2017 American Ethanol Late Model Tour Season Preview – The Champs Are Here!

May 25, 2017

AELMT kicks off third season on Friday, May 26th at I-96 Speedway in Inaugural NUVU Fuels Dual on Dirt

Rochester Hills, Michigan (Thursday, May 25th, 2017): This Friday, May 26th, the American Ethanol Late Model Tour will begin one of the most highly anticipated seasons within the motorsports industry. The third season of competition for the premier tour in the Great Lakes / Midwestern region of the United States begins at the fast 4/10s (0.400) mile high-banked dirt oval of I-96 Speedway, located east of Grand Rapids and west of Lansing in Lake Odessa, Michigan with in the running of the Inaugural NUVU Fuels Dual on Dirt. An impressive 24 teams have committed to the full 2017 AELMT schedule and with 21 spots to fill each race night, competition will be the fiercest seen anywhere in the country.


An in-depth look at the 24 full-time teams reveals a who’s who of the best Dirt Late Model teams around, led by Defending AELMT Champion, Dona Marcoullier and Inaugural AELMT Champion, Rich Neiser. Marcoullier is the all-time wins leader in AELMT with five victories over the first two seasons of AELMT competition and stamped an exclamation point on his 2016 title with his third victory of his championship winning season in Auburn, Michigan in the last race conducted for AELMT back on August 24th, 2016, nine months ago. Neiser is the most consistent driver in AELMT’s brief history with a staggering 19 top 10 finishes in 20 all-time AELMT races. Within those events, Neiser has been to victory lane three times and finished in the top five in 15 of those races.  


Marcoullier, Neiser and Jason Playter Jr., are the only three drivers who have appeared at all 20 AELMT races held over the first two seasons. All three are back in 2017 and will have to contend with the likes of 2010 DIRTcar UMP Late Model National Champion, Rusty Schlenk, who swept both races at I-96 in 2016 on his way to three total wins and comes into the 2017 campaign eyeing the title after finishing third in points one season ago. The most successful driver in AELMT’s brief history without a trip to victory lane is 2016 Runner-Up, Ryan VanderVeen. 10 top five finishes over the past two seasons including showings of second twice and third on five different occasions have VanderVeen ever so close to that coveted first career AELMT Feature win.


The field of stout veterans is impressive and not matched anywhere in the country. Led by the “Coleman Comet”, Curtis Roberts who, along-with Lake City, Michigan standout, Eric Spangler have beaten the best in the business with their victories in the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series. Additionally, Rich Bell, the “Illini Invader” came over to compete full-time in 2016 from the Prairie State and recorded two victories. Central and South Michigan will be led by veterans Sammy Epling, another state of Illinois transplant originally from Cicero, Illinois and Herb Reich, who shocked the racing world with his AELMT victory at I-96 in 2015. West Michigan is well represented with veteran Bill Bray and Steve Fairbanks leading the charge while Southwest Michigan is also looking to make their mark in 2017 led by Curt Spalding and Chad White. 


The youth movement is alive and well within AELMT and is led by reigning Rookie of the Year, Travis Stemler. The 26-year-old from Ionia, Michigan looks to begin his sophomore season with a strong finish at his home track and site of three DIRTcar UMP Modified titles for the rising star. Another star on the rise is 23-year-old Nick Kurtz who impressed many with a strong string of finishes to end the 2016 season. As one of just three drivers to have appeared in every AELMT in tour history, Jason Playter Jr., is another rising young star looking to make his mark within the Dirt Late Model world. The 20-year-old from Saranac, Michigan leads the duo of the two youngest full-time drivers on the tour that also includes 17-year-old Logan Arntz, the 2016 Rookie Runner-Up. 


The American Ethanol Rookie of the Year title contenders boasts one of the strongest fields seen anywhere in the country with six drivers having intentions on chasing after the freshman title. Led by Oakshade Raceway regular, Dan Wallace who will have stiff competition from fellow Buckeye State competitor, Matt Shipley, the 2016 Runner-Up in Crate Late Models at his home track of Fremont Speedway. The Wiles Motorsports Team with brothers, Garrett and Taylor Wiles will both look to have standout rookie seasons while Liz Patterson and Derek Thebo, both with experience at the site of the 2017 season opener, I-96 Speedway, look to start their freshman campaigns with a solid finish and take advantage of their experience at the Lake Odessa, Michigan soeed plant. 


The 800+ horsepower Super Late Models of the AELMT as well as the fire breathing, winged warriors of the Engine Pro Sprints on Dirt presented by ARP (SOD) together in one night to give the strong fan base of the Great Lakes State and surrounding region of the country the best of both worlds. To purchase tickets and for more event information, all of the above is available at: DualonDirt.com, the official website of the Inaugural NUVU Fuels Dual on Dirt.  


To learn more about Motor City Racing Promotions, the event management group for the Inaugural NUVU Fuels Dual on Dirt, email MCRP President, Scott Menlen at: smenlen@motorcityracing.co or call the MCRP office at: (248) 747-6277. You can also go to the MCRP website at: motorcityracing.co. The Facebook Fan Page for MCRP is at: facebook.com/motorcityracingpromotions and click on “Like” today. Don’t forget to “Follow” MCRP on Twitter at: twitter.com/MCRP_Racing


For more information about the 2017 racing seasons for the fasting growing dirt late model tour in the country, the American Ethanol Late Model Tour, please visit the website at: aelmt.com. You can also follow the tour on Facebook by going to: facebook.com/AmericanEthanolLateModelTour and click on “Like”.

The tour Twitter account will be the primary source for race day updates throughout the 2017 racing season. Be sure to go to AELMT Twitter page today at: twitter.com/AELMT and click on “Follow”. Finally, and throughout the 2017 racing season, Live Timing & Scoring from every race in 2017 will be available for absolutely free from your mobile device by purchasing the Race Monitor Mobile App or online at: MotorCityRacing.co/LiveTiming.


2017 American Ethanol Late Model Tour Marketing Partners

American Ethanol (Title Sponsor) Allstar Performance, ARP Bolts, Boyne Machine Company, Carbon Green BioEnergy, Dirty Girl Racewear, Growth Energy, Hoosier Racing Tires, Horsepower Innovations, Iroquois Bio-Energy, Isky Racing Cams, Keyser Manufacturing, Lane Automotive, Michigan Corn Growers Association, Motor City Racing Promotions, NUVU Fuels, Pace Performance, Poet Bio-Refining, Quarter Master, QuickCar Racing Products, Shirtworks Racewear & YellowHose.com.


About the American Ethanol Late Model Tour

Founded in 2015, the American Ethanol Late Model Tour was created as a prominent touring series for Dirt Late Models in the Great Lakes / Midwestern United States and is one of the fastest growing motorsports tours in the country. In 2017, the AELMT, featuring DIRTcar Racing UMP Late Models, will race in 14 events within three states, including two of those races, which will pay a cool $10,000 to Win (Wednesday, June 14th at Merritt Speedway & Saturday, October 7th at Berlin Raceway). The home state of Michigan is well represented with 10 events while the surrounding states of Indiana (Three races) and Ohio (One event) are also represented with future plans to expand within and outside of those three key states.


About American Ethanol

American Ethanol is a partnership between Growth Energy and the National Corn Growers Association and is a collaborative-effort marketing campaign to increase awareness of the reliability, performance capabilities and affordability of American made E15 Ethanol. Growth Energy, an ethanol industry group, and the National Corn Growers Association formed the American Ethanol partnership which highlights E15, a high-performance fuel, providing the same drivability with increased engine performance as regular gasoline. It’s a 15% Ethanol blend made with American ethanol from corn grown in our nation’s heartland and an 85% Gas blend. After extensive testing, NASCAR adopted the fuel for use in all three of their national racing series in 2011. The race teams and engine builders were heavily involved in the transition process, and have since reported high praise for the fuel, which boosts horsepower while reducing emissions. For more information about American Ethanol, go to: americanethanolracing.com


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