TUNDRA TO PARTNER WITH NORWAY FOR HISTORIC STATELINE CHALLENGE
Photo: Tom Lindquist at Norway Speedway (www.norwayspeedway.com)
PORTAGE, Wis. (December 21, 2013) -About a mile past the Menominee River, where the Wisconsin/Michigan border lies, sits historic Norway Speedway. In the early 1980s a race was developed to pit the best of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula against the best of its bordering state. Names such as Dick Trickle, Scott Hansen, Kevin Cywinski, Matt Kenseth and local legend Jamie Iverson can be found in the list of past champions.
The 2014 version of the Stateline Challenge is setting up to be one of the best and brightest as the blossoming TUNDRA Super Late Model Series will partner with Norway for the event.
“It’s an exciting time to be a part of this series,” said TUNDRA representative Matt Panure. “The positive feedback has been overwhelming, and to see that positivity turn into opportunities, such as joining Norway for the Stateline, truly is something special.”
One of the strongest ties that bind Norway and TUNDRA are common drivers from 2013 – Dalton Zehr, Tom Lindquist and former Norway Rookie of the Year Jordan Ives. Zehr has won the most features in TUNDRA history (five) and finished second in 2013 standings. Last season Zehr won the Championship at Norway while capturing nine of 11 features.
“Everyone is expecting me to be the one to beat, so the expectations are definitely high,” Zehr said. “Hopefully we’re prepared to answer that calling because they’re all going to be gunning for us.”
The challengers should be coming for Zehr at every angle. With an average of 35 cars at each of its six events last season TUNDRA proved to bring high car counts and quality competition to mesh with high quality local competition. The Stateline Challenge very well could provide the highest car count and one of the most breathtaking events in years at Norway.
“I look forward to bringing a bunch of travelers up that way and [having] added competition,” Zehr said. “TUNDRA drivers are going to have some local talent to contend with. It’s like that at a lot of TUNDRA races and I don’t expect Norway to be any different.”
“Our goal at every TUNDRA race is to give the fans a great experience,” Panure said. “Norway has been gracious enough to make sure it will be worthwhile for our travelers to make the trip, and we plan to return the favor by working hard to make sure their locals feel welcome even before we come to town.”
The response from Norway locals has been positive thus far. Many of the weekly competitors are excited to face off against the best of TUNDRA. Although he plans to race part-time in 2014, former Stateline Champion Jamie Iverson has also expressed interest in chasing his sixth Stateline crown.
Whether it is a local or a TUNDRA Traveler who finds victory lane, he (or she) can be certain to hear a loud and proud Norway fan base after the checkered has fallen. Zehr is no stranger to the passion of Norway fans as he heard them on plenty of occasions last season. He said they started off with boos, but later featured a strong cheering section.
“I actually felt like I had a pretty good fan base toward the end of the year. I think it was due to the booing section that helped me win some fans over,” Zehr said. He also recalled being able to hear fans cheer (even in the cockpit of his racer) when he experienced misfortune in last year’s Stateline Challenge.
“Norway fans love racing and their passion is second to none,” said Panure, who announced weekly at Norway in 2009 and 2010. “I was fortunate enough to announce a race at Norway last year. During driver introductions Dalton, who might be one of the nicest kids in racing, was booed mercilessly. I had to pause for a moment before I introduced the next driver because I was laughing. I always enjoy whatever that crowd has to offer; I think our drivers will too.”
The Stateline Challenge on July 19 is poised to be the fifth on the eight-race 2014 TUNDRA schedule. A full schedule will be available after Christmas.
Norway Speedway is located on the Dickinson County Fairgrounds just off Highway 8 in Norway, Mich. For more information visit www.norwayspeedway.com.
The Unified Northern Drivers Racing Association (TUNDRA) Super Late Model Series was formed in 2011 as the Alive For Five Super Late Model Series at Dells Raceway Park. TUNDRA’s business plan is based on a sustainable program for promoters and race teams alike, while still providing high-quality Super Late Model entertainment to fans.
For more information on TUNDRA including news, results and the final 2013 standings, archived results and standings, and more visit www.tundrasuperlates.com. Also, interact with us on Facebook (facebook.com/TundraSuperLateModels) or Twitter (@TUNDRAslms).
Stateline Challenge Winners
2013-Dillon Krallovetz, Bonduel, Wis.
2012- Jamie Iverson, Escanaba. Mich.
2011- Jamie Iverson, Escanaba, Mich.
2007- Mike Reichenberger, Appleton, Wis.
2006- Jamie Iverson, Escanaba. Mich.
2005- Jamie Iverson, Escanaba. Mich.
2004- Jamie Iverson, Escanaba. Mich.
2003- Terry Baldry, Omro, Wis.
2002- Dale Peterson, Escanaba, Mich.
2001- Mark Schoeder, Green Bay, Wis.
1999- Mark Schoeder, Green Bay, Wis.
1998- Dale Peterson, Escanaba, Mich.
1997- Terry Baldry, Omro, Wis.
1996- Kevin Cywinski, Mosinee, Wis.
1993- Matt Kenseth, Cambridge, Wis.
1992- Bob Menor, Wausaukee, Wis.
1991- Bob Menor, Wausaukee, Wis.
1990- Terry Baldry, Omro, Wis.
1989- Allen Check, Stevens Point, Wis.
1988- Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
1987- Scott Hansen, Green Bay, Wis.
1986- Scott Hansen, Green Bay, Wis.
1985- Mike Mattson, Marquette, Mich.
1984- Mike Kelly, Norway, Mic.
1982- Kent Pearson, Kingsford, Mich.
1981- Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.
No Record for 1994-’95, 2000. Race was not held in 1983, 2008-’10