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Bergakkers Go To Lansing

Bergakkers Go To Lansing

Lt. Gov. Calley Congratulates Michigan Champion

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Michigan’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series state champion for 2013 received congratulations from a top state executive during the holidays.

Brian Bergakker, 33, of Lowell, Mich., and his wife Jessica were welcomed to the State House in Lansing by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley. Bergakker won the state championship and track title at Kalamazoo (Mich.) Speedway.

“It was quite an interesting experience,” Bergakker said. “Lt. Gov. Calley was more down to earth than I thought he’d be. He’s really a nice guy.”

At 34, Calley was sworn in as America’s youngest lieutenant governor on Jan. 1, 2011. He works in partnership with Gov. Rick Snyder.

“Mr. Calley is only a few years older than me and he comes from Ionia County, which is the next county over from mine. He’s attended the Pure Michigan 400 (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race) at Michigan International Speedway and got to hand out the trophy. We talked about racing and the automotive industry in general.”

Among the photos on Calley’s Facebook page are pictures from the 2013 Pure Michigan 400 at MIS. He’s shown with Richard Petty extending an arm over his shoulders for a picture, and shaking hands with drivers during pre-race introduction ceremonies.

“He knows racing,” Bergakker said.

Calley and his wife Julie have three young children.

“He talked about his family. They still live in the home he bought when he was 20. He wasn’t the politician I expected. He’s a down-to-earth family man.

“This was something you don’t expect, getting to go meet your lieutenant governor,” Bergakker said. “It was a ‘wow’ moment. I didn’t know this was possible. It makes you stop and realize the success you’ve had. It was nice of Mr. Calley and NASCAR to do this for us.”

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