Russ Trulson – Driver

By Chad Meyer

2022 Kossuth County Racing Hall of Fame inductee Russ Trulson says its easy to see why he raced with the number 25 on the side of his car. “I was 25 years old and our son was two and our daughter was five years old when I started racing.”

“I was a NASCAR fan, and I watched every race. Dale Earnhardt was my driver,” the Britt, IA native said. “I grew up around cars and had an uncle with a garage on the south side of town. Every night after school I cleaned, swept and washed parts there.”

Trulson won his first race at the Kossuth County Speedway in late August of 1971 in the Sportsman division. Through the mid-70’s, he had plenty of success at the Algona, IA track. In 1972 he started hot and finished strong, earning the season opening race win plus winning the late September Farm Power Show championship race in the Super Stocks.

In 1973, Denny Hovinga won a dominating eight times in Algona Super Stock action and was crowned season champion. Trulson finished an impressive second in the final season standings that year. When 1974 came around, the top class was called Late Models in Algona and Trulson won the second night out.

“We built our own cars, and it was affordable back then,” remembers Trulson. “We were good friends with Bob and Daryl Arend and bought stuff that wouldn’t work on their sprint cars for our car.”

Trulson quit racing for 10 years and got back into the sport when the Hancock County Speedway opened in 1995. “I served on the board to help build the track,” he said. “I worked full-time at Kabrick Distributing, the local beer distributor, and all the spare time I had went to build restrooms, fences, and more.”

The first race in Britt in 1995 had a special guest, remembers Trulson. “The Race Days in Britt had a best of show award and we won that. That was a very proud moment for me, and I got my photo with then Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.”

A few memories stand out for Trulson. “Gene Schattschneider was top dog at Algona, and I beat him for what seemed like the only time. He was always the one you had to beat. We raced him a lot.”

“I also remember when I started in hobby stocks (Road Runners then),” he recalls. “Algona had a plank wall in turn four and I was running next to the wall. A plank came off the track and stuck in the car as I drove off.”

Trulson said he liked racing in Algona. “We met a lot of friends through racing and swapped a lot of stories. The promoter, Dwight Cook, treated us all fair and I really liked him. You could talk to him and ask questions. He did a great job.”

Today, Trulson and his wife Barb reside in Britt and are retired. Russ owns a recycling business and at the age of 76 he still serves the Britt Fire Department and works a few race nights at the local speedway with the department.