weekend.

Mike's Thoughts - July 10

Mike's Thoughts - July 10

Good afternoon racing family. Boy Saturday came quick, after a big fourth of July holiday weekend three days that we had. This past Saturday turned out to be the perfect weather for a night of racing, and we had a full lineup once again! The Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt joined our already stacked show and it all went really well.

Mike's Thoughts - July 6

Mike's Thoughts - July 6

Wow! What a weekend. Thank you so much to all the drivers, teams, fans and employees that joined us for what was a jammed packed high excitement weekend! It was certainly one of my best events and I think everyone was surprised with how great the turnouts were each night.

Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt Rescheduled for July 8

Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt Rescheduled for July 8

Merritt Speedway has announced that Engine Pro Sprints On Dirt will make up last Saturday’s rain out on July 8th.  With the announcement, SOD has been able to move the MAHLE/Clevite Beyond Limits Challenge back to Merritt, maintaining the series’ format of five races at five different speedways.