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From here to Virginia to who knows where – the race is on


September 26, 2007

From here to Virginia to who knows where – the race is on

Local IT professional wins big in contest BY CHUCK TUCK | JOURNAL REPORTER Lake Stevens motor sports enthusiast Chad Norley received an opportunity of a lifetime when he responded to a magazine article a while back.

“I found out about the contest by reading a Road and Track article from an editor who had done it the previous year,” Norley said. “It was an open application and anybody could submit to it and if you thought you could do all these things, and wanted to show the world, apply here. So that’s what I did.”

Without hesitation Norley applied and waited.

What started in Germany nearly ten years ago as a way to enjoy putting some excitement behind driving, Dunlop has taken its small contest miles beyond and developed a race for everyday people to experience.

Racing in exotic locales such as Australia, Malaysia, South Africa, and Death Valley is a dream come true for any enthusiast so when an opportunity like this presents itself, thousands of applicants do whatever it takes to be selected.

“I heard that there were thousands and thousands of applicants. They really quickly got it down to about 1,300.”

Norley said that he grew up in Montana, and that’s likely where he gained some of his skills and the love of speed.

“I am from Montana originally and there are a lot of mountain switchbacks there,” he commented.

By day Norley is a business professional working for a company in Mukilteo.

“I am a director of IT for Synrad Incorporated; we’re the worlds leading CO2 manufacturer,” he said.

A short time after the announcement of the 1,300 finalists, Norley received an email asking for some personal information.

“I got an email when it got down to the top 25, saying they wanted my social security number to do a full background check and credit check and that type of stuff,” he said. ”At first I thought this was a friend pulling my leg so I called them to make sure, and uh no, it was legit. So I provided them with all that information, and about two weeks later I got an email saying I was in the top 12.”

By this time the excitement for Norley was like a full scale assault in a fast car on some mountain road.

“Only 12 people made it out of thousands into the competition, and it was pretty surreal,” Norley said.

He competed in the US Regional Qualifier competition last week and placed third overall in the Dunlop Drivers Cup held in Danville, Virginia.

His third place finish secures him a spot on the 2008 US World Finals to be held in 2008.

Norley says the World Finals is a ten day event which Dunlop again pays for everything including another custom fitted fire-safety-suit, boots, gloves, and any other safety gear needed.

He’ll find out sometime in December where the race location will be.

“I’m pretty optimistic that it will be someplace exotic,” Norley said.

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