Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame adding seven new members in 2014

LINCOLN, Neb.—The Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame will be inducting seven new members at its annual induction ceremony and banquet on Oct. 17, 2014, at the Fireman’s Hall in Lincoln, Neb.

This is the 17th class for the NARHoF which was created in 1998 to honor Nebraskans—both native and adopted—for their contributions to the sport of auto racing.

The seven newest associates to be inducted into the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame are:

Marty Bassett, Lincoln
Bassett was one of the top mechanics in the business, working on the cars of Fred Aden, Luke Bogar, “Speedy” Bill Smith, Ed Smith and Larry Swanson. His drivers included Lloyd Beckman, Keith Hightshoe, Lonnie Jensen, Jan Opperman, Gary Patterson and Roger Rager.

Randy Hunt, Lincoln
Hunt came to Lincoln with Jan Opperman in 1968 as a welder. He saw a need in the racing industry for a safer seat and became a leader in that area for the next three decades. Hunt’s seats have wrapped around such luminaries as Steve Kinser, Danny Lasoski, Sammy Swindell and Doug Wolfgang.

Buck Huston, Scottsbluff
Huston may have had the longest career of any racer in the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame. With a career stretching from 1937 to 2006, he began in midgets on the county fair circuit but soon found a steady ride at the Lakeside Speedway in Denver, Colo. By 1952, he switched to stock cars, then moved to sprint cars and drag racing.

Steve Kosiski, Omaha
Kosiski follows his grandfather, Joe Kosiske; father, Bob; and brother, Joe, into the class of hall-of-famers. He won 17 track championships and more than 300 feature races at the top level of dirt late model racing, and is currently a co-owner and promoter of the I-80 Speedway in Greenwood.

J.J. Riggins, Lincoln
J.J. was a three-time track champion at the Eagle Raceway and won the first ever 360 sprint car race at the Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway in 1982. Riggins was a hard-nosed competitor whose career ran from 1966 to 1991.

Bob Westphal, Fremont
Westphal built engines that powered drag racers Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen, Dale Pulde, Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, Don Schumacher and many others. He formed Wesmar Engines in 1986 and built engines for open-wheel standouts Shane Carson, Jac Haudenschild, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Larson, Shane Stewart, Tony Stewart, Gary Wright and countless others.

Don Weyhrich, Norfolk
Weyhrich started out in drag racing, then moved to circle track racing in the late 1960s. He won season titles at Riviera Raceway in Norfolk in 1972 and 1975, and then won three straight championships at Mid-Continent Raceway (now called Mid-Nebraska Speedway) in Doniphan. Weyhrich raced with great success at the Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, S.D.; Jackson (Minn.) Speedway; and Collins Field in LeMars, Iowa.

The mission of the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame is to perpetuate the memories of individuals who have brought lasting fame and positive recognition to the state of Nebraska through their achievements in the sport of auto racing. Requirements for selection are: an individual must have been a Nebraska resident for at least two years; retired from the activity for which they are being honored for at least four years; or, if still active, have reached the age of 55 and have been involved in the sport for a minimum of 30 years. Further, an individual must have made significant accomplishments locally, and gone on to some national prominence.

To learn more about and/or donate to the NARHoF, visit online.

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