Andy Bozell earned the moniker “12-Time” from his prowess at Kalamazoo Speedway, where he has won 12 Outlaw Super Late Model track championships over the years. He got his start in racing 25 miles east of there at the 1/4-mile Galesburg Speedway, where he is also a multi-time track champion.
He returned to where it all started Sunday night for the Smitty Memorial, where he torched the field to score the win in the caution-free 100-lap affair. The dominating performance saw him come within just a couple car lengths of lapping the entire field, which included son Phil, both JR and Tyler Roahrig, and Jeff Ganus.
He took the lead around the one-quarter mark of the event and left no doubt as to who had the best car.
“I grew up at this place, have gotten many, many laps around here. The car felt really good, I wanted to get to the front,” Bozell told Speed51. “It worked good on the outside, it was just good the whole race. I was on a mission today.”
That mission was to pick up a win for Smitty, the long-time tow truck driver for Galesburg and surrounding racetracks, who passed away last year. The feat left Bozell fighting tears while in victory lane.
“Smitty was a good guy, he was here for many years. I worked on the track crew here back in about 1976 and I used to stand on the back of Smitty’s wrecker and watch the races as a kid. He meant a lot to us, he means a lot to racing here at Galesburg and this whole Kalamazoo area, he was just everywhere. I was going to win this for Smitty tonight and we got it done.”
With son Phil’s second-place finish, it marked the third time in the last two seasons the Bozell’s finished 1-2 in an Outlaw Super Late Model event after doing so at Berlin Raceway and Jukasa Motor Speedway last year. While they have finished 1-2 countless amount of times over the years, doing so on Father’s Day made it even more special.
“That’s pretty cool, I’ve been racing against my kid for about 25 years. We go out, rub doors if we have to and try to get the job done. It’s a great feeling, just a great day. Everything went well for us and it’s nice to chalk a W up.”
The younger Bozell set fast time in qualifying and had to work from the back with no help from any yellows. The former Kalamazoo track champion was the only driver to not lose a lap to his father, managing to hold on to the lead lap as Andy took the checkered flag.
“Starting in the back, this place is tough to pass. My dad is the master of this place, I’ve learned so much from him,” said Phil Bozell. “I was very patient tonight, he just gets through traffic so much better than anyone here. It’s hard to keep up with him through traffic. I’ll take second to him here any day.”
Phil was the winner in both cases he and his father went 1-2 in 2019, but even he knew nobody was going to beat Andy going into the main event.
“Last year, he won on Father’s Day and I was working on his car at Kalamazoo. All I know is when he puts his mind to something he’s going to do it. He said he was going to win tonight and he put on a show, that’s for sure.”
Indiana racer Steve Stacy finished third in his first Galesburg Speedway appearance, followed by former Kalamazoo Speedway track champions Mark Shook and Adam Terry.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51 Photo
Smitty Memorial 100 Results:
- Andy Bozell
- Phil Bozell
- Steve Stacy
- Mark Shook
- Adam Terry
- JR Roahrig
- Andrew Devreese
- Matt Frazier
- Marty Crawford
- Tyler Roahrig
- Jeff Ganus
- Todd Harrington
- Zack Cook