Elmer Cook – Owner/Track Official

Elmer Cook

Elmer Cook and his wife Dorothy are shown at a 1996 US Army reunion in Fort Dodge, IA. Cook and six others were inducted into the Kossuth County Racing Hall of Fame August 4, 2012. (Cook family collection)


Algona’s Elmer Cook was involved in the sport of racing for many years. As a 2012 inductee into the Kossuth County Racing Hall of Fame, he is recognized for his years as a car owner and as track official both locally and nationally.

During the week, Cook was usually found at the family’s salvage business in Algona. Cook was often found in the corner of the salvage shop sorting copper and brass parts for meltdown.

It was hanging around Chet Cook’s garage that sparked Elmer’s interest in the sport. When Chet began fielding jalopy race cars, Elmer was there to lend a hand.

Later, Elmer was involved in the midget car owned and fielded by Lamont Wellendorf that had Les Wildin as the driver. When Wellendorf was serving our country in the military, Cook continued to field the black and orange midget.

Elmer Cook - Algona, IAAfter being a car owner, Elmer was a track official and technical advisor for Algona track promoter Dwight Cook.

Elmer Cook also served as secretary for the International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) during its glory days.

As a Private First Class with the Fifth Army in Italy during the war in 1942, Cook was awarded the Bronze Star for heroic achievement. During an approach march, the troops which Cook was accompanying with his ambulance were subject to an intense enemy artillery barrage. Several casualties were inflicted.

Cook left his position of safety and with the aid of a fellow comrade, secured a stretcher and evacuated a seriously wounded soldier during the height of the shelling. The two men then returned to the ambulance and removed it from the area. On the way back, they picked up another seriously wounded man.

The late Elmer Cook joined six others as 2012 inductees into the Kossuth County Racing Hall of Fame.