With temperatures ping-ponging all over the board, the Michigan tracks that have opened their doors for the 2016 have definitely had to deal with a multitude of struggles, but there is certainly no doubt that Crystal Motor Speedway had an absolutely beautiful weekend for their season opener back on April 16th.
With temperatures around 70 degrees the stage was set for a perfect night and the racing surely didn’t disappoint.
Crystal is always a track that has a guarantee for great racing action. In the world of dirt track racing, that is pretty incredible…but with great car counts and competitive divisions there is never a boring night at CMS.
The beautiful weather along with the allure of just seeing some live racing couldn’t keep our family away, and for the first time with a one-year-old we made the trek to Crystal for DeLayna to get her first real taste of dirt track racing. Although she did incredible at various tracks last year and watched as the cars flew by; nothing compared to her pure excitement this season.
From waving to the racecars in the pits and repeatedly chanting “whoa! Racecar” to showing EVERYONE her “pretty” pitpass (her first), it was truly exciting seeing racing through her little blue eyes.
This year Crystal will be upping the family atmosphere to even another level as they are introducing mini-wedge racing to the area. The small tube chassis cars will be run on part of Crystal’s front stretch and into a smaller track filling the current infield. The cars will feature a $180 crate engine and will have a claim rule, not unlike CMS’s Flinn Stock, Street Stock, and IMCA Modified divisions.
Ron Flinn and his team always strive to keep racing as affordable and competitive as possible for teams, and the introduction of this division created for kids 4 ½ to 14 only amplifies that commitment.
With the initial race slated for May 7th, I am excited to see the wedge cars as they progress through the season. The future of our sport is in the hands of these young drivers, and it is exhilarating to see a new outlet for talent to be raised.
Even though it was opening night, and a few jitters and last minute scrambles were the norm throughout the pit area, it’s as though the crazy weather snapped everyone right back into mid-summer race mode. Despite an expected late start (You can never get clay to cooperate on opening night in April), the entire racing program for all six of Crystals weekly classes (Flinn Stock, Street Stock, Pro-Stock, Pro-Truck , IMCA Modified, Late Model) was concluded by midnight with side-by-side action filling the events. Ryan VanderVeen #23 Late Model, AJ Ward #20W IMCA Modified, Jasen Wiley #73 Station Wagon, Justin Stahl #7J Flinn Stock, Nate Jones #14 Pro-Stock, and Mickey Currier #01 Pro-Truck all emerged the victors to a crowd that didn’t diminish from the drop of the first green flag.
DeLayna didn’t quite make it for features, even though she attempted to keep one eye open for the Late Model A-Main, but I am sure she will make up for it at future events.
I want to extend a very big thank you to Ron, Mary Jane, and the entire CMS staff for a wonderful evening and thank you all for reading.
I’ll see you when the next green flag flies, Darcie Fuzi