With this racing season in the books Norway Speedway saw a boost in not only fan attendance but also car counts in three of the track’s five weekly divisions in 2018.
In a report released Tuesday by Dickinson County Racing Association (DCRA) treasurer Tim Schultz, grandstand attendance soared 21 percent from 2017 at the third-mile, paved oval. The track ran a total of 12 shows from May through September. In those nights a total of 162 drivers from Michigan and Wisconsin battled amongst the track’s weekly classes.
Coca Cola late models averaged 20 cars per night, up from 18 in 2017. A season high 31 cars showed up to battle during the Dickinson County Fair on Labor Day weekend and the 35th annual Stateline Challenge saw 30 late models compete. A total of 43 drivers competed in late models at Norway this year. Bonduel, Wisconsin’s Dillion Kralovetz won his fourth straight division title while feature winners on the year included Kralovetz, Menominee’s Dalton Zehr, Vulcan’s Dan Lindsley, Bark River’s Tom Lindquist, Vulcan’s Kris Kelly, Green Bay, Wisconsin’s Chad Butz and NASCAR truck champion Johnny Sauter of Necedah, Wisconsin.
Auto Value Super Stocks saw a slight dip in their count averaging 11 cars per night. Still, 28 different drivers competed in the class, which saw multiple feature winners including Schultz, Norway’s Andy Gerwig, Upper Pine Creek’s Ryan Wender, Iron Mountain’s Dave Fraser and 15-year-old newcomer Parker Cain from Big Bay. Cain plans on running the full season at Norway with the super stocks in 2019.
The 141 Auto sportsman averaged 14 machines per night, up two cars from a year ago. While Norway’s Joe Ostermann captured the division’s crown others joined the three time champion in victory lane, including Bark River’s Bobby Lewis, former champion Preston Weddel of Crivitz, WI, Kingsford’s Dave Knudson, Iron Mountain’s “Uncle Pete” Fraser, Kingsford’s Jeff Schettler and Aurora, Wisconsin’s Gary Thom. A total of 24 drivers battled in the sportsman class this year.
The division that saw the highest growth was the sport truck class. The snowmobile powered-racers went from averaging 14 machines per night a season ago to 17 in ’18. Despite the fact the class runs on a roughly every other week basis there are nine Michigan-based teams and that number continues to grow each year. Kingsford’s Brad Barglind picked up the division title. Runner up Tanner Fickel of Neenah, Wisconsin found victory lane with Barglind, along with Appleton, Wisconsin’s Jason Van Handel. In total 24 trucks battled at Norway in ’18.
Stock fours remained steady in terms of car count from a year ago, averaging just under 18 cars per race. Vulcan’s Adam Faull collected the division crown. Other stock four drivers who joined Faull in victory lane in ’18 included fellow Vulcan drivers Cody Skog and Jake Dolfurd.
The track also hosted spectator eliminator races along with a new division UTV racers, which were presented by Pembine Lawn and Sport.
The staff of both the DCRA and Norway Speedway want to thank the race teams, fans and track officials who made 2018 a successful year. The season ending banquet will take place at Island Resort & Casino in Harris Saturday, October 27. Cocktails are scheduled for 5 p.m. CST with dinner slated for 6 p.m. CST and the awards presentation to follow.