With his 79th birthday on November 5th, Garry Lobaugh is set to end his illustrious career in the business of karting. As he continues to write the final chapter of his book, ‘The Business of Karting – Passion or Profit’, Lobaugh will complete his final chapter in the track ownership world as well with the sale of Michiana Raceway Park (MRP) as he moves towards unofficial retirement and spending more time with family and friends.
“It has been a long and enjoyable time in karting, and I would not go back and change anything,” expressed Lobaugh. “I don’t think I will ever retire as Diane and I love the sport of karting too much but the sale of the track and stepping back slightly will allow me some more family time, not only with Diane, but my kids and grandkids.”
In the mid 1980s, the Lobaughs were a family of six looking for an activity that would include the entire family. Making their way to Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin in search of more information about karting, Lobaugh managed to meet and caught up with Kurt Paluzzi who had just started his karting publication “The National Kart News”. From that point in time, the Lobaugh family was destined for a storied career in the grassroots of motorsports.
Lobaugh added, “Kurt told us of the ‘Rolling Green’ track in Buchanan, Michigan and soon we formed a partnership with Kurt along with John Kasubik of John’s Kart Shop out of Chicago. That started our first renovation and rebuild of (the) track built in 1962 near Buchanan, Michigan.”
Since that introduction, Garry and Diane Lobaugh have been flat out in their efforts to improve properties and entertainment programs as well as racing through their “Arrive and Drive” programs and racing schools. Their business mogul career has been a great ride with several start-up business programs and makeover efforts of a variety of facilities, including Palm Beach Karting and a start-up at Iron Rock Raceway in Austin, Texas. With a national-level race team, importers of the BirelART product line for multiple years as well, track ownership, and more, Garry Lobaugh has become one of the pioneers of the sport of karting in North America.
After 17 years of operating out of the Buchanan property, a new opportunity arose in the purchase of the current location of Michiana Raceway Park. It was formerly known as Mel McCallums South Bend Raceway Park built in 1995. Garry and Diane made the purchase in 2004 and followed along with their many improvements and promotion to the stature it is today bringing the Michiana Raceway Park name with them when they purchased and moved to the new location in South Bend, Indiana.
Lobaugh continued, “We have met many people from all over the United States who also have a love of racing and fellowship. Many of our students have gone on to become national winners and world-class drivers. In addition, several have gone forward in this industry to lead prominent properties and businesses throughout the nation. I am grateful to have a hand in so many people’s businesses and driving careers, but this is the time to step back and enjoy all of our accomplishments.”
Garry and Diane Lobaugh are now in search of an individual or family with the passion to take over the ownership and leadership of Michiana Raceway Park. With the entire business and assets of the company located at 61870 Crumstown Highway North Liberty, Indiana now for sale, Lobaugh wants to transition the successful company to new and motivated owners.
“I want the business and track to carry on forever,” added Lobaugh. “This is something that my family and I built into success, and I will help new owners when and where I can to make the transition as easy and seamless as possible. I am not going anywhere; I am just stepping back, and you will for sure see me around karting events for years to come.”
For more information on Michiana Raceway Park, please call or text Garry Lobaugh at 269.720.9196.