Motor State Challenge

2021 Motor State Challenge

The 13th Annual Motor State Challenge was held July 15-17, 2021. An annual three-day Pro-Touring event, the Motor State Challenge brings together as many as 100 drivers from across the US and Canada to compete for fun and bragging rights. Drivers can compete in standard and manufacturer Vintage and Late Model classes, as well as the new QA1 #goDRIVEit class, which is designed for participants who drive their vehicle to the event, race it, then drive it home. It also features the unscored/untimed Touring class designed for those wanting the on-track experience without the competitive aspect.

The event kicked off Thursday with a 40+ mile cruise led by the incredible Berrien County Sheriff’s Motorcycle Unit, ending at Bridgman’s Weko Beach for a delicious cajun-style dinner catered by NOLA-ROUX. Drivers enjoyed the scenic lakefront view from the Weko beach house, while admirers checked out the variety of vintage and late model Pro-Touring cars.

On Friday, under cloudy skies, drivers hit the track at South Haven’s GingerMan Raceway for timed lap sessions. Light rain quickly gave way to dry weather, allowing drivers to make the most of this fun and scenic 2.14-mile long road course. Long straights, short sprints, sweeping curves, tight apexes, and changing elevations tested both driver and car (or truck) alike. The race day wrapped up with an ice cream social featuring Sherman’s legendary ice cream. 

On Saturday morning, the fun continued at GingerMan with the TrackSprint, where drivers experienced the challenge of a start-stop course on the most technical area of the track. Each group is given five runs on the timed, single-lap sprint with the fastest course time counting towards their overall points. The day wrapped up with the awards ceremony and door prize giveaways.

A huge thank you to all of our participants and a special thank you to our sponsors. We look forward to seeing you again for the 14th annual Motor State Challenge in 2022!! 

Motor State Challenge logo with sponsor logos

2021 Annual Motor State Challenge Winners

Congratulations to our winning drivers of the 2021 Motor State Challenge!

Below are the top 3 drivers in each class except for the #goDRIVEit class where only one award was given in Vintage and Late Model. In the event of a points tie, the faster TrackSprint time is the tiebreaker. 

Vintage Class

Champion: Dan Ballard #26 – 1972 Chevrolet Nova (50 points)
2nd Place: Aaron Oberle #65 – 1965 Chevrolet Chevelle (40 points)
3rd Place: Donny Freise #52 – 1971 Chevrolet Camaro (36 points)

Late Model Class

Champion: Paul Curley II #45 – 2000 Chevrolet Corvette (50 points)
2nd Place: Danny King #20 – 2019 Porsche GT3 RS (46 points)
3rd Place: C. Marshall Reinert #77 – 2000 Chevrolet Corvette (42 points)

Manufacturers Vintage Class

Champion: Matthew Braun #47 (ABC Performance) – 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle  (48 points*)
2nd Place: Chris Smith #48 (Wilwood Brakes) – 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (48 points*)
3rd Place: Tony Grzelakowski #121 (ABC Performance)  1970 Chevrolet Chevelle (40 points)

Manufacturers Late Model Class

Champion: Christopher Bickford #35 (Hawk Performance) – 2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (50 points)
2nd Place: Taylor Allen #119 (Hawk Performance) – 2002 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (46 points)
3rd Place: Michael Kubiak #15 (Hawk Performance) – 2003 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (42 points)

#goDRIVEit Vintage

Winner: David Kruk #16 – 1970 Dodge Superbee (51 points)

#goDRIVEit Late Model Class

Winner: Chris Jacobs #11 – 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (52 points)

Fastest Lap Awards

Road Course Vintage: Dan Ballard #26 – 1972 Chevrolet Nova [1:39.8]
Road Course Late Model: Paul Curley II #45 – 2000 Chevrolet Corvette [1:32.7]
Track Sprint Vintage: Dan Ballard #26 – 1972 Chevrolet Nova [63.886]
Track Sprint Late Model: Paul Curley II #45 – 2000 Chevrolet Corvette [59.371]

Road Course Manufacturers Vintage: Chris Smith #48 (Wilwood Brakes) – 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1  [1:39.0]
Road Course Manufacturers Late Model: Christopher Bickford #35 (Hawk Performance) – 2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 [1:38.0]
Track Sprint Manufacturers Vintage: Matthew Braun #47 (ABC Performance) – 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle [63.25]
Track Sprint Manufacturers Late Model: Christopher Bickford #35 (Hawk Performance) – 2019 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 [62.875]

Additional Motor State Challenge Awards

Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational Invite/Spirit of the Event Award: Jason Smith #94 – 1987 Chevrolet Camaro
The Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational Invite and Spirit of the Event award gives the winner a spot to compete at the 2021 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Todd Gartshore Memorial Award: Cary Exline #83 – 1969 Chevrolet C10
The Todd Gartshore Memorial Award is awarded to someone who has gone above and beyond in showing their passion and dedication to the event.

People’s Choice Award: Jason Smith #94 – 1987 Chevrolet Camaro The People’s Choice Award is a very special honor awarded to a driver/car by his/her peers.

Long Distance Award: 
We recognize those who traveled the farthest to come compete at the Motor State Challenge:
Late Model: Joel Route #74 – 2014 Chevrolet Corvette – Eagan, MN (550 miles)
Vintage: Mike Kidd #49 – 1969 Pontiac Firebird – Oxford, MI (200 miles) 

*In the event of a points tie, the faster TrackSprint time is the tiebreaker.

2021 Pictures are up! Check out our Flickr Collection with pictures from the event!

Individual session times are now available for download. 

Congratulations to All!