KALAMAZOO, MI — The 24th Annual Kalamazoo Klash will be held on Wednesday night, August 10th at Kalamazoo Speedway. The event has been recognized as one of the top five short track races in the nation by Dick Berggren’s Speedway Illustrated Magazine and is routinely referred to as the number one Outlaw Super Late Model race in the nation.
This year not one, but two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champions will participate in the event. Two-time champion Matt Crafton will make his second consecutive appearance in the Outlaw Super Late Model portion of the event, looking to better his fourth place finish from one year ago. 2015 champion Erik Jones will compete in the ARCA/CRA Super Series race. Both races will be 125 lap events.
On the local scene two drivers have been winning everything in sight this season, those being Tyler Roahrig from Plymouth, IN and Steve Needles from St. Joe, MI. Roahrig has won the Gary Terry “Follow Your Dreams” 125 at Kalamazoo in June as well as the Stan Perry Memorial at Angola Speedway, the Wally Holcomb Memorial at New Paris Speedway and the Freedom 100 at Galesburg Speedway. The Klash however has been the one race that has eluded him. Tyler has led laps and finished second twice but has never closed the deal, so a win in the ‘big one’ at Kalamazoo would mean a lot. “It’s the most prestigious Outlaw race in the country,” said Roahrig. “I’ve lead a lot of laps in that race only to finish second twice to Terry Senneker Jr, so a win in that race would be pretty cool. The list of previous winners is a who’s who of outlaw racing and it would rank right up there with the biggest wins of my career.”
The other driver that has been winning races left and right this season is Steve Needles. Needles won Kalamazoo Klash XXVII but has been shut out of Klash victory lane the last six seasons. He has been on fire this season winning the Joy Fair Memorial at Flat Rock, the 7-Up Twin 100’s at Toldeo, the Freedon 100 at Baer Field and the Royal Truck & Trailer 100 at Toledo. “It’s definitely the race that everyone in Outlaw Late Models shoots for”, say Needles. “For most of us it’s the first race we circle on the calendar at the beginning of the season.” Needles will be driving for car owner Brian Short, who owned the car Jeff Ganus drove to victory one year ago in this event.
All the information on Kalamazoo Klash XXIV can be found by clicking the links below. Drivers planning to participate in Klash XXIV can pre-register for FREE by emailing [email protected]
-Kalamazoo Speedway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com