With the snow melting away and the temperatures rising, the first big Outlaw Super Late Model race of 2019 is upon us. Kalamazoo Speedway will play host to the 20th Annual Intimidator 100 on Friday, April 27 in a precursor of what’s to come in the prestigious Kalamazoo Klash later on in the year.
The race was first started in 1999 when southwest Michigan legend Randy Sweet would go on to win the inaugural race. It would be renamed the Intimidator 100 in 2001 after the death of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. That year’s race was won by Todd Currier just months after he pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Kalamazoo Klash history.
Last year’s Intimidator 100 started on April 27, but the checkered flag would not be thrown for nearly a month after rain washed out opening night 22 laps into the race. Former Klash winner Jeff Ganus would eventually lead wire-to-wire to pick up his first Intimidator 100 win over ’12-Time’ Andy Bozell and Brian Bergakker on a night which also saw him pick up a win in the Lane 75 just a couple hours later.
Five drivers have won the Intimidator 100 on more than one occasion. Those drivers are: Fred Campbell (2000, 2006), Tom Thomas (2004-2005), Terry Senneker (2009-2010), Steve Needles (2012-2013), and Tyler Roahrig (2016-2017). No driver has won the race more than twice.
Defending race winner Jeff Ganus will be back to defend his crown from one year ago. Along with the Intimidator 100 win, the Constantine, Michigan native won the most recent race held at the fast 3/8-mile oval during the Super Shoe Nationals last October.
Two-time winners Tyler Roahrig and Steve Needles are entered, looking to become the first three-time winners of the Intimidator 100. Roahrig was unable to return to Kalamazoo for the make-up date due to Little 500 obligations at Anderson Speedway, while Needles exited the race just shy of halfway in his Brian Short-owned No. 18.
Andy and Phil Bozell are also entered for the Intimidator. Both are former winners of the race, with father Andy having won in 2008 and son Phil going to victory lane in 2011. Andy Bozell owns 12 Outlaw Super Late Model track champions, while Phil Bozell won the title back in 2011.
Leading the charge of drivers who have yet to win is JR Roahrig. While son Tyler has gone to victory lane twice in the event, the elder Roahrig has a best finish of third coming in 2012. He is joined by Adam Terry, who has a best finish of sixth, also coming in 2012.
A strong contingent of local drivers are entered, led by defending track champion Todd Harrington. Two-time track champion Mark Shook is also entered along with Marty Crawford, Cory Pressler, Bill Tomlinson, Andrew Brest, Doug True, Paul Jakubik and Matt Frazier.
Out-of-towners are also entered for Friday night’s Intimidator 100. The Hoosier state is represented by South Bend Motor Speedway track owners Kevin and Vern Sauer, as well as Craig Everage. Outlaw Super Late Model rookie Chad Poorman and David Brunt hail from the state of Ohio and are entered for Friday night’s Intimidator 100.
While they may not be on the entry list as of now, don’t be surprised if drivers like five-time Klash winner Terry Senneker, former Intimidator 100 winner Brian Bergakker, or Brandon Lyons decide to show up on race day. Former NASCAR Pinty’s Series champion Cayden Lapcevich participated in open practice at Kalamazoo Speedway last weekend with Bobby Blount and could be a threat to win if they decide to compete.
Gates will open at 3:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon, with practice/group qualifying starting at 5:20 p.m. Racing will start at 7:30 p.m. and will feature the Intimidator 100, as well as the Late Model Sportsman, Street Stocks, Outlaw Front Wheel Drives, and the Zoo Stocks.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)
-Photo credit: Speed51.com