Norway Speedway inducts four new members into Hall of Fame
NORWAY, Mich. (WLUC) - The Norway Speedway inducted their latest class of hall of famers this past Friday, during a special race day ceremony.
This year’s Hall of Fame class featured some of the biggest names in Norway Speedway history, like Iron Mountain’s John Koehler who has been the voice of the speedway for 30 years, serving as the PA announcer, and more.
“I’ve done a weekly radio show for many years, we used to do a live program here,” said Koehler. “I’ve had a wonderful association here in Norway.”
John’s contribution’s to the speedway speak loudly, but he’s just happy to be involved for so long.
“I’ve never turned a lap here, I’ve never won a track championship here, but in my PA work here over these many years, if that gave somebody a little bit of extra enjoyment, maybe got a chuckle out of something I did, then it’s made it all worth it,” said Koehler.
John saw a lot of his fellow Hall of Fame members over the years, including new inductee Fred Gignac, of Menominee. ‘Floorboard Freddy’ as he’s better known, had plenty of success at the track; but for him, racing has always been a family activity.
“My family, it was my dad when he was alive, my two daughters, my wife, and the dog,” said Gignac. We went with friends and family, we had an old school bus years back and we had as many as 18 or 20 people, and we’d head to the races.”
The other two inductees were unable to attend the ceremony. Bark River-Harris’ Greg Ives was busy in the NASCAR Cup Series, as the crew chief for Alex Bowman, a young driver with Hendricks Racing in the midst of a breakout season.
The fourth inductee, Pat Temple of Vulcan, unfortunately passed away in 1999. His family accepted the honor on his behalf. Temple was a founding member of the Norway Speedway, and was a fan favorite at the track for decades, while also putting his good driving skills to the test as a Norway schools bus driver.
“All the people that are in, and the guys I’m going in with tonight, they’re great racers and track people, but better people,” said Koehler. “They’re just great people, and they’re great people I’ve worked with all these years. I’ve loved every minute of it.”
For a full schedule of the Norway Speedway race season, click here.
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