Last weekend I had an amazing time at a stock-car race in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I know that it sounds funny, but on January 8th and again on February 5th there is true stock car racing within the confines of the Grand Rapids DeltaPlex.
On January 8th the scaled down full-fendered cars did battle on the erected high-banked aluminum track for the AMP 150 150-lap race. The track is wicked-fast for its size with cars averaging about 60 MPH. There is a lot of tight racing, several passes, and a ton of excitement.
Event organizer Jack Gritter does a fantastic job of pulling the race together and teaming the arena cars with quarter-midgets as a support division. It was so great seeing the quarter-midgets on a slightly bigger track, it brought back so many of my old racing memories and also showed what amazing talent will be present in the future of our sport. Kids ranging in age from 5-15 years did battle in front of the huge crowd and their raw talent and ability impressed and entertained just as much as the big boys (and girls).
It was so nice getting to catch up with Rick Beebe who is the official starter at the Arena Racing events, Kody Weisner who was spotting for Kelsey Steele in the HS Die #16 and Jack Gritter. When it comes to arena racing, the cars are small, the excitement is big and on February 5th when the mini-sprints come to do battle for the Thunder on the Grand it is sure to be a crowd pleaser. The event will feature mini-sprints and will once again host quarter midget drivers from all over the region.
Once the DeltaPlex is a very comfortable temperature and has stadium style seating it is the perfect event for the family. On this night they even opened up the track and brought cars and drivers out for a full autograph session and open-house.
For more information you can visit the DeltaPlex website at http://www.deltaplex.com/index.php/events/thunder-on-the-grand. The DeltaPlex is easily located from the highway and within minutes of some great hotels and restaurants for anyone needing to travel.