WEST FARGO, ND (December 1) - Former Sprint Car driver, Don Spieker, passed away Tuesday morning at the age of 63. Spieker was best known for piloting that familiar black #96 Sprint Car around Grand Forks Speedway against the likes of Don Mack, Lou Kennedy Sr., Harry "Horsethief" Johnson, and many other local legends.
Spieker drove to three Grand Forks Speedway track championships in the mid-1970's with the help of car owner and crew chief, Doug Slocum, while driving those famous Bob Trostle chassis. Both Slocum and Trostle have recently passed away as well, but their memories and legacies still live on.
During his 15 year Sprint Car career, Spieker also claimed countless wins and multiple track championships at the big half-mile of Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, ND and the tight quarter-mile of Buffalo River Speedway in Glyndon, MN.
Spieker's biggest win came in 1980, but wasn't actually an A-main victory. It came on a hot, sunny Sunday afternoon at the Knoxville Nationals after the Saturday night program was postponed due to extremely dense fog. Spieker drove from eighth on the rubbered-down one lane racing surface to claim the C-main victory. From there he wheeled his way from 19th to fifth in the B-main. Despite finishing just one spot shy of transferring to the highly coveted Knoxville Nationals A-main, Spieker still put his name on the elite Knoxville Nationals wins list.
Spieker's father, Ambrose, and uncle, Dennis, are enshrined in the Grand Forks Speedway/River Cities Speedway Hall of Fame for their contributions to local auto racing. Hopefully one day Don's name will be added to that storied list as well.
Story by Don's son, Mike Spieker.
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