Class of 2012

Chuck Bosselamn


Chuck Bosselman was raised in Grand Island and began his love affair with cars by tinkering on them as a youngster.

In the late 1960s, Bosselman got bit by the “racing bug” and built his first race car, a 1955 Chevrolet which he painted red, white and blue and numbered as car 58. He also partnered with his brother-in-law, Bill Bixenmann, to form a two-car team and the pair raced regularly at Hastings and Kearney and other tracks in Nebraska and Kansas.

After a few successful years in the car number-58, Bosselman upgraded to a new Chevrolet, known as the “Black Baron,” which bore the number 3X. At times, Bosselman drove the car under the alias “Mr. X.”

In 1974, Bosselman established Mid-American Racing with Grand Island automobile dealer, Don Wilson. The team was made up of Sprint Car driver Jim Goettsche and Bosselman’s brand new Late Model, an AMC Hornet. The cutting-edge Hornet was one of very few AMC corporately-sponsored race cars and the only Hornet that was ever raced on short tracks. The team competed in the car not only in Nebraska, but all over the Midwest from Oklahoma to Illinois. Bosselman racked up many wins in the unique car, including the biggest win of his career, at the IMCA (International Motor Contest Association) Late Model event at the Nebraska State Fair in 1974.

After several years of racing the Hornet, Bosselman retired from driving with an impressive record of wins on his resume and turned his attention to race promoting. He served his local track, Mid-Continent Raceway in Doniphan, serving on the Board of Directors and assisting with the day-to-day operation of the facility. In the mid 1970s, Bosselman’s dream of a major Late Model race came to fruition with the birth of the Nebraska Late Model Nationals. The race became one of the premier Late Model races in the country, attracting the top drivers in the United States and Canada. At its zenith, the Nationals had grown to a three-day event that paid $6,000 to the winner, unheard of during that time period.

Bosselman was also instrumental in bringing outlaw Sprint Cars to Mid-Continent in the late 1970s and helped promote the first World of Outlaws race in the state of Nebraska, held at Mid-Continent on May 24, 1981.

Bosselman remained active in racing as both a sponsor and promoter until his death in 2012.

Dave Chase


Dave Chase was raised in Council Bluffs, Iowa, but later moved to Omaha, where he spent much of his racing career while operating Dave Chase Motors. He began racing at fairgrounds tracks in western Iowa in the late 1960s and captured his first track championship at Shelby County Speedway in Harlan 1970.

After achieving success on the dirt tracks of the Midwest, Chase tried his hand at with NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) in 1972, attempting to qualify for the Daytona 500. Competing in one of the 125-lap qualifiers against the likes of Bobby Allison, Mark Donohue, Red Farmer, A.J. Foyt, Dave Marcus, Ramo Stott, and both Cale and LeeRoy Yarbrough, Chase narrowly missed achieving a transfer spot into the “Great American Race.”

In 1974, Chase began competing with the USAC (United States Auto Club) Stock Car Series where he competed against some of the best drivers in the country including Ernie Derr, Butch Hartman, Alan Kulwicki, Roger McCluskey, Bobby Unser, and Don White. He remained with the series through 1979. Chase also spent time racing with the American Speed Association (ASA) and competed at the Marty Robbins World 500 in Nashville, Tennessee in 1977.

Returning to his dirt track roots, Chase became one of the most feared drivers in the Midwest throughout the 1980s and 1990s. In 1985, he captured track championships at both Sunset Speedway in Omaha and Eagle Raceway. Over the years, he captured seven track titles at both Eagle Raceway and Adams County Speedway in Corning, Iowa and three championships at Sunset Speedway in Omaha. He finished in the top-ten in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series regional point standings eleven times including a third place regional finish in 1987.

Chase was voted by race fans as Sunset Speedway’s “Most Popular Driver” in 1985, 1993, 1994, and 1999 and also won the Sportsmanship Award at Adams County Speedway several times.

Chase scored numerous special event wins during his career including the 1971 Midwest Late Model Invitational in Harlan, Iowa in 1971, the Sunset Speedway Triple Crown in 1984 and a NASCAR Busch All-Star Tour event at Sunset in 1986.

During his over 30 year racing career, Chase scored over 300 feature race wins, racking up over 20 track championships in the process. In addition to NASCAR, USAC, and ASA, he also competed in numerous IMCA (International Motor Contest Association) events throughout the Midwest.

Bobby Elic


Bobby Elic was born in Omaha and joined the Navy in 1947 where he was involved in vessel and aircraft mechanics exposing him for the first time to supercharging and fine tuning.

Following his discharge in 1951, Elic returned to Omaha where he opened a filling station and began racing his pickup truck on the local streets with other racing enthusiasts. During that time he also helped in the founding of a new Omaha-area car club called the “Undertakers.”

In the early 1950s, Elic began racing a 1939 Ford Coupe, he called the “Weed Killer.” He also began building pre-dragsters, hot rods and custom chassis rigs.

From 1954 through 1987, Elic worked with and developed many young drag racers, built numerous drag cars, and fine-tuned drag racing machines for a number of racers. He was instrumental in the development of Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Famer Howdy Williams’ drag racing career, placing him in the cockpit of his dragster when Williams was a high school teenager. Williams subsequently became one of the most successful drag racers in Nebraska racing history. Other successful racers who drove for Elic included George Dare, Ralph Holcomb, Marty Meyers, Gene Stanley, and Dick Thompson. Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductee George Roseland drove a dragster designed and built by Elic.

In the early 1960s, realizing that superchargers were dangerous, costly, and used a lot of horsepower, Elic innovated and designed a “dual blower system” that was crankshaft driven using two smaller superchargers that sat in front of the engine. The unit used less horsepower and, more importantly, incorporated safety features that reduced dangerous backfires. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he incorporated the technology in a number of his drag cars including his Top Fuel Dragster.

Elic was arguably the most influential individual during the early days of drag racing in the state of Nebraska. He was known as an innovator whose mind was constantly at work. In addition to his unique “dual blower system,” he also was also a pioneer in drag racing’s transition from gasoline to alcohol and nitrous oxide.

Elic was a past president of the Missouri Valley Timing Association and belonged to sever other local and national racing-oriented organizations. Over the year, he developed a strong love for Chrysler Hemi engines which he described as “the only engines worthy of methane.”

Remembered as a fun-loving jokester, Elic passed away in 2005.

John Gerloff


John Gerloff was raised in Lincoln and developed an interest in racing as a youngster attending races at Midwest Speedway.

In 1974, at the age of 19, Gerloff built his first race car, a 1964 Chevelle, and began racing it in the Hobby Stock class at Midwest. Two years later, in 1976, he won his first feature race and began venturing out, also racing at Beatrice and David City.

After taking a year off, Gerloff assembled his first Late Model in 1978 which he raced successfully at tracks in Beatrice, David City, Doniphan, Lincoln, and Sunset Speedway in Omaha. He won his first track championship at Sunset in 1983.

After six successful years behind the wheel of a Late Model, Gerloff decided to try his hand at open-wheel racing. His Sprint Car career was briefly put on hold following a serious motorcycle accident in the Spring of 1985, but after fully recovering, Gerloff pulled his number-06 Sprint Car into the gates at Midwest Speedway for the 1986 season. Halfway through the summer, he was tabbed to become the driver of the Gary Swenson-owned number-24B Sprint Car setting the stage for a dominating stretch for the Lincoln-based owner-driver combination.

In 1987, his first full season racing for Swensen’s Gary’s Auto Sales team, Gerloff won point titles at both Midwest Speedway and Eagle Raceway. During their ten years together, Gerloff captured seven point championships at Eagle and won 46 feature races there, the most in the history of the facility. He captured the Jackson (Minnesota) Nationals for Swenson in 1988 and won the Short Track Nationals in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1993. In 1995, his last season with Swenson, Gerloff outdueled legendary Doug Wolfgang to capture the Laurence Ideus Memorial at Eagle Raceway.

In 1996, Gerloff raced for Mike Masonbrink and captured two main event wins during Florida Speed Weeks, one at Volusia Speedway and the other at East Bay. After moving to Colorado, Gerloff added two additional track championships to his already impressive resume, winning titles for car owner Rick Lowery at Rocky Mountain National Speedway in Erie in 1998 and 1999.

After retiring as a driver, Gerloff remained involved in racing as an engine builder for USA Performance in Denver. On occasion, he still jumps into a Sprint Car and at 57 years of age, grabbed a feature race win at I76 Speedway in Fort Morgan in 2012.

Keith Hightshoe


Keith Hightshoe was born in Ashland and has spent his entire life living in Nebraska.

Hightshoe began his racing career in 1955, competing in a Jalopy on the quarter-mile “bull ring” in Arlington, before progressing into Modifieds and then Super Modifieds at both Capitol Beach and Beatrice Speedway.

Hightshoe’s big break came in 1966 when he was hired to pilot a Sprint Car for Lincoln car owner Ed Smith, with the team immediately became a force at Lincoln’s Midwest Speedway. Hightshoe raced Smith’s purple number-44 machine to two feature wins at Midwest that year and the team finished near the top of the point standings despite a late start.

In 1967, Hightshoe took his racing suit and helmet to the Larry Swanson stable where he won three times at Midwest and finished second in the Big Car Racing Association (BCRA) championship point standings. He scored a major win that year at the Belleville (Kansas) High Banks. The following year, racing for Bill Smith and Speedway Motors, Hightshoe finished sixth in the final BCRA standings.

During the 1969 season, racing for Gary Blackman, Ernie DiCorce and Willie Hardman, Hightshoe won a BCRA event at Erie, Colorado, finished sixth in the final series point standings and also set a one-lap record at Eagle Raceway. In 1971, driving for DiCorce, Hightshoe finished fifth in the BCRA championship standings, his fourth top-ten finish in five seasons.

Hightshoe also drove for the legendary team of Gary Swenson and Charlie Williams in 1966 and wheeled Sprint Cars for Lyle Sinner from 1972 through 1975.

Hightshoe retired from the sport for the first time after a serious crash near the end of the 1975 season but returned in 1984, racing his own Sprinter mostly at Beatrice, Eagle and Midwest. His love of the sport kept him racing through the end of the 2000 race season when he retired for good.

Hightshoe’s racing career spanned portions of five decades. Although his career was mainly focused on the Lincoln area, he raced nationally in Georgia, Florida and Colorado. During his career he raced at some of the top Sprint Car venues in the Midwest including Knoxville Raceway in Iowa, Husets Speedway in South Dakota, Colorado National Speedway in Erie, Colorado, the famed High Banks in Belleville, Kansas, The Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, and the Topeka Fairgrounds.

Hightshoe was inducted into the BCRA Hall of Fame in 2010.

Hightshoe passed away in 2022.

Bob Hubbard


Bob Hubbard was born in Wymore, Nebraska but moved to Kansas with his family when he was a young child. In 1959, while working on his Mechanical Engineering Degree at Kansas State University, he began his racing career driving a Porsche Speedster in a road racing event in Oklahoma.

In the 1960s, Hubbard won eight SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) Midwest Division National Championships in the Formula Vee class while driving a Sardini. He later won F Production titles in an MG Midget in 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, and 1981.

Hubbard moved to Columbia, Missouri in the late 1970s where he operated an MG, Jaguar, Triumph and Mazda automobile dealership and raced for the PEAK Racing Team. He relocated to California in 1982 and went to work for Race Beat (Pro-Mazda Team) and helped prepare the Race Beat Mazda which won the GTO class at the 1983 24 Hours of Daytona and finished third overall. The team also won that year at Mosport Park in Ontario, Canada.

In 1984, Hubbard went to work for Team Highball in Raleigh, North Carolina where he helped develop the Mazda GLC for IMSA (International Motor Sports Association) ProPerformance Racing. In 1985, Dennis Shaw won the IMSA Driver’s Championship in the GLC, powering Mazda to the Manufacturer’s Championship. For his efforts, Hubbard was named IMSA Champion Spark Club Mechanic-of-the-Year.

While working for Team Highball, Hubbard also helped design and build the first tube-frame IMSA GTU Mazda RX-7. The car went from a stack of tubing to winning its first race, the Daytona 24 Hours, in just 30 days. Hubbard was Crew Chief for the winning GTU car in the Daytona 24 Hours four consecutive years, from 1985 through 1989. He also was the Crew Chief on the car that won the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1988.

Hubbard worked for Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductee, Jack Beck, at Orion Engineering in Omaha for three years prepping cars for road racing competition.

Hubbard was the SCCA National License Chairman for many years and issued Al Unser, Jr. his first SCCA Competition License. In the 1960s, he became an instructor at SCCA driving schools, a position he held for many years. He also participated in the organization’s Race Steward Program in the 1970s.

Hubbard was a member of the Sports Car Club of America from 1959 until his passing in 1999.

Homer Macklin


Homer Macklin was born in Riverton, Nebraska but, at a young age, moved with his family to Minden where he graduated from high school.

Macklin began his racing career in the mid 1950s racing Jalopies at county fairgrounds race tracks in South Central Nebraska and Northern Kansas. After competing successfully at Franklin, McCook and Oxford, Nebraska and Norton and Stockton in Kansas, Macklin he was tabbed in 1962 to replace Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductee Cliff Sealock in John Davisson’s famed “Mighty Mouse” race car. Macklin wheeled the “Mouse” for only a few races however, before making the decision to step out of the cockpit and retire from driving. Davisson retained Macklin as his engine builder and mechanic and hired a young racer named Willie Hecke to drive the car and the team of Davisson, Macklin and Hecke immediately became nearly unbeatable.

With Macklin fine-tuning the engines, Davisson adjusting the chassis, and Hecke turning the wheel, the Mighty Mouse team won three straight point titles at both Hastings Raceway and Kearney Raceway in 1967 through 1969 and captured the championship at Skylark Speedway in Columbus in 1968.

In 1970, Davisson stepped away from car ownership, with Kearney automobile dealer Bob Strong taking the reins. Strong purchased a new CAE Sprint Car, kept the entire race team intact, and the wins continued to pile up. With Macklin turning the wrenches, Hecke won championships in the new “Mighty Mouse” at Hastings, Kearney and Columbus in both 1970 and 1971

Davisson retired from racing at the conclusion of the 1971 season, so Macklin and Hecke teamed up with Howard Carrico to form the “Go Big Red” Racing Team. With a new Bob Trostle-built Sprinter the team won two more championships at Hastings and were also a top contending team at Kearney, Mid-Continent Raceway in Doniphan, and Riviera Raceway in Norfolk.

Macklin commissioned Don Maxwell to build a new car for the 1976 season and the team continued to win consistently throughout Central Nebraska. Macklin and Hecke also made trips to Hutchinson, Kansas; Rapid City, South Dakota; Erie, Colorado; and WaKeeney, Kansas with the car.

Macklin and Hecke both retired from racing following the 1978 season after scoring hundreds of feature race wins together and capturing 13 track championships.

Macklin passed away in 2012 just six months before his induction into the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame.

Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame

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