Dan Salay Memorial Race Bonus & Awards Announced

Updated: Jul 23, 2019

Lake Odessa, MI (Monday, July 22, 2019) – August 2nd and 3rd, 2019 is the State of Michigan’s biggest Late Model Race of the year - the 31st running of the Woodtic Presented by American Ethanol at Merritt Speedway. The event features 100 total laps of feature racing and a $10,000 grand prize to Saturday’s A-Main winner. The prestigious event coincides with the 2nd Annual Dan Salay Memorial Race. Nearly $4,000 in cash and contingency bonuses will be up for grabs throughout the weekend.

Last year, the Dan Salay Memorial Race was held in conjunction with the DIRTcar UMP Summer Nationals Hell Tour event at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Michigan. This year, the Memorial event moves north to Lake City, Michigan’s Merritt Speedway and is sanctioned by the American Ethanol Late Model Tour.

On Friday, August 2nd, fans will be treated to American Ethanol Late Model Tour Hot Laps, Qualifying, a Four Car Dash, Heat Races, and an FK Rod Ends Dash for Cash Race, paying $500 to the winner. In addition to the Motul Motor Oil & Lubricants Fast Qualifier Award, the driver setting the quickest lap time in American Ethanol Qualifying will receive a $500 bonus. The Senior Insurance Four Car Dash will feature the four fastest overall qualifiers in American Ethanol Qualifying and will pay $500 to the winner. Heat Races will each pay $100 to win.

Saturday, August 3rd cars that have not raced their way into the A-Main will compete in the Thirlby Automotive Last Chance Qualifier(s). The two highest finishing drivers not transferring from the LCQ to the A-Main, will receive a $250 bonus.

The Woodtic / Dan Salay Memorial Race A-Main will be 74 laps and pay $10,000 to win. The driver advancing the most positions will be named the Allstar Performance Hard Charger and earns a $100 product certificate from Allstar Performance. The 14th place finisher will receive a shock from Billstein Shocks. The 19th place finisher will be awarded a $200 bonus from Tommie Bauer Excavating. The last car scored on the lead lap, at the conclusion of 74 laps, will receive a $50 bonus, complements of Steve Kester Racing. Determined by members of the media, the AELMT Member performing a key move during the race will be awarded the Quarter Master Move of the Race Award, collecting a $100 product certificate. ARP will distribute a $100 product certificate to the Member leading the most laps. CompCams will award the leader at the halfway point (if an AELMT Member) a product certificate, valued at $100. Lane Automotive and QuickCar each hold $100 product certificates that will be awarded to the highest finishing AELMT members not yet earning a bonus though-out the weekend.

A $500 cash bonus will be reserved for the highest finishing driver racing with an ethanol blended fuel of 15% or greater. The recipient of that award will be named the American Ethanol Performer of the Race. Rich Neiser and Matt Shipley are currently tied for first place in the American Ethanol Performer of the Race standings, each scoring $1,500 so far this season.

Yoder Property Management will present a $100 bonus for the best appearing car, determined by the fans.

The Dan Salay Memorial event provides great entertainment on and off the track. On the Main Concourse, fans will find charitable t-shirt sales, with the proceeds going to the American Cancer Association. Any guest purchasing a t-shirt will be entered in a drawing to win an autographed M14 Brandon Thirlby door panel. Further down the concourse, fans will find a full-car racing simulator to test their Dirt Late Model racing skills. Post-Race, Friday night, a DJ will be entertaining fans at the Merritt Speedway Bar. On Saturday, fans will get a chance to donate even more to the cause during a helmet pass at intermission.

More information for the 31st running of the Woodtic / 2nd Annual Dan Salay Memorial Event, including full prize money and race formats, will be announced soon.

To learn more about the American Ethanol Late Model Tour log onto AELMT.com, or find and follow the Tour on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

More information about Merritt Speedway can be found at merrittspeedwaymi.com, and on Facebook and Twitter.

About Dan Salay

Daniel Salay began his racing adventures in 1985, climbing into his #47 Bomber at Eldora Speedway, winning his heat race. Soon, racing became a weekly family activity that fueled their love of the sport. In 1987, Dan won two Track Championships in an Outlaw Modified. With the addition of two young daughters (Leah and Alannah), the financial burden of racing and family took its toll on the single father of five. In 1995 while racing at Crystal Motor Speedway, Dan suffered a broken neck while racing a Sprint Car, ultimately ending his racing career.

In 2010, Dan moved to Traverse City, Michigan and began crewing for Collin Thirlby. Dan later became the crew chief for Collin’s older brother Brandon (boyfriend of oldest daughter Leah). Dan’s love for racing once again took over as he became the Thirlby Totor Driver, mechanic, engine changer, body maker, and weekly maintenance guru. Dan was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2017. The devastating news of cancer did not stop Dan from finishing the 2017 racing season with Thirlby Racing. Dan passed away on September 20, 2017 with his family by his side and racing on his mind - telling Brandon, “We need to change the oil in that car before Berlin.” After his passing, Dan was nominated and awarded both the 2017 Crew Chief of the Year from Merritt Speedway, and 2017 Co-Mechanic of the Year from the Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club.


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