Algona Boasts a Rich Racing History

20150114_maxyield_161 (1024x681)This story first appeared in MaxYield Cooperative’s My Solutions magazine…

The Ag and Motorsports Museum houses the Kossuth County Racing Hall of Fame, which was established in 2007 and recognizes individuals who achieved great success at the track or contributed to the betterment of racing in Kossuth County. Honorees must have lived in or raced in Kossuth County, IA.

Auto racing has been an integral part of Algona history since at least 1914, with automobile and motorcycle racing held during the Kossuth County Fair and at special events. Originally the race track was a half-mile in length and the large grandstand sat on the east side of the facility.

Weekly racing at the track began for the first time in 1961. During that time, high school football games were held in the infield of the speedway. This required volunteers to climb the light poles to turn the lights outward for racing, or inward for football games.

In the third race of 1961, tragedy struck when Larry Cordes died after his car left the speedway and caught fire. Prior to the start of the 1962 season, the speedway was reconfigured into a 1/4-mile track to reduce speeds.

Racing continued weekly at Algona until the conclusion of the 1975 season. Due to economics, the track sat dormant until 1986. The county fair board and local volunteers reopened the track.
Weekly racing has continued, with Joe Ringsdorf promoting the track the last 21 years, up to 2014.

In 2015, the fair board is promoting races on Thursday nights, with Al Thoreson from Fairmont, MN, as race night manager.

Plan Your Visit
The Kossuth County Ag and Motorsports Museum is located just off of Highway 169 on the north end of the Kossuth County Fairgrounds. Admission is $3.

For more information, log on to or call Louie Bormann (515-320-0332) or Ron Lohman (515-341-1312) to schedule a time to visit the museum.

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