Wausau, WI – This Thursday State Park Speedway gets set for the first of its ‘big three’ races. Every year three memorial events, the Flip Merwin Memorial, Larry Detjens Memorial and Lodi Memorial highlight the schedule and it all kicks off this Thursday with the Ropa’s Pizza Flip Merwin Memorial 100.
Merwin was killed at the World Championship Snowmobile races in Eagle River in 2003 and that very year the inaugural Flip Merwin Memorial event took place. A successful snowmobile racer, Merwin was also a large part of the stock car racing community, lending a hand to friends and hopping in the car on occasion. “Flip was just a guy everyone knew,” says State Park Speedway Owner, Ron Wimmer, “When we purchased the track five years ago carrying on traditions like this one was one of our top priorities.”
The race winner list of this event reads like a who’s who of Central Wisconsin Racing and every driver Thursday night hopes to add his or her name to it. “Flip was a special person and a friend to many people,” says last year’s Flip Merwin Memorial race winner, Mark Mackesy, “We all grew up at this dad’s bowling alley, Ralph sponsored my dad and myself, so it was a big moment for us to win that race.”
“It is definitely a win that sticks out in my career,” says Chris Wimmer, 2008 Flip Merwin Memorial race winner, “Flip was a really good friend of my brother’s and I got to spend a lot of time with him growing up. He was a special person and every year this is a race that is circled on my calendar and one that means a lot not only to race, but to win.”
While drivers hope to etch their names in Flip Merwin Memorial race history, the day serves as a special one for Flip’s friends and race fans alike. “Flip was a special friend of mine and close to my family,” says State Park Speedway Owner, Scott Wimmer, “But he was also a great racer and a big race fan and a lot of people in the community knew him. I remember Flip every day of my life, but a day like Thursday is filled with stories and laughter about Flip and his life and it’s nice to take that time to remember a good friend.”
Fan gates open at 4:30pm for the 11th annual Ropa’s Pizza Flip Merwin Memorial 100. Fred Mueller qualifying begins at 6:00pm and racing begins at 7:00pm. For more information on State Park Speedway please visit stateparkspeedway.com and find us on Facebook facebook.com/StateParkSpeedway.