Arntz, Schlenk, Stemler Head for Pevely, Missouri
Sterling Heights, MI (Wednesday, May 6, 2020) - The struggle continues to find local short track racing across the United States for fans, officials, and drivers alike. As many have seen in the Carolina’s, Georgia, Iowa, and other states this month, when officials are given the go-ahead to host an event, the attention and support is unmatched. The support is flowing from drivers and fans of DIRTcar UMP Late Models as 60 teams have pre registered to race at Federated Auto Parts I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Missorri this Saturday night. Of those 60 Super Late Models, a few have local ties.
Vestaburg, Michigan’s, Logan Arntz became one of the first Michiganders to announce his intentions of racing on May 9th, and became one of the 60 drivers who preregistered on the first day it was available. When asked, Arntz told Horsepower Happenings’, Zach Hiser very clearly why they were packing up, and heading to Missorri.
“Racing,” Arntz said with a laugh.
While the former American Ethanol Late Model Tour feature winner has never been to I-55 Raceway, he’s looking forward to the chance to race against some of the best in the country.
“I think they’ve got a dream for $7,000-to-win. You’re missing a few big names, but for the most part, they’ve got a dream,” said Arntz of the pre-entry list. Most would tend to agree with Arntz as well, with names like Tyler Erb, Brian Shirley, Brandon Sheppard and several others set to make the haul.
Another Michigan hot shoe on the list of expected competitors is Ionia’s, Travis Stemler. Looking forward to his first season with a new team, Stemler says his emotions headed into the weekend are assorted.
“It’s mixed emotions, you know obviously the key thing is for everyone to stay safe in that line of duty,” remarked Stemler. “The car has been done since November. I’m excited to finally be back in the driver’s seat,” Stemler rejoiced.
The Karl Chevrolet 50 is an impressive season opener for Stemler, who faces the potential challenge of a new team head on. “It’s definitely going to show us where our [Anklem Racing] team is and where we need to be. We’re a little behind never being there before, having no notes on it,” Stemler concluded.
Another notable on the list of area drivers making the trip is the former ‘Jackson Assassin’, Rusty Schlenk. Now a resident of McClure, Ohio, Schlenk says that while the local driver may struggle to travel that far to race, he looks forward to making the trip to I-55, and says it feels almost normal.
“We start our year off every year over there anyway. Jason Crump, an old buddy of mine that used to race out in that area, lets us use his house to stay over there. It’s just another year for us,” Schlenk remarked.
In what will be just his third start in his new Domination Chassis, Schlenk says he’ll have some work to do this weekend, but is confident in his equipment.
“We’re a little bit in the blind. But, I’m pretty confident in what we have. I’ve only raced this car three times, with a win down south in the crate motor - and we about won the dome with it. This is gonna be our first real test with it with the super car,” said Schlenk, who also recognized the talent that will be in attendance.
“I figured it’d be that way, man. We’re all jonesin for some racing, [and] I was expecting a heck of a car count. Shoot, I think I counted 35 cars that have a legitimate shot at winning that deal,” Schlenk finished.
Other Great Lakes region drivers that are expected to make the trip include McClure, Ohio’s Collin Shipley who will make his Super Late Model I-55 Raceway debut, Camden, Ohio’s Kody Evans who began the year chasing Rookie of the Year honors with the World of Outlaws, Michigan regular and Sheffield, Illinois resident Rich Bell, and a host of other Illinois standouts like Jason Feger, Bobby Pierce, and Mike Spatola.
Also scheduled to be on the card for Saturday’s race are some 50 pre-registered DIRTcar UMP Modifieds and just under 40 Pro Mods. While the 700 General Admission tickets are sold out for the event, fans can enjoy the race from the comfort of their home for free with a Dirt on Dirt or FloRacing subscription. Racing action is set to begin at 7:00pm Central time.
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Story by - Zach Hiser, Motor City Racing Promotions