LOREN REDDING – CHARTER MEMBER/DRIVER/BOARD MEMBER/PITMAN
November 27, 1929 – May 7, 2010
Loren was a charter member of the race club in 1953. In that first season of competition, Redding tied Claude Hanson in points for the inaugural season championship on the track. He also served on the club’s board in 1954, but was best known as the head wrench for many years for the race teams of Hanson, Jim Bergo, and Lawrence Pfau. The long time Westlie Motor mechanic spent a lot of time keeping the highway cars of 2, 52, and 83 on the track.
C. MORRIS ANDERSON – DONATOR
April 16, 1929 – July 10, 2009
Anderson was a long time Minot business man, and he owned the land on North Hill that the club raced on in its initial season of 1953. Anderson donated some land just west of what is now North Hill Bowl for the club to use, making it possible for the charter members of the club to accomplish their longtime dream of having organized car races in Minot. Morris also served on the board of directors in 1954.
DAVE HAMMER – CHARTER MEMBER/RACE OFFICIAL
Dave was one of the 11 charter members of the club, and was best known as one of the longest tenured flagman in the club. Hammer flagged for a total of 18 seasons, which to this day is believed to be the longest time of service as the head flagman of the race club. Dave was invited back in 2002 to be the honorary starter for the races on the night of the 50th Anniversary celebration, as he got to throw the green flag one more time.
LEHRE EVENSON – PRESIDENT/CHARTER MEMBER/DRIVER
March 11, 1933 – October 11, 202
Lehre was the first elected President of the Nodak Race Club, and he was also a charter member as well. He helped guide the club to leave its roots of racing in a field located by which is now the Nash Finch warehouse, and helped them with the move to the North Hill Track. Lehre also was the first driver in the club to have a second generation driver on the track, when his son Tim began racing.
WALLY HOESCHT – DRIVER
November 10, 1926 – September 8, 1955
Wally grabbed the track championship in 1954, and was also leading the points Labor Day in 1955 when he was involved in a bad accident on the track. Hoescht survived the accident that day, but passed away two days later because of a punctured lung that was suffered in the crash. To this day, Hoescht is the only driver in the history of the club to pass away because of an accident on the track.
KEN MILLER – CAR OWNER/BOARD MEMBER
June 12, 1927 – December 15, 2013
Ken was a longtime supporter of the club, and was a longtime car owner and board of director’s member as well. Miller was credited with being the first car owner to put disc brakes on one of his cars, and the first owner in this area to put a wing on the roof of his super modified car. Ken and his wife Irene were in charge of the club’s finances for years, and have even been referred to as the club’s historians as well. Through the years he owned cars driven by Andy Nikitenko, Oscar Corum, and Billy Reum, and Miller always seemed to have room at his business, Miller’s Sheet Metal, if any driver needed a place to wrench on their car.
IRENE MILLER – BOARD MEMBER/CAR OWNER
August 9, 1924 – March 9, 2013
Plain and simple, Irene Miller will be best known for keeping records and history of the race club from its beginnings in 1953 until the completion of the 1972 season. For nearly 20 years, Irene served on and off the board of directors, and also on the Nodak Race Club Auxiliary. Her preservation of the race club’s history through new clippings and photos is second to none. She was always at her husband’s Ken’s side to help out wherever she could, as they were car owners and owners of Miller’s Sheet Metal as well. Without the watchful eye of Irene, the club’s history that we now have preserved might not have ever been retained.
DARRELL MARKLE – PITMAN/DONATOR/VOLUNTEER
August 1, 1935 – July 11, 2009
Darrell probably was best known for being a pitman on both race teams of Lawrence Pfau and Andy Nikitenko during the club’s golden years, but also was an important cog for the club in its initial season. Markle and his father Lloyd used their own construction equipment to keep the track on North Hill up and going. They would spend countless hours working on the track, and would also leave their equipment on location when they could so the club could also put it use in their absence.
AL PIETSCH – PITMAN/DONATOR/SPONSOR
1926 – 1995
Pietsch drove a race car in the early years, but ended up feeling right at home in the pits helping out various race trams through the years, Al was also a huge financial supporter of the club, sponsoring many race cars and the club with his flying business, Pietsch Flying Service. Al was known on occasion to land his plane on the back straightaway of the track to race if he had flown in from out of town and didn’t have enough time to land and drive to the fairgrounds by car.
LARRY ROGERS – BOARD MEMBER/PITMAN
Larry served six years as the secretary-treasurer of the club, and also spent many years in the pits helping out the Flying Deuce of Jim Bergo, and the 83 machine Lawrence Pfau. Larry was a staple of his time on the board of directors.
ED SOLTIS – PRESIDNET/BOARD MEMBER/DONATOR
Ed was very active in the club in the early years. He served as club president in 1956 and 1957, and also served on the board of directors in 1958. His leadership in the late 50’s set the table for the club’s golden years of the 1960’s. As a local businessman, he not only supported the club physically, but financially as well. He was awarded the nickname of “The Gateman,” as he guarded the pit gate entrance for several years.
JOE VITKO – RACE FAN
Joe is the only one in the 57 year history of the club to be enshrined in the hall of fame because of being a fan. Henever drove a race car, or did pit work for any other driver, but he was said to have never missed a race, and was put in the Hall for being a Super Fan. Vitko’s support for the club from the stands turned him into a folk hero legend with most of the drivers.
JOHN ZENZ – DRIVER
John earned a track championship in 1962 in a Class B car, and also captured North Dakota Racing Association titles in 1960 and 1961. Zenz was a solid competitor for many years in the race club, as he would tow his car up from his home in Max to take on the local drivers.
BOB LILLEGARD – CHARTER MEMBER/DRIVER/PITMAN
Bob was one of the 11 charter members of the club, and raced for 16 years before a tragic accident in 1969 forced him to retire from racing. He had to have his right arm amputated after his sprint car accident, but stayed active in the club as a pitman and fan for many years to come. His misfortune on the track inspired fellow driver Andy Nikitenko to invent arm straps that to this day help keep the driver’s arm stay in the car during accidents. Lillegard spent most of his career driving the familiar number 11 car, and finished behind the wheel of the 94 car.
DAVE SKARI – DRIVER
Dave appeared on the Nodak Race Club scene in the mid 60’s in the red number 96 car, and then moved on to the blue number 2 in his later years, under the name of the “Flying Deuce.” From the time the East Grand Forks driver hit the track, he earned the respect of all drivers of the club immediately. Skari grabbed many titles in his time, including track championships in Grand Forks, West Fargo, Sioux Falls, along with Thunder Bay, Ontario and Superior, Wisconsin. The hard charging Skari lost his life in an accident at the Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo in 1975.
BILL DELONG – CHARTER MEMBER/ANNOUNCER/BOARD MEMBER/CAR OWNER/SPONSOR
Bill was one of the club’s charter members, and started out at the club as its announcer on North Hill. Operating from the back of a pickup truck hooked up to a car battery, DeLong informed the race fans of what was happening on the track. He also held various board member positions, and had a stint as the head flagman as well. In his later years in the club, DeLong was the owner of the familiar number 0 Bardahl sponsored sprint car. DeLong also sponsored and helped the club out as a business owner in any way that he could.
HAROLD “HARRY” KITLER – DRIVER/CAR OWNER/SPONSOR
September 13, 1942 – December 29, 2001
Harry began racing in the club in 1963 in the Hobby Stocks, earning the runner up spot for the season in that class. He then moved in the Super Modified/Sprints division in 1965. The service station owner from Turtle Lake competed in the Sprint class until 1973. In that season, Harry was involved in a horrific 8 barrel rollover down the front straightaway that basically ended his driving career. He went on to become a car owner for Mike Tomlinson at first, and then later on for his son Troy. His local business, Harry’s Auto Service, was always very active in sponsorships for other drivers and the club as well.
NEIL LEIGH – DRIVER/BOARD MEMBER
May 25, 1935 – August 18, 2006
Neil was a driver in the club for many years in both the Hobby Stocks and Super Sprints, and also served as club president in 1975 and 1976. He also served on the board in 1977.
CLAUDE HANSON – CHARTER MEMBER/DRIVER/PRESIDENT/BOARD MEMBER
Claude’s name was synonymous with the race club for the first 15 years. The charter member shared the first track championship in 1953, and then on to win the titles in 1962 and 1965 also. His success on the track continued on a state level, as he won the North Dakota State Association titles in 1958 and again in 1965. While Hanson was practically dominating the Super Modified class at Nodak, he also found time to serve as club president in 1954, and was a six time board member as well, serving from 1955 to 1957, and 1963 to 1965. Claude’s success on the tack and his leadership on the board of the race club was very instrumental for the growth of the club. The number 52 car remains legendary in the minds of all the race club old timers.
DON MACK – DRIVER
July 6, 1939
The “flying dirt Farmer” from East Grand Forks, Minnesota always caught the eye of the local drivers when he rolled into town with the red number 54 car on the trailer. Mack traveled extensively during his career, winning many track championships along the way, including the Minnesota State Fair Championship in 1975, along with winning the midseason and season title at Nodak Speedway that year also in Doug Howell’s number 4 sprint. Mack still serves as one of the supporters of the River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, and was one of several promoters responsible for getting World of Outlaws to start coming to the state for a three day race in West Fargo in the 80’s.
JIM “HOSS” HAUGE – DRIVER/VICE-PRESIDENT/PRESIDENT
Jim started racing in the Hobby class division in 1964, and it didn’t take very long for him to catch on. Hauge won the track championship as a rookie in 64, and then repeated the effort in 1965 as well. After 8 years in a Hobby car, he jumped up to the Super Sprint dvision in 1972. “Hoss” also got involved in the management of the club, as he served in the Vice President’s chair in 1967, 1968, and 1970. He also served one year as club President in 1971. Jim will always be remembered for his 10 gallon cowboy hat that reminded the fans of the television star Dan Blocker, who played the character Hoss Cartwright on the Bonanza western show.
RICK FERKEL – DRIVER
Rick only appeared at Nodak race club one time on invitation, but he made it worthwhile. The “Ohio Traveler” was invited up for the 1976 North Dakota State Fair championships, and he ended up winning the event. Two years later in 1978, he helped Ted Johnson and Steve Kinser start up what we know today as the World of Outlaws. His brief association with the Nodak race club sent a message that the track could attract large race car names to its events.
DANNY SCHATZ – DRIVER/SPONSOR
Danny nabbed the 1974 midseason runner up honors in the Super Sprint class, and ended up competing at Nodak for several years. To this day, Schatz is known as a huge supporter of the Nodak Speedway, and his local business Schatz Crossraods Truck Stop has been one of the only advanced ticket sales locations for the club. He also started the Schatz race team that ended up winning the World of Outlaws championship 3 times, in 2006, 2007 and 2008, with his son Donny at the wheel. Danny no longer owns the race team, but Donny did grab a fourth straight title in 2009 for car owner Tony Stewart. Beginning in the spring of 2010, Schatz has now leased and taken control of the Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, and continues to support racing in the state.
DOUG GROVES – DRIVER/BOARD MEMBER
While Claude Hanson and Lawrence Pfau were probably the top of the drivers list in the 50’s and early 60’s, Groves has to be one of the best that competed at the speedway in the 60’s and 70’s. Groves grabbed three straight championships in 1966, 1967, and 1968, and followed with two straight in 1973 and 1974. Doug finished as the runner up in the final year of the Sprint cars at the speedway in 1976. Groves was well known all over the area, and also had track championships in Grand Forks, and was a regular visitor to the Knoxville Raceway in Iowa. He also served as the club President in 1970, and served on the board of directors in 1974.
BILL SCHRIOCK – DRIVER/DONATOR/SPONSOR
Bill and his brother raced in the club in the 50’s, but Billy is best known for his generous contributions to the race club. Schriock’s construction company had a lot to do with the reshaping of the race track in 1978 from the one half and a quarter mile tracks that the club had at the time to the new state of the art 3/8 mile track, which was promptly names the fastest 3/8 mile track in the nation. To this day his donations to the track continue, as he still donates materials and equipment from his business to help the club, and also donated the new lap and standing board to the track several years ago.
AL HOCHSPRUNG – CHARTER MEMBER/DRIVER/BOARD MEMBER
Al was a charter member of the club, and made the Flying 8 Ball car one of the most popular of its time in the early years. He won the Class C championship in 1956, and served on the board in 1962, 1969, and 1970. He was known in the racing circle as “Mr. Lead Foot,” and he was always there to help his fellow drivers at his automotive business for parts and advice for many years.
TED HOCHSPRUNG – DRIVER/BOARD MEMBER/DONATOR
March 28, 1928 – September 15, 2013
Ted and his brother Al are still the only set of brothers to be members of the Nodak Hall of Fame. They both began racing at the Fairgrounds in the early 50’s, and were very well accepted in the racing community. Ted served on the board of directors in 1959 and 1960, and his construction company out of Turtle Lake was very instrumental in constructing the race track in Underwood, which is still in business today. As of 2008, Ted was still competing in the Hobby Stock division, making him the oldest man at that time to still hold an IMCA driving license.
DOUG AMUNDSON – CHARTER MEMBER/VOLUNTEER
Doug was a charter member of the club, and spent many years involved with the operation of the race club. His face was one of the most familiar ones in the pits for many years, and still attends the races to this day. Doug was always there to help with whatever the club needed help getting done.
BILLY REUM – DRIVER
June 16, 1937 – September 28, 2016
Bill joined the race club in its very first year of existence, and ended up still racing in the late 70’s for Ken Miller in the famous 88 car. Bill was the midseason 1956 Class A Champion, and was competitive for many years. Bill was a resident of Plaza for most of his racing years.
LARRY SCHIMMELPFENNIG – DRIVER/VICE-PRESIDENT/PRESIDENT
Larry competed in the Super Modified and Super Sprint classes in the 1960’s, and also served as club Vice President in 1985 and President for five years from 1986 to 1990. Larry grabbed the 1961 Class B track championship also. Larry was the President when Nodak went through its transition from Late Models to the Modified era.
JIM BERGO – CHARTER MEMBER/DRIVER/PRESIDENT
Jim competed in the early years of the club, as he was a charter member in the opening year of 1953. He was probably the most successful driver of his era, winning two track championships in 1957 and 1959, but also seemed to have the upper hand whenever the club hosted the increased purse special races. He also served on the board for four years in the late 50’s, and was club President in 1961. Jim also assisted the club for years with sponsorships, as he was the owner of Minot Plumbing and Heating.
ROBERT “ROSIE” ROSSELLI – DRIVER/RACE OFFICIAL/VOLUNTEER
Rosie competed in the Sprint car division for many years, and also was a Sprint car owner as well. He has volunteered many hours of time to help the club out as a flagman, fuel delivery service, weigh scale operator, and whatever other jobs that the club needed him to do through the years. Bob also serves as a flagman to this day in Williston and Rugby, and is also the promoter of the McClean County Speedway in Underwood.
LOREN “BUTCH” BOYCE – DRIVER/PITMAN
Butch began driving at the Speedway in a Hobby Class car in 1965, and switched to the Super Modified in 1967. He continued running the Sprint cars until the class stopped running on a regular basis at the Speedway in 1976. He won the tack Championship in 1971, and he is now the main wrench for his son Joren Boyce’s car in the Modified class. Up through the 2008 season, Butch was still racing Joren’s backup car at several tracks in the state.
OSCAR CORUM – DRIVER/RACE OFFICIAL
April 8, 1934 – October 17, 2012
Oscar drove at the Speedway from 1956 until 1971, driving the famous RU 18 and 88 cars in the early years, and finishing his career in the familiar number 5 car in the later years. Oscar did trade the steering wheel in for a set of flags in 1963 as he served as the head flagman for one year before returning to the driver’s seat. “The Traffic General” won the Class A division in 1960, and also garnered the 1966 North Dakota State Racing Association’s title.
JERRY “TORQUE” LAWSON – RACE OFFICIAL/DRIVER/BOARD MEMBER/VICE-PRESIDENT/PRESIDENT
May 28, 1936
Jerry started out as one of the first flagman of the club, serving in that position from 1954 to 1956. He then began his driving career in 1957 and competed until the Sprint cars left the regular program in the mid 70’s. Through the years, Jerry has served on every position on the board of directors. He was a board member in 1964, 1965 and 1969. He served as Secretary/Treasurer in 1962, Vice President in 1981, and served as club President in 1968 and 1983. Jerry is also known as the patriarch of the first 3 generation family at Nodak, as son Kevin and grandson Dusty currently both compete in the NOSA Sprint car division.
ANDY NIKITENKO – DRIVER/BOARD MEMBER
Andy is arguably the most popular driver in the history of the race club. “Choo-Choo” was a charter member of the club, and by the end of his career in 1971 he had amassed a huge fan base. He won track Championships in 1956 and 1957 in the Class B division, and grabbed Super Sprint titles in 1969 and 1970. He seemed to rise to the occasion whenever the club hosted a special race event, like the International race that the use to host. He served on the Board of Directors six times through the years as well. He will probably always be best known for his race against Cessna Airplane at the Minot International Airport in 1964. The race didn’t turn out to good for Nikitenko, as he lost control at the end of the run way at 150 miles an hour, causing the car to flip 9 times before coming to rest.
LAWRENCE PFAU – DRIVER/BOARD MEMBER/VICE-PRESIDENT
October 27, 2014
Lawrence earned the nickname “Speedy,” as he was the first 6 time Champion of the Nodak Speedway. Pfau won titles in 1955, 1957,1958,1961,1963, and 1964. He also added 5 straight North Dakota State Racing Association titles to his resume. All of those titles came during a 13 year career, making him one of the most successful drivers in the history of the club. He also served on the board three times, and was also the Vice President in 1965, 1966, and 1971. In his later years in the club he was the car owner for the famous number 6 driven by Nikitenko.
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