Added August 15, 2014 9:08 PM
The 17th class to be inducted into the Huset's Hall of Fame includes 71-year-old Howard Baartman. The veteran Street Stocks driver has been a full-time racer since 1982, and recalls the day over three decades ago he decided to go racing.
"I just wanted to go racing. So, I built everything myself and went racing," Howard Baartman said.
"He told me he doesn't hunt, he doesn't fish, he doesn't smoke, and he doesn't drink. He should be able to have a race car," Beverly Baartman said.
The number 12-car has been in the Dump family for generations, beginning with 2014 inductee Robin Dump. He won a few features at Jackson and Huset's Speedway, but died in a plane crash at age 24.
"Thanks to him, I raced all those years, and I'm a track official, and if it wouldn't have been for him, I doubt my nephew would be racing either. It means a ton to us and we're looking forward to it. It's just a real honor to have him in there and be recognized, and let people know that he accomplished quite a bit in a short period of time," Rick Dump said.
Ben Nothdurft (nor-durf) bought a motor for Marty Barber decades ago, and the rest is history, as he enters the hall of fame as a car owner and sponsor.
"When we went to the race track, we went to win. I didn't think I was ever going to get in the hall of fame, and I finally made it. I thank everybody for putting me in there and I'm proud to be in there," car owner Ben Nothdurft said.
KELOLAND Chief Photographer Kevin Kjergaard has always had a passion for racing. He started videotaping the sport in 1981, and over the past 33 years has told stories through the lens of a camera. Kjergaard has always been ahead of his time, and is widely respected in the world of racing.
"A lot of stuff on national television were guys like Dave DeSpain calling Kevin and asking him for footage, because he was the guy that was actually doing the stuff. It's pretty cool that he grew up here in town and he was as good at what he did as he turned out to be. I'm proud of him," hall of fame driver Doug Wolfgang said.
Gary Zitterich is a two-time Huset's Speedway track champion, and has raced everything from drag cars and motorcycles to 360 sprints and 410 outlaw sprints. Among his few regrets is that he didn't start racing until age 29, though he still remembers that first ride.
"If I told you I wasn't scared, I'd be lying, but I got in the race car and went around the racetrack. It was at the old Hartford Speedway on the half-mile, and I though this is kind of cool. Pretty soon, I got lapped, and I though, holy smokes, I have to go that fast. I realized how slow and how bad we were at the time, but it was a learning process, just like anything else. It takes time to figure everything out," Gary Zitterich said.
Sunday, one of the region's most respected venues adds five to it's hall of fame.
"If you can conquer Huset's, you can race anywhere," Zitterich said.
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