$10,000 to Win show on July 3rd at Merritt Speedway highlights 2017 schedule of events
Lake Odessa, Michigan (Friday, January 20th, 2017): One of the most talked about news items during the off-season in the Great Lakes State of Michigan was the formation of the American Ethanol Modified Tour presented by Allstar Performance in time for the 2017 racing season. With the demise of the old Michigan Dirt Cup tour, a gap was left open for the drivers and teams within the DIRTcar UMP Modified ranks. That gap has been filled with the formation of the AEMODT and the anticipation and excitement over the tour has culminated with the official release of the inaugural schedule for the Lake Odessa, Michigan based tour.
The cars and stars of the AEMODT will utilize the regulations and rules set forth within the Concord, North Carolina based sanctioning body of DIRTcar UMP (United Midwestern Promoters) Racing. The 2017 AEMODT Champion will have an impressive $5,000 check awaiting them at seasons end with anyone in the final points standings who attends at least 80% of the events completed during the year also receiving a points fund check at the 2017 AEMODT Awards Banquet. In addition, the AEMODT teams will be vying for a minimum of $1,500 to win and $200 just to start at 10 of the 11 scheduled races with one event paying a mammoth $10,000 to win.
History will be made with the inaugural event for AEMODT on Saturday, May 27th as the Tom Sprague owned and promoted 1/3 (0.333) mile semi-banked clay oval of Thunderbird Raceway located in Muskegon, Michigan will serve as hosts of the first ever AEMODT race, the Allstar Performance Shootout. 2016 Track Champion and Muskegon native, Andy Sprague will look to defend his home turf as the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend officially kicks off the inaugural season.
The Tour moves on to the first of three doubleheaders with their big brothers within the American Ethanol Late Model Tour on Wednesday, June 14th. The 3rd annual Merritt Showdown at the fast 3/8s (0.375) mile semi-banked dirt oval of Merritt Speedway, located west of Houghton Lake in Lake City, Michigan also marks the first of three appearances in the “great white north”. Joe Rokos is the defending race winner in what was a Michigan Dirt Cup event as the Interlochen, Michigan standout will look to defend his title while two-time defending Track Champion, David Mielke will have the crowd behind the home track favorite from near-by Gladwin, Michigan.
Then just three days later on Saturday, June 17th, the tour heads south for their first and only visit to the Hoosier State. Baer Field Motorsports Park, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana will be neutral ground for the DIRTcar UMP Modified competitors as the ¼ (0.250) mile slightly banked dirt oval will see the AEMODT invaders for the first time in the running of the “Hoosichigan Hustle”. Owner / Promoter, Dave Muzzillo has brought the Summit City speed plant back from near extinction and continues to expand the facility with the addition of the dirt track located within the infield of the tracks’ two paved ovals.
The newly reconfigured 3/8s (0.375) mile high-banked dirt oval of Hartford Motor Speedway, located west of Kalamazoo in Hartford, Michigan will see the AEMODT competitors on Friday, June 30th in the tours’ only event of the season in southwest Michigan. Curt Spalding is the reigning three-time defending track champion as the Watervliet, Michigan veteran is also the all-time winningest driver in track history on the big ½ mile and despite the new track configuration, he will still be the heavy favorite when the open-wheel car and stars of AEMODT invade the Jim and Leah Dibble owned facility.
The biggest dirt Modified show in history within the state of Michigan occurs on a special Monday night, July 3rd. The AEMODT cars and stars return to Merritt for the running of the inaugural Merritt Modified Madness. A whopping $10,000 to win payday awaits the winner as the AEMODT and Merritt Speedway contingent will look to hold off the advances of an expected mass invasion of DIRTcar UMP Modifieds drivers from all over the country vying for the huge check in one of the highest paying events for dirt Modifieds anywhere. The night before on Sunday, July 2nd, the AELMT is in town for their second race of the season at the Northern Michigan facility for the best of both worlds over the holiday weekend.
After a lengthy break in the schedule, the AEMODT returns to action by kicking off the Labor Day Holiday weekend with two races in two days starting on Friday, September 1st. The one and only appearance of the season at the 1/3 (0.333) mile semi-banked clay oval of Mt. Pleasant Speedway in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan will rekindle rivalries developed over the year to that point. A popular stop for DIRTcar UMP Modified competitors, the Central Michigan oval will see the Father/Son teammates of Chad and Cody Bauer be waiting for the AEMODT cars and stars at their home track while Mielke is the defending track champion.
The following night, on Saturday, September 2nd, the teams make the short trip north for the third and final race at Merritt Speedway as the AEMODT kicks off the tracks’ Gene Kregear Engine Pro Championship weekend. The next night on Sunday, September 3nd, AELMT is also back in town for their third and final race of the year at Merritt in celebration of the final races of the season at the Mike Blackmer owned facility.
The following weekend on Saturday, September 9th, the AEMODT makes their first ever visit to the Buckeye State and to the popular 3/8s (0.375) mile semi-banked clay oval of Oakshade Raceway, located west of Toledo in Wauseon, Ohio. The DIRTcar UMP Modifieds are not a regular division at the northwest Ohio dirt track, but the Chrissy Henricks promoted track has hosted Modified events in the past with the Summit Equipment Modified Nationals, which tours in support of the DIRTcar UMP Summer Nationals Hell Tour for Late Models. The last time Modifieds ran there was on July 15-16th, 2016 as Mooresville, North Carolina standout, Nick Hoffman swept both Summit Modified National races there on his way to that tours’ 2016 title.
To complete the inaugural season for AEMODT, the open wheeled stars head west to the immaculate Berlin Raceway, located west of Grand Rapids in Marne, Michigan for the final three shows of the year on three consecutive weekends. Saturday, September 23rd, Saturday, September 30th and then the inaugural AEMODT Champion will be crowned on Saturday, October 7th. The 7/16s (0.437) mile semi-banked paved oval will be covered with dirt once again after taking 2016 off from doing so. The last race at Berlin for DIRTcar UMP Modifieds was back on September 26th, 2015 as David Mielke won in the now defunct Michigan Dirt Cup Tour.
For 2017, Promoter, Mike Bursley will bring the dirt back to the historic fairgrounds oval as he did from 2012-2015 and both American Ethanol tours will highlight the dirt schedule with the AEMODT also vying for the three-race mini-series title at Berlin in addition to crowning the inaugural AEMODT champion. On September 23rd and October 7th, AEMODT big brothers within the American Ethanol Late Model Tour will also be on the card with the October 7th show crowning the 2017 champions for both American Ethanol sponsored tours.
For more information about the inaugural 2017 racing season for the American Ethanol Modified Tour presented by Allstar Performance, please visit the brand new website at: aemodt.com You can also follow the tour on Facebook and Twitter by going to: www.facebook.com/AmericanEthanolModifiedTour and at: @AEMODT. Coming soon, will be information on how to listen in on every AEMODT race throughout the upcoming season. Additionally, and throughout the 2017 racing season, Live Timing & Scoring from every race in 2017 will be available for absolutely free from your mobile device by purchasing the Race Monitor Mobile App or online at: MotorCityRacing.co/LiveTiming.