HISTORY OF THE SPEEDPARK
The planning and building of the Kinross Speedpark (formerly known as the Kinross International Speedway and Kinross Speedway) began in the early 1990’s with the idea that the Eastern U.P. as well as the Canadian Sault and surrounding area was ready to support stock car racing.
It was simply a matter of moving this process from the planning state to the building process, thus was the birth of New Era Motorsports. New Era Motorsports was a group comprised of several local businessmen and was organized specifically to construct and operate the Speedpark.
The track is 1550 feet in length and was built during the summer of 1995. It was completed during the Chippewa County Fair, a matter of hours before the first race was scheduled. The funding was a joint effort by the Kinross Township Board and New Era Motorsports.
The opening race signified the first stock car race in this area since the late 1980’s.
The paving was done by Smith Paving of Marquette in which a concave racing surface was built. This incorporated a unique racing surface which consists of 3 degrees of slope on the inside increasing to about 12 degrees of slope on the outside of the corners. This allows for higher speeds on the upper racing lanes allowing for more even competition regardless of how wide the racer takes the corner.
This explains the reason for some racers actually preferring the middle portion of the track depending on exactly how their car is set-up and handling. Because of it’s unique design several of the racers have indicated that the Kinross Speedpark is the best short track on which they have ever raced. Late Model cars have been clocked at speeds in excess of 100 MPH on the straightaways.
Over the years some divisions have come and gone, but the one constant has been the fun, family entertainment the facility has provided during the summer months.
The summer of 2019 marked a significant point in the history of the track when they hosted the Inaugural Hot Shoe 100 at the Speedpark.
The event, 6 years running, moved north to the UP and took place in front of over 1800+ spectators and over 220 camping units on the grounds.
One of the largest Modified events in the entire United States, paying $10,024 to the winner, featured former NASCAR star, Kenny Wallace.
In 2020, the track encountered a historical first, when the track did not operate at least a single event due to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent closure of the International border between the United States and Canada. As a result, Fox Boyz Racing (track promoters) opted to keep the facility closed until they could reunite their 'entire' racing family together from both sides of the border.
With the 2021 race season on the horizon, track officials have made the decision to move forward with a racing program this coming summer. Events start on Memorial Day weekend - Saturday, May 29 with six regular events along with three special events.
The complete schedule can be viewed HERE.
PROMOTER TIMELINE (1995 to present)
New Era Motorsports
Dan Remillard & Walter Verdecchia
Sault Area Racing Association
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Wayne Donaway for Kinross Charter Townshp
Todd & Donna Nyberg
Fox Boyz Racing
Mike & Paul Fox and their 100% volunteer crew
(2012 to present)
** Grey highlighted cells indicate 'active' division
** Grey highlighted cells indicate 'active' division
ABOUT KINROSS CHARTER TOWNSHIP
Kinross Charter Township, a municipality nearly 30 miles long and only four miles wide over the majority of its length, is centrally located in Chippewa County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and consists largely of a small urban community of Kinross surrounded by approximately 120 square miles of open space. The State Legislature created the governmental entity of Kinross Township in 1899. Kinross was a busy little lumbering town and a railroad center for shipping wood and wood products. The Kinross Auxiliary airfield was established in 1941 and was transformed into the Kincheloe Air Force Base (KAFB). The United States decided to close the KAFB in 1977 in the face of environmental and economic considerations.
A Base Conversion Authority was established in 1978 for the purpose of administering the transference of federal military property to civilian use. Ownership of much of the former military base land and buildings was transferred to Kinross Charter Township. Kinross Charter Township owns a comparatively large area of land within the former Air Force Base, much of which is generally vacant. This land area covers more than 900 acres. The airfields and hangar buildings went to the Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation for use as an Industrial Park. A significant portion of the federal land associated with KAFB was transformed into five correction facilities owned and operated by the Michigan Department of Corrections.
The 1990 U.S. Census recorded 1,465 housing units in the Township. That has since changed to approximately 2,000 housing units in the Township. The vast majority of these housing units, 1,100 approximately, are contained in the Woodside housing development within the former Air Force Base. The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians owns approximately one-third of the dwelling units in the development and the balance are in private ownership. Of the 6,566 persons in theTownship in 1990, 4,021 were prison inmates. The Township has since grown to 6,000 persons, excluding prison inmates. Kinross Charter Township has a comparatively young population. The percentage of persons less than 18 years of age in 1990 was considerably higher in the Township than in the County or State as a whole. Similarly, the percent of persons 65 years of age or more was approximately half of that for the County and State as a whole. The median age of Kinross Charter Township residents was 29.6 in 1990, several years lower than the County (32.2) and State (32.6) as a whole. As of 1999 there are 1,946 registered voters in Kinross Charter Township.
The Kinross area is provided with extensive public services. All facilities formerly part of the Air Force Base are served by public sewer and water and both systems are capable of accommodating significant increases in demand. Solid waste collection is provided by private sector services. The Township recently initiated a recycling collection program at the sewage disposal treatment plant Police protection is provide by both the County Sheriff's Department and State Police. In addition, the Kinross Charter Township Police Department provides police protection services to all location previously part of the KAFB through a special assessment district established in 1981.
For more information visit the Township website HERE.