When Mike got out of the army, he happened to be looking through a Popular Mechanics magazine and decided he wanted to go to school in St. Louis to learn about gas and diesel engines. The rest, so they say, was history.
Mike got hooked up with the Ward family building engines for Hall of Famer Jim, his brother and current racer Jeff, as well as Jim's son Cory. Jim won Fremont Speedway's 1978 and 1979 Sport Stock championships while Cory won the track's 2007 Dirt Truck title. You could say racing is a family ordeal for Mike as his daughter married Jim and Mike is Cory's grandfather.
Mike started working on race cars around 1962. He also operated push jeeps at Fremont Speedway for many years.