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NASCAR Whelen All-American Series

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series News
Hall Of Famer Bozell Ready For Kalamazoo Speedway Opener
Apr 27, 2009 - updated Apr 27th, 2009 8:23pm
Web posted by Paul Schaefer, NASCAR

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April 27, 2009

Kalamazoo Speedway is a tough place to race. Full fields of cars on the .375-mile paved oval and its 14 degree banking in the turns make for some intense laps. The Super Late Model division clicks off race laps of little more than 12 seconds. Cars have to arrive at the track in their quickest trim, and drivers have to bring their keenest eye and sharpest instincts.

Yet one man and his team not only have the place figured out, they dominate it year in and year out. Despite the hard-nosed nature of the Kalamazoo beast, Andy Bozell, 45, of Portage, Mich., is the star of his generation at the track. He’s won 11 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model division track championships over the past 15 years, including seven in a row. He’s won 45 NASCAR points-race feature events in that time, although in most seasons, three wins can make for a satisfying year. He won a NASCAR regional championship in 2004, NASCAR state championships in 2007 and 2008, and was inducted into the prestigious Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2007.

Bozell’s 2009 campaign opens this Saturday, May 2, when Kalamazoo Speedway opens for its 59th season with the Intimidator 100 for Super Late Models. Sportsman, Pure Stocks and Cyber Stocks round out the show.

Bozell’s extraordinary record comes from doing what everyone else does, he says.

“We work hard, stay current with equipment, stay on top of the car at the track and pursue our goals aggressively,” Bozell said. “We try to keep our equipment up, and not tear it up. The setup has changed pretty dramatically, so you have to be able to adapt.

“The technology trickles down from the upper levels of NASCAR,” Bozell continued. “The big sway bar, soft springs and bump stop technology in particular. If you can absorb it and apply it, there’s speed there. That’s why they do it. Shocks complement the total package. You have to apply everything. You can’t piece-meal it out.”

Bozell also attends the annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show, the world’s largest racing trade show. Suppliers and manufacturers of all varieties occupy a million square feet of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., each December. He not only checks out what’s new, but smartly uses it as an opportunity to network with fellow racers, sponsors and his own suppliers.

Bozell is a third-generation driver, with a fourth generation already on track, so he’s been competing and winning at tracks of Michigan and the Midwest for decades.

A key to his success is the family team. His crew chief is brother-in-law Danny Foote. Foote was the track’s NASCAR Craftsman Mechanic of the Year Award winner five times and was he regional award winner in 2004. Son-in-law Joe Metzger and sister-in-law Kelly Dehollander, the tire specialist, and the rest of the family and friends round out the team. Bozell’s father, Gordy, retired from racing in 1983 just as Andy was starting his own driving career. Bozell and his wife, Deb, have a daughter, Christy. Sons Phil and Andy Jr. also race at the track.

Bozell is also mentoring his sons’ careers. Phil also races Late Models at Kalamazoo and occasionally enters an ARCA RE/MAX Series event. He won an ARCA race at Milwaukee with them in 2007.

All of Bozell’s Kalamazoo Late Models are Chevrolet powered, but he uses three different chassis including Lefthander, Finish Line and Howe.

NASCAR's official site for it's touring and weekly series is www.nascarhometracks.com. Please check back throughout the season for all the latest in NASCAR's developmental series.


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