LIMA — By this point, racing fans and drivers are hungry and ready for action. After five rainouts in a row, Limaland Motorsports Park will officially open up the season Friday with the 18th annual Keysor Memorial with Kenny Wallace and Meet the Drivers Night Presented by Homeland Technology Group. The pit gates open at 4:30 p.m. and racing begins at 7:30 p.m.
Gerry Keysor, the voice of Limaland, gets to announce the race that honors his family. Keysor, who is in his fourth season announcing at Limaland and 11th season overall, is appreciative of what University of Northwestern Ohio president Dr. Jeffrey Jarvis, has done to honor the long tradition at Limaland.
“This race is a culmination of 70 years of racing at Limaland for my family,” Keysor said. “It’s an honor for my uncles, cousins, brothers, myself and my whole family. It’s all about tradition. It means a lot to us for the way Dr. Jarvis honors our family and the traditions at Limaland.”
The Keysor Memorial started as a way to honor Gerry Keysor’s father, Bobby, who passed away in 2001. The race used to be known as the Bobby Keysor Memorial. Then Gerry Keysor’s grandfather, Bill, passed away in 2011 and the Keysor family decided to rename it the Keysor Memorial. Many Keysor family members have been involved in racing and this is a way to honor them all.
“Being the voice of Limaland is kind of the coup de grace for me because I grew up watching my family members compete at Limaland,” Keysor said. “I have also competed in racing. Limaland really has a great group of people who pour their heart and soul into getting everything ready to put on a great show for the fans. This week we also have Kenny Wallace who is entertaining to say the least. Not only is he fun to watch on the track, but he’s also fun to listen to. I might just turn the microphone over to him and turn him loose.”
Tonight’s race card also features the Tough Trucks along with the Modifieds and the Stocks.
“The Tough Trucks normally race at Waynesfield but needed more places to race,” Keysor said. “We’re looking to build more interest in them. They are always fun to watch. It’s grass roots racing at its finest. I’m hoping my brother, Dave Pinks, will race. I want to get the deal done and get the Tough Truck off the trailer for him.”
Since Limaland has not held a night of racing yet, the stakes are high for the drivers as they have to compete in such a well known race for the first race of the year.
“Since the Keysor Memorial is the first race of the season, this will make the drivers step up their game more,” Keysor said. “The Stocks haven’t gotten on the track yet so this will be a curveball for them. They will have to lay it all on the table.”
Keysor isn’t just excited for this night of racing, he’s also excited for things to come at Limaland throughout the course of the season.
“This race is number one to me because it’s sentimental,” Keysor said. “I’m also looking forward to Speedweek in a couple of weeks. You just never know who will show up. Guys from all over, including NASCAR, come and put on the best show in the world. I’m excited.
Let’s go racing!”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.