All of the racing was great and the competition on the shorter track was fierce. When it came time for the big track races, with the wide layout, it got wild. With all of that room to run, the racing went three-wide plenty of times going into Turn 1. But as the cars got to Turn 2, they must funnel down to at most two-wide. Even then, the outside car gets squeezed into the wall at some point.
We had great seats and were invited to sit in the VIP, air conditioned suite. This was amazing. It was nicer than the suite our company had at Daytona a few years ago! There were attendants who delivered food and beverages all night long. This was a pay-to-attend suite that I thought was reasonably priced. It sure was nice and afforded a complete view of the entire track.
After the event was over, we spent the night at the track as usual and the next morning we headed up Highway 41 to Menominee to visit and have lunch with Gene Coleman, owner of Coleman Racing and his driver (and ours), Dalton Zehr.
Dalton spends part of the year in this area of the country during the summers to run Gene's Late Model at local tracks and we support what Dalton does. He and his dad, Marty, have helped us in so many ways with our various projects over the past few years.
The Race For A Cure to benefit the cancer research program at Dickinson County Memorial Hospital was a special race that we were urged to attend on our 2012 Tour and we squeezed it in. I had been here before a couple of times and I really like the way the racers are a part of the operation and support this track so much.
This is way north, just 50 miles by air to Lake Superior and our border with Canada. There is only one track more north than this and it is Sands Speedway in Marquette, Michigan, right on the shore of the big lake.
And so I learned that you sometimes have to adapt, in a calculated way, to the track conditions wherever you are
Norway is not what I would call an attractive track like we saw at Elko for instance. It is, as usual, located in an older fairgrounds facility and is showing its age. That being said, there is no lack of enthusiasm for the racing here. In both the grandstands and in the pits, the excitement level was high.
This is an ASA–sanctioned track and as such, is tech'ed by Mike "Lumpy" Lemke, as is State Line Speedway. Lumpy is a trusted advisor to the ASA organization and Dennis Huth. When we want clarification on some rule, or advice on what to push for with rules changes (and Lord knows some of these rules need tweaking), we call Lumpy. Not that we always agree with his opinion, but if he can see the light, many in this part of the country follow his lead.
Norway is a very flat and short track. To race well here, you've got to know how to drive. I am an acute observer of driving styles and techniques and I saw many of the racers who drove here continually pinch the corners into turns one and three.
This hand-painted sign at Norway Speedway set the tone for what this club track is. And th
Norway is a part of the local fairgrounds. I particularly like the covered grandstands. Sh
I saw a lot of socialization at Norway and isn’t that what it is all about? It seems like
We continue to see a growing number of female racers getting into the sport. Some tracks h
This a novel way to outfit a school bus that I don’t think I have ever seen before. The ca
I took this photo not realizing at the time that this was an advertisement for the Sands S
It seems difficult to explain to a driver and have them understand that it's not how fast you get into a corner that counts, it is how fast you run the middle and that carries speed for coming off the corner. There is a gain when you pinch the corner entry, but the loss in the middle and off is two or three times that gain. If I could change anything with a driver's style, it would be to move up coming into a corner, lift early, brake late, and then accelerate sooner.
Throttle modulation is the key to running fast laps. It is never good to lift or push quickly on the throttle. All great drivers developed skills related to throttle modulation. Many of them hardly noticed when they did that. It just comes naturally to some, and with practice for others.
This was a track where it is more noticeable. You can easily see how the separation distance between cars changes with the errors, or preferred line. A driver blasts into the corner, gains a bit, then loses ground the rest of the way to the next entry. It's sometimes tough to watch for me, especially when it happens over and over with the same driver.
The races were great and in the feature Late Model race, the winner was a girl. Amanda Ferguson held off some hard charging cars to take the checkered flag for the very first super Late Model win of her career. We see more and more girls getting into circle track racing yet very few moving up to the top divisions. It's nice to see the progression and success with someone like Amanda.
Our night ended this portion of our Midwest Tour in and around Wisconsin. Next week we will be heading out to Kalispell, Montana, for the Get Rich 2012 race and then down to Colorado. It will be good to get into a higher elevation. The heat in Wisconsin has been hard to deal with sometimes. One racetrack cancelled its program on the weekend we went to Madison. Our race went on as scheduled in 100-plus-degree heat.
Once we hit the mile high mark in elevation, it will be all better. With Kalispell being right next to the Glacier National Park, I'm sure the winds coming down off those ice capped mountains will be cool indeed. Our next installment will include that track as well as Colorado National Speedway just north of Denver. Each has an interesting story to tell.