PORTAGE, Wis. (September 5, 2020) – When you have the longest tow to each TUNDRA Super Late Model Series race, it’s important to enjoy the ride as well as the destination, no matter the result. Michael Ostdiek say he and his team have done that… but they’re ready for a big day. They believe Round Five at Golden Sands Speedway this Monday could be that day.
“Racing with the TUNDRA series has been a good experience thus far,” Ostdiek said. “We haven’t had the best of luck considering all the DNFs, but every interaction with the staff and other competitors has been great. Altogether it’s a very competitive series, everyone seems to be there for the same reason (for the love of the sport), and you get a great bang for your buck.”
Ostdiek made his series debut at Golden Sands Speedway four years ago to the date. He made an instant, big impression by setting fast time in a field full of Champions and GSS veterans. What’s more, it was a maiden voyage for his program to a challenging track that can throw a curveball to any driver.
“Setting fast time in 2016 was super cool especially because that was my first ever race out of town in a Super,” Ostdiek said. “As far as the track and it suiting my driving? I don’t know about that. You definitely need to be in a good rhythm and be sensitive to your throttle input during the race. In qualifying you don’t really have to worry about that.”
Now that he enters as a full-time TUNDRA competitor, Ostdiek will have a little more of the lay of the land. He has become knowledgeable of his fellow competitors, and has been making strides in his Super Late Model program throughout the year. He’s shown good speed, especially at Jefferson and Marshfield, but experience bad luck. As for expectations for Monday, Ostdiek is trying to keep them as straightforward as possible.
“My expectations is that when we unload, we will focus on getting car better and better for the race,” he said. “I think that’s one thing that despite the bad luck, we have done a fairly decent job at.”
Another thing they have been decent at is adapting to a challenging race season, and circumstances in general. Super Late Model teams from Minnesota have few options. To add insult, Elko Speedway was closed for most of the summer due to Minnesota Covid-19 restrictions. Only recently has Ostdiek has been able to bring his weekly Late Model out to play on Saturday nights.
“Being a Super Late driver is tough when you’re from Minnesota. There is nowhere to race weekly within a 3 hour radius which makes it tough especially with a Super,” Ostdiek said. “There’s just so much more to it than a weekly Late Model and you have to be on your A-Game if you want to see good results.
“At the beginning of the year all we had really committed to was the 6-race schedule TUNDRA has. Luckily it hasn’t been too overwhelming with a shorter window to race but definitely wish we could’ve maybe raced a couple one-off shows here and there to get more of a dialed-in baseline.”
Some better luck and results would be a good shot in the arm for Ostdiek and his team. The way they look at it, it would be a bonus to a wild and memorable campaign.
“My goal is to have as much fun as possible. What’s the point if you’re not having fun,” Ostdiek commented. “I would say that battling for Top Fives in the next two races would be fun. Yeah you want to win every time you show up to the track, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, as the old saying goes.”
Ostdiek and his fellow TUNDRA Travelers roll into Golden Sands Speedway for Round Five on Monday, September 7. Qualifying is scheduled for 12:30 and racing is at 2 pm. TUNDRA will be joined by the Midwest Dash Series, Wisconsin Sport Trucks, and WIR ¼-Mile Late Models.
Golden Sands Speedway is located on Highway 54 between Plover and Wisconsin Rapids. For more information visit http://www.gssraces.com.