Cheers matched roaring engines and dust clouds on Friday at the Mount Pleasant Speedway during the Kevin Fedewa UMP-Mod Memorial Races. Among the many types of full-sized racing cars, the Mini Outlaw Racing Association cars, or M.O.R.A. cars for short, stood out from the pack for their small size and fast speeds.
“It’s so much fun, a lot of people think it’s stupid that we drive in circles, but if you get out on a highway and you stomp down on the gas pedal, you can only go as fast as the speed limit tells you,” said Kent Strong, 24, of Riverdale. “And out here, you try to go as fast as you can, as clean as you can. Just the thrill of winning, knowing you are the fastest car out there.”
Strong has been racing cars since he was 16 years old, and was the M.O.R.A. winner of the night’s Heat and Feature race.
After coming to grips with the fact that he couldn’t financially support himself by racing pro-stock cars, Strong found an opportunity to try his hand at M.O.R.A. racing. This is his fourth year he has been competing in the races, racing alongside his brother Luke Strong.
Luke took second in the feature race of the night.
M.O.R.A.’s are cars built using snowmobile engines, with a max speed around 90 m.p.h. They have lower set bodies with open tires.
A unique feature of their design is a large back spoiler with wings, displaying the racers’ numbers and names. The M.O.R.A. club, from Northern Michigan, competes all over the state and holds 12 races each season. The races start in mid-April and continue until the end of August.
“They are easy to work on and I’m able to travel. I’m not racing at one track every week,” Strong said.
While Strong enjoys the Mount Pleasant Speedway’s track, he wishes more people would come out to the races.
“It’s good racing, for what cars are here,” he said. “It kinda sucks that the car count went down so much in the past couple years, because it’s a fun Friday night track to come to.”
Mount Pleasant Speedway opened 27 years ago and the M.O.R.A. racing club have been competing there every year.
The next big race is on July 4th at the Speedway.