2007 Huset's Speedway Hall of Fame Inductees:
2007 HUSET'S SPEEDWAY HALL OF FAME
ALL PHOTOS, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, ARE FROM THE INDUCTEES OR THEIR FAMILIES.
Bios written by Rob Ristesund
While he doesn't rank near the top in races won in his era, Gib Bohlman was known as a man who got "the most from the least" in his racing equipment and was a true ambassador of the sport of auto racing.
The Sioux Falls man owned, built and drove his cars from 1954 to 1966. With a wife and six children to support, little money was left to fund a racing operation. But a combination of ingenuity and driving and mechanical skills usually found Bohlman in the top 10 or 15 in points at the end of each racing season at Soo, Huset's and Lake County speedways, despite competing against much better funded racing teams.
Bohlman would often make trips across the state with his wife, Carol (who often helped work on the car), in search of cheap or free used parts for their race car - the familiar white, Crosley-bodied, Hudson-powered machine with the red No. 3.
Bohlman was one of the original shareholders of Huset's as well as a rules committee member and spent many hours of volunteer work improving the track as well as encouraging people to attend the races.
He received a commendation for his bravery when he unstrapped and pulled a fellow driver, Les Baughman, from a burning wreck, and was also remembered for saving a fellow serviceman's life in WW II.
Bohlman passed away in 2001 at the age of 83 and is survived by his wife and children.
DeVries raced for 50 years
Lyle DeVries has enjoyed one of the longest racing careers as a driver in this area, one which spanned 50 years. The Sioux Falls man began racing in 1957 and continued his career through last year, when he retired from the sport at the age of 69.
DeVries has driven nearly every kind of racing machine imaginable including go-karts, enduro cars, stock cars, drag cars, mini-sprints, modifieds, super-modifieds and sprint cars.
His most successful period in racing came after teaming with renowned car builder Loren Fick in 1967. The pair enjoyed a successful 13-year stint at the Minnesota tracks - Jackson and Fairmont - while also garnering a number of feature wins at Huset's. In his first year of racing at Huset's, he won the co-rookie of the year award along with Darrell Dawley.
DeVries still resides in Sioux Falls and currently owns Tri-State Storage. He is a regular attendee at Huset's every Sunday night.
Mader has many links to Hall
Jack Mader was viewed by many as one of the top car-builder/owner/mechanics of his era. All three of his drivers - Roger Larson, Tom Meehan and Bill Mellenberndt - are members of the Huset's Hall of Fame.
The Madison resident originally teamed with Meehan, and they were highly successful with a track championship at Lake County along with numerous feature wins, including a runner-up spot in points at Huset's in 1972.
When Meehan moved away after the 1969 season, Mader selected another up-and-coming driver, Larson, to steer his racing machine. Larson responded with a second-place finish in the Huset's points chase followed by a championship the next season.
With Larson electing to move to sprint cars in 1972, Mader joined forces with Ron Tysdal and Meehan returned to drive the car at Huset's while Mellenberndt took the wheel at Jackson. It was another successful year for Mader with Mellenberndt taking the track title at Jackson and Meehan finishing second at Huset's.
Mader's racing mechanical prowess was affirmed with his reception of mechanic-of-the-year awards at Huset's, Jackson and Lake County.
Today, Mader has retired from 25 years of service at East River Electric. However, he remains busy with his service station in Madison and his custom farming work. He and his wife, Bev, can usually be found at Huset's and Lake County on the weekends while they spend their winters in Arizona.
Madison's Meehan enjoyed short career
Tom Meehan had a brief, but illustrious career, in racing.
Meehan began racing in 1962 at the age of 17. The Madison resident won the very first stock car race he entered at Lake County Speedway and followed it up with 16 more victories that year to earn the season's point title.
Later, he teamed with Jack Mader in a modified and the pair became a formidable force in local auto racing, claiming a feature win at Huset's in their very first night at the track. They would later go on to record a number of feature victories at Huset's and Lake County while also winning the State Fair Championship in Huron.
Following the '68 season, Meehan moved to Minneapolis for business reasons and left racing. He returned for one more year in 1972, his best year ever.
That season, he won the three-day Sioux Empire Fair points title. He also won the Governor's Cup race at Huset's, charging from the back of the field to pass Roger Larson on the final lap to receive the trophy from Gov. Dick Kneip. He entered the final night of the racing season virtually deadlocked with Harry Torgerson in the points chase, but finished one position away from Torgerson and the title.
Following that season, Meehan elected to leave racing at the age of 25 to devote time to his soon-to-be-born daughter and his business.
Tom has since become a very successful businessman, with business ownerships in a number of companies across the U.S. He and his wife, Aija (who he met while racing at Lake County), currently reside in Minneapolis.
Schriever powered contenders
Bob Schriever has always known about going fast in a car.
A former drag racer who campaigned a 1965 Mustang named "Charlie Horse," Schriever decided to go circle track racing in 1965. The former Sioux Falls Stock Car Association board member brought his high-horsepowered power plants to Huset's and his cars instantly became perennial contenders.
In 1967, the Sioux Falls man teamed with Hall of Fame driver Earl Thomas to win the season's point title at Huset's.
In a career from 1965 to 1978, Schriever's drivers included Ed Arends, Vern Christensen, Larry Lape and Jackson Speedway Hall of Fame member Victor Dicks.
Schriever retired from racing when his last driver, Lape, was critically injured in a racing accident at the State Fair in Huron.
Schriever owned the Missile Muffler repair shop from 1958 to 1978. Now retired, he lives in Sioux Falls with his wife, Barb, and remains active in street-rodding.