Each week, there is considerable action on the track at River Cities Speedway -- the high-banked, quarter-mile bullring that has a reputation as one of the best racing venues in the country.
To produce that action, however, requires dedicated behind-the-scenes personnel.
And the three members who will be inducted into the RCS Hall of Fame tonight fit that description.
RCS competition director Lon Kvasager, former car owner Jeff Leebrick and longtime track supporter Wes Rydell will be inducted into the track’s hall of fame.
Kvasager has been involved with the track for roughly 25 years, serving as the RCS competition director since 1999.
“It’s been a lot of fun with no regrets,” said Kvasager, who will not be able to attend tonight’s ceremony due to a previous commitment. “There are times when it’s a little stressful and you feel bad. But you have to base your decisions on treating everyone equal. You have to make it the same for John as it is for Pete.”
That holds true for family members as well.
One year, Kvasager’s brother, Bill, was racing a sprint car and was involved in a crash with Pat Miller.
“)Before the feature), I was asking, ‘Is the ‘29 car’ a scratch?’ ” said Kvasager. “I didn’t even ask how he was. My brother reminds me of that all the time. But you always have to keep the program moving.”
Leebrick’s first experience in racing came in 1978 when he started building super stocks with fellow RCS Hall of Fame member Bruce Hart.
Later, he teamed with Mike Johnson to form a limited sprint car team. In 1989, they moved up to the unlimited sprint class.
Lebreek also is one of the original members of the Northern Outlaw Sprint Association, the organization that promotes sprint car racing in the Upper Midwest.
Leebrick said the race seasons between 1998 and 2003 were the most memorable.
In 2003, the Leebrick-Johnson team won the RCS track championship.
“That kind of capped our career,” said Leebrick.
Leebrick said he relationships developed during years of racing was important, saying “gaining the respect from the drivers” meant a lot to him.
The name Rydell is synonymous with racing in Grand Forks, dating back decades.
The sponsorships provided by Rydell Chevrolet throughout the years have been a big bonus to racing, said RCS managing partner Linus Mack.
“Wes has done so much for the race track,” said Mack. “He has sponsored a lot of race cars over the years.”