The biggest Outlaw Super Late Model race in the country will be held on a different date in 2020. Kalamazoo Klash XVIII will now take place on Wednesday, June 3 at Kalamazoo Speedway, thus now giving the Michigan track the first two major Outlaw SLM races of the season with the Intimidator 100 taking place at the end of April.
Staying true to recent years, the Klash will coincide with a NASCAR race weekend at Michigan International Speedway, but with the spring race weekend for the 2020 edition. Kalamazoo Speedway track owner Gary Howe noted the NASCAR race weekend as an important date for the race.
Howe also mentioned the proximity of other big Outlaw Super Late Model races in August as a reason for the move. In 2019, the Stan Yee Memorial at Flat Rock Speedway, Summer Sizzler at New Paris Speedway, and the Kalamazoo Klash were scheduled just 11 days apart, though the Stan Yee Memorial was moved back a week due to rain.
“For number one, August is very crowded. I’m a believer that it doesn’t do anybody any good to jump on dates so close to other tracks and sort,” Howe told Speed51.com. “I like to keep it around MIS just in case I get a chance for a Cup guy to show up, my best chance is to be the week before MIS, whether we do August or June. MIS moved their date and us and New Paris would be one day apart. I don’t particularly like them being six days from us either, but on the flip side I’ll do what I think is best for our show. At first I felt a little sheepish moving it, but as I look at it now we’re going to be the first big show. I think it’s going to work out well.”
Another change coming to the 2020 Kalamazoo Klash is the ARCA/CRA Super Series will not take part in the event. They will be replaced by the local Template Late Model (Late Model Sportsman) division. While Howe would like to have CRA on hand for the event, he still expects a strong showing from the Template Late Models from Kalamazoo and surrounding tracks in both Michigan and Indiana.
“The only downside is I won’t be able to do CRA because they’re at Bristol the week before and then Berlin the week after and he didn’t want to squeeze one in there, which I understand that,” he stated. “I can schedule around my local tracks, but it’s pretty tough to schedule around a track 800 miles away.”
“We have a good group of (Template Late Models) and it’ll be a decent-paying race for those guys,” he added. “I think we’ll get some Galesburg (Speedway) guys and some Springport (Mid-Michigan Speedway) guys and some South Bend (Motor Speedway) guys. The CRA race has been a very good race but I believe this will be a good one too.”
An announcement is expected to be made soon regarding an event for the ARCA/CRA Super Series at Kalamazoo Speedway in 2020.
Despite all the changes for Kalamazoo Klash XVIII, Howe still expects it to be as big as it’s become over the years.
“We still get a good car count for the Klash, a good, racy race. I’m excited about spreading it out from the bigger shows in August, the four or five bigger tracks that’ll have something in August have one extra free day now.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN/MI) – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com