Heinig Takes His Shot at Winning

heinigs NMD Photo: Andrew Heinig of Interlochen launches with his Dodge Dart early this season at NMD’s Bonfire Salute on Memorial Day Weekend.
One of the greatest attractions in sports is the desire to see how well one measures up to the rivals in any given season. At Northern Michigan Dragway, the yearly points battles provide some of the most exciting competition that can be found anywhere.
As NMD approaches season’s end, with only two points events remaining, many stories are unfolding. It would be difficult to match that which has happened for Bracket II competitor, Andrew Heinig of Interlochen.
Last season was Heinig’s first with his Dodge Dart. Going up against many seasoned veterans, his only taste of success came during the big show, Mopars Against the World, where he managed a fourth-round finish in the $7,500 to win race.
At season’s end, out of over 110 point-earners, Heinig found himself points-wise, in 81st position. He was tied with 30 other racers for last place in points.
The 2016 season didn’t begin with a whole lot of improvement for Heinig. Through 5 events, he only managed one fourth round finish.
The tide turned, though, at the Bowtie Challenge as he took a 7th round quarter-final finish June 25th. Three weeks later he captured a class win at points event 9 on July 16th.
Since then, his tide has turned into a tidal wave of sorts, with four final rounds in the past seven events. Heinig notched another win at NMD’s most recent race, Points event 16 Labor Day Weekend, and is the new points leader in Bracket II.
Points event 17 takes place this Saturday, and the season championships will take place the following Friday night (Sept. 23rd).
Three other racers are still in the running for the Bracket II championship, and the only thing that is certain is that it will be an exciting finish. The Pro Trophy and Junior divisions are still up for grabs, too.
Corey Mikus has wrapped up the Bracket I class championship with his record-breaking season.
Time trials are set to begin at 5 pm Saturday, with eliminations at 8 pm. NMD is located three miles north of Kaleva on Potter Road.


shadow3 Shadowmaker shadow2Greg Leideker of Brockway MI showing off his ’57 Chevy Delivery this past weekend

More Records Set at Blue Oval Battle IV


NMD Photo (thanks to CTB Photos) The Blue Oval Battle IV Top Doorslammer final round was between the number one qualified Ford Mustang, Sean Nagy of Houghton Lake, and the number two qualifier, John Kutsick of Roseville with his Chevy Camaro. Nagy took the win with a 4.76 e.t., along with setting a new track record of 159.03 miles per hour this past weekend.

Another record turnout came through the gates this past weekend for the Blue Oval Battle IV at Northern Michigan Dragway. With 272 race entries, NMD set a record for a Friday night racer turnout. Saturday night’s event was rain delayed until Sunday morning. Still over 270 entries remained for a great day of racing. Ford entries prevailed in the annual event with a final score of 124 to 115.
Another track record for speed was set. The Sean Nagy Team of Houghton Lake had a top speed of 159.03 miles per hour (1/8 mile) Friday night. He also qualified number one, en route to his four-round championship in the Top Doorslammer division Sunday with his 2010 Ford Mustang.
Dale Mardlin of Bear Lake had a pair of fourth-round finishes which enabled him to take the lead in the Absolute Auto Repair Bracket II points standings with his Ford Falcon. Previous leader, Bill Fluette of Interlochen trails by only 3 points in second with his Chevy Monte Carlo. Interlochen racer Andrew Heinig is in third, only down by 13 with his Dodge Dart.
In Pro Systems Bracket I, Corey Mikus of Bear Lake maintains the lead with his Chevy Camaro, with Mike Stokes in second with his Dodge Challenger. Robby Girven of Brethren had the best weekend both with rounds won, and cash earnings. He amassed 105 points while improving 5 positions up to fourth in the standings.
Auto Body Complete Pro Trophy is still a tight battle, with Jim Evans of Benzonia holding onto a slim lead with his Buick Skylark. Kyle Kidder of Frankfort, driving a Jeep Comanchee, only trails by 19 points in second.
Emma Helsel of Lake City leads Parker Cesaro for the top two spots in the Force Engineering Junior division.
Racing action continues this Saturday with a full race program planned for event #16 of 18. Time trials start at 5 pm. Event 17 will take place September 17th, and the points season final will be September 23rd at the 9th Annual Mulligan Race Weekend presented by Big Ben’s Tires and Auto Repair in Sand Lake.
NMD is located three miles north of Kaleva on Potter Road. Full race results, points standings and other information are available at NorthernMichiganDragway.net or by calling (231)362-3439.
BLUE OVAL BATTLE IV presented by C. Petersen and Sons Trucking and Excavating
Friday Results:
$2000 Win Rick LaPouttre, Bay City
R-Up Robby Girven, Brethren
Semis Joe Bauman, Chesaning & Rick LaRocque, Beulah
$2000 Win Darrin Noaker, Cadillac
R-Up Robby Girven, Brethren
Semis Phil Anderson, Maple City & Randy Birkenmeier, Birch Run
$300 Win Phil Wrobleski, Plainwell
R-Up Dan Snyder, Harrison
Semi Phil Anderson, Maple City
Win Bradley Anderson, Flint
R-Up Pamela Henschel, Harrison
Semi Scott Swander, Benzonia
Win Patrick Boris, East Jordan
R-Up James Vanderbrook, Fife Lake
Semi Emma Helsel, Lake City
Sunday Results:
$500 Win Sean Nagy, Houghton Lake
R-Up John Kutsick, Roseville
Semi Heath Bates, Twin Lake
$3000 Win Robby Girven, Brethren
R-Up Larry Meray, Memphis
Semis Jeff Renaudin, Sandusky & Bud Thompson, Niles
$3000 Win Scott Sabin, Plainwell
R-Up Kristina Mardlin, Bear Lake
Semis Kelly Smith, White Cloud & Jason Kieffer, St.Johns
$300 Win Al Bruischart, Allegan
R-Up Jeff Green, Grand Haven
Semi Joe Smith, Traverse City
Win Rob Vandewater, Cadillac
R-Up James Persinger, Free Soil
Semi Scott Glinski, Bear Lake
Win Hunter Cesaro, East Jordan
R-Up James Vanderbrook, Fife Lake
Semi John Root, Manton

Races are on for Blue Oval Battle!

Saturday update:  We won’t let the weather rain on our parade. The radar is looking good for this evening’s races. Our goal is to get at least a portion of tonight’s race in, and will finish up tomorrow if we need to. Gates are open, with time trials hoping to get underway by possibly 3 pm.  Please follow our Facebook page for regular updates.

Last night’s results:

BLUE OVAL BATTLE IV Day #1 Results –
FORD 62 – WORLD 62

$2000 Win Rick LaPouttre
R-Up Robby Girven
Semis Joe Bauman & Rick LaRocque

$2000 Win Darrin Noaker
R-Up Robby Girven
Semis Phil Anderson & Randy Birkenmeier

$300 Win Phil Wrobleski
R-Up Dan Snyder
Semi Phil Anderson

Win Bradley Anderson
R-Up Pam Henschel
Semi Scott Swander

Win Patrick Boris
R-Up James Vanderbrook
Semi Emma Helsel

Blue Oval Battle IV Preview

NMD Photo: Recently, a new track record of 158 miles-per-hour (1/8 mile) was set by this 2010 Mustang driven by Sean Nagy of Houghton Lake. Nagy will be competing in the Top Doorslammer Quick 16 division at this weekend’s Blue Oval Battle IV, and hoping to get a win for the Ford fans.

Press Release sent to about 30 media outlets:
Over 250 racers are expected to compete this weekend at Northern Michigan Dragway. The third “mega event” on the 2016 race schedule, the Blue Oval Battle IV is taking place.
In June, the 6th Annual Bowtie Challenge saw the Chevrolet racers taking a close victory in their matchups, with a final score of 156-152.
Then came July’s 19th Annual Mopars Against the World, which brought in a record crowd of over 3,100 people. Mopar entries claimed the win in that event 137-130.
This weekend, with over $20,000 in total cash and prizes set to be awarded, it is Ford’s turn to take on all other makes. The fourth annual event is sponsored by C. Petersen and Sons Trucking and Excavating in Pentwater.
This weekend’s race is also stop #4 for the No Box Bracket Challenge, a traveling race series which hits premier tracks in Michigan, Ontario and Ohio. They finish up their season in Grand Bend Ontario next month.

Test n Tune is scheduled for Thursday evening at 7:30 with a Run for the Money at 9:30.
Races begin Friday with time trials at 4 pm and eliminations set for approximately 7 pm. Saturday time trials begin at 2 pm, with eliminations at 5.

Mopars Crowd hits 3100

Mopars Crowd

When last year’s record crowd of 2,600 people attended the Northern Michigan Dragway 18th Annual Mopars Against the World event, a question was raised. How big is this going to get?
The 2015 event drew in 1,966 spectators and had a total estimation of 2,600 overall attendance.
In keeping up with the recent tradition of breaking records, the crowd this past weekend’s 19th Annual MATW increased by 455 spectators to 2,421 pit and spectator admissions. The event’s overall attendance was approximately 3,100 people.
Plans are in place to accommodate for more parking, and even earlier starting times to keep from running so late into the morning hours.
Looking ahead on the 2016 schedule, the 4th Annual Blue Oval Battle, featuring Ford competitors taking on all others, takes place August 26th and 27th.

Mopars Thursday Run for the Money

PerryD Thursday night Run For the Money Winner! Perfect et run on the dial in
Perry Daniels 85 Trans Am 6.5800 et @ 105.0 mph wins run for the money!! Dead on .00!!
$136 + 10 lbs burger from Kaleva Meats!!
Travis Milliman 2nd place w/ dead on 6.5602 on 6.56 !! $68

McCormick Shatters Speed Record at NMD

HarrisSmithNMD Photo: Brad Harris of Mesick, currently 8th in Bracket II points standings with the “Red Baron”454 BBC dragster, lines up against Joe Smith, III of Traverse City. Smith holds down the 12th position for the 3Js Performance “Gone Green” Mustang.

Saturday July 16th MiCellularClinic points event #9 provided all the excitement that was anticipated and then some. Race fans could see the Kaleva Days fireworks over at the Kaleva Village Park, which is about 3 miles south of the end of the strip. Racing action was similarly as explosive with over 140 race entries for the second-straight event.
Jeremy McCormick of Fountain yet again shattered the track record for speed with his dragster. On his first pass of the evening, McCormick uncorked a 4.23 seconds 1/8 mile elapsed time at a blistering 172 miles-per-hour reading.
Pro Systems Bracket I action found McCormick’s daughter, Madisyn, in the final round against the points leader, Corey Mikus of Bear Lake. Mikus took the win with his Chevy Camaro. Madisyn moved from 14th position up to 7th with her dragster’s runner-up finish. Her top speed was quite impressive as well, topping 145 mph.
The Absolute Auto Repair Bracket II standings also saw some drastic shifts in position. Andrew Heinig of Interlochen notched his first career win and moved from 12th all the way up to 4th with his Dodge Dart. Another Chevy Camaro racer, Cliff Mardlin of Kaleva took runner-up and improved from 9th to 5th.
Auto Body Complete Pro Trophy found Kristina Mardlin back in the winners’ circle with her Chevy S-10 victory. She also improved a position, moving into second place and only 22 points behind Benzonia’s Jim Evans. The Street Trophy win was captured by Beulah’s Phil Gunther.
The Reid Valve Dyno Rider class win went to Lake Ann’s Brent Wright on a Yamaha snowmobile. Force Engineering Junior class victory was earned by Cody Marlatt from Bailey. Marlatt moved from 7th to 4th in the standings.
Racers have this weekend off, as NMD prepares for the largest event of the season. The Stokes Auto Repair/VyperGraphics 19th Annual Mopars Against the World will take place July 29th and 30th.

Top 20 each division
9 of 18 Events Completed
Pro Systems Bracket 1
1 Corey Mikus Bear Lake Chevy Camaro 241
2 Steve Mikus Ashley Chevy Nova 215
3 Mike Stokes Kaleva Dodge Challenger 212
4 Travis Mardlin Bear Lake Dragster (Chevy) 121
5 Rick LaRocque Beulah Ford Mustang 115
6 Bud Roof East Jordan GMC Sonoma 107
7 Madisyn McCormick Fountain Dragster (Chevy) 104
8 Nolan Blanchard Benzonia Chevy Monte Carlo 80
9 Eric Johnson Onekama Chevy II Nova 75
10 Danny Angell Scottville Ford Mustang 65
Scott Eriksen East Jordan Chevy Camaro 65
12 Travis Verrett Harrietta Dragster (Ford) 63
Scott Hoernlein Freeland Dragser (Chevy) 63
14 Robby Girven Brethren Chevy S-10 57
15 Frank Piltz Cadillac Pontiac Firebird 55
16 Jeff Burdess Saginaw Chevy Malibu 52
17 Fred Schwedt Cheboygan Dragster (Chevy) 51
18 Keith Helsel Lake City Chevy II Nova 50
Chad Six Parma Ford Roadster 50
20 Bill Fluette Interlochen Chevy Monte Carlo 40
Travis Milliman Kaleva Chevy Monza 40
Rick LaPouttre Bay City Chevy Nova 40
Tom Whitaker Muskegon Chevy Camaro 40
Matt Steiner Cedar Springs Dragster (Ford) 40
Absolute Auto Repair Bracket 2
1 Fluette Racing Interlochen Chevy Monte Carlo 242
2 Rick Letts Lake City Chevy Chevelle 187
3 Perry Daniels South Boardman Pontiac Trans Am 172
4 Andrew Heinig Interlochen Dodge Dart 148
5 Cliff Mardlin Kaleva Chevy Camaro 147
6 Kevin Green Cadillac Ford Victoria 143
7 Dan Snyder Harrison Chevy Impala 137
8 Brad Harris Mesick Dragster (Chevy) 132
9 Al McChesney Freeland Plymouth Belvedere 128
10 Brian Peterson Cadillac Chevy Camaro 126
11 Dale Mardlin Bear Lake Ford Falcon 122
12 3Js Performance Traverse City Ford Mustang 102
13 Chris Roth Essexville Chevy Camaro 98
14 Paul Adomaitis Idlewild Ford Mustang 95
Scott Eriksen East Jordan Chevy Camaro 95
16 Bob Vandewater Cadillac Dodge Challenger 85
17 Tom Bray Mears Chevy Camaro 83
18 Dan Gorby Sheridan Chevy Camaro 82
19 Danny Angell Scottville Ford Mustang 81
20 Ron Osga Fife Lake Altered (Chevy) 80
Randy Stoykovich Manistee Ford Pinto 80
Auto Body Complete Pro Trophy
1 Jim Evans Benzonia Buick Century 254
2 Kristina Mardlin Bear Lake Chevy S-10 232
3 Jim Bacon Luther Chevy Camaro 216
4 Dustin Cesaro East Jordan Chevy S-10 206
5 Kyle Kidder Frankfort Jeep Comanchee 182
6 Martin Moore Manistee Chevy Nova 178
7 David Evans Benzonia Chevy Monte Carlo 137
8 Gary Bowman East Tawas Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 123
9 Ron Mallison Manistee Ford Mustang 96
Louis Gravelle Reed City Ford Maverick 96
11 Don Oliver Brethren Chevy Monte Carlo 95
12 Samantha Sarnowski Pentwater Ford Mustang 90
James Persinger Free Soil Cadillac Fleetwood 90
14 Matt Letts Manton Ford Ranger 85
15 Andrew Heinig Interlochen Dodge Dart 83
16 Chuck Marlatt Bailey Ford Mustang 81
17 Rick Joan Copemish Chevy Nova 75
Fluette Racing Interlochen Chevy Monte Carlo 75
19 Scott Glinski Bear Lake Chevy S-10 70
20 Jason Mikula Eagle Chevy El Camino 63
Force Engineering Junior Eliminator
1 Emma Helsel Lake City Jr Dragster 203
2 Parker Cesaro East Jordan Jr Dragster 164
3 Hunter Cesaro East Jordan Jr Dragster 120
4 Cody Marlatt Bailey Jr Dragster 116
5 Patrick Boris East Jordan Jr Dragster 108
6 Gannon Dougherty Honor Go Kart 89
7 Isaac Mikus Bear Lake Jr Dragster 82
8 James VanderBrook Fife Lake Jr Dragster 79
9 Bailey Burkhardt Coldwater Jr Dragster 63
10 John Root Manton Jr Dragster 62
11 Jaden Petersen Pentwater Jr Dragster 50
12 Cameron Shaw Clio Jr Dragster 21
13 Leah Helsel Manton Jr Dragster 15
Noel Cebula Bear Lake Go Kart 15
15 Coley Burkhardt Coldwater Jr Dragster 10
Coleman Hanson Crystal Jr Dragster 10
Jared Petersen Pentwater Mini Bike 10

July 16th Weekend Race Flyer


Feel free to print off copies of this flyer and post them on bulletin boards at work and local businesses!

Bowtie Challenge Returns to NMD

The trash talk has been going on for over a year. But now it’s time for the rematch. Racers are eager for this weekend’s 6th Annual Bowtie Challenge. The event is sponsored by Heiges Performance and Heiges Body Shop.

A special attraction is sponsored by Hlavka Heating and Cooling. The “Top Doorslammer Shootout” is taking place Saturday night, with qualifying sessions both Friday night and Saturday, to determine the quickest 8 full-bodied entries. A champion will be determined after three rounds of heads-up, Pro-tree racing!

In last season’s annual event, Chevrolet “Bowtie” racers matched up against competitors 354 times. The final score was tallied at 177 wins apiece.

Last year’s crowd exceeded 1,600 people in attendance. NMD is anticipating over 2,000 this weekend, with racer entry numbers expected to be over 300 total entrants, battling it out for over $25,000 in prize money.

Early Testing/time trials are scheduled for Thursday from 8 pm to 10 pm, with a “Run for the Money” competition to wrap up the evening.

Friday’s time trials will begin at 4 pm and eliminations scheduled for 7 pm. Saturday’s time trials start at 2 pm and eliminations slated for 5 pm.

See the 6th Annual Bowtie Challenge event page on Facebook!