Former winners Becker, Callahan, Gangwer, Powell, Warren Expected to Compete
December 2, 2016 – Goshen, IN…The Supermodified Ultimate Pavement Racing Series, (SUPRS), Dion Parish Memorial 62 honors the memory of supermodified racer Dion Parish and will take place this year on December 6, 2016 for the first time at Kalamazoo Speedway.
Dion was a supermodified racer that lost his life in a testing accident at Kalamazoo Speedway in 2002 while preparing for a late season event at Sandusky Speedway. His dedication to the supermodified division and “Never Give Up” attitude was the inspiration for the founding of the SUPRS league and more importantly the Dion Parish Memorial Benevolent Fund for Supermodifieds.
His death and the consequent leaving behind of two young daughters, is a constant reminder to all SUPRS members that there are more important things in life than winning real supermodified and supermodified sim races.
A New Track, An Old Friend
This year for the first time, the race will be held at Dion’s home track, Kalamazoo Speedway. Dion had much success at Kalamazoo during his career and had dreams of resurrecting the supermodified division at this and other lower Michigan venues.
A big fan of the old Tri-SAC supermodified days, Dion spoke often of watching the greats like locals Marv and Jerry Carmen, Butch Fedewa, Sammy Sessions, and Bob Seelman take on Texas invaders like Ricky Otts, Page Reynolds, Leroy Halfin, and Chet Fillip mix it up with Ohio visitors Jim Shirey, Gary Allibritain and Todd Gibson at his beloved Kalamazoo Speedway.
Dion also loved watching the International Supermodified Association come to Kalamazoo Speedway during their annual Michigan Swing in June during the late 1990s.
It is with that dream, those memories in mind that SUPRS helped promote the Dion Parish Memorial at Kalamazoo Speedway in 2007. A race that was won by Moe Lilje and was well attended. SUPRS, along with Dion’s daughters Mindy and Lindsey presented Jon Henes with the Dion Parish Memorial Perseverance Award. To date, that race is the last time the supermodifieds ran at Kalamazoo.
Not an Easy Race to Win
In the previous 12 years only two SUPRS drivers have won the prestigious race more than once and that is 9-time SUPRS Gold Crest Champion Ray Sand, Jr. of Rochester, NY and 2008 and 2014 winner Chris Meyers.
Hoping to join Sand, Jr. and Meyers as multi-time winners of the race are four of the drivers currently holding the top five places in the SUPRS Gold Crest Wing Championship standings.
These include defending winner Rob Warren, 2011 victor Steve Callahan, Callahan’s teammate and 2010 winner Keith Powell, and the very first winner of the race in 2004, Bob Gangwer.
2012 winner Carl Becker of Lansing, MI, also has a shot. Carl has the added inspiration of having known Dion Parish and his family on a personal level, as well as having spent many years working on race cars that raced at Kalamazoo Speedway in his home state.
Not to be counted out as potential first-time winners are Joe Achzet, a two-time feature winner this year already, and SUPRS veteran Domenic Gioia who is sixth in the championship standings.
Hard charging Chad Phelps and his Disturbed Motorsports teammates Kyle Clark and Derrick Backus could very well pick up their first Dion Parish Memorial as well.
Dave Brigandi, Kevin Timmins, Joey Callahan and rookie Nelson Rodrigues all add to the odds of there not being another repeat winner.
Several bonuses are also on the line including a Guaranteed Starter award for the season ending Summit Classic 125, and the SUPRSCharger bonus for the driver that advances the most places from his starting spot.
The SUPRS racers will make their first ever appearance at Kalamazoo Speedway December 6, 2016 beginning with practice which starts at 8:00pm. Time Trials will follow at 8:30pm and Racing gets underway at 9:00pm.
Supermodified and online sim racing fans and friends can enjoy the action and view timing, scoring and instant track telemetry of every SUPRS rFactor race, including the 13th Annual Dion Parish Memorial via the SUPRS LIVE! page.
You can learn more about this race on the SUPRS schedule page. Regular season updates as well as real supermodified and sim racing news are popular features on the Supermodified Ultimate Pavement Racing Series Facebook page and @SUPRSOnline.
Dion Parish Memorial 62-Wing-State Fair/Rander Speedways
- 2004 Dion Parish Memorial Champion-State Fair Speedway: Bobby Gangwer
- 2005 Dion Parish Memorial Champion-State Fair Speedway: Sean O’Kane
- 2006 Dion Parish Memorial Champion-Rander Speedway: Ray Sand, Jr.
- 2007 Dion Parish Memorial Champion-Rander Speedway: Ray Sand, Jr.
- 2008 Dion Parish Memorial Champion-Rander Speedway: Chris Meyers
- 2009 Dion Parish Memorial Champion-Rander Speedway: John Davidson
- 2010 Dion Parish Memorial Champion-Rander Speedway: Keith Powell
- 2011 Dion Parish Memorial Champion-Rander Speedway: Steve Callahan
- 2012 Dion Parish Memorial Champion-Rander Speedway: Carl Becker
- 2013 Dion Parish Memorial Champion-Rander Speedway: Ray Sand, Jr.
- 2014 Dion Parish Memorial Champion-Rander Speedway: Chris Meyers
- 2015 Dion Parish Memorial Champion-Rander Speedway: Rob Warren