The Deadline for the 2017 Nodak Speedway Hall of Fame Nominee submissions has been set for Saturday April 16th! If you are wanting to nominate someone please get their bio in on or before Saturday April 16th.
DONALD BENDER – DRIVER
July 4, 1942
Donnie “Big Block” Bender started racing in 1966 in the Hobby Stock Division and finished his racing career racing Late Models. Don made two numbers famous the #107 and later the #77. In 1967 his second year racing Hobby Stocks he won his first Feature and his first Championship. In 1969 Don won his second Championship in the Hobby Stock Division. In 1975 after returning back to racing running in the Late Model Division he grabbed two Championships, winning the Mid-Season and Season Titles at both Bismarck Speedway and Nodak Speedway. In 1976 Don did it again earning the Season and Mid-Season Titles at both Bismarck Speedway and Nodak Speedway. In 1977 Don was the Mid-Season Champion at both Bismarck Speedway and Nodak Speedway. The 1978 Season was his most successful of all the years he raced by winning the Mid-Season and Season Championships at Bismarck Speedway and Nodak Speedway he also won the Tri-Can Racing Association Championship. Don also won many heat races, trophy dashes, and main events in all his years of participating in both the early Hobby Stock days to what we know today as the Late Model Division. Don was always an owner/driver working and maintaining his own equipment. Don was very successful because of awesome sponsors like: Schatz’s Crossroads Truck Stop, Hank’s Datsun, Rough Rider Speed Center, and Dakota Northwestern Bank to name a few. Don wasn’t an intimidator like Dale Earnhardt, he was however a hard charger that was often times too clean of a driver. Don always believed in good Sportsmanship and passed that same belief onto his sons. Don was always up front and without a shadow of a doubt one of the fan favorites wherever he raced. Whether he was pulling into the pits or fighting for a win the crowd always showed who they were cheering for. Trivia fun fact: Don’s first race car an old hump back Chevrolet was purchased by the sale of 75 chickens. For years that car was called the “chicken car”. Today you will find Donnie “Big Block” Bender at any one of the Northern California race tracks helping his two sons Kevin and Bryan along with his grandson Samuel racing their Dwarf Cars. Always in the middle of things and lending advise. Don entertains the youngsters at the tracks with his old racing stories and you can almost image you were there. Don is known by all the dwarf car racers as Pops. Here’s to a great racing legacy!!
August 30, 1953
Jim Clifford grew up around racing. He first attended the races with his mother at the Fairmont Speedway in Fairmont, Minnesota and the Jackson VFW Speedway in Jackson, MN. Jim joined the Air Force in 1972 and was stationed in Minot, ND. He first came to Nodak Speedway as a firefighter during the summer of 1972. He provided Fire Emergency Services under Fire Chief Kenneth O. Gillespie, and in 1973 and 1974 Clifford took over as Nodak Speedway’s Fire Chief. As he was just beginning his fire career at the Nodak Speedway, Clifford was given orders to Taiwan. He didn’t stay away too long though, as he was back in 1976 providing Nodak Speedway with Fire Emergency Services again. Jim moved back home to Minnesota in 1979 and helped provide Fire Services to the Fairmont Speedway and Jackson VFW Speedway, but then shortly moved back to Minot in 1982. Clifford then took over the Fire Crew as the Fire Chief again from 1982 to retiring in 1996. Clifford had been retired from providing Nodak Speedway with Fire Emergency Services for 13 years, and was called in 2009 to come out of retirement and organize a Fire Crew once again. Clifford has since been Nodak Speedway’s Fire Chief, with his son Jed now by his side. Jim has now provided over 25 years as a firefighter at the Nodak speedway. During the 80’s and 90’s Jim was a jack of all trades at the Speedway he provided track maintenance, ground flagging, and provided his pick-up for anything that needed to be done at the track. Clifford was also Nodak Speedway’s President in 1985. Clifford proved to be a successful leader by being involved with paying off a $20,000 loan and purchasing a water truck and the first road grader for the club. He was also involved on the Board of Directors when the IMCA Modifieds were introduced at the Nodak Speedway in 1997. Jim continues to be a great friend and fan of the Nodak Speedway.
KEN DUSHSCHERER – DRIVER
Ken began racing at Nodak Speedway mid-season in 1973. He raced at a lot of different tracks including Bismarck, Williston, and the Nodak Speedway in Minot. Dushscherer won many trophy dashes and feature events in the Late Model division. He was the 1974 mid-season and season Champion, and the 1975 mid-season and season runner up. Ken served on the Board of directors for the Nodak Race Club in 1974 and 1975. He was one of the very few racers running a Ford powered car. Dushscherer always contributed four things to a successful race outing, a good handling car, strong engine, a great pit crew and a talented driver. He always had a very good crowd following him. Ken enjoyed his short time of racing and enjoyed meeting all the fans, without them there would be no racing.
KENT HANSON – FAN
February 28, 1943
Kent will be 73 years old this year. He was born on February 28, 1943. Raised on a farm south of Des Lacs, he farmed and ranched throughout his life. Racing and fast cars has been a passion for him since he was very young.
Kent Hanson has been attending the races at Nodak Speedway for 43+ years, when he began racing in 1973 in the Hobby Stock class. He excelled quickly in his class. In 1974, he won Mid-Season Championship at Nodak Speedway and went on to win the Season Runner-up as well. Kent moved up to a Late Model in 1975, which was a very competitive and fun class. Kent raced his Fords (the only type of car he ran) throughout North Dakota, including Mandan, Grand Forks, and Jamestown. In 1974, he won the Northern Racing Circuit Mid-Season Championship, as well as the Season Runner-up.
Kent went on to race enduros throughout North Dakota in the 80’s and 90′. After his racing career, he helped out at the track and also pitted for many racers. He loved helping and pitting for many drivers throughout the years, including Danny Schatz, his son, Jade Hanson, nephew, Phillip Brandvold, son-in-law, Kelly Henderson, good friend, as well as favorite driver, Marlyn Seidler, and many others.
Kent’s favorite memories from Nodak Speedway include his years of racing – of course, the great competition, pitting for his son Jade, watching all of his daughters as they were Trophy Girls, and the 50th Anniversary of the club, when he got to race Ivan Sailer’s Legend car in the “Legends Race”, where he took second place. Kent has many wonderful stories from throughout the years of racing and attending Nodak Speedway and he is always willing to share those fun stories.
The love for the sport keeps Kent coming back to the track year after year. He has been a great support and a super fan for the Nodak Speedway. It is loyal fans, like Kent, that keep Nodak and other racetracks throughout North Dakota thriving.
JIM HARRIS – DRIVER
January 12, 1963
Jim Harris started racing in 1981 in the Hobby Stock division with a four door ‘67 Chevelle. His first appearance at Nodak Speeday was for the Harvest 100, finishing second in the feature that night. He started racing in Minot full time when he bought a Dakota Modified from Jim Miller from Williston. The Modified had a Corvette body with the old X-frame. In 1995 Harris won the Dakota Modified Season Championship at Nodak Speedway. In 2011 Nodak switched from Dakota Modifieds to IMCA Modifieds he converted his car, and took the IMCA Modified Runner up to Wayne Johnson. Jim also grabbed the IMCA Modified Runner up to Marlyn Siedler in 2011. Jim Harris has also held a Board member position for Estevan Motor Speedway.
MARLYN KORSLIEN – DRIVER/FAN
January 25, 1943
Marlyn started racing in 1963 and raced until 1978. He started in the Hobby Class and then later moved to the Late Model Division. He raced full time at Nodak Speedway, Underwood and Williston and special races at other tracks. His car number at first was 666 and later became 166.
Marlyn grew up on a farm Southwest of Minot, South Prairie, and graduated from Minot High School in 1961. He got married to Virginia Mikkelson, a neighbor girl, on June 21, 1964. They have two children. Melanie Graham, who lives in Estevan and Larissa Mosser who lives next door to them. They have four granddaughters. The whole family are race fans, including granddaughters and they all attend on a regular basis. In fact, Melanie met her husband at the races.
Marlyn’s first car was a 1941 Ford with a 312 cu. Inch motor. Marlyn built all of his own race cars and did all of the work from building his own motors to welding his own roll bars. He was also noted for having many spare parts along and there were always drivers coming over to borrow parts. The first year he raced, they would occasionally race on the flat ½ mile Nodak track and he won every race he was in. He was clocked at over 90 miles per hour. Marlyn always said there is nothing better than coming around the corner waiting for the green flag to fly.
Marlyn was one of the few Ford racers and he still drives all Ford’s today. Besides winning the ½ mile championship he was a runner- up champion and was always in the top 5 and 10 points every year. There was plenty of completion as there was always 30 cars or more. He was a very popular driver and had many followers, especially the South Prairie area. He also won championships in Underwood. In 1964 when Marlyn got married the fire department hauled Marlyn and Virginia around the track on the back of the fire truck. Harry Kittler and his wife also rode along as both couples were married the same month.
When Marlyn started racing very few drivers had trailers so they pulled their cars to the track with a tow bar and hoped the bumper didn’t get banged up so they could tow it home again. He raced on Sunday afternoons in Underwood and Nodak on Sunday night. One Sunday Marlyn had problems in Underwood with his transmission not staying in gear. He took off for Minot and stopped at the shop and welded the transmission into second gear. He then took the drive shaft off and pulled it to Nodak. That night they had a make-up feature from the week before. Marlyn won both features that night with a transmission that was welded in gear.
After the Hobby Class was dropped he moved into the Late Model division and his final race car was a 1968 Ford Mustang. After Marlyn quit racing he still attends the races every Sunday. He arrives early and waits in line for the doors to open and sits in the same seat every week. It took a while to figure out a seat in the new grandstand but mission accomplished. He hasn’t missed but a handful of races since he quit racing 38 years ago. Even all of the family members are hooked on the sport, and his granddaughter Teagan even bugs about being a race car driver. Now each Sunday Marlyn saves seats for the whole family, as going to the races is Korslien event.
STU (SPEEDBUMP) KRAGH – DRIVER/CAR OWNER/PITMAN/VOLUNTEER/OFFICIAL/FAN
Stu has almost done it all at the Nodak Speedway. He raced just a few times and gave the seat up to Scott Redding who won several Features and two Runner-up Championships in the Mini-Stocks. Stu was very active in the Mini-Stock class. He was part owner in cars that were driven by Scott Redding, Steve Mahn, Randy Fennel, Brett Woznicki, Ron Wells, and Jimmy Peters. He helped build most their cars and also pitted for all of them. Stu also helped letter most of the cars in that class, doing most of the cars for free just so they would look good. Kragh has only missed three nights of racing at the Nodak Speedway since 1980. Some of his favorite drivers to watch are Tony Marsh, George Schiff, and Allen Kent. He has the poster Schedule and the Year Book for the last 25 years. When it comes to Volunteering there isn’t much he hasn’t done. He was Speedbump for over 15 years, having just giving up that spot last year because he was needed more as an official. He has been the corner one judge for so long that most people just call it Stu’s corner. He helped with the running of the track lights for 8 years. He was also the webmaster for the Nodak website for 5 years and was the one the people that helped get the Nodak Facebook page up and running. He has helped take down and then build back up the front stretch wall every time it has been taken down. He has made all of the signage for the club for over 10 years, and has made all the trophy tops for the championship trophies. Doing this for only the cost of the materials. Stu was also voted the Official of the Year in 2006.
STEVE LANG – VOLUNTEER
April 30, 1954 – August 24, 2001
Steve Lang was an active member of the Nodak Speedway for many years. Steve became a member of the club in the 70’s until his passing August of 2001. Lang helped many people as a pitman from Tom Whitfield, Brian Schlecht, Tom Henderson, John Lochthowe, Steve hammer, and Mike Coughlin. Steve also volunteered his time and drove the water truck for many years. He loved racing, he was very passionate for the sport. Lang also helped build the very first Dakota Modified with Mike Coughlin and John Gaule. Lang loved working at the track every night with Tom Henderson preparing it for Sunday’s racing.
KEVIN LAWSON – DRIVER/CAR OWNER/BOARD MEMBER/VOLUNTEER
October 2, 1957
Kevin Lawson began his racing career in 1981, after helping his father Jerry Lawson on his car. His first year out he raced the number 20 Street Stock. The number 20 was his dad Jerry’s number during his racing career, and Kevin has used that same number throughout his career as well. After Street Stocks Lawson moved into Late Models for a few years, then moving into the Dakota Modified class when that was introduced at Nodak. In the Dakota Modified class he accomplished the 1996 Season Runner-up, and in 1997 he finished third in Season points. Kevin then moved into the IMCA Modified class after the Dakota Modified class was retired from Nodak in 1997. In 2005 Lawson finally fulfilled a lifelong dream moving into Sprint Cars. One of his proudest accomplishments is making the World of Outlaws A-Main at the Dacotah Speedway on August 16th, 2008. Kevin is known as a very clean and respectful driver. He is always willing to help out a fellow racer get back on the track if they experience trouble during the night. During his time with the Nodak Race Club, he has been a Board member, an official, a car owner for his son, Dusty, and also a volunteer. Kevin finished his 33rd year of racing in 2014 with no plans to step away. Kevin has been around the Nodak Race Club his whole life and has been a member of the club for 41 years.
LARRY MCFALL – FAN/FLAGMAN/ANNOUNCER
June 7, 1958
Larry has been an avid fan of the Nodak Race Club since 1965, when he found out that his parents had taken an ad out in the yearbook to advertise their TV repair business on the page of his future hero, Super Modified car number 6 driver, Andy Nikitenko. From his first view of the track coming up the grandstand entry steps, he was hooked.
He made a set of flags out of a bed sheet with color crayons that put him in a little trouble with his mom, so he could be like Dave Hammer. He also created a small circle track at his rural Minot home, so that he could race against the invisible drivers on his old banana bike.
Through the years when the family could not make a Sunday afternoon show, he would ride his new three speed bike all the way from rural Northwest Minot to the Fairgrounds on his own to take in the races, armed with the 8-mm movie camera to catch some footage.
Larry has served the club as an article writer for the Nodak Racing News, Assistant and Head Flagman, and for the last 19 years as one of the track announcers. His love for the sport finally hooked him up with the race club as the writer for the Nodak Racing Newspaper while he was the Sports Editor for the Minot State College Red and Green paper in 1983. Larry would write a small brief on every race each night, and the paper would be available the next week at the entrance of the grandstands. McFall also wrote most of the hall of fame bios and the history of the race club that appears in the season programs now every year.
In 1987, he became the assistant flagman to head flagman Dave Forthun, and then took over the head flag job in 1989. McFall also flagged in 1990, and parts of 1993 and 1995.
In 1998 Robert Ferguson, aka Charlie Foxx, asked Larry to join him in the booth as a co- announcer. The two had worked together for a few years already doing high school hockey on the radio, so Larry jumped at the chance. And the rest of the announcing saga is history. Larry worked with Foxx for 6 seasons until 2003, before being joined for the next 10 years by Lindsay Lawson. The duo was then asked to announce the Dakota Classic Modified tour in 2012, an event that they still do together today. Lawson stepped away from full-time announcing after the 2013 season, so Larry was joined by Chad Hoff for two years, and now announces with Nick Hulberg at the Playground of Power.
This coming season in Minot will be McFall’s 20th season as the voice of Nodak, and he is fresh off announcing the opening three days of the inaugural Arizona Modified Tour at the Cocopah Speedway this past February.
DALE & BETTY NORDSTROM – VOLUNTEERS/BOARD MEMBER/PHOTOGRAPHER
April 1, 1944
Dale Nordstrom bought his first membership from the Nodak Race Club in 1968 when he was a pitman for Kermit Kundo. He attended the races off and on through the years until becoming a weekly regular in the mid-80s. Dale pitted for Ralph Modin in the Dakota Modified in the 1980s, where Ralph took runner-up one year. Nordstrom also helped run the car races at the Burke County Fairgrounds in Flaxton for several years. Dale has worn many hats around the Race Club including holding the Secretary position in 1994, and Board of Director positions in 2013, 2017 and 2018. Dale also has helped with car line ups, lap counting, track official, track prep in 2011, corner judging, assistant flagman, and has also flagged enduros and demolition derbies. Dale definitely is devoted to help the Nodak Race Club in any way possible!
April 27, 1948
Betty Nordstrom has spent pretty much her whole life at the race track. Her love of racing took roots at the Mouse River Speedway in Mohall, ND when she was just 10 years old. In 1961, after attending the Mouse River Speedway for 3 years, Betty, her parents and 4 siblings began attending the races at the Nodak Speedway every Sunday night, which continued until 1976 when she moved to Alaska. It wasn’t long before she came across a dirt track there. For the next 7 years, she attended the races at the North Pole Speedway and the Greater Fairbanks Racing Association. Betty and her family moved back to North Dakota in 1983, and found her way back to Nodak Speedway. It has now been 49 years that she has been going to the Nodak Race Club races and she has only missed 3 nights’ total. In her time with Nodak Speedway she has took on many different jobs. Most notably she is known as the track photographer. In the years prior to becoming the track photographer Betty started lining up trophy girls in the early 90’s and continued to do so until they were retired 20 years later. Along with lining up trophy girls Betty took victory lane photos, so each girl would have photos of their experience as a trophy girl. She also took many action shots from the grandstands, and this lead her to becoming the official track photographer. Nordstrom has also worked closely with the Nodak Race Club’s business managers and helped prepare the annual yearbook that are sold every season. She also prepares a slideshow for the banquet of all the race season highlights. Betty loves her racing family and lives for nights at the track!
© 2017 Nodak Speedway
Hosted by Magic City Systems