NORWAY - It's very rare, but every once in a while when my team wins a monumental game, rather than just bringing them into the locker room, I will send them across the court to thank their parents for supporting them and to celebrate with our fans.
What I see happening in stockcar racing is that the mom and dad not only celebrate the big wins but they are also there experiencing the tough losses. The whole family experiences the ups and downs together.
For the second time this year, we have seen a father and son team that has experienced all of the highs and lows of a very difficult and demanding sport that stockcar racing is.
Watching one of our future stars, Mike D'Angelo Jr. of Gwinn, race to his first ever feature win was an amazing moment. He had been close before but the first one is always so elusive.
Last Friday night, he made a few extremely skillful moves in the first couple laps and that proved to be the difference. Seeing him celebrate in the pit area with his family and team was an extremely emotional moment for everyone.
I remember talking to Mike Sr. on practice day, mentioning that all the green on his car could possibly mean bad luck. Then he told me that the green was a tribute to Mike Jr.'s cousin, Mark DeShambo Jr., who passed away from brain cancer in 2004 when he was 16 years old. They raced go karts together.
There is no sponsor on the hood of Mike D'Angelo Jr.'s car, just his cousin's name. His sponsors include D' Angelo Custom Cutting, Superior Mobile Service, Model Town Express, MRT Motorsports, Jacobson Excavating, Larry's Family Foods, Rodney's Pizza and North Country Disposal.
Congratulations to the D'Angelo family racing team and everyone else that has helped or inspired him.
In the Auto Value Super Stock Division, we had a track legend who still had "some gas in the tank."
Al Bilski, a racing veteran for over 30 years, drove like he was in his prime to a feature win over all the young, hot shoes that division has. Al was upset at the beginning of the night that he accidentally took the pit parking spot of a late model rookie driver and I told him not to worry about it
because he was a legend and we would find the rookie a good spot.
He looked at me with a straight face and said "I am no more important than the next guy."
Classic Al Bilski, one of our drivers who has never had a problem with giving back to our sport and sacrificing to make our track what it is.
This week will be brought to you by the Island Resort & Casino and it marks the last regular night of racing. Next week is the Dickinson County Fair and on Thursday night it's the inaugural running of the Upper Peninsula Small Car Championships.
We will have cars coming from Escanaba and Marquette to run against our local Fab Four DQ Dog Division. The combined points total of Thursday and Sunday will be the first ever UPSC champion.
Along with that we will also have a full slate of Auto Value Super Stock female drivers. It is going to be ladies night out as they will qualify, run heat races and a feature event. The ladies will also running in the Fab Four Division as well.
For more information go to www.norwayspeedway.com or call 906-361-0597. See you at the track!