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Norman County Raceway
Mailing Address: 2287 170th street Halstad, MN 56548
Track Address:  503 west Thorpe Ave ADA, MN 56510

Phone – 218-474-1104
Fax – 218-456-2202

We would love to hear from you! Please fill out this form and we will get in touch with you shortly.

GetToKnowTheStaff

GetToKnow-Profile-MarkAskelson

Where do you live?
– Ada, Mn (Originally from Twin Valley, MN)

Tell us about your family:
My entire family has been involved in racing. Both my parents (Kerry and Denise) competed in Mud Running events when I was younger. My two older brothers, Matt and Mike, raced dirt track. No wife or kids for me, but I do have an awesome girlfriend who knows nothing about racing. I plan to change that this summer.

What do you do for a living?
– I’m the News Director for R & J Broadcasting Inc.

How and when did you get involved with racing?
– It all started as a kid sitting in the stands watching Mitch Hoekstra race at BRRP and then eventually my brothers. I always idolized the announcers and thought that was the coolest job ever. I did race a little bit of motocross in high school, but most of my involvement has been through a microphone. When I first started at KRJB I got involved with Racing on the Radio and also did some announcing for the 6 Pack 1000 Enduro Series. Eventually I got lucky enough to take over the announcing gig for NCR.

What sacrifices had you made for racing?
– I’m a big fan of car shows and love to go on cruises. I’ve always wanted to go to the “Cruising Broadway” or other events in West Fargo and Barnesville, but they are always held on Thursday nights, so I’ve never been able to go.

What has changed about racing since you first started?
– The biggest thing I can think of is the racing surfaces. The tracks used to always be muddy and tacky and full of holes. Now there’s an emphasis on dry, smooth tracks. That’s made for some great racing, but I still love to see the high horsepower machines like Modifieds, Late Models, and Sprint Cars flying wide open on a tacky track every now and then.

Do you have any superstitions about racing? Or good luck rituals?
Anybody who knows me is aware that I have to have Nachos before the races. My routine is like clockwork too. Get to the track at 5:05. Set up the broadcast equipment and test the PA. Then I head to the pits to talk to and interview drivers until 6pm. At that point I head back over to the grandstands, get my Nachos, water, and Mountain Dew, and then mingle with fans and kill time before I start announcing at about 6:45.

What was you most memorable racing story?
– I remember my brother Mike’s first (and only) feature win in a Street Stock at River Cities Speedway. He was up front most of the race and he was driving the heck out of that car. He would brush the front stretch wall every lap and with 2 laps to go he smoked it pretty hard and we all thought that was the end of it, but somehow he didn’t break anything. He held on for the win and I’m pretty sure he cursed during the victory lane interview. It was pretty cool to see one of my brothers finally get rewarded with a win.

What do you enjoy most about racing?
– I love the story lines. It’s not NASCAR, but there’s still rivalries at this level. There’s still retribution to be had. There’s still respect among some drivers. There’s vets, rookies, aggressive drivers, defensive drivers, etc.. There’s a always a story unfolding each and every race.

What is your favorite movie?
– Twister!

What is your favorite food?
– Besides Nachos….probably Tater Tot Hotdish.

What is your favorite beverage?
– Grain Belt Premium

What is your favorite TV show?
– The Walking Dead

What is your favorite music/band?
– The Hold Steady

What website do you visit most often?
www.rjbroadcasting.com

Do you have a favorite Youtube video?
– My favorite scene from Caddyshack: www.youtube.com/watch?v=e08TOHlevxU

Final Thoughts:
I’m grateful for the opportunity to work for Jake and Sharnel Bitker. They run a great race track and the city of Ada is blessed to have such a great facility in their backyard! I’m looking forward to another great season at NCR as well as broadcasting the races from Red River Valley Speedway on Friday nights too! #RacingontheRadio