by Tom Lathen
LINCOLN, Neb.—Steve and Belinda Wessels of Grand Island will be awarded with the Gordie Shuck Lifetime Achievement Award by the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame later this year. The pair will receive the award as part of the NARHoF’s 20th annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Friday, Oct. 27, in Lincoln.
The Wessels’ involvement in dirt track auto racing dates back to 1971, when Steve began a short dirt track driving career. The couple is better known as the owners of G.M. Fabrication and Racing Products, which they purchased in 1983. Through G.M. Fabrication, the Wessels’ provided racing parts and supplies to racers at a number of local race tracks including Mid-Continent Race Track in Doniphan, U.S. 30 Speedway in Columbus, Boone County Raceway in Albion, and Platte Valley Speedway in Lexington.
In addition, the Wessels were instrumental in the founding and success of the Central Nebraska Circle Track Association (CNCTA), a regional Late Model series which held events in Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota and Iowa. They also founded and continue to operate the Central Nebraska Racer’s Auction and Trade Show, held in Grand Island each year, and were instrumental in the success of the recent Central Nebraska Racer’s Reunion, held in Grand Island in 2015.
They have sponsored or owned race cars driven by a number of successful Nebraska drivers including Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame inductees Al Humphrey and Kent Tucker, as well as Kyle Berck, Larry Conyers, Robby Leonard, Ronnie Wallace, Kenny Kovar, Wade Cross, Chad Dolan and many others.
The Wessels’ involvement in the sport of auto racing has spanned over 35 years.
This year’s 20th anniversary Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held at the Lincoln Firefighter’s Reception Hall, located at 241 Victory Lane in Lincoln on Friday, Oct. 27. Doors will open at 5 p.m. with the ceremony beginning at 6:30. Tickets are $20 each.