Minnesota Dirt Track History Project by GRP

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A Look Back At Various Racing History In And Around Minnesota (by GRP)

Table of Contents

Introduction

Chapter 1 - Twin City/North Starr Speedway

Chapter 2 - Midwest Sprint Association (MSA)

Chapter 3 - Minnesota State Fair

Chapter 4 - Jackson Nationals

Chapter 5 - Knoxville Nationals & MN Drivers

Chapter 6 - Cheaters Day

Chapter 7 - WISSOTA 360 Sprints

Chapter 8 - Gopher 50 Late Model Event

Chapter 9 - Cedar Lake Speedway

Chapter 10 - Red Cedar Speedway

Chapter 11 - Proctor Speedway Silver 1000

Chapter 12 - Hibbing Labor Day Shootout

Chapter 13 - Superior Speedway

Chapter 14 - Princeton National

Chapter 15 - Viking Speedway Fall Classic

Chapter 16 - Riverview Raceway Barry Kettering Memorial

 

Here's a trip down memory lane for some, an interesting accumulation of information for others, and a learning experience for those who are interested in some of the past history of sprint car and late model racing in and around the State of Minnesota.  My research project is on-going, but I've decided to go ahead and write up some of the information I've accumulated so far.  It's just a start!  I welcome comments from anybody who can help out by providing additional information, results, stats and the like regarding the topics covered.  So without any further babbling, let's take the green flag!  It's a long race so buckle those seat belts good and tight.


Chapter 1 - Twin City/North Starr Speedway

Since this was my first home track from 1973-1979, I am naturally going to take a close look back at some of the history behind this now defunct speedway.  The track was originally built in 1950 by Don Voge and named Twin City Speedway.  It was a 1/2 mile dirt oval located near New Brighton and Blaine.  Don owned and operated the facility from 1950 through about 1964.  The track ran the California-type hotrods, the super modifieds (which eventually evolved into sprint cars) and various stock car classes under Voge's guidance and direction.  Don claimed to have the fastest 1/2 mile dirt track in the Upper Midwest.  Of course, there were those who disagreed with his opinion.  Don had and on again-off again relationship with several name drivers, and many of the top guns from that era would stop by on occasion and run a race or two at his open (unsanctioned) track.  A host of local area warriors also frequented the track.

When Voge got into hot water with the IRS, the track was eventually sold.  Bill Larson promoted the track for one year (I believe 1965).  Voge's archrival Frank Winkley came in to promote races under a Regional IMCA sanction in the years 1966-1968.  Winkley tragically lost his life in an automobile accident in early 1968.  Phil Steward finished out the decade of the 1960s by hosting racing in the latter half of 1968 and 1969.  A 1/4 mile track was built on the site, but it only lasted a few years.  A drag strip was also constructed, and numerous local ET bracket drag races were held for many years.  The dragway was called North Star Dragway in the 1970s.

With Twin City Speedway in a state of financial difficulty, the track sat dormant during the 1970 and 1971 seasons.  Dayle Maloney decided to pump life back into the joint in 1972.  He reopened the track to winged super modified (sprint car) racing.  The first race was held on a Sunday afternoon.  A large crowd was on hand and a decent field of cars sat in the pits.  To say there was problems would be an understatement.  It was dusty, it was rocky, it was rough.  The debut did not go well at all.  Dayle plugged along though.  Racing was changed to Sunday nights, but the crowds and race cars never returned to the level of the opener.  By the end of the season, the financial woes mounted and it looked like the place would sit idle again.  Then along came Neil Larson and his Pace Inc. promotion.  Neil operated the Fairmont Raceway, and he decided to give Twin City Speedway a try.  He renamed the track North Star Speedway.  The wings were done away with on the sprints, and the late models and hobby stocks were added to the race program.  Neil often paid some appearance money to top name Midwestern sprint car drivers to appear at his race tracks.  Neil promoted the track for two years (1973-1974).  Many top name drivers passed through North Star's pit gate and turned laps on the 1/2 mile oval under the watchful eye of flagman Ron Fox.  Since the MSA had just been formed in 1973, North Star became their home track.  This meant that many of the local area hot shoes would run North Star on a regular basis.  Financially, Neil Larson never really turned the corner, and at the end of the 1974 season he decided not to renew his lease.

Along came Marion (Buz) Beck.  Buz had been a local racer for several years, and just prior to his taking over the promotional reigns at North Star, he had owned and operated the Stillwater Speedway.  Buz changed the name to North Starr International Speedway (the word International was eventually dropped but the extra "r" stayed).  Buz continued with the sprint car and hobby stock classes.  The MSA and Buz sometimes did not see eye to eye, but for the most part, the two parties would reconcile their differences and the MSA would still call North Starr their home track (most of the time anyways).  Plenty of great racing took place during Buz' tenure (1975-1979).  Like all good things, the storied existence of the speedway came to an end at the close of the 1979 season.  The trucking company that owned the land on which North Starr Speedway was located decided to sell the property.  Beck's remaining year (or two) on his contract was bought out.  The property actually sat idle for a few years, but ultimately an industrial park was built where race cars once sped around a 1/2 mile dirt track.  Unknown at the time, the World of Outlaws race of August 12, 1979 would see the final checkered flag wave, leaving only the memories.  The drag strip did continue to operate for another year until it also fell victim to what some term as progress.

The following statistics deal mainly with the 1970s era, but I did come across the 1966 and 1967 super modified top ten point standings along with the 1966-1968 late model track champions.  Any help in compiling further info would be appreciated.

1966 Twin City Speedway Supermodified Point Standings (Top Ten):

1. Russ Laursen..........1003

2. Don Mack...............917

3. Jerry Lepinski.........721

4. Ted Ready..............697

5. John Hesselgrave.......598

6. Bill Siercks...........539

7. Dick Smith.............519

8. Jerry Richert..........512

9. Jerry Daniels..........503

10. Ron Belland...........492

1966 Late Model Champion: Vic Klein

1967 Twin City Speedway Supermodified Point Standings (Top Ten):

1. Don "Itch" Daniels.....544

2. Barry Kettering........540

3. Jerry Lepinski.........532

4. Buzz Barton............524

5. Russ Laursen...........481

6. Al Jacobson............459

7. John Stevenson.........336

8. Ron Belland............302

9. Lyn McIntosh...........297

10. Dick Walch............291

1967 Late Model Champion: Vic Klein

1968 Late Model Champion: Don Grams

North Starr Speedway Track Point Champions (1972-1979):

1972 Sprint Car Champion - Dave Skari #2

1972 Late Model Champion - Kenny Mann #2

1973 Sprint Car Champion - Barry Kettering #57

1974 Sprint Car Champion - Barry Kettering #57

1974 Late Model Champion - Tom Nesbitt #1

1975 Sprint Car Champion - Barry Kettering #57

1975 Late Model Champion - Tom Nesbitt #1

1976 Sprint Car Champion - Doug Wolfgang #18

1976 Hobby Stock Champion - Pat Willis #29

1977 Sprint Car Champion - Bob Geldner #63

1977 Hobby Stock Champion - Buzz Cripe #63

1978 Sprint Car Champion - John Stevenson #31

1978 Late Model Champion - Leon Plank #71

1979 Sprint Car Champion - John Stevenson #31

1979 Sportsman Champion - Tom Neisius #73x

Note: I'm still looking for the stock car class point champion from 1973.

North Starr Speedway Career Sprint Car Feature Wins (1973 - 1979):

JOHN STEVENSON = 26

*DOUG WOLFGANG = 12

BOB GELDNER = 11

*BARRY KETTERING = 10

DON MACK = 7

DICK SUTCLIFFE = 5

BOB HOP = 4

JERRY RICHERT = 4

DARRYL DAWLEY = 3

LENARD McCARL = 3

ROGER RAGER = 3

BILL ROBISON = 3

SHANE CARSON = 2

LONNIE JENSEN = 2

DAVE SKARI = 2

RALPH BLACKETT = 1

*JIM DARLEY = 1

*RICK FERKEL = 1

TIM GREEN = 1

STEVE KINSER = 1

DON MAXWELL = 1

BILL MELLENBERNDT = 1

*JACK McCORKELL = 1

LYN McINTOSH = 1

MIKE PINCKNEY = 1

STACY REDMOND = 1

RANDY SMITH = 1

*=NORTH AMERICAN SPRINT CAR CHAMPIONSHIP FEATURE WINNER...This was Buz Beck's name for the big season championship race from 1975-1979.  I'll have to admit, it had a nice sound to it.  I'm still looking for the 1972 North Star results.  Drivers like Dave Skari, Jerry Richert, and Barry Kettering amongst others took home some wins that year.

North Starr Speedway Official ONE LAP Track Record:

DOUG WOLFGANG.....20.66......8-12-79

SAMMY SWINDELL....20.72......6-24-79

North Starr Speedway Most Feature Wins in One Season:

BOB GELDNER...........8.........1977

JOHN STEVENSON........8.........1979

DOUG WOLFGANG.........7.........1976

JOHN STEVENSON........7.........1978

North Starr Speedway Longest Consecutive Winning Streaks:

JOHN STEVENSON........4.........1974

BOB GELDNER...........4.........1977

JOHN STEVENSON........4.........1979

North Starr Speedway Sprint Car Feature Winners (1973 - 1979):

1973

5-20-73  DON MACK

5-27-73  RAINED OUT

6-03-73  BARRY KETTERING

6-10-73  JERRY RICHERT

6-17-73  STACY REDMOND

6-24-73  DARRYL DAWLEY

7-01-73  DON MACK

7-08-73  DARRYL DAWLEY

7-14-73  DON MACK

7-15-73  DON MACK

7-22-73  DARRYL DAWLEY

7-29-73  RAINED OUT

8-04-73  DAVE SKARI

8-05-73  BARRY KETTERING

8-12-73  BOB GELDNER

8-18-73  BARRY KETTERING

8-26-73  DAVE SKARI

1974

5-26-74  BARRY KETTERING

6-02-74  DICK SUTCLIFFE

6-09-74  RAINED OUT

6-16-74  DICK SUTCLIFFE

6-23-74  DICK SUTCLIFFE

6-30-74  LONNIE JENSEN

7-07-74  ROGER RAGER

7-14-74  LONNIE JENSEN

7-21-74  BARRY KETTERING

7-28-74  ROGER RAGER

8-04-74  JOHN STEVENSON

8-11-74  JOHN STEVENSON

8-18-74  JOHN STEVENSON

8-25-74  JOHN STEVENSON

8-31-74  DICK SUTCLIFFE

9-07-74  ROGER RAGER

1975

5-26-75  JOHN STEVENSON

6-01-75  LENARD McCARL

6-08-75  BARRY KETTERING

6-15-75  BILL ROBISON

6-22-75  DON MAXWELL

6-29-75  RAINED OUT

7-06-75  LENARD McCARL

7-13-75  BILL ROBISON

7-20-75  BOB GELDNER

7-27-75  BARRY KETTERING

8-03-75  RAINED OUT

8-10-75  JOHN STEVENSON

8-17-75  BARRY KETTERING

8-24-75  RAINED OUT

1976

5-09-76  DON MACK

5-16-76  BARRY KETTERING

5-23-76  BARRY KETTERING

5-30-76  BILL MELLENBERNDT

5-31-76  JOHN STEVENSON

6-06-76  JOHN STEVENSON

6-13-76  BILL ROBISON

6-20-76  DON MACK

6-27-76  DOUG WOLFGANG

7-04-76  DOUG WOLFGANG

7-05-76  DICK SUTCLIFFE

7-11-76  DOUG WOLFGANG

7-18-76  LENARD McCARL

7-25-76  DOUG WOLFGANG

8-01-76  DOUG WOLFGANG

8-08-76  DOUG WOLFGANG

8-15-76  JIM DARLEY

8-22-76  DOUG WOLFGANG

8-29-76  BOB GELDNER

1977

5-01-77  BOB GELDNER

5-08-77  DOUG WOLFGANG

5-15-77  RAINED OUT

5-22-77  RAINED OUT

5-29-77  BOB GELDNER

5-30-77  BOB GELDNER

6-05-77  BOB GELDNER

6-12-77  BOB GELDNER

6-19-77  DOUG WOLFGANG

6-26-77  BOB GELDNER

7-03-77  BOB GELDNER

7-04-77  JOHN STEVENSON

7-10-77  DOUG WOLFGANG

7-17-77  JOHN STEVENSON

7-24-77  RALPH BLACKETT

7-31-77  BOB HOP

8-07-77  BOB GELDNER

8-14-77  RICK FERKEL

8-21-77  JOHN STEVENSON

1978

4-30-78  MIKE PINCKNEY

5-07-78  RAINED OUT

5-14-78  JOHN STEVENSON

5-21-78  JERRY RICHERT

5-28-78  RAINED OUT

5-29-78  DOUG WOLFGANG

6-04-78  JOHN STEVENSON

6-11-78  DON MACK

6-18-78  JOHN STEVENSON

6-25-78  RAINED OUT

7-02-78  RAINED OUT

7-04-78  LYN McINSTOSH

7-09-78  JOHN STEVENSON

7-16-78  BOB HOP

7-23-78  SHANE CARSON

7-30-78  JOHN STEVENSON

8-06-78  JOHN STEVENSON

8-13-78  JOHN STEVENSON

8-20-78  JACK McCORKELL

1979

4-29-79  RAINED OUT

5-06-79  JOHN STEVENSON

5-13-79  SHANE CARSON

5-20-79  JOHN STEVENSON

5-27-79  JERRY RICHERT

5-28-79  JOHN STEVENSON

6-03-79  JOHN STEVENSON

6-10-79  JOHN STEVENSON

6-17-79  JOHN STEVENSON

6-24-79  STEVE KINSER (WoO)

7-01-79  JOHN STEVENSON

7-04-79  TIM GREEN

7-08-79  JOHN STEVENSON

7-15-79  BOB HOP

7-22-79  JERRY RICHERT

7-29-79  RANDY SMITH

8-05-79  BOB HOP

8-12-79  DOUG WOLFGANG (WoO)

8-19-79  RAINED OUT

8-26-79  RAINED OUT

To close out the North Starr Speedway section, let's take a look at some of today's local area drivers (a few who have now retired) who raced at the track back in the 1970s.  In the sprint car class, Joe Kouba, Spike Lempelius, Al Hargrave, John Sernett, and Roger Rager competed at North Starr.  In the late model division, Jim Bruggeman, Steve Egersdorf, Rick Egersdorf, Tom Nesbitt, Brent Laursen, and Leon Plank were some who turned laps at North Starr.  In the Sportsman/Hobby Stock division, drivers like Ron Jones, Perry Giles, Bob Houston, Dick Boje, Cliff Gorka, John Bystrzycki, Mike Kelley, and Chuck Priefer raced at North Starr.


Chapter 2 - Midwest Sprint Association (MSA) Section:

In the winter/spring of 1973, a local group of area sprint car drivers formed the MSA.  The effort was spearheaded by Barry Kettering and Ron Larson.  The idea was to put together a circuit for local area drivers to run.  North Star Speedway would become the MSA's home track running a weekly Sunday night program.  The group grew in popularity as the years went by.  The MSA suffered a devastating blow in June of 1976 when its very capable leader, Barry Kettering, was killed in a racing accident at Fairmont Raceway.  The rest of the 1976 season was a somber blur.  The MSA came back strong in 1977 under the leadership of President Dick Carpenter.  The club enjoyed three more good years.  With the closing of North Starr Speedway after the 1979 season, the club lost its weekly venue.  1980 saw several travel dates, but the schedule had been pared down considerably.  The club tried to get something going in 1981, but nothing ever really materialized.  The sun had risen and set on the MSA.  From 1973 to 1980, the MSA provided some very good sprint car racing around Minnesota and surrounding areas.  Plenty of top notch local drivers and Midwest area hot shoes ran MSA races.

MSA Season Point Champions:

1973 - Barry Kettering

1974 - Barry Kettering

1975 - Barry Kettering

1976 - Bob Hop

1977 - Bob Hop

1978 - Lyn McIntosh (Overall & North Div.), Bob Hop (South Div.)

1979 - Bob Hop

1980 - Bill Dollansky

Note:  There are some that claim John Stevenson was the 1976 champion.  Bob Hop won the title by a narrow margin.  I've been told that it may have come down to a couple of shows that did not pay points.  If anyone knows the complete story, please let me know.  In 1978, the MSA actually had a Northern Division and a Southern Division.  Lyn McIntosh was declared the overall MSA champion for 1978, but Bob Hop did win the Southern Division title and can thus lay claim to being a four-time MSA champion.

I have records of alot of the race winners from the MSA era, but it is not complete by any means.  Several modern day drivers had fathers who ran with the MSA.  Here's a brief breakdown.  Bill Dollansky/Craig Dollansky, Jerry Richert Sr/Jerry Richert Jr, Bob Geldner/Brett Geldner, Dennis Olson/Dann Olson, Dick Kelly/Gene Kelly, Dave Heskin/DJ Heskin, Danny Schatz/Donny Schatz, Lou Kennedy Sr/Lou Kennedy Jr, Don Mack/Todd Mack.


Chapter 3 - Minnesota State Fair Section:

The racing activity at the Minnesota State Fair has a very long and storied tradition.  Competitive auto racing events have been staged at the fair since 1907.  The only break in the action occurred during World War II in the five year period from 1942-1946 when the track lay dormant.  My research will focus on the post WWII years.  Many have termed the period from 1947 to 1963 as the "Golden Age of Racing" at the Minnesota State Fair.  Following the War, Americans were eager for some entertainment and the sport of big car auto racing fit the bill just fine.  It was exciting, dangerous, and fast-paced.  Fans were thrilled by the daring drivers in open cockpit machines, broad-sliding their cars at high speeds on the half mile oval.  It was during this era that the sport really started to grow by leaps and bounds.  The track was paved for the 1964 season, and it never was able to recapture the luster of the "Golden Age".

Here's a list of the big car/sprint car winners from 1947 through 1978 under the IMCA, AAA, and USAC sanctions at the Minnesota State Fair plus several Open Comp events.

 

8-23-47 - Emory Collins

8-24-47 - Emory Collins

8-31-47 - Jimmy Wilburn

9-01-47 - Jimmy Wilburn

 

8-28-48 - Emory Collins

8-29-48 - Ben Musick

9-05-48 - Emory Collins

9-06-48 - Emory Collins

 

8-27-49 - Tommy Hinnershitz (AAA)

8-28-49 - Spider Webb (AAA)

9-04-49 - Jimmy Wilburn

9-05-49 - Emory Collins

 

8-26-50 - Troy Ruttman (AAA)

8-27-50 - Tommy Hinnershitz (AAA)

9-02-50 - Emory Collins

9-03-50 - Harry King

9-04-50 - Harry King

 

8-25-51 - Troy Ruttman (AAA)

8-26-51 - Troy Ruttman (AAA)

8-31-51 - Deb Snyder

9-02-51 - Deb Snyder

9-03-51 - Bert Hellmueller

 

8-23-52 - Duane Carter (AAA)

8-24-52 - Jimmy Bryan (AAA)

8-25-52 - Jimmy Bryan (AAA)

8-29-52 - Leland "Bud" Randall

8-31-52 - Sid Bufkin

9-01-52 - Deb Snyder

 

8-29-53 - Bob Sweikert (AAA)

8-30-53 - Wally Campbell (AAA)

8-31-53 - Tommy Hinnershitz (AAA)

9-04-53 - Marv Pifer

9-06-53 - Bob Carpenter

9-07-53 - Jim McWithy
 

8-29-54 - Don Carr

9-01-54 - Don Carr

9-05-54 - Homer Clayton

9-06-54 - Jim McWithy

 

8-28-55 - Bud Randall

8-31-55 - Don Carr

9-02-55 - Bud Randall

9-04-55 - Bud Randall

9-05-55 - Marv Pifer

 

8-26-56 - Bill Chennault

8-29-56 - Bud Randall

8-31-56 - Bill Chennault

9-02-56 - Johnny Pouelsen

9-03-56 - Emmett "Buzz" Barton

 

8-25-57 - Johnny Pouelsen

8-27-57 - Buzz Barton

8-31-57 - Johnny Pouelsen

9-01-57 - Jerry Kemp

9-02-57 - Johnny Pouelsen

 

8-24-58 - Jim McWithey

8-26-58 - Jim McWithey

8-27-58 - Jim McWithey

8-28-58 - Pete Folse

8-31-58 - Jim McWithey

 

8-29-59 - Pete Folse

8-30-59 - Jack Rounds

9-01-59 - Parnelli Jones

9-02-59 - Jack Rounds

9-06-59 - Jim Hurtibise

 

8-27-60 - A. J. Shepherd

8-30-60 - A. J. Shepherd

8-31-60 - LeRoy Neumayer

9-04-60 - LeRoy Neumayer

 

8-26-61 - Jim McElreath

8-29-61 - Pete Folse

8-30-61 - Pete Folse

9-01-61 - Jim McElreath

9-03-61 - Jerry Richert

 

8-25-62 - Jerry Richert

8-26-62 - John White

8-27-62 - Jerry Richert

8-28-62 - Jerry Richert

8-29-62 - Jerry Richert

 

8-24-63 - Jerry Daniels

8-25-63 - Jerry Daniels

8-26-63 - Jerry Daniels

8-31-63 - Bill Horstmeyer

9-01-63 - Harold Leep (last IMCA winner on the dirt)

 

8-29-64 - ?? (USAC)

8-30-64 - ?? (USAC)

9-04-64 - Jim McCune (first IMCA winner on the new pavement)

9-05-64 - Gene Bell

9-06-64 - Bob Pratt
 

6-13-65 - Harold Smith (nonfair event)

8-27-65 - ?? (USAC)

8-28-65 - ?? (USAC)

9-03-65 - Harold Smith

9-04-65 - Jerry Richert

9-05-65 - Jerry Richert

 

8-27-66 - Jerry Richert

8-28-66 - Russ Laursen

9-02-66 - Russ Laursen

9-04-66 - Dean Mast

8-26-67 - Jerry Blundy

8-27-67 - Jerry Richert

9-01-67 - Todd Gibson

9-03-67 - Karl Busson

 

8-24-68 - Tom York

8-25-68 - Tom York

8-30-68 - Ray Wright

9-01-68 - Tom York

 

8-23-69 - Norm Ellefson & Darl Harrison (Twin 50s)

8-29-69 - Norm Ellefson

8-31-69 - Norm Ellefson

 

8-30-70 - Fred Linder (won both Twin 50s)

9-04-70 - Jerry Richert

9-06-70 - Darl Harrison

 

8-29-71 - Norm Ellefson (won both Twin 50s)

9-05-71 - Jim Linder

8-26-72 - ?? (Twin 50s)

9-03-72 - Jerry Hansen
 

8-26-73 - ?? (USAC)

8-27-73 - ?? (USAC Twin 50s)

8-31-73 - Jerry Hansen

9-01-73 - Jerry Hansen

 

8-24-74 - Duane Carter, Jr. & Rollie Beale (USAC Twin 40s)

8-25-74 - Tom Bigelow (won both USAC Twin 75s)

 

8-30-75 - Tom Bigelow & Joe Saldana (USAC Twin 40s)

8-28-76 - Marvin Carmen

8-29-76 - Don Mack

 

8-27-77 - ??

8-28-77 - ??

 

8-26-78 - Curt Kelley (MSA)

8-27-78 - Don Mack (MSA)


Chapter 4 - Jackson Nationals Section:

The Jackson Speedway (Jackson, MN) has been holding auto racing events on the 1/2 mile dirt oval for about 70 years.  Weekly racing began in 1954.  The VFW Racing Association promoted the program there for many seasons.  Sprint cars have been on the program since the early super modified days of the 1960s.  The sprints have run with various cubic inch engine limits over the years (305, 317, 360, 410).  If this place could talk, imagine the volumes of stories that it could tell.  In recent years, numerous improvements have been made at the track including a new grandstand and new restrooms.  A Minnesota history summary would not be complete if it did not include a look at the Jackson Nationals. The winners are only listed for the primary classes of sprint cars each season.  Jackson started its version of the Nationals in 1979.

Jackson Nationals Sprint Car Winners (1979-2009):

1979 - Marv DeWall (Non-Wing 317 Sprints)

1980 - Jack McCorkell (317 Sprints)

1981 - Jack McCorkell (317 Sprints)

1982 - Don Reiners (317 Sprints)

1983 - Rocky Hodges (Winged Outlaw "Unlimited" Sprints)

1984 - Bobby Davis, Jr. (Outlaw 410 Sprints)

1985 - Doug Wolfgang (Outlaw 410 Sprints)

1986 - Bobby Allen (Outlaw 410 Sprints)

1987 - Doug Wolfgang (Outlaw 410 Sprints)

1988 - Steve Kinser (World of Outlaws Sprints)

1989 - Rick Hood (Outlaw 410 Sprints)

1989 - Brett Geldner (360 Sprints)

1990 - Tim Monson (360 Sprints)

1991 - Gary DeWall (360 Sprints)

1992 - Tim Monson (360 Sprints)

1993 - Doug Wolfgang (360 Sprints)

1994 - Brian Schnee (360 Sprints)

1995 - Lou Kennedy, Jr. (360 Sprints)

1996 - Doug Wolfgang (360 Sprints)

1997 - Lou Kennedy, Jr. (360 Sprints)

1998 - Jake Peters (360 Sprints)

1999 - Rob Tvedte (360 Sprints)

2000 - Randy Nygaard (360 Sprints)

2001 - Tim Monson (360 Sprints)

2002 - Jake Peters (360 Sprints)

2003 - Travis Whitney (360 Sprints)

2003 - Terry McCarl (410 Sprints)

2004 - Matt Folstad (360 Sprints)

2004 - Terry McCarl (410 Sprints)

2005 - Scott Winters (360 Sprints)

2005 - Wayne Johnson (410 Sprints)

2006 - Gregg Bakker (360 Sprints)

2007 - Gregg Bakker (ASCS 360 Sprints)

2008 - Billy Alley (JSTS 360 Sprints)

2009 - Jake Peters (JSTS 360 Sprints)


Chapter 5 - Knoxville Nationals Section:

The Knoxville Raceway located on the Marion County Fairgrounds in Knoxville, Iowa has an extremely rich and storied past history.  Weekly racing began at Knoxville in 1954 as well.  With numerous Minnesota drivers racing at one of the nation's most famous tracks, it is only fitting to include a summary of the Knoxville Nationals winners.  The Nationals is widely recognized to be sprint car racing's most prestigious event.  We'll also take a look at how our Minnesota drivers have fared in the National Championship A Feature on this historic 1/2 mile dirt oval throughout the years.  I highly recommend visiting the Knoxville Raceway website and checking out the extensive information available under the History Section.

Knoxville Nationals Winners (1961-2009):

1961 - Roy Robbins

1962 - Jerry Richert (Only MN driver so far to win this event.)

1963 - Greg Weld

1964 - Kenny Weld

1965 - Kenny Weld

1966 - Jay Woodside

1967 - Thad Dosher

1968 - Ray Lee Goodwin

1969 - Kenny Gritz

 

1970 - Joe Saldana

1971 - Jan Opperman

1972 - Kenny Weld

1973 - Kenny Weld

1974 - Dick Gaines

1975 - Eddie Leavitt

1976 - Eddie Leavitt

1977 - Doug Wolfgang

1978 - Doug Wolfgang

1979 - Ron Shuman

 

1980 - Steve Kinser

1981 - Steve Kinser

1982 - Steve Kinser

1983 - Sammy Swindell

1984 - Doug Wolfgang

1985 - Doug Wolfgang

1986 - Steve Kinser

1987 - Steve Kinser

1988 - Steve Kinser

1989 - Doug Wolfgang

 

1990 - Bobby Allen

1991 - Steve Kinser

1992 - Steve Kinser

1993 - Steve Kinser

1994 - Steve Kinser

1995 - Steve Kinser

1996 - Mark Kinser

1997 - Dave Blaney

1998 - Danny Lasoski

1999 - Mark Kinser

 

2000 - Mark Kinser

2001 - Danny Lasoski

2002 - Steve Kinser

2003 - Danny Lasoski

2004 - Danny Lasoski

2005 - Kraig Kinser

2006 - Donny Schatz

2007 - Donny Schatz

2008 - Donny Schatz

2009 - Donny Schatz

 

Knoxville Raceway Season Point Champions (1954-2009):

1954 - Kenny Crook

1955 - Kenny Crook

1956 - Jack Delano

1957 - Dean Sylvester

1958 - Earl Wagner

1959 - Earl Wagner

 

1960 - Jerry Hayes

1961 - Earl Wagner

1962 - Bud McCune

1963 - Greg Weld

1964 - Bill Utz

1965 - Jerry Blundy

1966 - Jerry Blundy

1967 - Bill Utz

1968 - Dick Sutcliffe

1969 - Bob Williams

 

1970 - Joe Saldana

1971 - Ray Lee Goodwin

1972 - Lonnie Jensen

1973 - Dick Sutcliffe

1974 - Lonnie Jensen

1975 - Roger Rager (Mound, MN)

1976 - Doug Wolfgang

1977 - Doug Wolfgang

1978 - Shane Carson

1979 - Randy Smith

 

1980 - Mike Brooks

1981 - Tim Green

1982 - Tim Green, Winged Sprints

1983 - Randy Smith, Winged Sprints

1983 - Mackie Heimbaugh, Modified Sprints

1984 - Rocky Hodges, Winged Sprints

1984 - Stacy Redmond, Modified Sprints

1985 - Randy Smith, Unlimited Sprints

1985 - Dean Chadd, Modified Sprints

1986 - Danny Lasoski, Unlimited Sprints

1986 - Wayne Redmond, Modified Sprints

1987 - Randy Smith, Open Sprints

1987 - Mike Chadd, Limited Sprints

1988 - Randy Smith, Open Sprints

1988 - David Hesmer, Limited Sprints

1989 - Danny Lasoski, Open Sprints

1989 - Mike Twedt, Limited Sprints

 

1990 - Danny Lasoski, Open Sprints

1990 - Jordan Albaugh, Limited Sprints

1991 - Randy Smith, Open Sprints

1991 - Dwight Snodgrass, Limited Sprints

1992 - Danny Lasoski, 410 Sprints

1992 - Dwight Snodgrass, Limited Sprints

1993 - Danny Lasoski, 410 Sprints

1993 - Danny Young, 360 Sprints

1994 - Danny Lasoski, 410 Sprints

1994 - Lee Nelson, 360 Sprints

1995 - Johnny Herrera, 410 Sprints

1995 - Larry Pinegar, 360 Sprints

1996 - Danny Lasoski, 410 Sprints

1996 - Randy Martin, 360 Sprints

1997 - Skip Jackson, 410 Sprints

1997 - David Hesmer, 360 Sprints

1998 - Skip Jackson, 410 Sprints

1998 - David Hesmer, 360 Sprints

1999 - Terry McCarl, 410 Sprints

1999 - David Hesmer, 360 Sprints

 

2000 - Terry McCarl, 410 Sprints

2000 - John Kearney, 360 Sprints

2001 - Terry McCarl, 410 Sprints

2001 - Randy Martin, 360 Sprints

2002 - Terry McCarl, 410 Sprints

2002 - Brian Brown, 360 Sprints

2003 - Terry McCarl, 410 Sprints

2003 - Billy Alley, 360 Sprints

2005 - Kerry Madsen, 410 Sprints

2005 - Jake Peters, 360 Sprints

2006 - Billy Alley, 410 Sprints

2006 - Jake Peters, 360 Sprints

2007 - Brian Brown, 410 Sprints

2007 - Josh Higday, 360 Sprints

2008 - Danny Lasoski, 410 Sprints

2008 - Matt Moro, 360 Sprints

2009 - Johnny Herrera, 410 Sprints

2009 - Clint Garner, 360 Sprints

 

Here's how Minnesota drivers have finished in the Knoxville Nationals A Main:

1961: No MN drivers listed in cars that finished.

1962: Jerry Richert 1st!!!

1963: No MN drivers listed in cars that finished.

1964: Don "Itch" Daniels 14th

1965: No MN drivers listed in cars that finished.

1966: No MN drivers listed in cars that finished.

1967: No MN drivers listed in cars that finished.

1968: No MN drivers listed in cars that finished.

1969: Dick Forbrook 13th

1970: Dick Forbrook 17th, Roger Rager 18th

1971: No MN drivers qualified for the A Main.

1972: Dennis Olson 15th

1973: No MN drivers qualified for the A Main.

1974: Roger Rager 8th

1975: Roger Rager 2nd, Bob Geldner 9th, John Stevenson 17th

1976: Jack McCorkell 17th

1977: John Stevenson 11th, Bob Geldner 15th, Roger Rager 22nd

1978: Jack McCorkell 14th

1979: John Stevenson 4th

1980: John Stevenson 7th

1981: John Stevenson 15th, Bob Geldner 16th, Bob Hop 17th

1982: Keith Frantsen 15th, Roger Rager 19th

1983: Bob Hop 22nd

1984: No MN drivers qualified for the A Main.

1985: No MN drivers qualified for the A Main.

1986: John Stevenson 11th

1987: No MN drivers qualified for the A Main.

1988: Jerry Richert, Jr. 19th

1989: No MN drivers qualified for the A Main.

1990: Jerry Richert, Jr. 15th

1991: No MN drivers qualified for the A Main.

1992: No MN drivers qualified for the A Main.

1993: Craig Dollansky 18th

1994: Jerry Richert, Jr. 20th

1995: Jerry Richert, Jr. 20th, Craig Dollansky 23rd

1996: Craig Dollansky 3rd

1997: Craig Dollansky 7th

1998: No MN drivers qualified for the A Main.

1999: Craig Dollansky 22nd

2000: Craig Dollansky 5th

2001: Craig Dollansky 24th

2002: Craig Dollansky 3rd

2003: No MN drivers qualified for the A Main.

2004: Craig Dollansky 6th

2005: Craig Dollansky 10th

2006: Craig Dollansky 7th

2007: Craig Dollansky 4th

2008: Craig Dollansky 3rd

2009: Craig Dollansky 9th

A summary of Minnesota drivers Knoxville Nationals A Main appearances shows Craig Dollansky with 14, John Stevenson and Roger Rager with 6, Jerry Richert, Jr. with 4, Bob Geldner with 3, Bob Hop, Jack McCorkell and Dick Forbrook with 2, and Dennis Olson, Keith Frantsen, Don Daniels and Jerry Richert, Sr. with 1.  That's twelve different Minnesota drivers who have appeared in the Knoxville Nationals A Main over the years.  From 1961-1969, the results I have been able to locate only show the drivers who finished the race, so there may have been a Minnesotan or two who DNFed during those years not included in the above rundown.

Minnesota Drivers Career Knoxville Wins:

Counting all sprint car racing events during the course of a season, John Stevenson is the winningst Minnesota driver at Knoxville so far.  Johnny "Lightning" Stevenson accumulated 14 feature wins from 8-11-78 to 6-26-82.  Other Minnesota drivers claiming feature wins at Knoxville include Roger Rager, Bob Hop, John Sernett, Craig Dollansky, Jerry Richert Jr, Todd Wessels, Keith Frantsen, Tony Norem, Ryan York, Dustin Lindquist, and Davey Heskin.  Listed below is a summary of the total wins followed by the dates on which they occurred.  Roger Rager had five wins prior to 1976, but I do not have the dates of those wins although he did win on opening night in 1972.  Roger Rager and Dustin Lindquist are the only two Minnesota drivers to win features in both 410 and 360 competition at Knoxville.

John Stevenson = 14

Craig Dollansky = 11

Jerry Richert, Jr. = 10

Roger Rager = 10

Tony Norem = 4

John Sernett = 3

Dustin Lindquist = 3

Bob Hop = 1

Keith Frantsen = 1

Todd Wessels = 1

Jerry Richert, Sr. = 1

Ryan York = 1

Davey Heskin = 1

 

410/Unlimited/Open Sprint Car Division:

8-10-62 - Jerry Richert, Sr. (Knoxville Nationals Championship Feature)

Prior to 1976 - Roger Rager (5 wins)

8-11-78 - John Stevenson (Knoxville Nationals NQ Feature)

6-16-79 - John Stevenson

7-07-79 - John Stevenson

7-28-79 - John Stevenson

9-02-79 - John Stevenson

7-04-80 - John Stevenson

7-26-80 - John Stevenson

6-05-81 - John Stevenson

6-27-81 - John Stevenson

7-11-81 - John Stevenson

7-11-81 - Roger Rager

7-18-81 - Bob Hop

8-09-81 - John Stevenson (2 feature wins on this night)

6-19-82 - John Stevenson

6-26-82 - John Stevenson

6-11-83 - Keith Frantsen

8-16-86 - John Sernett (Knoxville Nationals NQ Feature)

4-23-88 - Jerry Richert, Jr.

5-11-88 - Jerry Richert, Jr.

4-22-89 - Jerry Richert, Jr.

5-27-89 - Jerry Richert, Jr.

8-18-89 - Jerry Richert, Jr. (Knoxville Nationals NQ Feature)

9-02-89 - Jerry Richert, Jr.

7-27-91 - Jerry Richert, Jr.

7-04-92 - John Sernett

8-08-92 - Jerry Richert, Jr.

7-09-94 - Todd Wessels

4-22-95 - Jerry Richert, Jr.

5-13-95 - Craig Dollansky

6-24-95 - Craig Dollansky (WoO)

7-22-95 - Jerry Richert, Jr.

6-28-97 - John Sernett

7-12-97 - Craig Dollansky

8-01-98 - Craig Dollansky

8-14-98 - Craig Dollansky (Knoxville Nationals NQ Feature)

8-07-99 - Craig Dollansky

8-13-99 - Craig Dollansky (Knoxville Nationals Prelim Feature)

8-28-99 - Craig Dollansky

8-10-00 - Craig Dollansky (Knoxville Nationals Prelim Feature)

4-27-01 - Craig Dollansky (WoO)

6-24-04 - Craig Dollansky (WoO)

5-05-07 - Dustin Lindquist

7-12-08 - Davey Heskin

 

360 Sprint Car Division:

6-05-99 - Roger Rager (Masters Classic)

5-27-00 - Tony Norem

6-15-00 - Roger Rager (360 Nationals Prelim Feature)

6-30-00 - Tony Norem

4-21-01 - Tony Norem

6-01-01 - Roger Rager (Masters Classic)

7-28-01 - Tony Norem

7-19-03 - Ryan York

6-03-05 - Roger Rager (Masters Classic)

5-20-06 - Dustin Lindquist

6-17-06 - Dustin Lindquist


Chapter 6 - Cheaters Day Race Section:

The annual Cheaters Day race at the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds in Sioux Falls, SD has been another long-running local area sprint car event.  The race was usually held at the Sioux Empire Fairgrounds, but on a few occasions, it had to be held at Husets Speedway. Since the closing of the fairgrounds to racing action, the tradition now continues at the Husets Speedway.  Many Minnesota drivers have participated in this race over the years with Don Daniels, Jerry Richert Sr., Don Mack, John Stevenson, and Todd Mack notching wins for our home state.  A winners summary is listed below.

Sioux Empire Fairgrounds/Husets Speedway

Cheaters Day Feature Winners (1964-2009):

1964 - Earl Wagner

1965 - Don "Itch" Daniels

1966 - Lloyd Beckman

1967 - Bob Williams

1968 - Bob Williams

1969 - Joe Saldana

 

1970 - Dave Skari

1971 - Darryl Dawley

1972 - Ray Lee Goodwin

1973 - Earl Wagner

1974 - Eddie Leavitt

1975 - Dick Morris

1976 - Jerry Richert

1977 - Gene Gennetten

1978 - Don Mack

1979 - Bobby Layne

 

1980 - John Stevenson

1981 - Randy Smith

1982 - Tim Green

1983 - T. J. Giddings

1984 - Todd Mack

1985 - Ken Chapman

1986 - Marlon Jones

1987 - Randy Smith

1988 - Danny Lasoski

1989 - Jack Hewitt

 

1990 - Danny Lasoski

1991 - Jac Haudenschild

1992 - Danny Lasoski

1993 - Doug Wolfgang

1994 - Chad Radel

1995 - Johnny Herrera

1996 - Marlon Jones

1997 - Donny Schatz

1998 - Donny Schatz

1999 - Danny Lasoski

 

2000 - Terry McCarl

2001 - Not Run (what a shame)

2002 - Gregg Bakker

2003 - Justin Henderson

2004 - Jake Peters

2005 - Justin Henderson

2006 - Wade Nygaard

2007 - Wade Nygaard (prelim, final canc.)

2008 - Mark Dobmeier

2009 - Gregg Bakker


Chapter 7 - WISSOTA Championship 360 Sprint Car Section:

In 1992, the WISSOTA Promoters Association decided to sanction the 360 Championship Sprint Car Division.  National sanctioning ran through the 2005 season when WISSOTA announced they would no longer sanction the sprints.  National champions along with the Western 100 winners are listed.

WISSOTA Sprint Car Champions (1992-2005):

1992 - Chuck Swenson

1993 - Mike Sitzmann

1994 - Chuck Swenson

1995 - Lou Kennedy, Jr.

1996 - Donny Schatz

1997 - Travis Whitney

1998 - Mark Toews

1999 - Roger Rager

2000 - Tony Norem

2001 - Jimmy Kouba

2002 - Loren Langerud

2003 - Loren Langerud

2004 - Dustin Lindquist

2005 - Chuck Swenson

WISSOTA Western 100 Sprint Car Winners (1994-2005):

1994 - Randi Miller (Black Hills Speedway)

1995 - Randi Miller (Black Hills Speedway)

1996 - Randi Miller (Brown County Speedway)

1997 - Curt Lund (Brown County Speedway)

1998 - Randi Miller (Black Hills Speedway)

1999 - Rik Sandberg (Brown County Speedway)

2000 - Wade Nygaard (Brown County Speedway)

2001 - Rained Out (Brown County Speedway)

2002 - Brad Pake (Brown County Speedway)

2003 - Brad Pake (Brown County Speedway)

2004 - Loren Langerud (Brown County Speedway)

2005 - Curt Lund (Brown County Speedway)


Chapter 8 - Gopher 50 Late Model Section:

Speaking of the late models, it's time to take a look back at what most people would describe as Minnesota's most heralded late model event, the Gopher State 50 Late Model Stock Car Race.  The event actually started at the Chateau Speedway in Lansing back in 1980 and 1981.  In 1982, it was moved to the Steele County Fairgrounds race track in Owatonna to accommodate the fan and car turnouts.  In 2005, the Deer Creek Speedway became the new host for this long-running annual race and added sanctioning with the WoO Late Models.  This event is firmly entrenched as part of the history of our great sport here in Minnesota.  A summary of the past winners is listed below.

Gopher State 50 Late Model Stock Car Race Winners (1980-2009):

1980 - Leon Plank

1981 - Steve Kosiski

1982 - Steve Kosiski

1983 - Joe Kosiski

1984 - Willy Kraft

1985 - Leon Plank

1986 - Tom Steuding

1987 - Willy Kraft

1988 - Steve Kosiski

1989 - Billy Moyer

 

1990 - Scott Bloomquist

1991 - Rick Egersdorf (Freddy Smith was DQed for weighing in light.)

1992 - Bob Hill

1993 - Billy Moyer

1994 - Willy Kraft

1995 - Bill Frye

1996 - Billy Moyer

1997 - Rick Aukland

1998 - Jay Johnson

1999 - Scott Bloomquist

 

2000 - Billy Moyer

2001 - Billy Moyer

2002 - Shannon Babb

2003 - Scott Bloomquist

2004 - Brian Birkhofer

2005 - Darrell Lanigan

2006 - Rick Eckert

2007 - Chub Frank

2008 - Brian Birkhofer

2009 - Darrell Lanigan


Chapter 9 - Cedar Lake Speedway Section:

For many Twin City area race fans, Cedar Lake Speedway is their home track.  CLS draws cars and fans from a fairly large area each week.  The track has a long and storied history, having provided Saturday racing action since June 29, 1957 on what is now a high-banked 3/8 mile oval.  This is a must for any history project dealing with our local area.  In this analysis, we'll concentrate on reviewing the winners of the USA Late Model Nationals, the MASTERS and the WISSOTA 100/Legendary 100 Late Model shows at one of the nation's premier dirt tracks.  In 2006, the WISSOTA 100 event was no longer held at CLS.  To continue the tradition of a mid September special, CLS ran the first DTRA 100 and followed up with a name change in 2007 to The Legendary 100.  2007 brought the 50th Anniversary celebration!  Since CLS has hosted various open wheel racing events over the years, I'll close out this section with a summary of World of Outlaws winners at CLS dating back to their first appearance in 1983, a listing of the Jerry Richert Memorial IRA feature winners along with a summary of other IRA sprint car winners during more recent times, and finally a listing of the Billy Anderson Memorial winners.  It should be noted that in 2006, CLS opted to run their traditional July outlaw sprint car show under NST sanctioning.  The WoO sprints returned once again in 2007.

USA (Outlaw) Late Model Nationals Winners (1988-2009):

1988 - Billy Moyer

1989 - Billy Moyer

1990 - Billy Moyer

1991 - Rick Aukland

1992 - Billy Moyer

1993 - Billy Moyer

1994 - Jack Boggs

1995 - Jack Boggs

1996 - Jimmy Mars

1997 - Rick Aukland

1998 - Donnie Moran

1999 - Scott Bloomquist

2000 - Davey Johnson

2001 - Dale McDowell

2002 - Rick Eckert

2003 - Scott Bloomquist

2004 - Brian Birkhofer

2005 - Dale McDowell

2006 - Scott Bloomquist

2007 - Brian Birkhofer

2008 - Scott Bloomquist

2009 - Jimmy Mars

MASTERS Late Model Winners (1999-2009):

1999 - Wendell Wallace

2000 - Rick Aukland

2001 - Scott Bloomquist

2002 - Rick Eckert

2003 - Wendell Wallace

2004 - Earl Pearson, Jr.

2005 - Don O'Neal (WDRL)

2005 - Donnie Moran (NARA)

2006 - Earl Pearson, Jr. (Lucas/WDRL)

2007 - Jimmy Mars (WDRL)

2007 - Scott Bloomquist (WDRL)

2008 - Jimmy Mars (WDRL)

2008 - Brady Smith (WDRL, made up at USA Nationals)

2009 - Jimmy Mars (WDRL)

2009 - Jimmy Mars (WDRL)

WISSOTA 100 Late Model Winners at CLS (1989-2005):

1989 - Jim Bruggeman

1990 - Rick Aukland

1991 - Mike Nutzmann

1992 - Tom Nesbitt

1993 - Tom Nesbitt

1994 - Rick Aukland

1995 - Joel Cryderman

1996 - Jimmy Mars

1997 - Steve Laursen

1998 - Rick Egersdorf

1999 - Rick Egersdorf

2000 - Harry Hanson

2001 - Eric Pember

2002 - Jerry Redetzke

2003 - Jerry Redetzke

2004 - John Kaanta

2005 - John Kaanta

DTRA/Legendary 100 Late Model Winners at CLS (2006-2009):

2006 - Pat Doar

2007 - Pat Doar

2008 - Rained Out

2009 - Terry Anvelink

World of Outlaws Winners at CLS (1983-2005, 2007-2009):

7-11-83 - Steve Kinser

7-17-84 - Steve Kinser

7-15-85 - Bobby Davis, Jr.

7-14-86 - Steve Kinser

7-13-87 - Sammy Swindell

7-10-88 - Jeff Swindell

7-11-88 - Steve Kinser

5-01-89 - Jac Haudenschild

7-10-89 - Bobby Davis, Jr.

7-09-90 - Sammy Swindell

7-08-91 - Dave Blaney

7-13-92 - Sammy Swindell

5-09-93 - Dave Blaney

7-12-93 - Dave Blaney

7-11-94 - Sammy Swindell

7-10-95 - Sammy Swindell

7-09-96 - Mark Kinser

7-14-97 - Mark Kinser

7-13-98 - Stevie Smith

7-12-99 - Danny Lasoski

7-10-00 - Mark Kinser

7-09-01 - Mark Kinser

7-08-02 - Sammy Swindell

7-07-03 - Steve Kinser

7-12-04 - Craig Dollansky

7-04-05 - Brooke Tatnell

7-01-07 - Paul McMahon

6-29-08 - Donny Schatz

7-12-09 - Donny Schatz

National Sprint Tour Winner at CLS (2006):

7-10-06 - Tim Kaeding

Jerry Richert Memorial/IRA vs Knoxville Challenge Winners (2001-2009):

6-02-01 - Kim Mock (1st Annual)

9-07-02 - Don Droud, Jr. (2nd Annual)

9-06-03 - Terry McCarl (3rd Annual)

9-06-04 - Terry McCarl (4th Annual)

9-10-05 - Justin Henderson (5th Annual)

9-09-06 - Mike Reinke (6th Annual)

9-08-07 - Mike Reinke (7th Annual)

9-06-08 - Brooke Tatnell (8th Annual)

9-12-09 - Brooke Tatnell (9th Annual)

Other IRA Sprint Car Winners at CLS (1999-2009):

8-21-99 - Travis Whitney

6-03-00 - Joe Roe

5-04-02 - Travis Whitney

6-01-02 - John Sernett

6-07-03 - Jerry Richert, Jr.

6-05-04 - Rained Out

6-17-05 - Wayne Johnson (Masters)

6-18-05 - Scotty Neitzel (Masters)

6-15-06 - Rained Out (Masters)

6-16-06 - Travis Whitney (Masters)

6-14-07 - Travis Whitney (Masters, feature ran 6-15)

6-15-07 - Travis Whitney (Masters)

6-13-08 - Scott Winters (Masters)

6-14-08 - Scott Winters (Masters)

6-19-09 - Scott Winters (Masters)

6-20-09 - Scott Winters (Masters)

Billy Anderson Memorial Winners at CLS (2002-2009):

4-20-02 - Tony Norem (1st Annual)

4-12-03 - Bill Boles (2nd Annual)

4-17-04 - Jerry Richert, Jr. (3rd Annual)

4-23-05 - Loren Langerud (4th Annual)

4-15-06 - Jake Peters (5th Annual)

7-14-07 - Chuck Swenson (6th Annual)

4-26-08 - Canc due to cold/wet weather (7th Annual)

9-13-08 - Make-up rained out

4-25-09 - Lou Kennedy, Jr. (8th Annual)

Also of interest to local area Cedar Lake Speedway sprint car fans, I've compiled a summary of past WISSOTA 360 Sprint Car Champions in the five seasons they ran at CLS.  Track champions included Kent Winters (1994 & 1995), Tony Norem (1996), Jimmy Kouba (1997), and Mike Rich (1998).  It was interesting to note that in the first year at Cedar Lake, Kent Winters compiled an incredible record of finishing in the top 10 in 17 out of the 18 feature races run!  Kent won 5 features that year.  For our late model fans, Rick Aukland claimed three sprint car feature wins in 1994.


Chapter 10 - Red Cedar Speedway Section:

Located about an hour or so drive east of the Twin Cities area is a race track that has been around for better than 30 years.  The Red Cedar Speedway is located at the Dunn County Rec Park in Menomonie, WI.  They have a long-standing tradition of providing stock car racing action on Friday nights on the 1/3 mile fairly flat oval.  In this summary, we'll take a look at their big season ending event in memory and honor of a fallen racing champion.  The event is called the Punky Manor Challenge of Champions and is held in the latter part of September each year.  The track has also played host to several other special events throughout the years such as WDRL late models and IRA sprint cars.

Punky Manor Challenge of Champions Late Model Winners (1980-2009):

1980 - Leon Plank

1981 - Tom Nesbitt

1982 - Ron Schreiner

1983 - Red Steffen

1984 - Leon Plank

1985 - Lance Matthees

1986 - Rick Egersdorf

1987 - Rick Egersdorf

1988 - Rick Egersdorf

1989 - Tom Steuding

 

1990 - Jon Kurshinsky

1991 - Lance Matthees

1992 - Kerry Hansen

1993 - Jerry Redetzke

1994 - Jerry Redetzke

1995 - Joel Cryderman

1996 - Jimmy Mars

1997 - Jimmy Mars

1998 - Pat Doar

1999 - Rick Egersdorf

 

2000 - Ashley Anderson

2001 - Tony Bahr

2002 - John Kaanta

2003 - Justin Fegers

2004 - Jimmy Mars

2005 - Terry Casey

2006 - John Kaanta

2007 - Jimmy Mars

2008 - John Kaanta

2009 - A.J. Diemel


Chapter 11 - Proctor Speedway Silver 1000 Section:

The Proctor Speedway, located at the South St. Louis County Fairgrounds in Proctor, has been running a weekly racing program for very many years.  They can lay claim to one of the longest running special events amongst the various weekly race tracks in operation in the state of Minnesota today.  The Silver 1000 late model stock car race was first run back in 1973.  It got its name by paying 1000 silver dollar coins to the winner!  This tradition continued for many years.  As the years have passed, the payout has increased well beyond $1,000 to win.  The practice of paying the first place finisher in silver dollars was discontinued quite some time ago; however, the event still retained its unique name.  A look at Minnesota racing history would not be complete if it did not include a summary of this event.  Special thanks go to Dr. Troy Powers for helping me complete my research on the early years of this race.

Proctor Speedway Silver 1000 Late Model Race Winners (1973-2009):

1973 - Dave Bjorge

1974 - Wendell Kuehn

1975 - Leon Plank

1976 - Ed Sanger

1977 - Curt Hansen

1978 - Tom Nesbitt

1979 - John Jones

 

1980 - Leon Plank

1981 - Jeff Hinkemeyer

1982 - Jeff Hinkemeyer

1983 - Pete Parker

1984 - Jim Bruggeman

1985 - Leon Plank

1986 - Rick Egersdorf

1987 - Rick Popovich

1988 - Rick Aukland

1989 - Rick Aukland

 

1990 - Joel Cryderman

1991 - Rick Egersdorf

1992 - Jimmy Mars

1993 - Jerry Redetzke

1994 - Steve Laursen

1995 - Mitch Johnson

1996 - Rick Aukland

1997 - Mitch Johnson

1998 - Steve Laursen

1999 - Rick Egersdorf

 

2000 - Pat Doar

2001 - Tom Waseleski

2002 - Harry Hanson

2003 - John Kaanta

2004 - John Kaanta

2005 - Jeff Provinzino

2006 - Darrell Nelson

2007 - Terry Casey

2008 - Rained Out

2009 - Jeff Provinzino


Chapter 12 - Hibbing Raceway Labor Day Shootout Section:

The Hibbing Raceway, located at the North St. Louis County Fairgrounds in Hibbing, has been running a weekly racing program for several decades.  Located in the Iron Range of Minnesota, this track has held numerous special events throughout the years including a race dubbed the Iron Man Invitational amongst others.  Their traditional Labor Day Weekend racing action concludes each season at an event known as the Labor Day Shootout.  In 1985, the event became a two day affair.  On a few occasions, rain has shortened it to a one day event.  Many top drivers venture north on Labor Day Weekend to compete on the 3/8 mile semi-banked oval.

Hibbing Raceway Labor Day Shootout Late Model Race Winners (1979-2009):

1979 - Leon Plank

1980 - Pete Parker

1981 - Jeff Hinkemeyer

1982 - Tom Nesbitt

1983 - Red Steffen

1984 - Bob Gherardi

1985 - Steve Laursen, Mitch Johnson

1986 - Rick Egersdorf

1987 - Steve Laursen, Rick Aukland

1988 - Tom Nesbitt, Tom Nesbitt

1989 - Tom Nesbitt

1990 - Brent Laursen, Harry Hanson

1991 - Rick Egersdorf, Steve Egersdorf

1992 - Rick Aukland, Rick Aukland

1993 - Mike Chamernick, Rick Egersdorf

1994 - Rick Aukland

1995 - Joel Cryderman, Rick Egersdorf

1996 - Jimmy Mars, Mitch Johnson

1997 - Pat Doar, Steve Egersdorf

1998 - Steve Laursen, Rick Egersdorf

1999 - Steve Laursen, Steve Laursen

2000 - Pete Wohlers, Hank Berry

2001 - Brady Smith, Mitch Johnson

2002 - Darrell Nelson, Rick Egersdorf

2003 - Harry Hanson, Brian Strand

2004 - Darrell Nelson

2005 - Joel Cryderman, Pat Doar

2006 - Mitch Johnson, John Kaanta

2007 - Steve Vesel, Harry Hanson

2008 - Pat Doar, Steve Laursen

2009 - Gregg Hill, Jake Redetzke


Chapter 13 - Superior Speedway Section:

Tri-State Speedway Russ Laursen Classic

Northwest Racing Classic

Superior Speedway Northern Nationals Section:

Two other long running late model stock car specials are held each year on the Wisconsin side of the Twin Ports area at the Superior Speedway.  For many years, the track was called the Tri-State Speedway.  The first event we'll look into started out under the name given in memory and honor of the great Russ Laursen from Cumberland, WI who lost his life in a 1970 accident.  The event's name was later changed to the Northwest Racing Classic in 1982, a name it held for several years before finally being renamed under its current day title of the Northern Nationals.  From 1970 through 1981, the sprint cars ran at this event.  They were off the card for many seasons, finally making a return appearance in 1995.  They have been a part of the program since then.  The late models have been a part of the program from the beginning.  The Russ Laursen Classic actually returned with its own separate night again in 2003 and 2004 but was rained out in 2005 and 2006 before Mother Nature allowed it to run again in 2007.

The second major event in Superior history goes back in time to 1963 when it was decided that the Tri State Speedway would hold a late model invitational.  The popularity and success of this event grew as the years rolled by and it became an annual event.  The tradition was discontinued in 1990, but the event reappeared again in 1999 as the AMSOIL Invitational and was held again in 2000.  None have been held since then, although the track has hosted AMSOIL Series events at various times.

I would like to thank Duane "Andy" Anderson of Superior for his valuable assistance in helping me complete my research on the Russ Laursen Classic and for his list of the Superior Late Model Invitational winners.

Tri-State Speedway Russ Laursen Classic/Northwest Racing Classic

Superior Speedway Northern Nationals Late Model Winners (1970-2009):

1970 - Jerry Amundson

1971 - Harold Mueller

1972 - Don Roseen

1973 - Harold Mueller

1974 - Jim Eliason

1975 - Tom Steuding

1976 - Leon Plank

1977 - John Jones

1978 - John Jones

1979 - Tom Nesbitt

 

1980 - Gary Dorn

1981 - Phil Prusak

1982 - Rick Popovich

1983 - Steve Fegers

1984 - Jeff Hinkemeyer

1985 - Steve Laursen

1986 - Rick Egersdorf

1987 - Rick Popovich

1988 - Tom Nebitt

1989 - Tom Nesbitt

 

1990 - Larry Prochnow

1991 - Steve Fegers

1992 - Tom Waseleski

1993 - Tim McMann

1994 - Steve Laursen

1995 - Mike Chamernick

1996 - Tom Nesbitt

1997 - Mitch Johnson

1998 - Pat Doar

1999 - Lance Matthees

 

2000 - John Kaanta

2001 - Tony Bahr

2002 - Don Shaw

2003 - Pat Doar

2004 - Darrell Nelson

2005 - Tom Nesbitt

2006 - Pat Doar

2007 - Jake Redetzke

2008 - Adam Hensel

2009 - Adam Hensel

 

Tri-State Speedway Russ Laursen Classic Sprint Car Winners (1970-1981):

1970 - Barry Kettering

1971 - Barry Kettering

1972 - Dave Skari

1973 - John Stevenson

1974 - Barry Kettering

1975 - Jerry Richert

1976 - John Stevenson

1977 - John Stevenson

1978 - Lyn McIntosh

1979 - Bob Hop

1980 - Billy Dollansky

1981 - Bob Hop

 

Superior Speedway Russ Laursen Classic Winners (2003-2007):

2003 - Pat Doar (late models), Brad Pake (360 sprints)

2004 - Brady Smith (late models), Loren Langerud (360 sprints)

2005 - Rained Out

2006 - Rained Out

2007 - Pat Doar (late models)

 

Superior Speedway Northern Nationals Sprint Car Winners (1995-2009):

1995 - Lou Kennedy, Jr. (WISSOTA 360s)

1996 - Donny Schatz (WISSOTA 360s)

1997 - Curt Lund (WISSOTA 360s)

1998 - Mark Toews (WISSOTA 360s)

1999 - Craig Dollansky (IRA 410s)

2000 - Craig Dollansky (IRA 410s)

2001 - Travis Whitney (IRA 410s)

2002 - Joe Roe (IRA 410s)

2003 - Danny Smith (IRA 410s)

2004 - Brooke Tatnell (IRA 410s)

2005 - Scotty Neitzel (IRA 410s)

2006 - Kerry Madsen (IRA 410s)

2007 - Travis Whitney (IRA 410s)

2008 - Rained Out (IRA 410s)

2009 - Terry McCarl (IRA 410s)

 

Tri-State Speedway/Superior Speedway

Late Model Invitational Winners (1963-2000):

1963 - Bud Havel

1964 - Andy Riordan

1965 - Donald Aas

1966 - Dick Briesmeister

1967 - Johnny Aase

1968 - Harold Mueller

1969 - Mel Grile

 

1970 - Harold Mueller

1971 - Harold Mueller

1972 - Dave Morgan

1973 - Harold Mueller

1974 - Dave Bjorge

1975 - Tom Steuding

1976 - Ed Sanger

1977 - Dan Nesteby

1978 - John Jones

1979 - Steve Egersdorf

 

1980 - Charlie Swartz

1981 - Phil Prusak

1982 - Leon Plank

1983 - Rick Egersdorf

1984 - Tim McMann

1985 - Leon Plank

1986 - None

1987 - Willy Kraft

1988 - Rick Egersdorf

1989 - Rick Egersdorf

 

1990-1998 - No Invitationals Run

1999 - Steve Laursen (AMSOIL Series)

2000 - Steve Laursen


Chapter 14 - Princeton National Section:

In 2004, a new racing event debuted in the state of Minnesota.  Held at the historic 1/4 mile high-banked Princeton Speedway, the event was dubbed the Princeton National and had World of Outlaws sanctioning.  Although there was controversy and fist-t-cuffs involved, it was only fitting that a Minnesota driver took the clean sweep during the inaugural running of the two day show.  The event was moved to the end of July in 2005 and 2006.  For 2007 and 2008, an early October appearance was in order.  The event was discontinued and not run in 2009.

5-21-04 - Craig Dollansky

5-22-04 - Craig Dollansky

7-29-05 - Brooke Tatnell

7-30-05 - Steve Kinser

7-28-06 - Daryn Pittman

7-29-06 - Daryn Pittman

10-5-07 - Rained Out

10-6-07 - Donny Schatz

10-4-08 - Donny Schatz


Chapter 15 - Viking Speedway Fall Classic Section:

In 2003, a new event emerged on the Minnesota racing scene called the Viking Fall Classic.  It was held at the 1/2 mile Viking Speedway located on the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Alexandria.  It was an immediate success with large car counts and a strong turnout of fans.  The early October special for several WISSOTA stock car classes has established itself as one of the top season-ending races promoted by FYE Motorsports owner Chris Stepan.  Listed below is a summary of past winners in all divisions.

2003:

Late Models - Dave Zimmerman

Modifieds - Scot Danzeisen

Super Stocks - Scot Danzeisen

2004:

Late Models - John Kaanta

Modifieds - Craig Thatcher

Super Stocks - Scot Danzeisen

Street Stocks - Scott Paulson

Midwest Mods - Dale Mathison

2005:

Late Models - Don Shaw

Modifieds - Zach Johnson

Super Stocks - Dave Mass

Street Stocks - Jimmy Williams

Midwest Mods - Dan Wheeler

2006:

Late Models - Don Shaw

Modifieds - Craig Thatcher

Super Stocks - Don Shaw

Street Stocks - Keith Tourville

Midwest Mods - Dallas Gulbrandson

2007:

Late Models - Lance Matthees

Modifieds - Jamie Lemke

Super Stocks - Don Shaw

Street Stocks - Jason Vandekamp

Midwest Mods - Danny Bayer

2008:

Late Models - Zach Johnson

Modifieds - Pat Doar

Super Stocks - Don Shaw

Street Stocks - Cory Rosen

Midwest Mods - Ryan Mikkelson

2009:

Rained Out 3 weekends straight, rescheduled for April 2010.


Chapter 16 - Riverview Raceway Barry Kettering Memorial Section:

In memory of a great racing champion who tragically lost his life in an accident at the Fairmont Raceway in June of 1976, the Riverview Raceway in Thunder Bay, Ontario ran several Barry Kettering Memorials.  A fitting tribute done by Jeff Caldwell from Thunder Bay is reprinted below with his permission.  Great job Jeff!  Following Jeff's article is a list of the Barry Kettering Memorial Winners.  Two feature races comprised the makeup of the title, so one did not necessarily have to win a feature in order to win the title (John Sernett did this in 1980 by finishing in third place in both features).

Barry Kettering

by

Jeff Caldwell

Thunder Bay,ON Canada

Barry Kettering would start his racing career match racing Tom Dow at the Murillo Fairgrounds behind the wheel of the Kings Special, a 1920-30's vintage speedster in 1951-52.  Barry was one of the founding members of the Lakehead Stock Car Club in the fall of 1952, and the first stock car he built was a 1934 Plymouth numbered 00.  It was called "The Snitch Special" as apparently that's how some of its parts were obtained.  He would then move into Bud Heidrich's #47 "Bud's Thing" '47 Ford in 1953 and later a '32 Ford until 1957 when he drove the Provincial Stock Car Club #57.  In 1958, Barry and brother Glen, with whom he was partners in a local service station, built a 1934 Ford coupe powered by a 312 C.I. Ford.  This car would carry Barry to his long sought after track title.  Barry, always the tough but fair competitor, would again win its title in 1959 in the '34 Ford and a cut down version of the same car carried him to the title again in 1960.  Though Barry was leading the points & defending his title in 1961, he sold his share in the service station and moved from Fort William to Rice Lake, Wisconsin so that he could race more often.

Barry had first ventured stateside to "see how they raced" in 1958 and left a souvenier for the meeting room of the Indianhead Stock Car Racing Association ,a check in the amount of $15.00 for tow money which he refused to accept.  Upon his return to Rice Lake, WI in the spring of 1959, Barry "cleaned the boards" and started to leave his mark south of the border.  Barry Kettering's gesture of refusing the tow money was a precursor to several others gestures he would make through his racing career for the betterment of the sport. Barry continued racing in modifieds, and the '34 Ford was retired with a new car being built based on a '49 Ford frame with a Crosley body and a 390 C.I. Ford powering it.  Upon its completion in the spring, Barry was looking to give it a test run.  Finding Raceway Park in Shakopee, MN running, Barry and his crew headed for the track to discover that it was asphalt.  Undaunted and though the car was built for dirt and Barry having no previous pavement experience, he threw the car sideways through the corners as if he was racing on dirt thrilling those in attendence.  Barry returned to Shakopee for its opening day show, won his heat, and ran out of gas on the white flag lap of the feature while leading.  Soon the calls were going out "look out, here comes the Bear Cat!!".  Through the years whenever Barry towed into the pits, he would be regarded as one of the guys to beat.

During the sixties, Barry would blossom into one of the top open wheel racers in the Minnesota/Wisconsin area winning several big events, and he would take "ownership" of the supermodifieds at Princeton ,MN.   There he would win the title seven times with three others coming at North Star Speedway near Blaine.  In the year 1973, Barry was again part of a racing club formation as he was one of the co-founders of the Midwest Sprint Association (MSA) just as he had been with the Lakehead Stock Car Club.  Thoughout the next three years, Barry served as the association's President as well as its goodwill ambassador, dominating driver and fan favorite.  In the first year of the clubs existence, it was dominated on the track by Kettering as he won 14 features and took the initial title.  On the way to the title, Barry won the unsanctioned Invitational Championships at Riverview Raceway in his hometown of Thunder Bay,ON.  Barry again took the MSA title in 1974 and 1975.  While Barry would rarely travel too far from home to race, when he did he was often rewarded with a win or a top finish, such as starting at the rear in a 22 car field in Minot,ND and crossing under the checkered flag first.  In 1976 ,Barry co-drove with Ron Larson in the famed Little 500 in Anderson, IN running second when an oil leak close to the finish required repairs relegating them to an eigth place finish.  He was on his way to the 1976 title on Friday June 11 of 1976 when he lost his life as he was thrown from his red & white #57 in a roll over on lap 13 in corner two at Fairmont, MN.

Barry Kettering was always a highly respected racer both on and off the race track, popular with not only the fans but fellow competitors alike, and he always willing to help the rookies or lend a needed part to a fellow competitor.  The Sunday night race at North Star Speedway in Blaine, MN following Barry's accident was green flagged with the pole position left open in memory of the great racer.  Always one to give for the betterment of the sport and being one who raced for the love of it not the glory or prize money, Barry was a great goodwill ambassador for racing!  Barry would gladly hand out schedules at winter car shows, let kids sit in the sprinter, tow to Austin, MN to promote an upcoming MSA race for the small fee of gas money, and in a dispute regarding a scoring decision at an MSA race at North Star Barry offered to pay the $100 difference out of his own pocket.  Always well spoken, clean cut Barry was very businesslike in his efforts to make the MSA a viable and successful club.  He would meet fair board representatives in an effort to book MSA race dates.  On that June evening racing lost one of its greats.  Though not nationally known, Barry Kettering took on all comers in his area often sending the visitors home empty handed.  Both on and off the track, Barry gave his all to make racing better.  From the stock cars in Fort William to the sprint cars in Minnesota, he was a true racer and he is missed by both those he raced with and those who watched him. Having given so much to the sport, it was perhaps best said by fellow Fort William sprint racer Lyn McIntosh, when Riverview track management decided not to hold the Barry Kettering Memorial in 1981, Lyn and his partners Murray Robinson and Pat Slivinski chose to host it themselves with Lyn saying " Barry gave too much to the sport for his memory to be forgotten".

Riverview Raceway Barry Kettering Memorial Champions (1976-1981):

1976 - John Stevenson

1977 - John Stevenson

1978 - Jerry Richert

1979 - Bob Hop

1980 - John Sernett

1981 - Lyn McIntosh

This concludes my updated version in this 7th edition of my look back at various racing history in and around our Minnesota area.  I am continuing to delve into the past researching other racing events and tracks.  Future updates will hopefully include some additional event winner listings or some additional track research information.  Since my two favorite classes are sprints and late models, I have not spent very much time with the other classes.  Maybe somebody else will someday post some interesting summaries on the modifieds, supers, and various other stock car classes which run at Minnesota and surrounding race tracks.  I hope everyone enjoyed reading this and learned a little something about the past history of our great sport.

Researched & Compiled by Greg R Parent (GRP).  Updated 02/14/2010.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Buzz Barton

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Barry Kettering

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Bill Dollansky

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Bob Hopp

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Dan Shearen

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Dave Skari

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Dennis Olson

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Dick Kelly

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Don Mack

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Jerry Richert Sr.

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Joe Kouba

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John Stevenson

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Lyn Mcintosh

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Mike Selberg

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Ron Larson

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Spike Lempelius

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Rick Ferkel

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Steve Kinser

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Sammy Swindell

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Doug Wolfgang

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Bob Geldner

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Gordy Vogelaar

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Jack McCorkell

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Jerry Richer Jr.

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Jerry Richert Sr.

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Keith Frantsen

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Marv Dewall

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Todd Mack

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