Sands set for summer

SANDS – With Memorial Day behind us, it means that summer has unofficially started and that it’s time to hit the dirt track.

After several weeks of preparation earlier this month, Sands Speedway in Sands Township, located off M-553, held its first races over the weekend and track promoter Kimberly LeTourneau says that it’s going to be a fun season at the races.

“We had 320 people come out Saturday and 150 kids, so it was a wonderful turnout,” she said. “There was so much hype and excitement and it ended up being an amazing day.”

LeTourneau says that there are 14 races planned through Aug. 29. On May 30, there will be a race for National Hot Dog Day followed by races on June 6, 13, 20 and 27. There are three races scheduled in July on the 11th, 18th and 25th, as well as two pit parties. The first one is July 12 at the Ore Dock Brewing Company and the other is on July 26 at the Chocolay Brewing Company.

Sands will also be doing a home-and-home racing event with Kinross Speedpark. Sands will compete at Kinross on Father’s Day, June 21, for the “Founding Fathers 75” and Kinross will bring its cars to Sands on July 11 for the Heidtman Logging Mid Season Championship in a tradeoff.

The season wraps up in the following month with races on Aug. 1, 8, 15 and 22. There will be the final pit stop on Aug. 23 at the Ore Dock before the season championships on Aug. 29. Also on the 29th, there will be a Powder Puff finale during intermission, specially meant for women to race on the track.

There will be some fun events at various races such as King of the Hill and Crack the Whip.

“King of the Hill is when regular people can race their own car,” she said. “It’s one lap from a dead stop and who ever finishes first wins.

“Crack the Whip is when the cars are in a line and they race around the track. The last person to complete the lap retires and they keep going until there is one car left. Basically, you have one lap to pass the person in front of you, so it is very intense.”

The track also has a new pace car, a 2014 Ford Mustang, and will be holding various charity races over the summer.

Sands also has a new food service, Just Right Catering out of Gwinn.

“We just want to increase awareness and excitement because it’s a lot of fun,” LeTourneau said.

Ryan Stieg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 246. His email address is