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Author Topic: Norm Mayhew Furthers his Racing Education...Playing in the Dirt  (Read 1379 times)

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Norm Mayhew Furthers his Racing Education...Playing in the Dirt
« on: February 02, 2013, 01:04:44 PM »

Norm Mayhew Furthers his Racing Education...Playing in the Dirt

By Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications


In racing – as in life – you sometimes need to do something different to keep things fresh.  After cutting his teeth in the Thunder Car and Late Model divisions at Peterborough, Kawartha and Mosport Speedways, Norm Mayhew decided it was time for a change.  Racing wasn’t as much fun as it had been and the 31 year-old parked his equipment and hung-up his driving gear.  Like many who have tried to quit racing, Mayhew was unsuccessful.  It wasn’t long before he was searching the motorsports classified advertising sites, searching for a dirt late model to run at Brighton Speedway.


“I was out of a car for just over a year, but that didn’t mean I was completely away from the sport,” said the owner/operator of Mayhew Graphics in Colborne, Ontario.  “I’d formed a bond with Kirk Mowat when I raced at Kawartha and helped crew his son Brandon’s car at Brighton in 2011.  It was a good chance to learn a different side of the sport and running some occasional practice laps in their equipment gave me the urge to get back on the track myself.”


With help from long-time friend and team business manager Andre Arff, Mayhew picked-up a Lazer chassis from Mike Crump Racing Supply in New Bloomfield, Missouri.  While the team originally planned to be ready for the 2012 season opener, commitments on the business side of things delayed the dirt track debut of the driver Brighton’s announcer Huck Flindall had nicknamed Stormin’ Norman early in his career until more than a month after the campaign got underway.  Undaunted, Mayhew’s new venture tackled the track full speed ahead; even though their set-up notebook was filled with blank sheets of paper.


“The only thing we knew for sure was that there was much we didn’t know,” admitted Mayhew with a self-deprecating laugh.  “In a pavement car, you want to make the car stick everywhere.  Running on dirt, it’s like you’re on the edge of a cliff all the time.  The car runs its best when you’re almost out of control.  I had to learn how to power through the corners and make the car run tight against the berm.  Things came at me fast and furious, but getting the hang of the car’s handling was fun.”


Even with the competitive nature of motorsports, Mayhew says the drivers who’d be determined to beat him on the racetrack offered the most help and constructive advice during his transition from pavement to dirt racing.  Veteran campaigner Greg Belyea offered the use of some parts, while Caley Weese turned a few laps in the #60 machine to provide feedback on the car’s handling.  Kirk and Brandon Mowat pitched-in with some opinions, while Phil Potts and his car owner Stu Archer helped to plan some adjustments to make the ride easier to drive.  Mayhew and his crew of Colin MacKenzie, Patrick Marvin, Craig Martin, Andre Arff, Sheldon Beatty and Samantha Thompson went into their first year of dirt track racing with their eyes and ears open, looking to learn as much as possible along the way.


“We treated every race night like it was a practice session.  It was tough to read and anticipate how the track conditions were going to change throughout the night,” said Mayhew.  “With the pavement car, we’d been used to running laps for almost a couple of hours before the show to dial-in the chassis.  On dirt, you get maybe 10 or 15 laps at the start of the night.  The track is wet and heavy during hot laps, but by the time of our heat races, it was already starting to change and was usually dry and slick when we rolled off the line for the main event.”


Mayhew says he crossed a number of items off his pre-season checklist and had fun during his initial dirt track campaign.  Heading into the 2013 season, the team is looking to be more competitive and hopes to add even more marketing support to their program.


The #60 dirt late model team of Norm Mayhew is proudly supported by Only Solutions, Sine’s Flooring, Hannah Motors, Kawartha Metals, Ash-Tec Masonry, Trent Security, Cobourg Canadian Tire, Air Van Taxi, Custom Asbestos and Mould Removal, Vortex Brake Pads, Mayhew Auto Repair, PJM Plumbing, Lazer Chassis and Mayhew Graphics.


Brighton Speedway’s 2013 campaign takes the green flag Saturday, May 4th following a parade through the downtown core and there are a number of marquee events for the late model division, including the first appearance for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series Thursday, June 20th and the 3rd edition of the Great Crate Race Saturday, September 7th.  To obtain a copy of the Team 60 sponsorship proposal, call Norm Mayhew at 905.207.9074 or e-mail


Photo attachment:  Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications

Colborne, Ontario’s Norm Mayhew powers his #60 late model machine through turns 3 and 4 at Brighton Speedway.  The 31 year old is looking forward to the start of the 2013 season.


Prepared by:  Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications
                       613.968.6410  /  613.922.0654

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Norm Mayhew Furthers his Racing Education...Playing in the Dirt
« on: February 02, 2013, 01:04:44 PM »


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