This coming weekend is the third annual Hot Shoe 100 benefit race at Whittemore Speedway in Whittemore, Michigan. The ¼ mile medium-banked track is one of the oldest running tracks in the state. It is often referred to as “Michigan’s Oldest Speedway” as it has raced continuously since 1948. In an age where tracks often receive vitriol from neighbors about their operation, Whittemore is the opposite. The speedplant sits right in the middle of a town, whose members embrace it lovingly each Saturday night during the summer. The Hot Shoe is no exception, with many of the townsfolk helping out for the two day racing festival and a racecar parade through town being one of the major highlights.
The Gray family and a dedicated crew of volunteers have put on this benefit race since 2014 to raise money for cancer, specifically the Northern Michigan Cancer Crusaders (NMCC) out of Petoskey, MI. The organization has many activities designed for cancer patients and their families to hold on to hope. That is evidenced by the motto “HOPE is our DRIVER.”
Despite being late forming, over $10,000 was raised for charity that first year. Since then it has only grown and grown. The headline division is Midwest style open-wheel modifieds, with the Saturday night A-main winner pocketing a cool 5K. Last year the car count eclipsed 50, and this year the pre-entry list is sitting at 63 strong. For comparison, and embodying the prestige of this event, no other modified race in the state this year has pulled half that number. Also on the card is are the Legends (both nights), Lead Sleds (Friday only), and ABC stock car (Friday only) divisions.
The format is tough for the modified teams – 2 laps of qualifying set the tone for the day. The top 20 advance directly to the feature. The rest are split straight-up between 3 last chance qualifiers, with only the winner advancing. The remaining cars get slotted into either a 25 lap C or 35 lap B main. The winner of the C advances to the B-main, and the winner of the B advances to the tail of the 100 lap A-feature grid. Everyone else packs up and watches.
The race also functions as a combination point race for the ICAR Top Speed Modified Tour Northern and Southern Divisions. To ratchet up the intensity, the race also happens to be the last points race of the season for the Northern division. This is one night after another combination race Friday at Dixie Motor Speedway in Birch Run, MI, which will be the third combination race for the group in an 8 day span. Last year Brian Nester picked up the big check at the Hot Shoe on his way to a Top Speed Southern Division championship. Besides Nester, other expected attendees include former Northern champ Nick Clemens, CRA pilots Jordan Pruitt and Travis Eddy, respective Southern/Northern points leaders Greg Fullarton and Michael Occhipinti, as well as home-track turf defenders John King and Andy Hess.
Racing starts each night at 7:30PM. The track resides one hour north of Bay City, MI. Physical address is 200 W. State St. Whittemore, MI 48770. For further information please direct your cursor to http://www.hotshoe100.com/, http://whittemorespeedway.org/, or http://topspeedmods.com/ .
-Hot Shoe 100 Press Release
-Photo Credit: Hot Shoe 100