2013 Huset's Speedway Hall of Fame Inductees:
2013 HUSET'S SPEEDWAY HALL OF FAME
ALL PHOTOS, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, ARE FROM THE INDUCTEES OR THEIR FAMILIES.
Bios written by Rob Ristesund
Fran Bruns was one of the areas top 360 Sprint Car drivers in the 1980s and 1990s.
As a child watching the races at Interlakes (later Lake County) Speedway near his hometown of Madison in the 1960s, Bruns told people that someday he would race on that track and that he would win. He more than fulfilled that vow, not only winning races and championships there but at other tracks, as well.
He began his racing career in a Mini-Sprint around 1983 and soon moved up to the full-size, 317 cubic inch sprint cars, which later evolved to 360 engines. It wasnt long before he began winning races, eventually totaling 87 feature wins and eight track championships.
In 1988, he pulled off the rare Triple Crown in local racing, claiming titles at Husets, Lake County and Rapid Speedways. He added two more championships at Husets and one each at Lake County and Rapid. He was also a track champion at Fairmont, Minn., and fell two points short of a ninth title one year at Jackson, Minn.
Bruns always gave credit to his dedicated crew, the Rawhide Racing Team, who provided him with a fast, well-prepared racing machine. His younger brother, Dean known by most as Bonzai eventually left the team to work as a full-time racing mechanic and has become one of the top crew chiefs in professional sprint car racing today.
Bruns had said that he would race as long as it was fun, and that period came to an end in 2000. While the racing itself was still fun, the escalating costs of competing that required him to work two jobs was not, and he hung up his helmet for the final time.
Randy Droescher was probably the most dedicated sprint car driver over the longest time span in this area.
Droescher began racing in the Norfolk, Neb., area at the age of 15 in 1964. Except for a stint in the U.S. Army, he raced regularly through 2012.
In 1976, he joined several other drivers from the Norfolk area in traveling to compete in the Sioux Falls area. For most of the next 20 years, Randy and his family would leave their home in Hadar, Neb., every Friday afternoon during the racing season to race Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in the Sioux Falls area before returning home early Monday morning. In 1996, the Droescher family relocated to Larchwood, Iowa, primarily to be closer to the local racing scene.
Droescher claimed championships in 1990 at I-90 Speedway and at Lake County in 2007. He won the three-track, combined title for the NMRA in 2007 and finished second by a handful of points at both Husets and Jackson in 1980. A mechanic by trade, he not only drove, but worked on his cars and built his own engines.
Throughout his career, he had the full support of his wife of 40 years, Dianne. Momma D - as she is known to most in the pit area - almost always drove the tow vehicle during the long hauls from Nebraska and was always at his side in the pit area.
Droescher was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the fall of 2012 and treatment of the disease has kept him from racing this year. But once the treatments are behind him, the 64-year-old plans to return to the track again.
Rich Giadone is one of the top sprint car mechanics in the area, with a career of turning wrenches for many top drivers over a period spanning 50 years.
His first hands-on experience with sprint cars came as a teenager in California when he helped clean the car of sprint car legend Howard Kaeding. Giadone first met San Jose neighbor and race car driver Bill Hill in 1959 and when Hill decided to move to Sioux Falls primarily to race in 1965, he brought the 19-year-old with him as his mechanic. After several more moves between Sioux Falls and San Jose, Giadone eventually settled in this area for good in 1970, when he began working for Darryl Dawley at his transmission shop and also with his sprint car, marking his longest tenure with one driver.
Giadone remained Dawleys racing mechanic through the remainder of the drivers career. During a five-year period, they raced in Topeka, Kan., on Friday, Knoxville, Iowa, on Saturday and Minneapolis on Sunday. They also often competed outside the Midwest at tracks ranging from Florida to Texas to California. Giadone was with Dawley on his final night when he lost his life in a racing accident at Knoxville along with Roger Larson.
After Dawleys death, Giadone continued working on sprint cars for a number of drivers. In addition to drivers in California, local drivers he helped over his career include Roger Larson, Doug Wolfgang, Danny Everetts, Jack Trigg, Kevin McIntyre, Marty Barber, Vance and Dylan Peterson, Brian Baker, Mike Preston and Randy and Jody Rosenboom.
Randy Rosy Rosenboom has driven race cars for 44 years, scoring a multitude of feature wins and a number of track championships in both Late Model and Sprint Cars.
Rosenboom began racing stock cars at his home track in Rock Rapids, Iowa, in 1970 at the age of 18, before moving up to the Late Models several years later. Along with a number of feature wins in that class, he won three track titles at Rock Rapids, two at the old half-mile Hartford Speedway and one at Lake County. He also raced regularly at tracks in Alta and Webster City, Iowa, and Fairmont, Minn.
In 1986, he sold the Late Model and purchased his first sprint car. More wins followed, as well as championships at I-90, Rapid and Nobles County (Worthington, Minn.) speedways. While competing primarily in the 360 Sprint Car class, he also won a 410 Outlaw Sprint Car feature at Husets. He also helped his son, Jody, to become a top-contending sprint car driver.
A pair of career highlights for Rosenboom occurred at the former half-mile track at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa. He set the all-time record there for the fastest heat race time for Late Models in 1975 and also won the sprint car feature there in 2000.
In 1973, he saw a need for on-site parts at race tracks and created Rosys Raceland. The part-time venture eventually turned into a full-time business where racers can get parts from his familiar red trailer, which is a fixture at three different tracks every weekend, or from his shop in Edna, Iowa.
Today, Rosenboom continues racing at the age of 62, competing regularly with the HRA non-wing sprint cars while occasionally adding a wing to race with the 360 Sprint Cars.
John Trigg was a charter official at Husets who was directly involved with the racing there for about 20 years.
Trigg first became a fan of local auto racing in the early 1950s through some of his friends from his hometown of Pipestone, Minn., who competed at Soo Speedway near Sioux Falls. Before long, he became good friends with many in the racing community.
When the Sioux Falls Stock Car Association purchased Husets Speedway in 1958, Trigg became a track official. His duties were to calculate the points for each car and driver and to provide an up-to-date points sheet for every race and also to help score the races.
In an era when tabulations were done with a pencil and paper, it was a time-consuming effort which also required a trip to an out-of-town printer for each updated standings, which sometimes occurred two or three times a week for special races. He also developed the original points system, which the track used during his entire tenure.
He traveled to the events the association held at other tracks in Aberdeen, Huron, Parker, Vermillion, Minot, N.D., and Spencer, Iowa, and was also an official at Empire Dragway, the associations drag strip at the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds. After relocating to the Des Moines, Iowa, area for two years, Trigg retained his position at the track, commuting to Husets most Sunday nights.
After leaving his position in the late 1970s, Trigg helped his son, Jack, launch his sprint car driving career. John Trigg remained an avid follower and promoter of local racing until his death due to cancer in 2008.