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Not my first rodeo

June 1, 2012
By John Ostermann , For The Daily News

NORWAY - I always wondered what people meant when they said "this isn't my first rodeo."

I mean what goes on at a rodeo that I don't know about?

After watching former champion and racing veteran Mark Miller race to a thriller victory in the Pepsi late model feature race in my old, out-dated racecar with a four-year-old engine, I have come to realize that myself, Mark Miller and my brother Joe, "This isn't our first rodeo."

We were just talking before the race started about how old our car was and all the things we have had to do to it to make it competitive and how before we got it no one had really done that well with the car previously.

But now the racecar has about 60 years of racing experience behind it. Driving, chassis set up, tire management and a crew chief and spotter that have been around a while.

Watching our racing team win the feature event was a very gratifying experience for all of us, especially in the dramatic fashion in which it was done. Moving up from ninth to first in about 10 laps was very exciting to be a part of and is something that we will never forget!

I want to congratulate my team - Mark Miller, Joe Ostermann, Bradley Ostermann, Joel Ploetcher and Jerry Knutson.

Passing Scott Stanchina for the lead was bittersweet in a few ways. Scott's dad Rick Stanchina was Mark's crew chief back in the day when Mark had won several track championships and Mark and I still support Rick and his sons, Brian and Scott and their racing endeavors. The last two Pepsi late model features have had nothing less than spectacular finishes and I hope that continues.

In the Auto Value Super Stock Division, Norway's Brett Bray, son of famous Norway Knights coach Ray Bray, won his first feature event of the season. He held off Upper Pine Creek's Ryan Wender.

Brett's sponsors include Johnston Trucking, Adventure Marketing, Redline Sport and Marine, Kiser-Hydro, Knight Owl and Thirsty Whale.

In the Dairy Queen Fabulous Four Division, it seems like every year one car steps up and becomes dominant. This year it seems that Cody Skog of Norway has become that car as he won his second straight feature race.

His sponsors include Professional Tax Accounting Concepts of Norway (his mom), Extreme Graphics (his dad), Auto Clinic of Neenah, Chris Webber Excavating and The Thirsty Whale.

Tonight at the track is the "kids nickle toss" brought to you by Rayz of Perfection and Hercules Construction. It should be another great night of racing!

However, next week is the granddaddy of them all as Norway Speedway will have the Stateline Challenge, a 112-lap main event featuring the best racecar drivers from Upper Michigan, northeastern Wisconsin and Florida.

The Stateline Challenge is the most prestigious race in Norway Speedway history and has been won by some of the best short track racecar drivers in the Midwest.

There will also be racing Saturday at Sands Speedway in Marquette as it's their season opener. Many of us will be making the trek up there for the race.

Us meaning I will be "Brett Favreing" it and coming out of retirement and racing for the first time in a while. I am exciting not only about racing but seeing all the improvements they have made to the facility.

If you have any questions, go to or call 906-361-0597.

See you at the tracks.



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