By Keith Vercauteren
When I heard the news that the Vercauteren Memorial was returning to Wisconsin International Raceway in 2014, I was very excited to say the least. I may have jumped up into the air or high-fived one of my cats. WIR is a very special place for the Vercauteren family.
The Vercauteren Memorial Race began in 1990 to honor my grandparents, Harold and Regina Vercauteren. Starting out at the dirt track in my old hometown of Chilton, it moved to the pavement of WIR with the formation of the Mid-American Stock Car Series in 1993. The event took on greater significance after my dad, Mid-American founder Gary Vercauteren, passed away in October of 2005. When the annual Red, White and Blue State Championship Series became part of the regular Thursday night program in 2009, it became difficult for the Mid-American Stock Car Series to schedule a race at what was, in many ways, its home track.
The Memorial race winner’s prestigious award, the Vercauteren Memorial Traveling Trophy, has done a fair bit of additional travel with Mid-American on the interim, as the Vercauteren Memorial Race visited tracks such as the 141 Speedway (before it was converted to a dirt track) in Francis Creek, the scenic 4-mile Road America in Elkhart Lake, the picture-esque Norway Speedway in Upper Michigan and down at the high-banks of Rockford Speedway in Illinois. All great tracks, of course, but it will be good to be home.