DAYTONA, FLA. — Michigan racers have another high-speed track to chase NASCAR Whelen All-American Series points.
NASCAR and Berlin Raceway announced today that the .4375-mile paved oval outside of Grand Rapids will be a NASCAR-sanctioned track in 2016. Recognized as one of the toughest and most respected racetracks in the Midwest, Berlin will be celebrating its 66th season.
Berlin, which runs Saturday nights, will pair with Kalamazoo – a long-time member of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Kalamazoo is moving its weekly program to Friday nights, and both tracks will share the Outlaw Late Models as their Division I.
“Becoming affiliated with NASCAR is a huge stepping stone for Berlin Raceway,” said Berlin President Mike Bursley. “We now have a better opportunity to showcase the talent our local drivers have, not only on a regional level but potentially a national level as well.
“The fact that someone racing here at Berlin Raceway could become the state champion and have a shot at nationals is not only exciting for us here at Berlin, but it is great for the drivers, teams, fans as well and we cannot express enough how excited we all are.”
Last year, Brian Bergakker won the Outlaw Late Model title at Berlin over Tom Thomas and Ross Meeuwsen. Bergakker also ran at Kalamazoo, while Kalamazoo track champion and two-time Michigan champion Mike “Bubba” Brooks made starts at Berlin. In 2016, those starts at both tracks will count toward the Michigan championship and the national championship.
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I drivers are ranked by their best 18 NASCAR points finishes in series-sanctioned events. Drivers receive two points for every car they finish ahead of – up to 18 cars – and three points for a win, with an addition two points available if the driver starts 10th or lower. U.S. state and Canadian province titles are determined by the drivers best 18 finishes within the state or province.
With both tracks running under the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series sanction and on different nights, increases the opportunity for drivers to be ranked among the top drivers in the national standings.
“Berlin is a tremendous facility and we welcome them as part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series,” said Kevin Nevalainen, NASCAR director, weekly racing operations. “Gary Howe and his staff at Kalamazoo operate a first-class track, and we are looking forward to giving the weekly racers in Michigan an additional NASCAR track to compete at.”
Established in 1950 by Chester Mysliwiec, Berlin raised the bar in 2014 with a multi-million dollar facility upgrade including 11 state-of-the-art, full-service suites located along the front straightaway in an effort to continue being recognized as one of the most prestigious racetracks in the country.
Berlin will kick off its season with its 5th Annual Icebreaker on Saturday, April 16. With $5 tickets for all ages, this event is one that always packs the stands. The Battle at Berlin 251 weekend takes place June 17-18. The Battle at Berlin has grown into one of the most anticipated racing events in the Midwest.
Berlin Raceway will wrap up the season on Saturday, August 27 with the Chet Championship Night and RibStock III. The champions will be crowned in all of the divisions while the third annual Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned barbecue event features numerous grilling teams competing for their own championship.
In addition to the Outlaw Late Model division, Berlin will run Superstock (Division II), Super Late Model (Division III), Modified (Division IV), Sportsman (Division V) and 4 Cylinder (Division VI). For more information on the 2016 season at Berlin Raceway, please visitwww.berlinraceway.com.
Established in 1982, the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for weekly short track auto racing with paved and dirt tracks throughout the United States and Canada.
Connecticut-based Whelen Engineering is the series’ title sponsor. Whelen Engineering is a leading manufacturer of automotive, aviation, industrial and emergency vehicle lighting. NASCAR tracks and pace cars across North American are among many showcases for Whelen products.
-NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications Press Release. Photo credit: