2003 Huset's Speedway Hall of Fame Inductees:
2003 HUSET'S SPEEDWAY HALL OF FAME
ALL PHOTOS, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, ARE FROM THE INDUCTEES OR THEIR FAMILIES.
Dave Dedrick was known as the "Voice of Huset's Speedway", being the track's first announcer and continued in that position for the track's first 17 years through 1975.
When the track first opened, Dedrick called the races from a couple of rural electric wooden spools he used for tables along with a small portable p.a. system. The few fans that were on hand to listen to him lounged on blankets and lawn chairs on a hillside that was without bleachers.
Through the years as Huset's and the racing association became more successful, they began promoting races in other Midwestern cities. Dedrick traveled with track officials each year to announce races and demolition derbies in Huron, Parker, Vermillion, Spencer (Iowa) and Minot (N.D.). He also announced races at Madison, Hartford, Rock Rapids (Iowa) and Worthington (Minn.).
Dedrick, who became the state's first television broadcaster when KELO-TV signed on in 1953, continued on with his career in television at the station until retiring in 1997. His Captain 11 children's television show was the longest show of its type to run in the nation, spanning 44 years. Dedrick was previously elected to the S.D. Hall of Fame and the S.D. Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
Now retired, Dedrick resides in Sioux Falls with his wife, MarJean.
Bill Leesch's 40-years of involvement in auto racing began in 1958 when his coworker at Terrace Park Dairy then and Huset's Hall-of-Famer Earl Thomas talked him into building a race car. Once the car was ready, the pair took it to the track which was the first time Bill ever saw a race.
Thomas and Leesch took
turns driving the car for several years before Bill
decided that Earl was the better driver and let him take
over the driving duties full-time. Eventually, Bill
joined together with Huset's Hall-of-Famer Fred
Buckmiller in owning the red #5 car with Thomas as the
Bill was a member of the track's board of directors and as the secretary/treasurer, vice-president and eventually president of the association. He was the Huset's track manager from 1984-1987, the last year the association owned the track before selling it to its current owners, the Rubin family.
In 1984, Bill and his wife Patty purchased Hartford Speedway - renamed it Red Devil Speedway - and owned and managed it until 1997.
Bill is retired now and he and Patty, who was his working partner and strong supporter in his racing endeavors, live in Sioux Falls.
Pat Masur was just a fan at Huset's for a number of years, bringing his family to the track for a Sunday night of entertainment on a regular basis.
But when driver Gary Bott was killed in an accident at the track in May of 1976, Pat saw a need for improved rescue services at the speedway and quickly took action.
The following week Pat, who was one of the first emergency medical technicians with the Sioux Falls Fire Dept., founded the Huset's Rescue Squad. Aiding him at the track were his fellow firefighters as Pat used the rescue operation as a training session for the fire department.
Pat's initial emergency equipment consisted of not much more than a Buick hearse and a box of Band-Aids. He began to upgrade the equipment and the training of his fellow workers. Before Gary's accident, the rescue crews major duties was just primarily to get the injured driver out of the car and transport him to the hospital. But Pat's training and experience now allowed injured drivers to immediately be treated at the track, the most crucial time in trauma care.
Pat's son Jay eventually joined him at the track and the pair continued to make improvements to the operation. Soon workers were stationed at each corner to enable faster responses to accidents. After John Barger's fiery crash in the early 1980s, Jay wore a full firesuit to the track the following week, which eventually all the rescue workers would wear.
Pat, who was Fireman of the Year in Sioux Falls in 1975, lost his life to cancer in 1989. But his legacy lives on today through Jay, who operates Med-Star Paramedics/Huset's Fire Rescue, recognized as one of the top dirt track rescue units in the country.
Jerry Ross' first involvement at Huset's found him whitewashing the fences and working the concessions stands as a teenager in the early 1960s. In 1963, the 17-year old son of driver Jim Ross got his first experience behind the wheel of a race car when he drove Huset's Hall-of-Famer Al Fielder's #22. Ross soon left for the military service, serving from 1965-1967. He competed at the track when he was home on leave, winning all four races he entered.
After receiving his discharge, Jerry and Lyle Nelsen formed a formidable racing team from 1968-1971, finishing runner-up in the points to Hall-of-Famers Roger Larson in 1970 and Bill Mellenberndt in 1971.
In 1971, Jerry was leading the points when he broke his back in a racing accident at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa. He sat out the next three races but still had a chance at the points title at the final race. Jerry got a back brace and borrowed John Hulsebus's car for that event, but wasn't able to win the title.
Jerry drove for Larry Stroman and Ron Wulf in 1972-1973 before teaming again with Nelsen in 1974, when he suffered a broken leg in a racing accident. He raced one more season before retiring.
Jerry accumulated a number of awards at Huset's including Mechanic of the Year (four times) and Sportsman of the Year (twice). He finished in the top 10 in points every year except 1965, when he was 11th.
Although a championship at Huset's narrowly eluded him, he did claim the title at Interlakes (now Lake County) Speedway in 1970, when he dominated the competition by winning every feature but one that season. Ross also served a tenure as the president of the racing association.
Jerry and his wife, Marlene, reside in Sioux Falls and he currently manages J & L Premier Automotive in Tea, when he builds engines for many area racers.
Terry Taggart came into racing as the son of top midget racing driver, Charlie Taggart, who was a successful racer in the 1930s through the 1950s.
Terry began racing himself in the Sioux City, Iowa area with a successful run in go-karts before moving on to drag racing. He eventually turned to dirt tracks, where he claimed the championship at Collins Field in Le Mars, Iowa in 1970.
He first came to Huset's in 1971, and finished in the top 10 in points, a fete which he continued every year through 1976. Terry became known as being a hard-charging driver and also for also having one of the best-looking cars at the track.
Terry had the first racing parts trucks at the track and he also used his experience as an EMT with the Sioux City ambulance service to help with emergencies.
In 1977, Terry's wife, Pat, became the first female to be allowed into the infield at Huset's.
Terry retired from driving in 1981, and found success as a car owner when he teamed with co-owner Marty Johnson and driver Jerry Richert Jr.
The trio won championships at Huset's in 1987 and at Jackson, Minn. in 1987 and 1988. Also spending time in the seat of the Taggart-Johnson car were top drivers T.J. Giddings, Billy Boat, Randy Smith, Rocky Hodges and Jack McCorkell.
Terry and Pat still reside in Sioux City where they oversee the family businesses of Taggart's Power Sports and Taggart's Flower Shop.