“Smooth Operator,” “Tall Cool One,” Busch All Star Tour, Museums-Benefit Auction and 3 Iowa Legends Highlight Knoxville L.M. Nationals at National Sprint Car Museum

KNOXVILLE, IOWA (August 31, 2016) – Fans touring the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum during this year’s Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals, September 15-17, are in for a treat.  Highlighting this year’s programs are a Friday VIP reception featuring recent North-South 100 winner Bobby Pierce, also known as “Smooth Operator,” and his veteran father, the “Tall Cool One,” Bob Pierce.  In addition, Friday will also feature a Late Model 101 forum entitled “Busch All Star Tour” with several series officials and drivers.  Saturday’s focus will start with the annual auction to benefit the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum and the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame in Union, Kentucky.  Finally, Saturday afternoon will wind up with a Stocksville Reunion honoring Denny Hovinga, Wayne Larson and Bob Weber.

The details of the four programs are as follows:

Friday, September 16

11:30 a.m. – VIP Reception: “An Afternoon with Bobby & Bob Pierce”

National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee and award-winning journalist Dave Argabright will interview recent North-South 100 winner Bobby Pierce (a.k.a. “Smooth Operator”) and his legendary father Bob Pierce (a.k.a. “Tall Cool One”).  The youngest Pierce, born in 1996, has been a United Midwestern Promoters (UMP) star for years, but with his success in a NASCAR Truck at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway, the Illini driver has put himself on the map nationally.

1 p.m. – Late Model 101: “Busch All-Star Tour”

Join us on the second floor of the National Sprint Car Museum for a forum featuring officials and drivers from one of the most successful series in dirt late model racing, the Busch All Star Tour.  For seventeen years, Jim Wilson and his crew of dedicated race officials gave Midwest dirt late model fans outstanding racing programs. Lee Ackerman of the I-80 Speedway will moderate the 90-minute forum with Jim Wilson (director), Art Daufeldt (tech), Mark Ludwig (tech), Ron Streger (tech), Mable McCuen (registrar), Dean Howe (flagman), Tom Lathen (announcer) and drivers/brothers Joe Kosiski and Steve Kosiski (7-time series champion; only driver to make every BAST race).

Saturday, September 17

12 Noon – Knoxville Dirt Late Model Memorabilia Auction

A live auction of unique, autographed memorabilia from the worlds of dirt late model racing, sprint car racing, NASCAR stock car racing, Indy Car racing and NHRA drag racing.  Emceed by Kathy Krafka Harkema and auctioneered by veteran late model driver and owner Lynn Richard, you’ll want to take in this fun event and relive the stories and memories as you can bid on autographed dirt late model body panels, die-cast and apparel at reasonable prices!  See what volunteer Jim Rasmussen has up his sleeve in 2016.  The auction benefits the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum in Knoxville, Iowa, and the National Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame in Union, Kentucky.

3 p.m. – Stocksville Reunion: “Denny Hovinga, Wayne Larson & Bob Weber”

Chad Meyer of the Kossuth County Agricultural & Motorsports Museum will moderate the 90-minute forum with three Iowa veterans:  Denny Hovinga of Laurens, Wayne Larson of Ames, and Bob Weber of Burt.  While their biggest wins came behind the wheel of IMCA Modifieds, Hovinga, Larson and Weber competed against the best drivers that Iowa and southern Minnesota had to offer in late models during the 1970’s and ‘80s.  During this forum, we will explore the cars, drivers, tracks and history of racing late models during that era.  We will also discuss how the late model competition then prepared each for their own stellar modified careers.

Those seeking more information on the September 15-17 events are encouraged to visit the www.sprintcarhof.com web site.


Museum opens April 2, 2016

The Kossuth County Ag & Motorsports Museum opens for the season on Saturday, April 2, 2016 and will be open every Saturday & Sunday from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. until December 31, 2016.

Museum is also open by appointment anytime. For an appointment, contact: Rick Klein, 515-320-1441.

$3.00 – adults
$2.00 – ages 6-12
5 & under are free

Building entrance and both floors of the museum are handicapped accessible.

Memberships available for as low as $25, which feature free admission for two people annually.

We appreciate your support! We hope to see you soon.

Eight Named to 2016 Kossuth County Racing Hall of Fame

Jon Hiscocks piloted the “German Valley Special” at the Algona track. He and seven others will be inducted into the Kossuth County Racing Hall of Fame in 2016.

Jon Hiscocks piloted the “German Valley Special” at the Algona track. He and seven others will be inducted into the Kossuth County Racing Hall of Fame in 2016.

The Kossuth County Racing Hall of Fame recently announced its 2016 class of inductees. This year’s class features eight individuals that achieved great success in the sport.

Drivers inducted this summer include Denny Anderson, who earned his 100th IMCA modified feature win at Algona several year ago, plus Jon Hiscocks, the late Jack McCorkell and the late Dale Wilhite.

Bill Holcomb and his brother the late Ken Holcomb, were car owners and supporters of racing at the Kossuth County track, while Dean & Nancy Schroeder will be recognized for their many years of providing automotive parts, fuel and supplies here. Dean also competed as a driver for several years in Algona.

The committee, with the help of the living members of the Kossuth Racing Hall of Fame, selected the eight inductees for 2016. Candidates not selected will be considered for future inductions.

The induction ceremony will take place August 6th during the annual Kossuth County Fair.

More details about the Hall of Fame and the induction ceremony will be released when they are available to www.KossuthMuseum.com.

“Iowa Auto Racing 101,” Book Signing January 31st

racing book coverWhat: Author Bill Haglund will be selling and signing his new book. Over 600 pages & 500 photos, documenting Iowa auto racing from its inception through 2014. This book includes many racers and personalities that frequented the speedway in Algona!

When: Sunday, January 31, 2016
Noon: Book sales/signing starts

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. “Iowa Racing 101,” Moderated by Chad Meyer
Discussion of Iowa’s rich racing history, the creation of the book, and many racing stories from the author

4:00 p.m. Event concludes

Where: Kossuth County Ag & Motorsports Museum
Located on the Kossuth County Fairgrounds (Hwy 169 South)
800 East Fair Street, Algona, IA

Book signing and “Iowa Racing 101” – free and open to the public
Museum also open – $3.00 adults, $2.00 children


For more information, contact Chad Meyer, cmeyer@maxyieldcoop.com, 515-320-2593.





Holiday Open House set for December 13

December 13, 2015: Holiday Open House 1-4 pm. Art prints and holiday gifts for sale!

See you there!

“Remembering the ’75 Season” up next at Algona on Sun. Nov. 22

Bob Trostle, left, chats with driver Shane Carson during the 1978 season. (Coastal181.com, Carson collection)

Bob Trostle, left, chats with driver Shane Carson during the 1978 season. (Coastal181.com, Carson collection)

The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum Foundation is pleased to announce that it is once again traveling north on Sunday, November 22, to present its next Sprint Car 101 forum, entitled “Remembering the 1975 Sprint Car Racing Season at Algona, Iowa.” The free and open-to-the-public program, to be moderated by Chad Meyer, will be held at 2 p.m. at the Kossuth County Agricultural & Motorsports Museum on the county fairgrounds in Algona.

According to Chad Meyer. “We are excited to host this event and relive the 1975 season at Algona. That year was significant because local sprint car owner, Jim Utt, promoted the races and brought weekly sprint car racing action here. The Kossuth County Fair race was the last race of the year, and the last race until the track reopened in 1986. We are thrilled to have sprint car builder Bob Trostle join us, as he won the July 4th event in 1975 with the late Roger Larson as his driver. It was also the first time sprint cars used wings at Algona. Jim Edgington and Larry Kirkpatrick each had two wins that year, while ‘the California Cowboy’ Ron Rea won the last sprint car race of the season during the Kossuth County Fair, subbing for an injured Jim Edgington. Dick Forbrook was the ’75 season point champion and he will be here on November 22, as will Bob Trostle, Jim Edgington, ‘Bud’ Peterson, Roy Jo Peltz, Stacy Redmond, Mike Thomas and Jim Utt, Jr.”

In addition, Denny Garbers of Fairmont, Minnesota, will have a large display of old racing photos and programs from across the Upper Midwest on that day. Those individuals interested in learning more about the “Sprint Car 101” Third Thursday Series at the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum are urged to visit www.sprintcarhof.com. There will be no Sprint Car 101 programs in Knoxville in November nor December.


Sprint Car 101: Remembering the 1975 Sprint Car Season at Algona

101 jan 2015


KNOXVILLE, IOWA (September 23, 2015) – Fans touring the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame & Museum this Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. will get a unique opportunity to attend a just-added Late Model 101 forum: “Sixty Minutes with 3-Time International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) Late Model Champion Justin Kay.” Chad Meyer of the Kossuth County Agricultural & Motorsports Museum will moderate the hour-long forum with the 2013, ’14 and ‘15 IMCA national point titlist and the 2014 and ‘15 IMCA Deery Brothers Summer Series champion.

According to Chad Meyer, “Justin, whose last name rhymes with ‘guy,’ has tons of talent. He was the (Cedar Rapids) Gazette’s ‘Eastern Iowa Driver of the Year’ in 2014 and ’15. Just this year, he has recorded 29 feature wins, seven of which were in Deery Brothers Summer Series events and he is the 2015 Dubuque Speedway track champion. He has 80 main event wins since 2013. Taking nothing away from Don O’Neal, but Justin Kay is the ‘Real Deal’ here in Iowa.”

“Sixty Minutes with 3-Time IMCA Late Model Champion Justin Kay” will follow the museum-benefit auction at 3 p.m. on the museum’s second floor. Interestingly enough, the Noon auction will be led by auctioneer Lynn Richard, himself a former IMCA Deery Brothers Summer Series champion car owner in 2013 with driver Brian Harris.

Those seeking more information on the September 24-26 events are encouraged to visit the www.sprintcarhof.com web site.

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 www.kossuthmuseum.com or call Louie Bormann (515-320-0332) or Ron Lohman (515-341-1312) to schedule a time to visit the museum.

High-Performance History: and Motorsports Museum Offers Something for Everyone

20150114_maxyield_143 (1024x681)This story first appeared in MaxYield Cooperative’s My Solutions magazine…

The 3 “R’s” mean reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic in school, but they mean racing, railroads, and rural heritage at the new Kossuth County Ag and Motorsports Museum in Algona.

“We hear ‘wow’ a lot when people visit the museum for the first time,” said Louie Bormann of Algona, board president.

Located on the north end of the Kossuth County Fairgrounds, the museum tells the story of rural and small-town life in north-central Iowa. The open areas on the main floor offer an ideal place to display vintage tractors and race cars, while the perimeters of both the main floor and upper level offer an array of interesting exhibits focused on agriculture and racing in north-central Iowa. From the unique 1960 John Deere 730 Turbo Diesel tractor, to a race car that belonged to Iowa racing legend Bob Shryock, the museum makes it easy to explore north-central Iowa history up close.

Nearly 3,000 guests visited the museum during the 2014 Kossuth County Fair. “There are a lot of racing enthusiasts in this area, plus this is a farming community, so we offer something for everyone,” said Ron Lohman, the museum’s curator and a board member from Algona.

Tractors and race cars aren’t the only attractions at the museum, whose guests have included Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. Just beyond the main exhibit hall is a massive model railroad that takes up a complete room. “People of all ages enjoy this place,” said Arlen Benschoter of Algona, a museum board member who’s the creative force behind the railroad, which continues to evolve. “Some kids are so fascinated by the train that they start crying when their parents tell them it’s time to go.”

20150114_maxyield_122 (1024x681)Small-town promoters accomplish big dreams
While the Ag and Motorsports Museum opened in July 2013, the roots of the $900,000 project run much deeper. The idea began and evolved in 2009.

“Louie and I go on a lot of tractor rides and started asking if we could create a museum in Algona to preserve ag history,” Lohman said. “This was uncharted territory for us. Once we got into it more and realized how big of a project this would be, we thought, ‘What did we get ourselves into?’”

The volunteers hired a consultant, Ralph Savoy, from Cedar Rapids to conduct a feasibility study. When the results were positive, they began recruiting volunteers like Jim Voigt, a local
CPA, to help with fundraising. They also decided that the fairgrounds offered the best place to build the museum. “We didn’t want it to be seen just as an Algona project,” Bormann noted. “It’s a Kossuth County project.”

After generous donations from area residents started coming in, the volunteers secured a $20,000 grant from the Union Pacific Railroad and a $100,000 Vision Iowa grant. The museum’s volunteers were inspired by the layout of the Hancock County Agricultural Museum in Britt as they designed the Ag and Motorsports Museum. After the building was completed, some of its loudest critics became its biggest promoters. “This museum has become a big asset to the community and gives people another reason to visit the area,” Bormann said.

See what’s new
Measuring 80 feet wide by 172 feet long, the climate-controlled, energy-efficient museum includes plenty of exhibit space and a gallery showcasing the remarkable rural artwork of Russell Sonnenburg of Forest City. The Ag and Motorsports Museum offers prints of Sonnenburg’s vibrant paintings, which feature farm scenes and a variety of ag implements. Sales of these prints, which start at $35, help provide funds for the ongoing maintenance of the building.

Funding also comes from rental fees for the museum’s spacious, first-floor meeting room featuring modern audio/visual equipment and Internet access. The museum is handicapped accessible, with a new elevator installed in February so all guests can also visit the balcony level while they are at the museum.

There’s always something new to see. “Since most of the items here are on loan, they can be swapped out frequently to keep things interesting,” said Bormann, who serves with 14 other volunteer board members from around the county. “We really appreciate the community’s support and interest in preserving our rich local history.”