Northern Michigan Dragway - Bear Lake MI

Address: 13991 Potter Rd
City: Bear Lake
State: MI
Zip: 49614
County: Manistee
Number of visits to this page: 29261
Disclaimer:

Please note that location entries may feature older photos or post card views that may not represent the current appearance or features of the attraction. This site is intended to be a historical as well as current record of various attractions but it is not always possible to have up-to-date information due to the vast number of locations featured here. We ask you consult the propietor for current information.

General Information:

AKA Manistee County Dragway

Eighth-mile dragstrip in Manistee County. Owned & operated by Tom & Sharon Ledford. Track managers Wayne & Brian Ledford. Track first opened Memorial Day 1970. TSI timing system. Fully lighted for night racing. 30 acre paved expansion spring 2017. 120' new concrete launch pad for 2016 season. New concrete burn boxes, expanded staging lanes and tower expansion in 2018. Complete resurfacing of race track from 60' to finish line in 2021 in addition to more paved pit roads, return roads and staging lanes.

Click the following links for locations of interest nearby:
Cub Theatre  |  
Info Updates:
7/27/2022 - Brian Ledford
NMD prepares for 25th Annual Mopars Against the World Contact: Brian Ledford 231.218.2657 7/27/2022 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Kaleva- Here they come. In terms of event excitement and turnout, this quarter-century aged event is Northern Michigan Dragway's Super Bowl or Daytona 500. This weekend, hundreds of racers and thousands of fans from across the midwest and Canada will descend upon NMD for the 25th Annual Mopars Against the World. Top prizes of $10,000 to win and $6,000 to win will be up-for-grabs Saturday evening. The event pits Chrysler-affiliated Mopar racers in head-to-head match-ups against other racing makes, with a tally score kept of each matchup. Last season, the Mopar faithful enjoyed an overall winning score of 203-172. Over $50,000 prize money is scheduled for payouts throughout the 3-day weekend. Race fans are in for an added bonus, as the Luigi Novelli Racing National Machine Repair Hope-Over-Heroin Top Fuel Dragster from Chicago will be making a pair of exhibition runs on Saturday evening. Driver Mike Bucher of Cleveland, is a recent NHRA divisional champion in Top Alcohol Dragster. On a recent social media comment, he said "I can't wait to go down that (NMD) track and shake the ground." He is planning on speaking to the crowd during Friday and Saturday's races, along with signing autographs on picture cards while mixing it up with the fans. Bucher had a lifelong dream of becoming a Top Fuel Dragster driver. In 2008, his father, Jim Bucher, was inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame. Jim Bucher's finest hour would later prove to be his final as he rose as high as the No. 1 position in the NHRA Top Fuel ranks at mid-season 1975 but later forfeited the ranking when he was weakened with cancer. One of his top achievements was qualifying #1 at the US Nationals in Indianapolis, over 2 tenths ahead of the #2 qualifier. “Dad made a big impact in such a short amount of time,” explained Mike Bucher, who's been a pastor for 30 years at Cleveland's Calvary Chapel. “He reached a lot of people and was an example. Once he passed away, God filled the role of being a father. It’s hard to say but dad always wanted more for me than racing.” Bucher debuted earlier this season at the NHRA Summit Equipment Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio. The team is using this exhibition showing as a vital test session as they get prepared for their next showing later this season in St Louis at the NHRA Midwest Nationals. Another Top Fuel driver, Owosso's Ricky Bruce, is debuting a Nostalgia Top Fuel front-engine dragster for a pair of runs. Bruce is also a second-generation top fuel racer, as his father Rob Bruce campaigned several Funny Car "Zombie Racing" entries over the past couple decades. This weekend's event begins Thursday with Street Trophy and Junior classes in competition, along with time trials for other classes. All classes will be in competition Friday, starting with time trials at 11am and eliminations beginning at 2 pm, along with a pair of Top Doorslammer qualifying rounds scheduled in the evening. Saturday's time trials also begin at 11 am, eliminations again at 2 pm. Top Doorslammer and Top Fuel rounds are scheduled to take place later in the afternoon and evening hours. The full weekend schedule can be found online at NorthernMichiganDragway.com and further details on NMD social media pages. The dragway is located 3 miles north of Kaleva at 13991 Potter Rd.
6/29/2022 - Brian Ledford
NMD Bowtie Challenge Results Contact: Brian Ledford 231.218.2657 6/29/2022 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Kaleva- Northern Michigan Dragway's 12th Annual Bowtie Challenge provided outstanding entertainment for racing fans. The Chevrolet faithful rejoiced as the Bowtie racers took a convincing 254-225 win tally over their competition. Tim Heiges of Traverse City was clearly the one to beat in Top Doorslammer. He had personal-best short time efforts, with 60 foot times of .962 and .959 seconds, but tire shake on each pass kept him from entering the 3-second zone he had predicted. In qualifying Friday evening, he took the #1 position with an elapsed time of 4.18 seconds while running 172 miles per hour with his '63 Corvette. His closest competition lagged over a half-second behind him. After winning his first two rounds, Heiges suffered major engine damage with a broken crankshaft. His opponent in the final round, Eric Johnson of Onekama, was able to take a solo pass to win the $2,500 final round with his Chevy S-10. The top money-winning honor went to a new racer to NMD. Steve Kull of Romulus drove his '64 Chevelle Malibu Wagon to the $7,500 victory in Bracket II Saturday night. His opponent, Jason Kieffer of St. Johns settled for a runner-up finish in his bid for a second big-money win at NMD. Kieffer won $10,000 at the 2017 Mopars Against the World with his '84 Cutlass. Bill Fluette of Interlochen pocketed $3,000 for capturing the Bracket I victory with his '86 Monte Carlo. East Jordan racer Patrick Boris, still a high-school competitor, finished runner-up with a dragster. Other racers topped the $2,000 pay chart. David Evans of Benzonia snagged the Friday night victory with his '72 Monte Carlo in Bracket II, while Thomas Whitaker of Muskegon grabbed the $2K paycheck in Friday Bracket I with his '68 Camaro, moving into first place in the Authentic 231 Racing Series points standings for Bracket I. NMD has its third of six Statewide Towing & WTCM sponsored Street Nights events this Saturday. Time trials are slated to begin at 5 pm. Five classes will be in competition along with Test 'n Tune. Chicks on Slicks, Street Legal Money, and Dublin General Store Rider Class will each pay $500 to win. More info can be found online at NorthernMichiganDragway.com, or by calling (231)218-2657. NMD is located 3 miles north of Kaleva at 13991 Potter Rd. 12th Annual Bowtie Challenge Weekend results are as follows: Thursday June 23rd Street Trophy Win: Coleman Hansen, Crystal, Chevy Impala R-up: Dan Marcinkowski, Kaleva, Harley-Davidson Fat Boy Semi: Gary Bowman, Sr., Prescott, Dodge Dart Mini Juniors Win: Ann Cerka, Free Soil R-up: Nathaniel Cebula, Bear Lake Semis: Ryder Girven, Bear Lake Advanced Juniors Win: Isaac Mikus, Bear Lake R-up: Hunter Cesaro, East Jordan Semi: Leah Helsel, Manton Friday June 24th Bracket I Win: Tom Whitaker, Muskegon, Chevy Camaro R-up: Bud Roof, East Jordan, Dragster Semi: Dale Mardlin, Kaleva, Ford Falcon Bracket II Win: David Evans, Benzonia, Chevy Monte Carlo R-up: Bill Fluette, Interlochen, Chevy Monte Carlo Semis: Rich Majchrzak, Filer City, Ford Mustang and Bob Vandewater, Cadillac, Dodge Challenger Pro Trophy Win: Gary Bowman, Jr., East Tawas, 442 Olds R-up: Angela Mardlin, Kaleva, Chevy Nova Semi: Jason Pomeroy, Manistee, Chevy Monte Carlo Street Trophy Win: Eddie Manning, Onekama, Ford Mustang R-up: Allie Decker, Kingsley, Ford Thunderbird Semi: Darci Simpson, Free Soil, Chevy S-10 and Ron Carpenter, Mancelona, Chevy C-10 Advanced Junior Win: Isaac Mikus, Bear Lake R-up: Leah Helsel, Manton Semi: Coleman Hansen, Crystal Mini Junior Win: Ann Cerka, Free Soil R-up: Ryder Girven, Bear Lake Semi: Ty Thompson, Grawn Saturday June 25th Top Doorslammer Win: Eric Johnson, Onekama, Chevy S-10 R-up: Tim Heiges, Traverse City, Chevy Corvette Semis: Ron Brow, Belmont and Bill Heiges, Beulah #1 Qualifier: Tim Heiges, Traverse City, '63 Corvette 4.18 seconds elapsed time, 172 miles-per-hour. Bracket I Win: Bill Fluette, Interlochen, Chevy Monte Carlo R-up: Patrick Boris, East Jordan, Dragster Semi: Bud Roof, East Jordan, Dragster and Corey Mikus, Bear Lake, Chevy Camaro Bracket II Win: Steve Kull, Romulus, Chevy Malibu Wagon R-up: Jason Kieffer, St. Johns, Olds Cutlass Semi: Joel Young, Clifford, Chevy Camaro Pro Trophy Win: Mark Smith, Kaleva, Chevy S-10 R-up: Dustin Cesaro, Kalkaska, Chevy S-10 Semi: Steve Kirbach, Thompsonville, Chevy S-10 attached photo (INSZN Media): George McConnell of North Branch helped secure another Bowtie victory with his Chevy Malibu. A third-round finish Saturday evening placed him in the top 40 of 107 entries in Pro Trophy. Brian & Rebecca Ledford NorthernMichiganDragway.com Track Manager & Promotions (231)218-2657 (231)429-4411
6/10/2022 - Brian Ledford

Northern Michigan Dragway is back in action this weekend. There will be racing both Friday and Saturday evening.

Friday evening is the second event of the season for the WTCM-Statewide Towing Street Nights, with time trials starting at 5pm. Five racing classes will be in competition, starting at approximately 7:30pm, with Chicks on Slicks, High School, and Street Trophy in competition for all vehicles. Also, fans will have an added bonus of the Dublin General Store Rider Class for motorcycles and snowmobile riders.

Saturday's event will be the fifth of sixteen Authentic 231 Racing Series events. There'll be an added cash bonus for several classes, in memory of Rob Vande Water, thanks to Vande Water Racing. Classes featured will be Brackets I & II, Pro Trophy, Street Trophy, Advanced Juniors and Mini Juniors. Time Trials will begin at 2pm and eliminations scheduled to begin at 4pm.

The full race schedule and points standings can be found online at NorthernMichiganDragway.com, or by calling (231)218-2657. NMD is located 3 miles north of Kaleva at 13991 Potter Rd.

Attached photo: Four-time Bracket I points champion, Eric Johnson, recently re-set a track record for trucks, with an elapsed time of 4.87 seconds at 145.68 miles-per-hour. The Onekama racer is currently 23rd in the points standings after missing the first three events.

7/28/2015 - Brian Ledford
Kaleva- In their 45 years of drag racing facility operation, Northern Michigan Dragway owners Tom and Sharon Ledford have seen some great weekends. They can easily recollect jam-packed race events in each decade, along with some lean times when it seemed the business was in jeopardy. The 18th Annual Mopars Against the World event this past weekend broke all attendance records by a substantial margin. The weekend's 1,966 paid spectator/pit admissions eclipsed the previous best 1,800 in 2012. The weekend event also drew a record 336 different race vehicle entries. The Ledfords' career has also included a very successful 24-year lease operation of a race facility in the Thumb area, Ubly Dragway, where an overall attendance record was set at a 1995 event with 2,400 people overall. Friday and Saturday night's overall attendance at NMD was at 2,600 overall, making it the largest-attended event the Ledfords have ever put forth. As an added bonus to the racers and fans, a spectacular fireworks show was conducted Saturday night. The crowd's reaction to the grand finale was similar to what you would expect to the home team getting the winning score at a professional ball game. Extensive plans for parking area expansion are in the works, as much of the crowd had to park on the road and walk in through the gates due to parking capacity being filled. Racing action at NMD will resume on August 8th for points event #12, the Cory Gunther Memorial Race. Full weekend race results, points standings and upcoming events schedule can be found at www. NorthernMichiganDragway. com.
7/27/2008 - Unknown
Thank you Lapeer Dragway for your compliments! We're hoping to get the Michigan Bracket finals revived this year at Mid Michigan, do you think you guys might be able to get a team of 20 - 25 racers together? Maybe we can see if Ubly can too. Just a thought, we'll see if it is worth looking into.

Mopars Dominate Day I action
Bracket I Winner - Milo Ayres of Ithaca in a '68 Dodge Charger, Runner Up - Archie Spires of Mancelona in a '66 Plymouth Valiant
Bracket II - Eric Johnson of Onekama in a Dodge Daytona over Gary Rank of Manistee in a Mustang.
Gamblers - Bob Cornell of Kingsley in a Monza, over John Cerka of Freesoil
Trophy - Rhet Brewer of Eastlake in an Audi, over Ron Dougherty of Honor in a Cadillac
*Sat. July 26 - Day two action, we're keeping score of the head to head battles today!
www.northernmichigandragway.net
7/23/2008 - LAPEER DRAGWAY
Brian, I just checked out your aerial photo of your track ,it looks like you have a real nice track for the racers to run, you should be proud of your place. Also I like the way you run the 1/8 mi I wish every track would go to 1/8 mi. it is the safest all the way around .Nice track you have. Ed Vakula Lapeer Dragway
7/10/2007 - Steve Fraley
This is a great track to race at. Brian is doing a great job! Seems every year something new is added. I began racing at NMD(then Manistee County Dragway) in 1975! Right after my 16th birthday. This was the last dragstrip built in Michigan in, I think, 1973. We used to race 1/4 mile until someone felt the need to cut the shut down area in half. Then it went to 1/8 mile. The track shut down for awhile, until it was reopened in the late 80's by a group of racers and was run by them and eventually turned back over to the Ledfords. The track has seen many improvements over the last decade or so. After a resurfacing it was like racing on a pool table! And REAL flush toilets! Yes we have real indoor plumbing up north. The people are always friendly and the purse return for entry is the best in Michigan in my opinion. Although I've been laid up for several years I still have my race car and I do plan on returning to NMD!
5/29/2007 - John
Boy not much here, This is an awesome track, a real jewel in the north. I quit racing 20 years ago and bought a car last year, the plum crazy purple Duster (B&B Racing) These are the guys who owned the car, have been having a blast with the guys, they have helped me get it running and getting me back in the groove, thanks Mel, Phil and Jimmy. I went to the Semi finals two weeks ago and won the gambler race this year. these are a great bunch of guys, come on out a give it a shot.
12/5/2003 - Web
Located in the little finger of Mich used to pay out big purses in the seventies, racers from Detroit and Canada would make the loong trip. It was owned by Jim Ledford who later bought Central Michigan Dragway and turned it into Mid Michigan Motorplex.
 Photos:31
Northern Michigan Dragway - ADAMS MCCORMICK
ADAMS MCCORMICK
Northern Michigan Dragway - MIKE BOUWSMA WHEELIE
MIKE BOUWSMA WHEELIE
Northern Michigan Dragway - ERIC JOHNSON 2022 PHOTO FROM BRIAN LEDFORD
ERIC JOHNSON 2022 PHOTO FROM BRIAN LEDFORD
Northern Michigan Dragway - BOB VANDEWATER
BOB VANDEWATER
Northern Michigan Dragway - BOB VANDEWATER
BOB VANDEWATER
Northern Michigan Dragway - BOB VANDEWATER
BOB VANDEWATER
Northern Michigan Dragway - BOB VANDEWATER
BOB VANDEWATER
Northern Michigan Dragway - BOB VANDEWATER
BOB VANDEWATER
Northern Michigan Dragway - BOB VANDEWATER
BOB VANDEWATER
Northern Michigan Dragway - BOB VANDEWATER
BOB VANDEWATER
Northern Michigan Dragway - FROM STEVE FRALEY
FROM STEVE FRALEY
Northern Michigan Dragway - FROM STEVE FRALEY
FROM STEVE FRALEY
Northern Michigan Dragway - FROM STEVE FRALEY
FROM STEVE FRALEY
Northern Michigan Dragway - FROM STEVE FRALEY
FROM STEVE FRALEY
Northern Michigan Dragway - FROM STEVE FRALEY
FROM STEVE FRALEY
Northern Michigan Dragway - FROM STEVE FRALEY
FROM STEVE FRALEY
Northern Michigan Dragway - FROM STEVE FRALEY
FROM STEVE FRALEY
Northern Michigan Dragway - FROM STEVE FRALEY
FROM STEVE FRALEY
Northern Michigan Dragway - 2012 POINTS OPENER 1
2012 POINTS OPENER 1
Northern Michigan Dragway - 2012 POINTS OPENER 2
2012 POINTS OPENER 2
Northern Michigan Dragway - 2012 POINTS OPENER 3
2012 POINTS OPENER 3
Northern Michigan Dragway - CHUCK KURZAWA FROM RALPH PITLOCK
CHUCK KURZAWA FROM RALPH PITLOCK
Northern Michigan Dragway - CORY MIKUS AND GANG FROM SHARON LEDFORD
CORY MIKUS AND GANG FROM SHARON LEDFORD
Northern Michigan Dragway - FROM STEVE FRALEY
FROM STEVE FRALEY
Northern Michigan Dragway -  FROM SHARON LEDFORD
FROM SHARON LEDFORD
Northern Michigan Dragway - FROM JOHN TATREAU
FROM JOHN TATREAU
Northern Michigan Dragway - FROM JOHN TATREAU
FROM JOHN TATREAU
Northern Michigan Dragway - FROM JOHN TATREAU
FROM JOHN TATREAU
Northern Michigan Dragway - FROM JOHN TATREAU
FROM JOHN TATREAU
Northern Michigan Dragway - FROM JOHN TATREAU
FROM JOHN TATREAU
Northern Michigan Dragway - AERIAL PHOTO
AERIAL PHOTO
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