Rochester Hills, Michigan — The Entry Forms for the 3rd Annual Thanksgiving Classic Weekend are still available. The 2015/2016 Winter Racing Season Opener for the Midwest Indoor Racing Series, sanctioned by Motor City Racing Promotions, is at Kellogg Arena (MI) on Friday-Saturday, November 27-28th. The first wave of pre-entries are impressive to say the least with drivers from all forms of motorsports coming together in celebration of the holiday weekend in Battle Creek, Michigan.
The 600cc Mini Sprints are led by a pair of MIRS veterans in Bill Dunham and Clay Sanders. Stalwarts within the division in MIRS as Joker Motorsports, the car owners for the 20-year-old Sanders, have been to every MIRS race in the series three-year history with Holt, Michigan’s Sanders primarily behind the wheel. Dunham is the all-time Non-Winged Track Record holder at Kellogg Arena as the Bellevue, Michigan veteran turned a 7.069 back on January 10th, 2013 during the series’ inaugural season. In addition, veteran Marv Hephner will make his first appearance since that January night in 2013.
Overall there have been seven Mini Sprint Features conducted in southern Michigan in six total appearances as Drew Dorsett, the Friday Night Shootout winner from a season ago, is the only driver to have won in both Non-Winged and Winged Mini Sprints for two total victories. Dorsett’s first win was the only Winged Mini Sprint Feature conducted at Kellogg Arena back on January 10th, 2013. Jason Ormsby also has two trips to victory lane while Peter Hathaway is the reigning Thanksgiving Classic feature winner from a season ago. Tim Neal went to victory lane in the inaugural Thanksgiving Classic main event in 2013 while two-time reigning Mini Sprints Champion, Chase Ridenour was the last driver to take the checkered flag in the Cereal City back on January 17th, 2015.
The Mini Cup Cars, racing on Saturday, November 28th only, will closely follow the regulations and rules of the Great Lakes Super Mini Cup Series for the 2015/2016 winter racing season. The first official entry is GLS Mini Cup regular, Kyle Trinklein who looks to become the first winner not named Todd Cowan or Scott Quaal to win a MIRS sanctioned Mini Cup main event. In five all-time events held at Kellogg, Cowan won the first three features before Quaal took over and has won the last two, including last year’s Thanksgiving Classic on his way to the 2014/2015 Series Championship. Quaal also holds the Mini Cups Track Record with an 8.582 which he set back on November 29th, 2014. In 13 all-time races in the division since the inaugural season, either Cowan or Quaal have won every Mini Cup Cars feature in MIRS history. Quaal has seven total checkered flags while Cowan has six.
Also racing just on Saturday, November 28th will be three divisions of Lawn Mowers as the Super Modifieds, Modifieds and Stock classes will all be in action. A total of 12 Lawn Mower features have been raced at Kellogg Arena with Jayson Mikula, the all-time career feature wins leader in the class scoring five of his nine career victories in Battle Creek, Michigan. Veteran outdoors competitor, Glenn VanEpps has two victories and also holds down both the Super Modifieds and Modifieds Track Records in qualifying. In his Super Modified, he went an 8.183 back on November 30th, 2013 and in his Modified, he turned an 8.541 back on January 10th, 2013. Craig Reinert and Keith Reed are the reigning Thanksgiving Classic winners while Jason Goldsack, Jon Kaup, Brian Gager, and Steve Smith also have single victories each.
A strong field of Go-Karts in all divisions is expected as the 360s, Heavy Clones, Senior Cage, Junior Cage, Gold Plate and Purple Plate will compete on both nights. The Opens will be in action on Friday only while the Kids Karts will take over for the Opens on Saturday night. The early entry lists are impressive and led by veteran Winged Sprint Car driver, John Ivy, the defending Thanksgiving Classic winner in Opens. The Fremont, Ohio veteran hasn’t lost an Open Go-Kart Feature in seven starts and is tied for the all-time Feature wins lead in Go-Karts overall with Hunter Doutre who also has seven wins. Both drivers have four of their wins at Kellogg which is also tied for the top spot. With the Opens only competing on Friday night, Ivy will also see time in the Heavy Clones division.
Defending Go-Karts 360s Champion, Daniel Hoffman, who is still in search of his first career MIRS win, will be back to defend his title and looks to make that long awaited trip to victory lane during the 3rd Annual Thanksgiving Classic weekend. Former Cereal City Grand Prix winner, Charlie Cochran will make his MIRS debut competing in the Opens and 360s. UMP DIRTcar Modified standouts, Dylan Woodling, a former MIRS winner and Dillon Nusbaum will both make the trip from the Hoosier State to compete in the Senior Cage division while Woodling will also bring a Heavy Clone to race.
Other former winners in MIRS that have filed their entries includes five-time event winner, 13-year-old Victorya Truemner who will compete in a very competitive Gold Plate division while three-time winner, nine-year-old Aidan Williamson looks to continue to add to his victory total in the Junior Cage division while defending his championship from a season ago. Zack Myers is another three-time MIRS checkered flag recipient and will be racing in the 360s and Senior Cage divisions.
A trio of former two-time MIRS winners has also submitted their entry forms to the MCRP home offices in Rochester Hills, Michigan; Shawn Kluck, Sam Weaver and Brodie Wendel. Kluck will be racing in the Heavy Clones while soon to be 16-year-old Sam Weaver, a Gold Plate division graduate, will compete in the 360s full-time for the 2015/2016 winter racing season. The six-year-old Wendel, the youngest winner in MIRS history, scored two wins in the newly formed Kid Karts division from the 2014/2015 season and will make the trip again from Fort Wayne, Indiana to compete in the popular division for beginners. Wendel will also pull double duty by competing in the Quarter Midgets Junior Honda division as well. 12-year-old Kasey Ziebold, another former MIRS winner, will also be pulling double-duty in both the Junior Cage and Gold Plate divisions.
The West Branch, Michigan based Advanced Insulation team will bring a trio of former MIRS winners to southern Michigan as Matt Randall, Nate Randall and Kaitlin Randall will all be on hand. Matt Randall has two career triumphs while Nate Randall and Kaitlin Randall both have a single victory apiece. Other entries include Jake Barker, Nick Hard, Jeff Town and Connor Truman in 360s, Roy Long III in Heavy Clones, Jaden Cretacci in Junior Cage as Hannah Galitz, Jeremiah Halbeisen and Michael Paterno are all entered in the Gold Plates.
Former MIRS winner, nine-year-old Landon Hathaway leads the Quarter Midgets entries along with Wendel as Hathaway will compete in the Senior Honda division. The Quarter Midget divisions of Senior Honda, Junior Honda, Heavy Honda, Senior Animal, Junior Animal, Light 160 and Heavy 160 will be competing on both days giving the future rising stars of the sport plenty of track time throughout the holiday weekend. Of 10-year-old Chase Burda’s 19 career MIRS triumphs, eight have come at Kellogg Arena including the entire Thanksgiving Classic Weekend from a year ago as the all-time winningest driver in MIRS history also leads all drivers in career wins in Battle Creek, Michigan.
The opening race weekend of the 2015/2016 winter racing season will feature two nights of racing starting on Friday, November 27th. After an open practice in the afternoon for all teams competing over the weekend, the 600cc Mini Sprints will headline opening night with the 30-Lap Friday Night Shootout. In addition, the Go-Karts divisions of 360’s, Heavy Clone, Open, Senior Cage, Junior Cage, Gold Plate and Purple Plate will be in action. Also, the Quarter Midget divisions of Senior Honda, Junior Honda, Heavy Honda, Senior Animal, Junior Animal, Light 160 and Heavy 160 will all be racing for an action packed night with 15 divisions of racing.
Then on Saturday, November 28th, the 600cc Mini Sprints return with the 50-lap headlining Feature of the weekend. In addition to the Mini Sprints, the Mini Cups and three Lawn Mower divisions of Super Modified, Modified and Stock classes will all join in on the action. Six Go-Karts divisions return for a second night as the 360’s, Heavy Clone, Senior Cage, Junior Cage, Gold and Purple Plate are back while the Kid Karts will be added to the Saturday program. All seven Quarter Midget divisions return for a second night of competition for a full 19-division lineup to complete the traditional holiday weekend of racing in Southern Michigan.
To learn more about Motor City Racing Promotions, the sanctioning body for the MIRS and to inquire about sponsorship opportunities available for the upcoming 2015/2016 MIRS winter racing season as well as to book events for the fourth year of MIRS racing, email or call MCRP/MIRS President, Scott Menlen at: [email protected] and/or the new MCRP phone number: (248) 747-6277. You can also go to the MIRS website located at: www.midwestindoorracingseries.com. The Facebook Fan Page is at: www.facebook.com/midwestindoorracing. Also don’t forget to follow MIRS on Twitter, YouTube and Google Plus.
-Midwest Indoor Racing Series Press Release. Photo credit: Motor City Racing Promotions