Mike ‘Lumpy’ Lemke, the original and only head technical director for the ARCA Midwest Tour, our fellow employee and friend, passed away at 12:10 a.m. on Sunday, February 25th after a brief illness.
Lumpy was instrumental in the development and growth of the Tour since its inception in 2007.
With his unique character and astute knowledge of the rules, Lumpy’s rule packages helped create the excellent racing that fans and teams enjoyed being part of for 11 seasons. Always making sure his tech staff provided a friendly and fun environment when cars rolled through the tech line at each event.
He especially took the time to give special attention to the team’s children knowing they will be the next generation to keep short track racing moving forward.
Along with the Midwest Tour, he was also serving the same duty with the Midwest Truck Series, State Park Speedway, Norway Speedway, and Marshfield Motor Speedway.
He was also the lead tech official for the Oktoberfest Race Weekend at the La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway.
Lumpy started his tech career in the early 80’s when he partnered up with longtime friend Bob Abitz and would share the tech duties at Wisconsin International Raceway, along with working on race teams. In 1984, both focused on being a tech official full-time at the track and soon after was hired by Wayne Erickson at Slinger Super Speedway and the career took off from there all the way up to his death where he was still working on the 2018 season.
Not only was his expertise used at the track, but all around the USA as part of the ABC Body Committee, developing the LST and ACE engine packages and more.
He was a huge advocate of trying to getting the Super Late Model rules close for all competitors with other top Super Late Model Series across the United States and Canada.
He also served as a tech advisor for ASA Racing.
In 2010, he was the Tech Director for the ASA Free State 500 at the Phakisa Freeway track locates outside of Welkom, Free State, South Africa where he developed the rule package and led the tech team for this unique event. A special event where he not only worked at the track, but also got to experience a safari, cuisine and culture in a once in a lifetime experience.
Prior to the Midwest Tour, he served as the tech director for many tracks and series including ARTGO, MARS, Wisconsin International Raceway, Madison International Speedway, Slinger Super Speedway and many more.
He also partnered with Five Star Race Car Bodies in presenting three technical seminars and promoter workshops as well as being a featured speaker at the RPM Promoter workshops.
He will be missed by all in the racing community by many drivers, teams, fellow officials, promoters, fellow tech officials, friends and fans.
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