Bruce Sommerfeld – Driver

By Chad Meyer

One of Fort Dodge, Iowa’s toughest racers, Bruce Sommerfeld left his mark on Algona’s racing scene in the 1970’s. From 1970-74 names like Wildin, Schattschneider, Hovinga, Shryock, Householder and Braland are often remember as dominating forces at the Kossuth County Speedway. A review of the record book will suggest that Sommerfeld should not forgotten when it comes to races who made an impact here.

It is believed that 1972 is when Sommerfeld’s name first shows up in the Algona standings. He scored his first win at the speedway in the super stocks division in late June. At the conclusion of the racing season, he stood 6th in final points.

Though he had success at other tracks in 1973, the records show that Sommerfeld did not post a main event win. 1974 would be a different story, however.

In a battle between Northrup, Minnesota’s Ken Peterson, Sommerfeld’s first win of ’74 occurred on June 7th. He backed that success up with the late model feature win a week later. Peterson went on a three-race win streak, earning the next three features in a row in Algona. Sommerfeld won again on July 12th, earing the mid-season championship crown, while Peterson got him back on July 19.

Sommerfeld finished second to Denny Hovinga on July 26. The Kossuth County Fair races in 1974 were plagued with rain forcing the next action to season championship night. Sommerfeld closed out his great season at Algona by claiming his fourth win of the year and the ’74 point’s championship.

He was unable to defend his point’s title, as the Algona track in 1975 switched to sprint cars full-time, with the notable exception of the Kossuth County Fair. The second night of the fair featured the final racing to take place in Algona until the track reopened in 1986.

Sommerfeld continued his successful late model career in the mid-1970’s, before switching to IMCA modifieds in the 1980’s.