Tri-City Motor Speedway - Auburn, MI | Friday Night Dirt Track Racing
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Racing 101

If all you know about short track dirt racing is that the cars turn left and drive in a circle, then this page was made for YOU! Take some time to read through this page and we'll bet you'll have a lot more engaging experience and that you won't feel lost while visiting Tri-City Motor Speedway on a Friday night.

Tri-City Motor Speedway races five car classes on a weekly basis: Late Model, IMCA Modified, Pro Stock, Street Stock and Bomber Stocks.

Mini Wedges (kids) and the traveling Winged Sprint series are featured on our season schedule. Learn about each of the car classes below and watch the videos taken by our fans in the stands or drivers with a GoPro camera inside of their car.

New to Racing Resources

Get acquainted with the race track and know what to expect and pack for an evening at the races.

Late Model

Fast and most expensive to race.
  • Late Models can range anywhere between $20,000 - $75,000 depending on the type of chassis (car frame) and engine.

  • Average track record speed at Tri-City Motor Speedway is 103 MPH.

  • During a race, Late Models average 80 MPH in the corners and 100 on the straight-a-ways.

  • Late Models use an American Racer 12" wide racing tire. With our track surface, a car will go through an average of 16 tires per racing season. Rear tires can last around 4 weeks and front tires can last up to 10 weeks. Tires cost $145 each.

  • Late Models use 112 octane or higher ($8.75 per gal) or methanol ($4 per gal) fuels. Cars burn twice as much methanol than 112 octane. Methanol can produce higher horse power than 112 but it's also harder on the fuel system. On an average night, a Late Model will go through 10 gallons of 112 octane race fuel.

  • Drivers may want to race in this class for the high speeds, horse power, prestige of racing in the highest division, no limits on how much you can invest into your car and there is no engine claim in this class (buying a competitors engine to limit their performance and keep racing competitive).

  • CLICK HERE to view Late Model Driver Bios.

View the Late Models in action in Alex Hupert Racing's video.

Adding a wing to a Late Model is called an Outlaw Late Model. It's the same car and the wing makes the car go faster with speeds of around 115 mph. Outlaws Late Models are ran on special shows at Tri-City Motor Speedway.

Derrick Hilliker shows us his view driving with a wing on his Late Model. What does it feel like to put a wing on a late model? Imagine driving and coming to an off ramp that say 20 mph and just keeping the gas pedal all the way to the floor.

IMCA Modified

Fast and affordable to race.
  • IMCA Modifieds can range anywhere between $8,000 - $25,000 depending on the type of chassis (car frame) and engine.

  • Average track record speed at Tri-City Motor Speedway is 90 MPH.

  • During a race, IMCA Modifieds average 70 MPH in the corners and 90 on the straight-a-ways.

  • IMCA Modifieds use a Hoosier 8" wide racing tire. With our track surface, a car will go through an average of 8 tires per racing season. Rear tires can last around 8 weeks and front tires can last the entire season. Tires cost $130 each.

  • IMCA Modifieds use 110 octane ($7.75 per gal) or methanol ($4 per gal) fuels. Cars burn twice as much methanol than 110 octane. Methanol can produce higher horse power than 110 but it's also harder on the fuel system. On an average night, an IMCA Modified will go through 7 gallons of 110 octane race fuel.

  • Drivers may want to race in this class for the high speeds, intense competition, and the affordability of the class.

  • CLICK HERE to view IMCA Modified Driver Bios.

See what an IMCA Modified race looks like from the driver's perspective watching Gavin Hunyady behind the wheel.

Pro Stock

Mix between a Late Model and a Street Stock.
  • Pro Stocks can range anywhere between $8,000 - $25,000 depending on the type of chassis (car frame) and engine.

  • Average track record speed at Tri-City Motor Speedway is 85 MPH.

  • During a race, Pro Stocks average 65 MPH in the corners and 85 on the straight-a-ways.

  • Pro Stocks use an American Racer 8" wide racing tire. With our track surface, a car will go through an average of 10 tires per racing season. Rear tires can last around 6 weeks and front tires can last the entire season. Tires cost $125 each.

  • Pro Stocks use 110 octane ($7.50 per gal) or 112 octane ($8.75 per gal). On an average night, a Pro Stock will go through 8 gallons of racing fuel.

  • Drivers may want to race in this class for the high speeds, intense competition, and no limits on how much you can invest into your engine without an engine claim in this class (buying a competitors engine to limit their performance and keep racing competitive).

  • CLICK HERE to view Pro Stock Driver Bios.

Watch the Pro Stocks in action during their heat races in Mudslinger's Racing Video.

Street Stock

Cars from the street made into race cars.
  • Street Stocks can range anywhere between $3,000 - $10,000 depending on the type of chassis (car frame) and engine.

  • Average track record speed at Tri-City Motor Speedway is 81 MPH.

  • During a race, Street Stocks average 60 MPH in the corners and 80 on the straight-a-ways.

  • Street Stocks use an American Racer 8" wide racing tire. With our track surface, a car will go through an average of 8 tires per racing season. Rear tires can last around 8 weeks and front tires can last the entire season. Tires cost $125 each.

  • Street Stocks use 110 octane ($7.75 per gal). On an average night, a Street Stock will go through 5 gallons of racing fuel.

  • Drivers may want to race in this class for the high speeds, intense competition, the affordability of the class, and the opportunity to gain racing skills at a beginner level.

  • CLICK HERE to view Street Stock Driver Bios.

See what it looks like to be in the driver's seat with TJ Gilbert in a Street Stock race.

Bomber Stock

Beginner class, least expensive to race.
  • Bomber Stocks can range anywhere between $500 - $3,000 depending on if the car is new or used.

  • Average track record speed at Tri-City Motor Speedway is 73 MPH.

  • During a race, Bomber Stocks average 55 MPH in the corners and 70 on the straight-a-ways.

  • Bomber Stocks use the same tires as your personal vehicle that you drive on the road. Bomber Stocks will use an average of 6 tires per season.

  • Bomber Stocks are only allowed to use regular or premium octane gas. A Bomber Stock will go through 3 gallons of gasoline on an average night.

  • Drivers may want to race in this class for the fun of racing, the affordability of the class, and the opportunity to gain racing skills at a beginner level.

  • CLICK HERE to view Bomber Stock Driver Bios.

Mini Wedge

Kids age 6-14 learning to race.
  • Mini Wedges can range anywhere between $2,000 - $3,000 depending on if the car is new or used.

  • During a race, Mini Wedges average 25 MPH in the corners and 35 on the straight-a-ways.

  • Mini Wedges use a Hoosier racing tire that is smaller than the average lawn mower tire.

  • Mini Wedges are only allowed to use regular or premium octane gas. A Mini Wedge will go through 1 gallon of gasoline.

  • Drivers may want to race in this class for the fun of racing, the affordability of the class, and the opportunity to gain racing skills at a young age.

  • CLICK HERE to view Mini Wedge Driver Bios.

  • CLICK HERE to view the Mini Wedge Car Class Rules.

Winged Sprints

Traveling series throughout Michigan and surrounding states.
  • Winged Sprints are a traveling series and race at different tracks throughout the surrounding states.

  • Winged Sprints can range anywhere between $20,000 - $75,000 depending on the type of chassis (car frame) and engine.

  • Average track record speed at Tri-City Motor Speedway is 114 MPH.

  • During a race, Winged Sprints average 100 MPH in the corners and 110 on the straight-a-ways.

  • Winged Sprints use Hoosier racing tires ranging between 18" and 21" wide on the rear and 10" on the front. Rear tires cost $180 each and front tires cost $120 each.

  • Winged Sprints use methanol ($4 per gal) fuel. On an average night, a Winged Sprint will go through 25 gallons of methanol racing fuel.

  • Drivers may want to race in this class to race at different tracks, high speeds, horse power, prestige of racing in the highest division, no limits on how much you can invest into your car and there is no engine claim in this class (buying a competitors engine to limit their performance and keep racing competitive).

  • CLICK HERE to view Winged Sprint Driver Bios.

General FAQ & Information

  • Anyone can own a race car. You can find them for sale in racing groups on social media.

  • Most of our drivers have a full time job and race on the weekends as a hobby. A few drivers make racing into a full time career.

  • Race cars must be built to specs to race at Tri-City Motor Speedway. A regular car off of the street may not race at the track. Click here to view the rules which also explains how to build the cars so they are legal to race at Tri-City Motor Speedway.

  • The more abrasive the track surface (sand & rocks) the more tires a car will go through. Tri-City Motor Speedway has a less abrasive surface compared to over tracks in Michigan.

  • Cars need to be hauled to the race track. The main options are:

    • Flat Bed Trailer averages $4,000
    • Starter Enclosed 24' trailer averages $7,500
    • Deluxe Enclosed 34' trailer averages $15,000 - $20,000. (Room to house spare tires, work bench, tool boxes, quad, etc.)
    • Toter home trailers can range from $50,000 used to $250,000 new.
  • Weekly expenses drastically vary for each car class. All drivers need to fund the following items to race each week:

    • Fuel to drive the race car on the track.
    • Fuel to haul the race car to the track.
    • Racing tires
    • Repair damage caused from a previous race
    • Pit crew of 2-6 people to help with vehicle set up while at the races. Each person must purchase a pit passes and sign a Release and Waiver of Liability to enter into the pits to help work on the car.
  • Depending on car class, a crew can spend anywhere from 5-40 hours each week working on the car to get it race ready. This can range from attending Test & Tune practice sessions, working on the car's set up, changing broken car parts or fixing damaged caused from a previous race.

  • Drivers either own their car or might drive someone else's car. Each driver needs a pit crew (usually 2-6 people) to help them set up the car for the current track conditions. Setting up the car involves making adjustments to tires and suspension parts to get the best performance out of their car. Learning how to property set up a race car can take years of practice to get right.

  • Each driver receives a payout (purse) for putting on a show for the fans. The amount varies based on car class and where they finish in the race. CLICK HERE to view the purse for each car class.

  • Tri-City Motor Speedway has a guaranteed weekly purse. This means it doesn't matter how many fans show up and pay to watch the race, we still pay the drivers the same amount without cutting the purse. Grandstand admission helps cover the payout (purse) to the drivers. Another popular option among race tracks for paying drivers is to count how much money is brought into the track for the night and subtracting out operating and business expenses and base the purse off of the amount left. This ensures the track doesn't lose money for the night and the drivers may or may not receive the amount of money they were expecting for a payout. (TCMS does not use this option)

  • The weekly payout a driver receives will never cover their weekly cost of racing or the overall investment of their race car. Drivers are always seeking business or individual sponsors to help fund their race team in exchange for publicity in the locations in which they race.

  • If you are interested in sponsoring a driver or race team, you can find out more information about them by viewing their Online Bios, getting to know them better in our Meet the Driver Facebook Profiles or buying a pit pass and talking to drivers on race night.

  • We suggest learning about a driver/race team before sponsoring to make sure their values, believes and action on and off the track align with yours. Some drivers are out in the community volunteering with kids programs, using their race car to help raise awareness/money for a cause and others just want to race. Each driver needs funds to support their race team and some will align better with your business/personal goals more than others.

Race Flag Colors and Meanings

  • Green Flag – Start Flag; the green flag is waved by the flagman at the beginning of a race and after a caution to indicate the race is re-starting. It is displayed until the next caution or the end of the race.

  • Yellow Flag – Caution Flag; when waved it means there is a problem on the race surface or danger ahead. The drivers must slow down to a safe speed and may not pass.

  • Red Flag– All Stop Flag; this indicates there is an incident on the track such as an injury, rollover or fire and everybody is to pull over and stop immediately.

  • Black Flag – Penalty Flag; this flag indicates that an individual can to leave the racing surface and enter the pit area. It usually means the driver has an infraction and other times it means the driver's car is unsafe to continue racing. If the flag is ignored the driver can be in serious trouble.

  • Blue/Stripe Flag – Passing Flag; this flag is shown to slower cars that are about to be passed by the leaders. Generally the slower cars are lapped cars that have been passed by the leader more than once.

  • White Flag– Last Lap Flag; this is waved by the flagman to indicate the driver is entering the last lap.

  • Checkered Flag– Winning Flag; this is waved by the flagman at the end of the race, first for the winning car and then for all cars as the complete the lap they were on when the race ended.

Other Information about Racing and Flags:

  • Two Flags Crossed - Mid Point Flag; some racing organizations display two flags in an X shape to signal the drivers the race is half over.

  • Being a racetrack flagman is one of the most important jobs at a racetrack. Without question, the racetrack flagman is the sole individual responsible for alerting all drivers at once of track information.

  • While each driver wears a headset that allows him or her to hear other officials, the flagman communicates with drivers by waving different colored flags in the air. Flagmen are perched in a stand high above the starting line and they remain there until the race is complete.

Recent Photos