Del Stokke – Driver

By Chad Meyer

The late Del Stokke of Ames, IA, was one of the top stock car runner of the 1960’s and early ‘70’s. A look into the Kossuth County Speedway record books shows that Stokke collected six career wins in Algona.

The first time Stokke’s name was recorded in the win column at Algona was June 9, 1967, earning the Super Stock Car feature. He won two more times that year, collecting the top prize nearly a month apart each time, winning July 17 and August 11.

Stokke won once in Algona in 1968 and posted the May 23, 1969 season opener here. Butch Householder was victorious in the first race of the 1970 Kossuth County Fair. Stokke earned his biggest win at Algona the second race night of the fair.

Fellow Ames, IA driver and Kossuth County Racing Hall of Fame inductee, Joel Rasmussen credits Del Stokke for helping get his career to the next step. As Rasmussen began to understand the cars better early in his career, he said Stokke was a master with engines.

“Del came from a drag racing background and was a great mechanic,” Rasmussen recalls. “He’d adjust that engine two to three times a night. When we got to racing together, we were hard to beat.”

It was in the mid-1960’s when Rasmussen first made the trip north to the track in Algona. “I recall they had a Nationals type race then with modifieds, and the extra money is what brought us there the first time. We did very well in that race, and we decided to keep coming up there for the next couple of years,” said Rasmussen.

“We did well at Algona. Back then, if you made the top three, your engine got tore down. And we got tore down a lot there. They never did find anything wrong, though and we won several races there, Rasmussen said.”

As you might expect, Stokke was strong at Boone Speedway.  In 1969 at Boone, he won the 30-lap Season Championship race.

In that Saturday night championship feature, Stokke grabbed the lead on the very first lap from the man who had started on the pole, Gene Schattschneider, when Gene went too high coming out of the number two corner.

Schattschneider, stayed close behind Stokke for several laps until he lost control of his car and spun out coming out of the fourth turn on lap seven.

Arnie Braland, of Boone, after the departure of Schattschneider, picked up where Gene left off and battled Stokke all the way to the wire in finishing runner up. It was Braland’s best finish during championship competition at Boone in three years. He also finished fifth in points this year.

Two veteran drivers, Jerry LeCroy, Des Moines and Joel Rasmussen, Ames, finished third and fourth with Merle Leonard, Marshalltown, rounding out the top five.

Stokke, who finished the year runner-up in points to Gene Schattschneider, picked up his second championship at the Boone Speedway in a three-year stretch. He finished the 1967 season at Boone by winning the point battle and the season championship.

Stokke joins five others as 2019 inductees into the Kossuth County Racing Hall of Fame. More information about the hall and its inductees can be found at