December 12, 2017

Hot Shoe 100 modified race returns to Whittemore Speedway for fourth year

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WHITTEMORE — Whittemore Speedway will once again be the home of one of the largest modified races in the country when the Hot Shoe 100 returns for its fourth year Aug. 11-12, according to event organizer Kim Gray.

“We’re expecting quite a few modifieds,” Gray said. “We have 55 cars already preregistered. There are more on the way. We have four cars coming from West Virginia. It’s grown in four years. It’s become way bigger than we ever anticipated in the first year.”

For the first three years of the event it was a points race as part of the Modified Touring Series, but this year that points event was held in Winchester, Ind. Gray said the Hot Shoe 100 was moved back a week to accommodate that race and allow drivers to come to both places. The fact that it isn’t a points race this year has helped with interest, she said.

Racing starts Friday night with qualifying and heat races. Gray said the top 24 cars will be locked into the 100-lap A feature, which will be held the following night. Everyone else will compete in a B feature, or even a C feature if there are enough cars.

For last year’s race the entire top 24 field ran within 1/100 of a second of each other.

Last year’s event set a record with 51 modifieds attending.

“Last year, with what we did, they called it the biggest modified event in the midwest,” Gray said. “Last year we broke a record with 51 modifieds. We are hoping to break our own record again this year with more than 51.”

Rules for the modifieds will be the same as what Whittemore Speedway runs normally. However, Gray said drivers will have to purchase their tires at the event, and they will be impounded overnight to prevent soaking the tires or modification to them to give drivers a competitive advantage.

The race is a fundraiser for the Northern Michigan Cancer Crusaders, a group that helps Northern Michigan families and friends cope with the impact of cancer, as well as helping with cancer research and education. Gray was previously the president of the organization.

“We were trying to figure out what we could do to bring back some local short track racing,” Gray said. “We decided that we would try to figure out how to put on a race. I was president of the Cancer Crusaders at the time, so I said, ‘Let’s do a fundraiser.’”

She said she feels the success of the event has come as a result of the crusaders.

“I think it had a lot to do with the organization that we donate to,” Gray said. “It seems like cancer has affected someone in everyone’s life, either family or a dear friend.”

She said all the money raised in the event goes back into the organization.

“We’re strictly volunteer,” she said. “It’s my husband and I, and our seven kids.”

In all, around 25 people volunteer to put on the event.

“It’s all our family,” Gray said. “We’re all volunteers. We love doing it. Cancer has affected our family. We take nothing from this. We put in hours and hours. As soon as it’s over, we’re planning for next year.”

Gray said the track will be open Thursday for practice — something new this year. On Friday, fans will have a chance to come onto the track and meet the drivers during an autograph session.

In addition to the modifieds, there will also be races in what is being called the ABC class, which Gray said are often known as lead sleds or bombers. There will also be a front-wheel-drive class.

There will be camping available, and Saturday will feature a kids area with a bounce house and more.

More information about the event can be found by visiting www.hotshoe100.com or www.whittemore

speedway.org.

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