by Gregg Paul
Eighteen years is a long time between making an appearance at a race track. Traveling to a variety of race tracks isn’t as easy as it used to be in those days. The economics of racing, family life, and employment can sometimes throw a wrench into any plans for extracurricular events. Yet when the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment and Lester Buildings makes the trek to Norway Speedway in Norway Michigan for the DOC 360 100, a surprise entrant will be joining the field of cars.
Mark Mackesy, three time track champion at State Park Speedway, as well as a three time winner of the Larry Detjens Memorial, has filed an entry for the race at Norway. It has been eighteen years since Mackesy last raced at Norway, but he is excited for the opportunity to try his luck once again.
“We picked up a sponsor, River Valley Bank that is based out of Wausau,” said Mackesy. “They have branches in the UP (Upper Peninsula). They thought it would be good to have a car up there for this race. Todd Nagel the President/CEO of River Valley Bank is from that area.”
Mackesy is familiar with Norway Speedway to an extent, but his limited experience isn’t going to deter him from making the effort.
“I’ve only raced there twice, 1993 and 1995,” said Mackesy. “I made the trophy dash the first time there. I raced with Bob Iverson on his retirement race. Of course he won. It was the fair race. I think I finished 10th. I got second in the dash to Iverson. My father raced there in ‘82 and ’83, so I have some memories of the place. Iverson, Coleman, Kent Pearson, Duke Gardner, Bob Menor, Mike White, Steve Ives. My old friend Mark Miller. Mike Mattson, Allen Yelle.”
It‘s going to take more than just those memories in order for Mackesy to be successful. He is hoping that what he learned in the past will still help him with this race.
“The track is hard to pass on,” said Mackesy. “So to figure out how to pass other cars will be tough. Not running there for eighteen years I’m sure some things have changed about the place. Getting my hauler there could be an issue too. It’s a ‘95 Ford van. The longest trip we’ve had from home is Plover.”
Not only will just getting to Norway create problems, but racing at his home track the night before will make it a challenge to be ready to go.
“The competition will be really tough,” said Mackesy. “I’m looking forward to running against the toughest cars in the Midwest. I don’t think there is another series as tough as the ARCAMT. Just getting into the race is going to be challenging. We race Thursday and turning the car around to run the next night will pose some problems also. I’m not an early morning person but for this race I’ll have to be up early.”
Mackesy might not be an early morning person, but he’ll need to be that as well as a late night person to compete in this event. A challenge that he is definitely ready to tackle.
Be sure to follow the Midwest Truck Tour on Facebook (midwesttour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).
To learn more about the Midwest Truck Tour, log on to arcamidwesttour.com. For questions call the ARCA Midwest Tour office at (262) 729-4111 or Tim Olson at (612) 327-5831 or Steve Einhaus (630) 212-6022 at or e-mail Tim Olson at email@example.com Steve Einhaus at firstname.lastname@example.org.