On Saturday summer nights the quaint lake town of Crystal, Michigan changes from a serene village into a rumbling race town.
Just one block from the town’s main street, Crystal Motor Speedway multiplies the town’s population on race night. The 3/8-mile clay oval plays host to six divisions nightly and focuses on family fun. Whether you are visiting for the first time or you’re your tush is in the grandstands every week you can’t help but feel a part of the speedway when walking in the gate.
For returning fans, there is always a familiar face to be seen or voice heard as the CMS team is comprised primarily of family, and those not related to the Flinn family by birth or marriage have become part of it through loyalty and love. And everyone has their own part to fill, even the youngest of members. Adorable Eli Fellows will celebrate his 3rd birthday this Monday (August 12th) and there is no doubt that he is already part of the CMS team. His name is clearly painted on the drivers’ side of the newly acquired wrecker, and he has already distinguished between each of the classes. With the ability to call out car colors, and an aunt and cousin that are helping him learn numbers, he is every bit into the incredible racing action as his family. Eli’s mom Kim (Flinn) Fellows works on the 4th floor of the tower scheduling line-ups and keeping the race schedule on track, his father Craig is on the Safety First track response team, and his grandparents Ron and Mary Jane are seen everywhere on the grounds as the track owners/promoters.
Crystal Motor Speedway has always made family and young fans a priority with their racing program. There is never a scheduled intermission, instead as drivers ready themselves and equipment between the suitcase races and the main events; there is always activity on the speedway. Junior fan winners get a trip around the track while on the back deck of their favorite drivers’ car, and creative events like
“Steeple Races” are entertaining to say the least. For those who are not familiar with steeple racing you are not alone, the name is a dead giveaway, yet somehow elusive. Ron and Mary Jane have a host of non-road-worthy vehicles. The Corsica’s and Celebrities that have seen better days get a chance at redemption with an area pastor as pilot. A large number of area pastors put their driving skills to the test as they maneuver around CMS counter clockwise while making small circles around each of the four tractor tires put in place around the speedway. There is definitely bumping, much more aggression than I would have thought, some impressive driving skills, and a whole lot of fun.
Now through the sweet brown eyes of young Eli, everyone from the top of the scoring tower to center of the infield can see the sport in a new and fresh light and there is never a dull moment at CMS. Their regular racing program is one of the best I have ever seen; IMCA Modifieds, Late Models, Pro-Stocks, Pro-Trucks, Street Stocks, and Flinn Stocks (4-cylinders) make up the weekly show, and the racing is always tight, fast, and side-by-side. On this particular beautiful Saturday night the late model A-Main saw both 1st and 2nd as well as 3rd and 4th were battling it out side-by-side for 15-laps. The racing action will put you on the edge of your seat, and the atmosphere will put you at ease.
If you have never been to CMS, or if it has been a while, it is 100% worth the trip. To learn more about Crystal Motor Speedway check out the CMS website, and on Saturday nights that you can’t make it to a track, follow them for free on Races on The Web. Live streaming video shows all the nights action from your PC, iPad or iPhone.
Thank you to everyone at Crystal Motor Speedway for their hospitality and a great night of fun, and a very big happy birthday to Eli!
I’ll see you when the next green flag flies!!!