Sterling Heights, MI (Sunday, January 12, 2020) - The world of Late Model racing in the state of Michigan was temporarily turned upside down this week when it was announced that the American Ethanol Late Model Tour would cease operations immediately, and there would be no Tour during the 2020 racing season. Then, Late Model racing in the state of Michigan saw a bright spot, and an exciting move toward the future, when the Lane Automotive - Allstar Performance Challenge Series Supported by American Ethanol was born.
On Friday, January 10th, Auburn, Michigan’s Tri-City Motor Speedway, and Lake City, Michigan’s Merritt Speedway, released a statement welcoming the Series to the spotlight. The new series will pit drivers against one another during 10 races split between the Speedway’s, with the points champion taking home $10,000. Not only will fans see drivers compete for the overall $10,000 prize, but an increasing purse structure throughout the season, turns up the wick as the action builds, where a total of nearly $50,000 in first place prize money is on the line.
Each Speedway will host a $2,500 to win opening night for the Challenge Series, on Friday, May 1 at Tri-City, and Saturday, May 9 at Merritt. From there the checks getting bigger and bigger each night. On June 12th and 13th, drivers will battle for $3,000, July 24th and 25th, $4,000 will be up for grabs, August 28th and 29th a cool $5,000 is at stake, before the season ends with a pair of $10,000 to win affairs - Saturday, September 6th from Merritt Speedway, and Friday, September 12th at Tri-City Motor Speedway.
The Challenge Series brings to the table a line of support from Lane Automotive and Allstar Performance. Lane Automotive’s Advertising and Race Track Promotions Manager John Berglund says they are looking forward to the Inaugural Challenge Series season.
“We are very excited to be part of this new series at Merritt and Tri-City in 2020,” Berglund said. “The level of competition in the Late Model ranks here in Michigan is beyond Impressive.”
For American Ethanol, they look forward to the opportunity to support the Challenge Series, and continue to support racing in the Mitten State.
“Mike’s [Blackmer] formation of this new series is great for everyone who loves Late Model’s in our state,” said Carbon Green BioEnergy CEO, Mitch Miller. “ We wanted to be sure and stay involved with and support the dirt track drivers, teams, tracks and race fans again this coming season. With the big events at Tri-City and Merritt, we are able to accomplish that.”
More information about the Challenge Series’ event and point payouts will be announced at a later date. Fans can stay up-to-date with the Lane Automotive - Allstar Performance Challenge Series supported by American Ethanol by liking and following Tri-City and Merritt Speedway on Facebook.
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Story by - Zach Hiser, Motor City Racing Promotions
Photo - Jim DenHamer