MARCY AND LYLE NOWAK #32
Hope you all have been enjoying the Women of Mid-Am stories. We all have had a story to tell.
Mine starts way back in 1974 when I met this guy my junior year in high school. I would have never imagined at that time what my future would bring.
On one of our first dates he asked me to go to the races. I was convinced I wouldn’t care for that type of thing, but I went.
First Mistake…... Had no clue what to wear, so why not a cute white skirt, dressy blouse, and nice little heels.
Second mistake…… Wore hard contacts at the time, not the nice soft ones we have today. Dusty, learned later it was oil dry. Not the stuff you like to see on the race track near your car.
Third mistake…… I couldn’t wait to get out of there. People cheering when the cars crashed. Loud. Was not my idea of fun.
The next week he asked me to go to the races again. I said no thanks. The next day at school some of my classmates said they saw Lyle at the races with some other girl. I was upset because I really liked him. As it turned out the other girl was his sister Sherry. That was the point where I thought I’d give going to the races one more try. My one more try ended up being the beginning of a wonderful marriage of 34 years and life that has had race cars in it since 1978.
I was lucky that Lyle always had me involved in every facet of our race team. I do the marketing, find sponsorship, work on the car in the shop, have my race day duties, cook, and clean the hauler. We do it together………that’s what made it work all these years. There was a time women were not allowed in the pits. I’m glad that I was one of the women of the early days that crossed that line to pave the way for all women to be involved. Look around today and it’s a family sport. I’m glad for that.
It’s hard to choose just one most favorite moments we have had together. Won rookie of the year in 1978. 16 Track Championships, Alan Kulwicki Wisconsin Achievement Award Winner in 1996, a few Great North Legends Regional Championships, and a Mid-Am Championship. These are all things for the record book. All of them good memories
My favorite parts of racing are all the places we’ve been, the people we have met and lifelong friends we have made.
Lyle started his career when short track racing was at its peak. He was taught by the best. Larry Detjens, Dick Trickle, Jimmy Back, Tom Reffner, Marv Marzofka, Mike Miller and many more. It was a time of fierce competition done with respect. Racers got along and the veterans were willing to teach you if you would just watch and listen. Throughout the years much of that has been lost. Down the road as I look back I will be happy to have found the Mid-Am Series as it is the much like racing from days gone by.
Places we have raced Charlotte Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Nashville, Hoosier Dome, Shelby Tenn., Texas, all the places we go to with Mid-Am and most every track in Wisconsin..
For me the most fun was the Mark Collie celebrity race for Legend Cars at Nashville Raceway. It was a charity race to raise money for diabetes research at Vanderbilt Hospital.
We were invited guests for 4 years. Being a part of this event was an honor. We were assigned to a celebrity, teach them to drive and then allow that celebrity race your car. The who’s who of music, movies, sports and TV stars were there. Brooks and Dunn, Keith Urban, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Loretta Lynn, Chuck Norris, NASCAR drivers and many other important people. We were treated like royalty…, hotel rooms, fantastic food, mingled with the stars, and best of all a dinner and concert at Wild Horse Saloon. At the end of the event (if you had a race car in one piece) the real Legend Car Drivers raced.
My worst moment was a point in our career when we knew it was time to leave local racing and quit or move on to something different. As it turned out it was probably one of our best moments because I’m writing this story today.
Career: 30 years of sales and marketing. I work at Zastrow The Beer Man as an account manager.
Hobbies: Civil War and anything else history. I volunteer as much as I can at our local historical society as a curator assistant. I get to see wonderful artifacts and clothing of past decades and I love it. I was proud to be a part of creating our current Civil War exhibit. I also like to collect and restore vintage metal outdoor furniture.
Children: Chevy, Chassis and Shiloh. Our German Shepard Dogs.
I would like to encourage the rest of you ladies to tell your story. It’s a great way to get to know one another and maybe we have things in common in our lives away from the racetrack as well.
***SEE MORE PHOTOS BELOW***
My Favorite Recipes:
JACK DANIELS CHOCOLATE CAKE
1 -18 ¼ oz package devils food pudding cake mix
1/3 cup Jack Daniels Whiskey (add more if you want to. I do)
1 Cup Sour Cream
2 Cups Chopped Pecans
1 Cup Golden Raisins
1 Cup Maraschino Cherries, drained and halved
1- 6-oz package Semisweet Chocolate Chips
In a large bowl combine the cake mix, Jack Daniels Whiskey, Sour Cream and eggs on low speed until moistened, then beat for 2 minutes on high speed. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 12 cup fluted tube pan. Bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes or until cake spings back. Turn out on rack and cool completely. To serve brush warm corn syrup on top for a glossy finish. Keeps for 2 weeks wrapped in the fridge.
MARCY'S POTOTO SALAD
No real recipe but this is what I do:
Wash and Cook Potatoes with skins on until tender. Let Cool. Peel and dice into large bowl. Add 4 diced hard boiled eggs and chopped onion.
In separate bowl mix 1 or 2 Cups Mayo, add one squirt of yellow mustard, season salt and sugar to taste. Blend together. Add to potatoes, onion and eggs. Mix. Adjust recipe to size and taste.