Shanteau having success on the track

WEIDMAN — Mike Shanteau has been racing for 10 years on dirt tracks but the Chippewa Hills graduate sees almost the same competitive nature he picked up in that sport as he endured in football and basketball.

Shanteau, a resident of Weidman, got interested in racing through his family.

“My dad was in racing,” he said. “My dad used to race street stocks, but that was years ago.”

His dad, Charles Shanteau is also a Weidman area resident.

SPEEDSTER: Chippewa Hills graduate Mike Shanteau gets ready to work on his race car. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

Shanteau races usually down in Crystal Raceway in eastern Montcalm County and does some competition Fridays at Mount Pleasant Speedway.

“We run at Crystal mainly because it pays better,” Shanteau said. “We recently won a race at Crystal. That’s good this year. That was our first one of the season.”

Shanteau enjoys the challenge of putting together a good race car.

“Me and my dad do mostly everything,” he said.

Right now at Crystal, Shanteau has put himself in a good position to finish high in the points.

“We’re currently in the running for top five in the points at Crystal,” he said. “We’re in the running for the top 10 in the state. This is my first full season in the modifieds. If I get in the top five at Crystal and top 10 in the state, it’d be a great year.”

Shanteau is also excited about the Great Lakes national, an end-of-season race at Crystal.

“It pays quite a bit to win and it’s the honor, the big thing,” he said. “You win the Great Lakes and you’ve won something. I’d like to win a few more races this year.”

Shanteau has been holding his own over the years in the race car.

“You need luck, you need talent and you need a good working car,” he said. “A big thing with these modifieds and late models with these four-link suspensions is having the car right. There’s a lot of things that make these cars go. You have to be able to drive them but you have to have your car working and you have to have luck.”

Shanteau graduated from Chippewa Hills in 2006. He played football and basketball for the Warriors.

“I really think they compare because of the competitive nature,” he said. “I think if you talk to any racer, we’re all really competitive. In that aspect, racing compares to football and basketball. We’re competitive people and we want to win. I was big into sports in high school. It takes dedication through the week. That’s the similarities.

“Where racing differs, is we practice two hours after school for football and basketball, then we play our games once or twice a week. I bet I put another 40 hours in the garage every week on the race car depending on the luck of the week.”

Shanteau is a supervisor for Mader Brothers Quality Wood Pellets of Weidman.

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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