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Continued: Metro-area teen drivers revel in summer racing season

  • Article by: RON HAGGSTROM , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 10, 2013 - 6:45 AM

“I have patience, and I’m a clean driver,” Matthew said. He is in 12th place in the Super Late Models points standings. “Michael is more aggressive. We have different driving styles.”

Michael is running in the INEX Legends series. Like his older brother, he won five quarter midget championships. In 2011, Michael won the INEX Dirt Nationals championship.

“I like [NASCAR driver] Kyle Busch because he drives super-hard. He doesn’t care what other people think,” said Michael, who took over the top spot in the Legends points standings this past weekend. “I’ll do whatever it takes to win.”

That is, as long as it doesn’t become too pricey. It currently costs the family a minimum of $300 a night to race, and that is without the cars encountering any damage.

“It can get expensive if you are wrecking cars,” Matthew said.

No matter the style, success has been plentiful for the brother combination. The two have accumulated more than 100 trophies in the basement of their home. One that stands out in Michael’s mind is when he edged his older brother to win his uncle’s memorial race in 2011.

“That was pretty sweet,” Michael said.

Fast learner

Jack Purcell didn’t waste any time having an impact in the Mini Stock division after making the leap in classes.

He is the defending champion in the division at both Elko Speedway and Raceway Park. He was also the overall national points champion for the 2012 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series in Division V on asphalt.

“I didn’t think winning all three championships was possible,” Purcell said. “Last year was awesome.”

Purcell is in his fourth year of racing between the two tracks. He got his start racing dirt bikes at the age of 4.

“Racing is something I really took interest in at a young age,” Purcell said.

He was rookie of the year in his first season at Raceway Park when he was 14 years old.

Purcell was the Mini Stock division season and national champion in his second year of racing at Elko Speedway in 2011. He beat a 35-year-old two-time national champion for the title.

“It’s a pretty good challenge every year,” Purcell said. “If you put your mind to something, anything can happen.”

He has proved that just by driving his current car to victory lane. It was originally set to be a demolition car.

“We spent numerous hours setting it up,” Purcell said. “Now, we are racing every weekend with it. It’s a much faster car, and I get a little better with every lap I run.”

  • related content

  • Chart: Meet teen racers from Bloomington, Hugo and Lakeville

    Tuesday July 9, 2013

    Teen drivers race during the summers.

  • Matthew Ostdiek checked the inflation level of one of his racing tires.

  • Jack Purcell readied his car for an upcoming race.

  • Michael Ostdiek cleaned his car before the start of a race.

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