Class of 2016


Marlin Bogner

DRAG RACER / CAR OWNER / ENGINE BUILDER

Marlin Bogner was raised in Kearney. As his family was involved in the automotive parts and repair business, he developed an interest in cars and engines at a very young age.

Bogner began his drag racing career in 1974 when he made his first pass down a quarter-mile drag strip in his 1965 Plymouth Barracuda at Kearney Dragway.

Bogner captured his first championship in 1978 when, after scoring numerous regional wins along the way, he secured the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Division V championship in the Stock Eliminator Class.

In 1980, Bogner earned the title of NHRA Stock Eliminator World Champion when he outdueled John Dusenbery in the final round of the NHRA World Finals in Ontario, California. He also captured the Mile High Nationals in Denver that year. In 1981, Bogner logged over 40,000 miles, finishing third at national meets in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California and Englishtown, New Jersey. He won the Northstar Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota in 1981 and repeated that feat by winning the prestigious event for a second time in 1986.

In 1992, Chrysler Corporation provided Bogner with a new Dodge Daytona and all the necessary parts to build a new Super Stock drag car. The Mopar-sponsored Daytona won both the Best Appearing Car and the Best Engineered Car awards at the Mile High Nationals that summer. In addition, Bogner captured his second NHRA Division V championship in the car in 1996.

Bogner’s present drag race car is a 1968 Hemi Barracuda. Throughout the years, he has driven nine different race cars, all of which he built himself.

Bogner and his son, David, began racing as a team in 1997. Following in his father’s footsteps, David has become a multiple-time NHRA Division V champion as well as a National event winner.

Bogner turned his drag racing hobby into a business and has owned Bogner Automotive and Racing for over 40 years. He is a respected high-performance engine builder and assembles and dynos engines not only for he and his son’s drag cars but also for numerous customers. He also builds racing transmissions and chassis for his drag racing customers. He has built five Plymouth 426 Max Wedge cars over the years.

During his 40-plus year driving career, Bogner has scored over 30 Class wins and held multiple NHRA miles-per-hour and elapsed time records in both the Stock Eliminator and Super Stock classes.

Noel Chadd

CAR OWNER

A native of Lincoln, Noel Chadd’s first taste of race cars came in 1975 when he teamed up with Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductee, Charlie Martin, on his number 00 Sprint Car.

Over the next few years, Martin and Chadd traveled the country together and during the winter of 1978, the 00 Sprinter competed in the first World of Outlaws event at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas with Jim Riggins doing the driving. The car also raced that year at the Florida Winter Nationals and the Western World Championships at Manzanita Speedway in Arizona.

When the 360 cubic inch Sprint Car class was in its infancy, Chadd quickly hopped aboard and became one of the “movers and shakers” in the movement. He assembled numerous 360 machines and worked hand-in-hand with Promoter Ralph Capatini and Race Director Earl Wagner to help get the class started at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa.

Chadd’s son, Dean, very quickly became a front-runner in the 360 ranks, and within a couple of years, a second car was added to the team when Dean’s younger brother, Mike, started racing. Dean won the 360 crown at Knoxville in 1985, with Mike falling just short of the Knoxville title a year later.

In 1986, Chadd built Nebraska Raceway Park in Greenwood and hired famous announcer Jack Miller as Race Director. The track featured Sprint Cars, Stock Cars and Mini Sprints on the oval track and Motorcycles on the challenging motocross circuit.

In 1991 and 1992, Chadd won back-to-back Cheater’s Day events at Husets Speedway in South Dakota, with Mike wheeling the race car and in 1993, the duo teamed up to win the National Championship Racing Association (NCRA) championship crown. Mike also secured the season championship for Noel Chadd Racing at Eagle Raceway in 1998, as well as the Nebraska Sprint Car Association (NSCA) title in 2001 an the Eagle Sprint Touring Series (ESTS) crown in 2003. Mike also won the Hutchinson (Kansas) Nationals in 2008.

Noel Chadd’s Sprint Cars ran at a high level for over 35 years in both the 360 and 410 divisions. In addition to his two sons, numerous other prominent drivers have sat behind the wheel of Chadd’s machines including both Rich and Russ Brahmer, Gary Dunkle, Ken McCarty, Jim Riggins, John Sernett, Clark Templeton, Mike Thomas, and Bob Williams.

Chadd retired from car ownership in 2009.

Fred Garbers

CAR OWNER / MECHANIC

Fred Garbers’ love for automobile racing began in the 1950s when, as an eight year old youngster, he began sneaking into the races at the County Fair in his home town of Columbus.

In 1967, Garbers got his first taste of car ownership when he teamed up with a couple of local friends on a Super Modified that that was raced locally at Skylark Speedway. Garbers bought out his partners near the end of the season, hired Jimmy Stewart as his driver and over the next two years raced successfully at Columbus, Hastings, Lincoln, and Nebraska City.

In 1969, Garbers hired talented Central Nebraska wheel man Dean Ward to pilot his car. Ward was wildly successful in the Garbers machine and won 14 of the 17 Modified feature races he appeared in while racing at Kearney and Hastings in Nebraska, and Oberlin Speedway in Kansas. Stewart appeared back in the cockpit for the 1970 season and promptly won the track championship at their hometown race track in Columbus.

Racing was put on temporary hold for Garbers at the conclusion of the 1972 season, when he and his wife Pat opened Garbers Racing Enterprises, a speed shop located in Columbus. Late in 1974, once the business was running smoothly, Garbers formed a partnership with Moon Dickinson and the pair hired Norfolk’s Kim Lingenfelter to chauffeur their new Nance-built Sprint Car. Over the next couple of seasons, Lingenfelter won numerous feature races at Doniphan Nebraska and Sioux Falls and Hartford, South Dakota.

Bruce Phelps and Dick Forbrook wheeled the number-69 Sprinter from 1977 to 1980, with Garbers going with the duo of Lloyd Beckman and Dean Ward in 1981. The pair won numerous races that year at Husets Speedway in South Dakota, and Jackson Speedway in Minnesota, as well as race tracks in Nebraska and Iowa.

Garbers-owned machines competed at the Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals on two occasions, in 1976 with Lingenfelter and in 1981 with Beckman.

After selling his racing operation, Garbers stayed involved in racing doing chassis set-up for Sprint Car driver Mike Boston. During the 17 years Garbers was tweaking chassis for Boston, the talented eastern Nebraska shoe won eight track championships and, in 1999, won the Nebraska Cup at Eagle Raceway in a Garbers-maintained Sprinter.

In his over 30 year career in racing, Garbers owned or maintained machines won events in four states and raced to numerous track championships.

Tom Gutowski

DRIVER / PROMOTER / RACE OFFICIAL

Tom Gutowski received his introduction to the sights, smells and sounds of auto racing at a very early age when his father had a friend who raced a Coupe at a dirt track in northeast Ohio.

After moving to Omaha in the mid 1970s, Gutowski joined the Cornhusker Corvette Club (CCC) and began to learn precision-driving through slalom and road course racing at Club events throughout the state. In 1978, he was elected President of the Cornhusker Corvette Club and went on to win the National Council of Corvette Clubs (NCCC) National Championship, competing in events in Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas and as far away as Indianapolis, Indiana. A year later, driving a newer road racing prepared Corvette, Gutowski took top honors in the Race Prepared Division at the NCCC National Convention in Pueblo, Colorado.

After receiving his Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) license in late 1979, Gutowski went on to win the SCCA Midwest Division Region B Production championship in 1980.

In 1984, following a high-speed crash in Wentzville, Missouri which destroyed his car, Gutowski made the decision to leave road racing and a year later, when Eagle Raceway brought in the IMCA (International Motor Contest Association) Modified Division, sat behind the wheel of the first registered IMCA Modified in the state of Nebraska. In the ensuing years, he raced at numerous dirt tracks in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, scoring numerous wins including the Modified feature race at a NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) Busch All-Star Tour event at Sunset Speedway in Omaha.

Gutowski received his first opportunity as a race promoter during the summer of 1989 at Crawford County Speedway in Denison, Iowa. That next season, he also took over promotion of Shelby County Speedway in Harlan, Iowa, and in 1993 took the reins at Buena Vista Raceway in Alta, Iowa. In 1992, Shelby County Speedway hosted the first annual "Tiny Lund Memorial," which quickly became one of the most prestigious special events in the state of Iowa. In 2004, he was hired as Assistant General Manager at Nebraska Raceway Park in Greenwood, and a year later was promoted to General Manager.

In 2006, Gutowski was named Competition Director by IMCA. In the position, he oversaw IMCA’s growth to over 200 track sanctions and over 9,000 drivers, making it the largest weekly sanctioning body in the country. He retired from the position in 2018.

John Larson

MECHANIC / ENGINE BUILDER / CAR OWNER

John Larson was raised in Lincoln and began his career in motorsports as a drag racer, prior to going to work for Speedway Motors in the late 1950s, which eventually got him involved in circle track racing.

In 1960, Larson was a part of the team that designed and built the original Speedway Motors 4X Sedan which was driven successfully by Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductee, Lloyd Beckman. During a period that stretched through portions of the 1960 and 1961 seasons, Beckman wheeled the car to sixteen consecutive feature race wins at tracks in eastern Nebraska.

In 1963, Larson went to work with Rod Kettleson on a car which was campaigned by Hall of Famer, Bob Burdick. The car became the dominant car on the short tracks around Lincoln and throughout the Midwest, capturing victories in Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas.

Following his stint with Kettleson, Larson ventured out onto his own and started his own race engine building business, Larson Racing Engines, which became a fixture in downtown Lincoln for many years. Over the next four decades, Larson built high-powered race engines for a number of Sprint Car teams, as well as for successful Late Model pilots Rex Nun, Dan Rabass and Clayton Petersen, Jr. Petersen captured the All-Star 100 in Erie, Colorado in 1980 with Larson horsepower under the hood.

In 1981, Larson started up his own Sprint Car team, which featured future Hall of Famer J.J. Riggins as the driver. During the five years the pair raced together, the 14J team won a track championship at Midwest Speedway in Lincoln in 1983 and at Eagle Raceway in 1984 and also won the 1983 Midwest Sprint Club championship and the 1985 Midwestern Modified Series championship. Lloyd Beckman also piloted a John Larson owned Sprint Car during the 1980s.

Larson closed his racing business at age 62, but continued to build engines at his home shop well into his 70s. He gained a reputation for being a detail-oriented perfectionist and spent countless hours at race tracks throughout the area, observing how his race cars were working, and in the shop, ensuring he was getting maximum power out of his engines. Many people in the Nebraska racing industry got their start with, or worked with John Larson in some way during his career.

Larson passed away in 2015.

Clarence "Pop" Miller

CAR OWNER

Clarence “Pop” Miller was born in Galesburg, Illinois and moved with the family to Gothenburg, Nebraska prior to his second birthday. As a youngster, he developed a bent for the excitement created by all things mechanical including automobiles.

In the mid 1930s, Miller moved to California where he began helping a friend, Sherman Menaford, who was racing a Jalopy. Later, his knowledge would be used by Warren Wickham, who owned a T-Roadster driven by Ed Lockhart and Bill Finley.

In 1945, at the conclusion of World War II, Miller opened an automobile business in Bellflower, California and through the success of the business, was able to support not only his family but also his growing involvement in racing. After helping numerous car owners, Miller purchased his first race car, a Track Roadster, in 1953. With Chuck Hulse and Don O’Reilly behind the wheel, they started racing it with the California Racing Association (CRA).

In 1956, Miller assembled his first Sprint Car and won two CRA events that year and four more in 1957. From 1956 through 1969, Miller’s cars won 26 feature races with 17 different drivers. In 1961, with Jack Brunner behind the wheel, Miller’s car won a 100-lap CRA event at Ascot Park in a record time of 39:02.18, a record which was never broken. In 1969, with Don Hamilton in the seat, Miller’s car won five feature races, a single-season California Racing Association record.

Although Miller never won the CRA season championship, his cars finished second three times and sat in the top-10 in the final standings on ten different occasions. From 1955 to 1969, Miller’s machines notched 26 CRA victories, second only to the famous Morales Brothers during that time period.

Miller was known to have a keen eye for young, fresh driving talent and gave several drivers their first ride in a Sprint Car including Bob East and Parnelli Jones. Other notable drivers who raced for Miller included Bobby Unser, Buzz Rose and Gordon Woolley.

Although he had a number of drivers in the cockpit during his ownership career, Miller employed only a single mechanic, Chuck Freeland. Freeland helped Miller assemble the cars but was also responsible for ensuring the equipment was maintained and the cars were well prepared on race day.

Miller, who became known as “Pop” because of his willingness to help fellow racers, quit racing in 1975. He passed away in 1989.

Tim Schultz

DRAG RACER / BONNEVILLE RACER

Tim Schultz began his racing career as a drag racer in 1977, bracket-racing at Kearney Dragway. Through the late 1980s, his 1974 Corvette with a 400 cubic inch small-block engine, consistently ran in the mid 11-second elapsed time range, at speeds of over 120 miles per hour. When his dad became interested in the sport, Schultz prepared a very successful 1965 Mustang or him to race.

In 1988, Schultz was asked to be on the team of a Bonneville Salt Flats Streamliner driven by “Big Daddy” Don Garlits. Among other things, Schultz assisted with the wiring on the car and in August of that year, he made his first trip to the Salt Flats with the team. Garlits and teammate Don Kehr drove the car to several land speed records at Bonneville that year.

The following year, Schultz and fellow Lincolnite John MacKichan, a Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductee, designed and built their own Salt Flats racer, a project they completed in just nine months. Schutz, who was selected as the driver of the 26 foot long, 3,000 pound machine, built the Streamliner’s engines and also was in charge of the sleek, contour body design.

In August of 1989, during their first trip to Bonneville with the car, Schultz set a new D Gas Division record of nearly 249 miles per hour, placing him in the elite “200 Mile Per Hour Club” at the Salt Flats. The record was set with a 302 cubic inch Chevrolet engine running on gasoline. After making a few modifications to the car, the team returned a year later, and bettered that speed, establishing a new record with a run of 267 miles per hour.

In 2000, the team of McKichan and Schultz turned in their best effort at Bonneville, with a record-setting run of nearly 329 miles per hour. Before the parachutes were pulled, the car had achieved an “exit speed” of 346 miles per hour. At that speed, the Streamliner was traveling an astonishing one mile every 12 seconds.

In the over two decades the MacKichan/Schultz Speedway Motors Streamliner raced at Bonneville, it set eight records, with two of them remaining unbroken to this day. The car was retired in 2010 and is now on display at the Museum of American Speed in Lincoln.

Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame

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