33 YEARS OF TOLEDO’S GLASS CITY 200 STORIED HISTORY
33 YEARS OF TOLEDO’S GLASS CITY 200 STORIED HISTORY
UPDATE: The 2023 Glass City 200 comes to Toledo Speedway on Saturday, September 16th 2023. Click the link below for more information!
September 14, 2022: Over the course of 33 of these races, the Glass City 200 has provided some very, very memorable finishes and moments, to say the least. The 34th edition of this prestigious event, the Clean Harbors/Safety-Kleen Glass City 200, set for this Saturday, September 17, may add to the history of Toledo Speedway’s signature event.
The race is presented by Miller Lite, DTS Drive Train Specialists, the Comfort Inn and Courtyard by Marriott.
The race has featured veterans, future and current NASCAR and ARCA drivers and that trend continues into this year’s race. The entries for both events are loaded with track champions, series champions and Glass City winners, which has been a trait of this race for its 33 years of existence.
For the 2023 version of the Glass City 200, who knows? Will we see a repeat winner, perhaps a new face or a dark horse take the big victory? Let’s take a look at the history of the race, some interesting notes and memories…and there are plenty….here we go!
In 1968, ARCA founder and then-President John Marcum, who was the promoter of Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways, as well as a promoter of several short tracks in the Midwest, created the Glass City 200 at Toledo. The legendary Joy Fair won the inaugural event over a star-studded field. The race ran yearly through 1977, with the likes of Joe Ruttman (1969, 1973), Danny Byrd (1972), John Anderson (1974), Bob Senneker (1970, 1971, 1977), Jim Bickerstaff (1975) and Ed Cooper (1976) capturing wins in the 200 lap contests. Ruttman’s 1973 win came at the wheel of Joy Fair’s Ford Maverick. Fair was injured at Toledo in late July, and Ruttman took the wheel of the #1. The Glass City win was just one of many for that duo in that season.
Toledo was sold in 1978, ending the race until 1999, when Marcum’s grandson Ron Drager, and his business partner, Roy Mott, purchased the track from owner Sonny Adams, who operated the Glass City oval from 1978-1998. The Glass City 200 was re-born in 1999, and more history was ready to be made.
Tim Felver, at the wheel of Dean Hudson’s #5, took the victory in 1999. The stories that have lasted for years was about to get an added page or two! In 2000, Felver, leading with just a few laps remaining, tangled with his teammate, Canadian short track legend Jr. Hanley, taking both cars out of a shot to win. Ohioan Tim Ice was on the spot and captured the win. Hanley returned in 2001 and grabbed the victory.
A feat that will live in history took place for the 2002, 2003 and 2004 Glass City 200’s. Saginaw, MI driver Steve Sauve won all 3 of the 200 lap races, etching his name in the record books. To win one Glass City 200 is a feat, to win 3 in a row….wow.
John Doering Jr., Jack Landis, Brian Campbell and Harold Fair Jr. were the next winners in 2005-2008. Veteran Dave Kuhlman got the win in the race that eluded him for years, notching the win in 2009.
The 2006 race is arguably the event that lives in infamy. During a red flag, Mike Simko, obviously unhappy with fellow driver Don St. Denis, ran from his car and sent a flying drop-kick into the windshield of St. Denis’ car. Don got out of his car and the drivers tangled, exchanged blows and rolled down into the infield. The video of the incident went world-wide, bringing calls from media outlets across the globe—really!
Fair Jr. took the 2010 win, his second Glass City title. A surprise entry, Alabama resident Augie Grill, ventured to Toledo in 2011 to score the win on a very cold night, with temperatures in the 30’s.
2012 saw Terry Senneker Jr. take the win after several tries in the 200. Local driver Dennis Strickland scored one for the hometown drivers and fans, pulling off the upset win in 2013. Strickland got out of his car and promptly said “I just won the Glass City 200.”
Indiana hotshoe JR Roahrig, who is entered for Saturday, took the 2014 and 2017 wins. The 2017 event saw the change in format to 100 lap events each for the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by Jeg’s stock-bodied Late Models and the Outlaw-bodied Super Late Models.
North Carolina driver Brad Riethmeyer, driving Bob Fox’s #56, was the 2015 winner of the classic. One of the top Late Model pilots in the area over the past several years, Tyler Roahrig, JR’s son, won the final race of 200 laps in 2016, then repeated his win in 2018 in the 100-lap race.
ARCA/CRA Super Series winners include Johnny VanDoorn (2017, 2019), current NASCAR Truck Series racer Californian Tyler Ankrum (2018), 2019 winner and another NASCAR Truck Series regular Carson Hocevar and last year’s winner Blake Rowe, who grabbed the lead in the final laps in a great battle with Kyle Crump. Hocevar will be making his way from the Bristol race to Toledo for this Saturday’s battle.
Canadian Cayden Lapcevich is looking for his third Glass City win Saturday. Cayden captured both the 2019 and last year’s Outlaw Super Late Model 100 lap events. Steve Needles took the 2020 win, erasing several years of tough luck at Toledo.