By Jordan Kuehne
(edited reprint July 28, 2011)
FORT ATKINSON, Wis. – With 17 championships in his back pocket, you’d think defending Mid-American Stock Car Series titlist Lyle Nowak would feel a bit more comfortable fending off competitors for his crown. That’s not the case however.
“It’s so tough to get wins out here,” admitted the Wausau, Wis. veteran. “With great racers like James Swan and Bill Prietzel, plus a host of others, it makes it difficult to get to victory lane, much less worry about titles.”
Nowak is no stranger to victory lane however, especially at the next MASCS destination, Norway Speedway in Norway, Mich, Friday, Aug 5th, for the "Eh Main" presented by Race Ramps. With the series headed up to the Upper Peninsula for their sixth stop on an 11-race schedule – ten of which are points races - Nowak sets his sights on a repeat from last year.
“It’s hard when you dig yourself a hole and give up that many points to the talented drivers here. We honestly didn’t points race at all last season and the standings tend to take care of themselves when you go race by race and aim for top 5’s and wins.”
With wins in the last two trips to the racy 1/3rd mile venue, Nowak is excited to get back to a track that reminds him of the track he grew up racing on, Tomahawk Speedway.
“This track has flat straightaways and reminds me a lot of Tomahawk (where I grew up racing). I’m excited to get up to Norway where we’ve been fortunate enough to have some good runs this year.”
While the long-time hotshoe feels as though last season’s strong showing and eventual title validated himself a bit, he admitted the fear of failure and the thrill of being in the points chase provide motivation each time he shows up at the racetrack.
Nowak dominated en route to the 2010 crown, racking up several top 5’s to go along with two wins at Norway and Dells Raceway Park last September. With wins on several of the venues remaining on the schedule and nine points races to go, Nowak still has to be considered a contender for the crown moving forward despite his troubles at Rockford where he was running up front before ending up 18th after a water pump failure.
With the crucial experience from winning his first touring series title last season as well as years of experience on racetracks around the Wisconsin area, Nowak knows that his uphill battle for a second MASCS title must begin this weekend and no later.
“As far as the points battle goes, this is huge. It’s one of ten but when you falter in the first one, you really need to go out there and try and get top 5’s, a couple of wins, run good the rest of the way.”
While each driver handles failure in different ways, don’t expect someone as experienced and consistent as Nowak to stay down for long. Not when that motivation to etch his name a little deeper into the history books behind a third consecutive win at Norway and a second straight MASCS title is burning bright.
Racing turns north as the Mid-American Stock Car Series is heads to Norway, Mich., for the "Eh Main" presented by Race Ramps at Norway Speedway Friday August 5th. The sixth stop on the 2011 schedule, the third-mile on the Dickinson County Fairgrounds promises to play host to an exciting show featuring some of the best drivers from across the Midwest.
Norway Speedway is located on the Dickinson County Fairgrounds just off Highway 8 in Norway, Mich. For more information visit www.norwayspeedway.com
For more information about the Mid-American Stock Car Series, including the full 2011 schedule, results, standings and driver information visit www.midamericanracing.com.