The Feature


Midwest Racing Special Report - An Interview With a Track Owner! By Tom Botos
Hey Racefans while chatting in a racing chatroom I ran into Merle Holden. Merle is 64 years old and owns Mottville (MI) Speedway in Northern Indiana. Merle bought Mottville Speedway on October 30th 1990. After being involved in many areas of racing he then decided he wanted to won a race track. Lets go back in time where it all began.
Merle's father was involved in two racing sanctioning bodies. The Fort Wayne Racing Association and the Northeast Indiana Racing Racing Association were pioneers helping to get racing started in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area.At age six Merle worked the concession stand at Bryan (OH) Speedway. Merle's dad promoted Lima Allentown Speedway which is now known as Limaland Motorsports Park in Ohio. Merle then sold National Speed Sport News and Speedway/Track Programs at South Anthony (IN) Speedway. Merle then raced in Late Models and Street Stocks  in 1990. Merle was asked to  announce and handle media relations and results/points at Plymouth (IN) Speedway for promoter Tom Isch.
In 1990 Merle inquired and considered buying Plymouth Speedway but it did not materialize. Merle had done just about everything else in racing but own a race track. After purchasing Mottville Speedway and operating it all this time Merle stated "If you want people to hate you simply buy a race track". After he bought the track he was getting advice from other owners and promoters and he was not sure who to believe and trust.
Merle said there is so much more to owning a track than what meets the eye. Merle says "my biggest challenge is keeping the car count up every week" . "Our driver payout scale is comparable to most tracks in the Michiana area". "We at Mottville Speedway offer a safe,fun,family friendly atmosphere and strive to keep concession prices reasonable and encourage everyone to eat dinner and watch the races at Mottville Speedway".
Mottville Speedway races on Sunday Nights with Street Stocks,Mini Stocks and MTC Mini Thunder Cars. Mottville is the only Sunday Night track in the area so if you want some seat time and have fun while racing this would be a great way to get started in racing. I told Merle that I have not been to any tracks in Michigan yet and plan to visit Mottville and hopefully M-40 Speedway in October of 2010.
Mottville Speedway opened in 1950 and was the premier track in the area at that time with Kalamazoo Speedway racing on Friday Nights. When Kalamazoo Speedway switched to Saturday Nights in the 1990's and M-40 Speedway opening in the mid 90's Mottville's car count suffered. Mottville is doing much better now on Sunday Nights by also adding the Street Stocks to there weekly racing program. Merle vows that Street Stocks really draw in the fans and plans to keep them on the racing menu indefinitely.
Mottville Speedway was the first track in Michiana to introduce the Mini Stock Division in 2001. Mottville also introduced the Front Wheel Drive Division in 2006.If you get a chance and want to see some grassroots racing then come on out to Mottville Speedway on Sunday Nights because as far as racing goes its the only game in town on Sundays every week! Thanks Merle for this interview and good luck and I wish you a successful 2010 racing season!.








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