Andy Bozell went fast, really fast, around Kalamazoo Speedway this past Saturday night. During the track’s annual “Call of the Wild” night, Bozell shattered a world record by completing a lap at the 3/8-mile Michigan oval in just 9.465 seconds.
The annual event has become a spectacle that not only showcases a whole lot of speed, but also ingenuity. The popular Showdown event for the Outlaw Super Late Models is held each year with no limitations in the rule book. Drivers competing in the event have one goal: go as fast as you can.
After holding and repeatedly eclipsing his own Showdown records for nearly eight years, Bozell was beat out by Mike Shewchuck in 2015 when Shewchuck became the first driver to eclipse the 10 second mark at “The Zoo.” But this time around Bozell beat that record and did so in a big way, shattering Shewchuck’s fast time by a half-second.
“I knew it was good. When you make three laps and never take your foot off the floorboard, the stopwatch is going to tell you something pretty good,” Bozell told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I was surprised we went into the ‘40’s’, we had a shot at the ‘60’s’ because we practiced on old tires in the ‘90’s’. The car was phenomenal, the car didn’t scrub off any speed, it sailed through the corners and it was pretty incredible.”
While Bozell spent a full year waiting for a chance to reclaim the record, the time that went into achieving the 9.465 second lap goes back even further.
“Ten years. We’ve been doing this for quite a while since they started it. It’s an accumulation of the effort over a lot of years,” Bozell said. “We finally had an opportunity to put it all together, we had some ideas we wanted to try to take it to the next level, and everything worked out for us.
“It’s pretty intense. We got onto this flat-footed deal about five or six years ago and have been trying to perfect it. Last year Mike Shewchuck dropped it into the ‘9’s’ and put a little pressure on us. We worked at it this year, we used the car I wrecked trying to set the record two years ago and it was absolutely destroyed. We’ve put it together all summer trying to get it to the level of details that we need it to be and we put it together Saturday night.”
Since Saturday, video of Bozell’s flat out run has been seen over 25,000 times on YouTube and even got a spot on Fox Sports earlier in the week. While he has enjoyed the attention, Bozell is more pleased that he has brought attention both to the track and the entire sport.
“We’ve talked to a lot of people and the social media thing is pretty cool. The views it has got and the response has been great. It’s good for short track racing and it’s good for Kalamazoo Speedway. It’s pretty incredible it achieved that.”
As for how low the times can go in the future, Bozell isn’t sure. But he believes that the mark will go even lower in years to come.
“Back in 1985 when all this started, they said 10.75 was untouchable back then. We’ve been dropping it and dropping it. All I can say is that I dragged the left-side frame rail all three laps and we definitely left some on the racetrack.”
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, MA, Long Island) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Kalamazoo Speedway