Dave Hanselman – Owner, Builder, Crew Chief

“Since 1967, there hasn’t been a year that’s gone by that I haven’t at the race track, either as being involved with a car or there as a spectator,” said Algona, Iowa’s Dave Hanselman. Throughout the years, Hanselman has seen his share of success while turning wrenches.

“In ’67, me and Marlie Struecker built a car together. Our intention was to split dates driving it, but he drove it first at Boone and did well. I told him to just stay in the seat,” he laughed. “We were together two years before I worked on Wayne Meyer’s car for the next two or three years.”

The next stop in the early 1970’s was working on Gene Schattschneider’s Honsbruch Drug cars. “I remember one Friday night at Algona that Gene really wrecked the car. The right front was really pushed over. We started working on the car, taking the front end all apart and cutting the frame. We worked all weekend on it.

“I told Dutch (Honsbruch) that if we were going to make the (Iowa) State Fair during the week, he’d have to pay me to work on it during the day. He agreed to and Gene (Schattschneider) and Wayne (Meyer) helped after work. Luckily I was able to leave my dad’s welding shop to help get it done,” Hanselman remembers.

During this time, Hanselman served in the National Guard from 1967 to 1974. “My draft number was coming up. I wanted to join the National Guard but there was a waiting list to join. Howie Stevenson was the Algona commander and he said if I could pass the Fire Direction test and pass, I could get in. I passed it and signed up for six years at Algona. When my sixth year was up, they told me if I went one more year, I could get another stripe if I went to Humboldt. By the time that was done, it was time to get out. I had had enough.”

In the mid 1970’s Hanselman worked on Jim Utt’s sprint car. “I had a lot of fun working with the Utt’s. We had Dick Forbrook, Gary Johnson, Ralph Blackett and Larry Kirkpatrick all drive. We’d go to Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and South Dakota in that IH Travelall and open trailer. When we went to North Star Speedway north of the Twin Cities on Sunday’s, I’d always have to drive home. Naturally everyone else was asleep on the way back. There was a few times we were on the shoulder coming home,” he remembers.

In 1978 Hanselman and his family moved to California. He didn’t work on race cars but the followed the California Racing Association sprint cars up and down the coast. “We were at Ascot every Saturday,” he said. When they moved back to Algona in 1991, Hanselman started helping local racer John Simpson on his hobby stock and built their motor.

“A year later (my son) Dan wanted to race. I was still helping John, but it didn’t make sense not working on Dan’s car. We’ve been racing together the last 29 years,” Hanselman said. “I think our first win together was in 1994.”

Ever since, the Hanselman duo built an impressive resume. “One thing I’ll always be proud of was winning the IMCA Supernationals in a hobby stock the first year they had it for that class in 1997. We also followed the NKF (National Kidney Foundation) Tour for a couple years in the hobby stock and won the championship in 2000 on the last night in Donnellson,” he said.

Over the years, the Hanselman’s have competed in hobby stocks, B-mods, stock cars and modifieds. “The only class we didn’t win in was modifieds. That year was a disaster. We blew five motors and got in a couple wrecks. But we stuck with and have kept going.” The last eight years have been in the IMCA Stock Car division.

A few other memories stick out according to Hanselman. “I got paid to work on the Utt Electric sprinter. I kept track of how many hours I worked and my pay. I was paid a percentage of what the car took in. At the end of the year, I figured that I got paid about 10 cents an hour,” he laughed.

“I’m most proud of what Dan has accomplished. He’s fought through some health issues and we’ve stuck with it. I’m also proud that we have made racing a MOPAR engine work. “We didn’t know anything when we started with them. We built them out of a manual. It took a couple three years to learn.”

Their resume at their local track is just as impressive as the other big wins and titles they’ve earned. At Kossuth County Speedway, they have 28 total wins and were the 1997 hobby stock track champion. Their big wins here include the 1997 Kossuth Fabricators special and the Schattschneider Memorial that year. They hold hobby stock Kossuth County Fair race wins in 1994 and 2000. They collected the Kossuth County Fair trophies in 2008 and 2010 in the B-mod division. On a hot Sunday afternoon in 2014, they posted a win in the Shryock Memorial at Algona also.

At the age of 74 years old, Hanselman will retire from the Algona Napa store in June of 2021, a job he’s held since the came back from California.