Lonnie Saumier won the race on the championship night at Owosso Speedway – Days later, he was disqualified and suspended from the speedway
Lonnie Saumier: “They can call whoever they want a champion, but we all know who actually won that championship.”
On Saturday, September 22, 2018 Owosso Speedway hosted their championship night at the 3/8 mile Michigan short track. The season points championships were set to be decided in four divisions.
Lonnie Saumier loaded up his flatbed truck with the race car and unloaded at the Ovid, Michigan race track. A night of short track racing would decided the track champions for the year.
Saumier qualified in 3rd of the sixteen drivers in competition that night. He went on to finish 2nd in his heat race. Following a late race caution in the feature, Lonnie Saumier took the lead. He would go on to win the Pure Stock race and move into 1st place in track championship standings. He would be declared the track champion for 2018.
Until he wouldn’t…
Lonnie Saumier – September 25th: 8:30am
Lonnie Saumier led the announcement following a call from the promoter on Monday night:
“Only at Owosso Speedway does the track owner call you 48 hours after the races are over to tell you he’s taking your championship away after everyone was cleared to go home Saturday night,” Lonnie Saumier said in the facebook statement.
“Let alone call you every name in the book and to tell a driver that you’re going to show up at his house to beat his a**. I lost all respect for Dave Bigos and Owosso Speedway after last night. They can call whoever they want a champion, but we all know who actually won that championship.”
“Any track owner that calls to threaten to show up at your house and fight is a POS in my book. We will not be back to Owosso speedway until new ownership is in place. Share away let’s show the public what Owosso speedway is like behind the scenes!”
Dave Bigos – September 25th: 5:30pm
Later that afternoon, the track officially announced the DQ:
“Saturday Night Chaos at the Big O”
“I do not understand why a guy that just caught a break on the race track with a last lap caution, which 100% allowed him to win the feature race and win the 2018 Track Championship, would behave as he did after the race,” tracker promoter Dave Bigos stated.
“At that point of the night he was the race winner and our 2018 track champion. One would think that person would be happy, grateful, friendly, kind and cooperative. This guy just won the race and Track Championship. How many of us get to experience that?”
“Instead he was just the opposite. I was told by many, but most importantly the speedway staff that he was the rudest, most obnoxious and most disrespectful person, leading the charge against the speedway authorities Saturday night.”
“The scene that was primarily created and lead by the M-15 driver is unacceptable at my race track. That type of conduct is not going to be allowed or tolerated at Owosso Speedway.”
“The four main staff members involved with this chaos together have over 75 years of experience working in and around race tracks. They are fair and honest people, trying to do a great job for all who come to Owosso Speedway. I trust them, appreciate them, respect them and I’ve got their back. In no way do they deserve that degree of disrespect, lack of order and cooperation. They were simply trying to keep a fair playing field for all who participate. The Drivers benefit from that, not Owosso Speedway.”
“In conclusion: After hours of examining the situation most of the day Monday with Elaine, Chris, Tim and Dennis we have decided to be proactive and not just lay back and take what they were dealt Saturday. I feel it is absolutely necessary to enforce the written rules that are clearly spelled out in the official Owosso Speedway rulebook.”
“Because of his overall destructive behavior and not cooperating with our techs, regarding the engine tear down that was requested after the race. The driver of the M-15 pure stock is being disqualified from Saturday September 22, 2018 race. He is also not allowed to be present at the 2018 Owosso Nationals. We do not need or want that type of disrespectful behavior at Owosso Speedway.”
“Warning to all who are coming to the 2018 Nationals. Car, driver and only one other team member will be allowed behind the red gate at the pit garage after each feature. Violations will be immediately disqualified, NO questions asked! If I can prevent it, this type of crazy situation will not happen again on my watch,” Dave Bigos concluded.
Lonnie Saumier – September 25th: 11:00pm
“Here’s the real truth.”
“The first 10 seconds if the video you can see me walk out of the tech barn to go stand by my car. After I’m completely gone from the tech barn you can hear the people that were much more disrespectful than I could’ve ever thought of being.”
“So please tell me again Owosso Speedway why I’m kicked out and no one else is. By this video Russ Cords #72 Troy Binkley and a couple others like good old shady Landon Hidy should have got the boot quicker than me!”
“Never once did I say F**k Owosso Speedway or bad mouth the track. But here we have a few others majorly disrespecting tech officials but nothing gets done about this?!?! Please explain to me how that whole setup wasn’t rigged to get me thrown out!”
After the race, there was a big scene in the tech shed. There’s video of the scene that has surfaced and it has been posted below. Early in the video, you’ll see Lonnie Saumier walk out of the tech shed.
From there, many individuals continued to make a scene. Yet, Saumier was still disqualified for behavioral reasons and disrespecting officials. However, the video would say otherwise.
According to Shelby Saumier, the track owner said that he doesn’t have time to watch the video from the tech shed.
Lonnie Saumier was blocked from the Owosso Speedway facebook page and unable to comment his side of the story on the original post from the speedway.
Why not let them have a look inside the engine?
“They wanted us to pull intake manifold cylinder heads and exhaust manifolds. The Top 3 said that was fine we were waiting for the cars to cool down outside to drain the water before we pushed them in the tech barn,” Lonnie Saumier told RacingNews.co .
“One of the guys confronted them about the track buying the gaskets that needed to be replaced after the job (it says in the rule book Owosso Speedway will replace gaskets when inspection takes place). All hell broke lose from there. The track said they weren’t buying the gaskets and it went down hill.”
Fel-Pro gaskets are the standard replacement as per the rulebook. These gaskets range from $25-$50. They are sold at places like Auto Zone.
“Finally the race director came down and told everyone to load up that was the end of it. It also says in there rule book all decisions are final before payout. I got my pay the picture the trophy and the sticker. Track owner calls Monday night saying I’m dq’d for denying inspection.”
When you said top 3, I assume that meant the top 3 were all going to be inspected. Did the other two cars take off their manifolds?
“No one took anything off their cars. Top 3 were suppose to get inspected.”
So, nobody got inspected but only you were disqualified?
“Yes exactly. He done the same thing to me in 2016 for a championship.”
“It wasn’t championship night [the last time], it was a few nights before. Just kicked me out for “rough driving” that time, just for one week. I was also the only one to get kicked out that time also.”
“The other drivers did that wanted to see my car tore down. The tech guy walked out after all the screaming from competitors and race director said load them up.”
Are you going to miss running at that place? You were suppose to be the track champion. So, I assume you liked the place leading up to this? Plans to return in 2019?
“I won’t return until new ownership is in place,” Lonnie Saumier concluded.
Owosso Speedway Rulebook
G:ENGINE & EXHAUST
s) Track may check at its discretion for Brezinski or Acid Ported components at any time. Non compliant intake, head and exhaust parts will be confiscated and a $250 non refundable fine paid to tech and Owosso Speedway to get your parts back. Bowl areas underneath valves must retain sharp edge- no polishing, no bowl hogging.
Track retains right to tear down any competitor at any time and will replace your gaskets with stock Felpro gasket components if car is complaint at tracks expense. If car is illegal track has no obligation to refund gaskets.
t) The track at any time during a competition event or tech inspection may ask you to look at the internals of your engine. The track at its discretion may ask you to pull the 1” Inspection Plug to inspect for pendulum cut cranks and or lightweight pistons and rods. (We have a lighted Bore Scope that we use for this inspection).
Video from the tech shed
Related: Owosso Speedway is up for sale