Fran Hauber has been racing cars for 10 years. For most racers, that would be a fairly long career. But to Fran, a quiet and unassuming man, it's just the beginning and he's still learning.
His mentor, veteran racer Corry VanMil, has been racing for 42 years and has won three features already this season at Bemidji Speedway. Hauber credits VanMil as well as a longtime friend Gary Condon with getting him into racing. VanMil even built Hauber's car and one of his goals is to beat his friend and mentor just one night on the track.
"It's the speed," said Hauber, 49. "It's like playing a chess game, always wondering what the next move will be."
Hauber and his wife, Pam, and their son, Tony Boyd, live in Park Rapids, where he works as a mechanic for the city's Public Works department. He has made the trip to Bemidji Speedway for several years, as well as the Ada and Buffalo River Speedways. He races in the very competitive Wissota Mod Four class, driving a CRC-SC.
Hauber says his sixth-place finish in season points at Fergus Falls was a highlight in his racing career, but the night he claimed his first heat win and then also won his first feature at Bemidji Speedway was his biggest thrill so far.
Hauber is quick to thank his crew, his wife Pam, for her dedication and support and also his daughter, Amy, and son, Tony. He also appreciates his sponsors Willy Jensen Trucking and Valley Alignment and Repair. And he thanks the VanMil racing team of Corry and Rob and Sturdy Racing Engines for their help and inspiration to race.
Today's races at Bemidji Speedway will begin at 5 p.m.