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2006 Huset's Speedway Hall of Fame Inductees:

  • Gary Bott

  • Marlow Egge

  • Marlyn Hanten

  • Denny Oviatt


2006 HUSET'S SPEEDWAY HALL OF FAME

ALL PHOTOS, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, ARE FROM THE INDUCTEES OR THEIR FAMILIES.

Bios written by Rob Ristesund


GARY BOTT

Gary Bott's career in auto racing began as a mechanic for Marlyn Hanten in the early 1960s.

Gary first got behind the wheel of his own super-modified car in 1966, a 1930 Ford coupe powered by a Chevy V-8. With the help of his pit crew - Larry Nagel, Wayne Chase and Stan Bott - Gary was name co-rookie-of-the-year.

From 1967 through 1972, Gary continued to own and drive his own cars - all which carried the number 16. Through this time he raced at a number of tracks in the area aided by Rob Auseth, Vern Christensen, Ernie Janssen, Joe Bott and Kenny Brinker.

In 1973, Gary hired an up-and-coming driver - Doug Wolfgang - to drive his car. The following year Wolfgang moved to the Rich and Hall no. 94 and Gary followed as a mechanic.

Midway through the 1975 season Gary returned to driving after teaming with co-owner Ron Tysdal. The new team scored Gary another feature win late that season.

The 1976 season dawned with great expectations for Gary and his team. But those hopes were shattered on opening night at Huset's Speedway. It was that Mother's Day evening when Gary died from injuries sustained while competing in the trophy dash at the age of 35.

While Gary's death remains a dark memory in the history of Huset's Speedway, his loss of life was not in vain.
The week following his death, Hall of Famer Pat Masur and Jeff Cronk created a new rescue crew at the track, as a direct result of the fatality the previous week. That rescue unit has evolved into the current team headed by Pat's son, Jay.

There is no doubt that Gary's ultimate sacrifice to the sport he loved made Huset's Speedway and other area tracks safer places to race at.

Gary Bott is survived by his wife, Joan DeWall, and his sons John and Steve.


MARLOW EGGE

Marlow Egge is considered by many to have a been a talented engine and car builder as well as one of the great innovators in local auto racing.

Following a stint as a crewman for midget car driver Al Bapp, Marlow became a car owner in the late 1950s. Aided by his brother, Jay, he created a competitive racing team which soon became one of the most formidable racing operations in the area.

A true innovator, Marlow disdained the popular Chevy V-8 in favor of a Ford engine for no particular reason other than just to be different. While others failed, he was able to create enough horsepower from the Ford that it would consistently out-power most Chevrolets.

In 1967, Roger Larson returned from the East Coast with information concerning the new style of modifieds that were being raced there.

That winter, Larson, Marlow and Jim Clark went to work building three new cars - one for Larson and two for Jim Matthews. The result was a new-style car - one that was smaller and lighter - that changed area auto racing and brought it up-to-date.

In addition to hundreds of feature wins and numerous track championships, Marlow's cars were primarily responsible for the success of three Hall of Fame drivers - Marshall Gardner, Dave Engebretson and Jim Matthews.

Marlow was on the original Huset's Speedway board of directors and was a successful businessman, starting the first automatic transmission repair service in Sioux Falls which continues on today under the guidance of his son, Jack.

Although his success in racing gave Marlow many opportunities to be in the spotlight, he often shunned them, preferring to let his results on the track speak for himself.

Marlow Egge died in 1993 at the age of 75. He is survived by his wife Evelyn and children Jack, JoAnn and Linda.


MARLYN HANTEN

Never one to be satisfied with following the leader on or off the track, Marlyn Hanten was know as a true inidividual on the local racing scene.

Hanten answered to no one in his racing organization as he was owner, car builder, engine builder and driver throughout his successful racing career which saw him accumulate numerous feature wins in the three-state area.

His cars were known for their appearance and handling, a tribute to his many skills. One of those cars became one of the more well-remembered machines to ever compete at Huset's.

In the late 1960s, when all cars in the modifed class carried bodies of pre-war coupes or sedans, Hanten chose to mount a '66 Ford Mustang body atop his car's frame. The car caused a stir among officials, competitors and fans. While it didn't make his car any faster, it was Hanten doing what he enjoyed - being different.

A racing accident in that car at Interlakes (now Lake County) Speedway in 1969 nearly cost Marlyn his life. He suffered a broken neck and nearly drowned after his car flipped off the backstretch and landed upside-down in the nearby slough. But after seven weeks in the hospital and nearly a year off of work Marlyn returned to racing and winning again.

Marlyn, who was also on the Huset's board of directors for about 20 years, saw his 28-year career as a driver end in 1978 due to health reasons. He returned to racing with his son, Duane, as driver from 1980-1985. The pair also competed with a sprint car in the 1994-95 seasons.

Marlyn Hanten is now retired and lives with his wife, Geri, in Sioux Falls.


DENNY OVIATT

For 25 years, the voice of Huset's Speedway belonged to Denny Oviatt.

The former radio and television personality took the seat behind the track's microphone in 1973 when Hall of Fame member Dave Dedrick retired and was a fixture at the speedway until his own retirement from announcing races in 1998.

In addition to his work at Huset's at that time, he also announced races on Fridays at Rapid Speedway and Saturdays at Lake County.

In 1989, he created and hosted the radio program "Racetrack Live!", a live show on Monday evenings featuring racing news and interviews. The program continues today, hosted by current Huset's announcer, Mark Tassler.
A fifth night of the week in Denny's busy summer schedule was occupied for a number of years as host to "Rapid Speedway Live!", a similar racing radio program which originated from Rock Rapids, Iowa on Thursday evenings.

Whether at the track, on the radio or on television, his well-known phrase "Hey, hey, hey, race fans!" became a familiar alert to fans that important information was to follow.

Although retired from announcing races, Denny continues to remain active today in announcing horse shows across the country. He recently received a special commendation from the American Quarter Horse Association for 42 years of service.

Following his retirement from auto racing, Denny and his wife, Char, moved to Arizona where they continue to reside today.