The Holt Family Keeps Classic Racing Alive With Nostalgia Dirt Series | News, Sports, Jobs

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Vintage race cars turn around during a recent “Nostalgia Night” race at Sports Park Raceway near Fort Dodge. These races are just a small part of what the Nostalgia Dirt Series has to offer, including vintage car restoration and Iowa’s only driving experience that allows vintage racing fans state and national ways to preserve and promote the history of dirt roads. old races.

MASON CITY – It’s no secret that Mason City native Mark Holt is a fan of racing, and that love has blossomed into what is now known as the Nostalgia Dirt Series.

The purpose of the new organization is to promote classic racing and keep the history of car and driver racing alive in everyone’s mind. The organization will also honor Christ, as Holt said, “I have put Him first in my life.” It will also provide a way to honor veterans by showing appreciation for the freedoms of our country and the people who have served and are serving today.

“I think you can say that racing is in my blood. I was two years old and I was on the family farm. I remember seeing the white and gold ’57 Chevrolet and the old robin blue coupe that my father, uncle and grandfather used to race,” Holt said. “I grew up over the years hearing a lot of racing adventure stories from our families, and that inspired the racing bug in me.”

As a four- and five-year-old, Holt said he would run as fast as he could in circles posing as his father in car number 98. And as a teenager he admitted he took a lot of chances driving like the wind.

“I guess what sparked the start of my career was one night in the mall parking lot. I was driving my girlfriend’s father’s car: a giant white Ford LTD. I saw a friend in the parking lot and challenged him to a race. I think it was clocked at 90 miles per hour going through a mall parking lot,” Holt said. “Needless to say, there was a local police officer watching me the entire time, and with that my racing career kicked off when the police officer threatened me that if I was ever seen driving like that again, I would lose my license forever. He suggested that if he wanted to race he should buy a race car and get into a race track. I married the girl who was with me that day and started my racing career within the next two years.

However, Holt’s racing career was not geared towards nostalgia, but rather a hobby stock split at the local Speedway.

His first car was a 1980s Oldsmobile that he and his brother built. Later, the two brothers bought a race car, a 1973 Chevelle.

“We named the new car Flipper. My brother and I had a lot of fun and won some races with Flipper,” Holt said. “Flipper was an appropriate name as the car had been owned by several other owners and had flipped many times. The car was badly beaten.”

Holt soon passed on his racing fever to the couple’s children, and their racing family grew over the years. His brother and both of his families raced at the local speedway.

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“It was like a traveling circus, but it was amazing times,” Holt laughed. “Over the years, we’ve raced amateur stock, stock cars, late model and even modified.”

But even then, Holt said he always remembered his father’s white and gold car, the number 98, the ’57 Chevy.

“As time went on, racing and competition had taken their toll. It got more expensive and it seemed like the next generation of drivers wanted to drive through you instead of around you. It seemed like I came home with a damaged car every week,” Holt said.

So, because of those changes, and remembering his father’s love of racing, the North Iowa Vintage Racing Club was born.

“Two good friends of mine were also racing enthusiasts. So I came up with the idea of ​​putting some old car bodies on modern stock car bodies and starting a vintage club. It was the perfect idea! We could make our rules for safety. We had the skills to make some amazing cars. Soon friends joined our club and started building cars,” Holt said.

Club members owned a ’57 Chevy, a ’55 Chevy, a Studebaker and even a Richard Petty Plymouth. For many years the club grew and flourished. Members competed at tracks such as Kossuth County Speedway, The I 35 (now Mason City speedway), Britt Speedway, Fairmont Speedway in Fairmont, Minnesota, and many other tracks in northern Iowa.

“During the last year I have had the opportunity by the grace of God to start a new career with my passion for racing and my passion for history. I am taking my club to the next level by kicking off the Nostalgia Dirt Series,” said Holt.

“I like to reflect on the word WHY, that’s right, why. Why the Nostalgia Dirt series? Why restore vintage racing cars? Why do I put so much effort into hosting events for people who share the same passion for Nostalgia racing as I do?

Well, my reason is that the little men are like one of my grandsons: to tell you the story of Dick Holt, Gary Holt, Ron Holt, the Andersons, the Gustafsons, the Nobles, the Ziemans, and Hinold, is to share the story of the Pringle family, is to talk about long-closed tracks where families share memories and dreams of that checkered flag. They are heroes like Craig Ruppelt, Craig Gray, Larry Portis, Duane Smidt, Craig Miller, Wade Eastman and the list goes on and on. It’s because of my love of racing and the people who share that love, that’s my why.”

The Nostalgia Dirt series is dedicated to preserving the history of racing. Holt noted that each of these cars has a special history of long nights working in a shop or garage, with perhaps a little boy looking at dad all greasy during an engine change. Regardless, each car has a unique story of an amazing driver or amazing family or amazing crew members or friends.

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Holt said that people can help Nostalgia Dirt Series by reviving their old cars and taking them to local events. Or selling the cars to the organization to restore them just as they do, and to bring them back to life. Holt’s brother Ben can usually be found in the restoration shop working on one of the cars used in the series driving experience or in races for other drivers.

Holt said people like Ryan Jonesburg gave them the honor and privilege of working on their beautiful Ford in the restoration shop. Ray Chobanian created booklets for the series, which Holt called “a work of art”.

“Every day we get to honor our heroes and one of my personal heroes is Mr. Ron Gustafson. The way Ron and his family organized their classic racing gathering in Webster City, Iowa left a lasting impression on me,” Holt commented. . “And I was able to convince my brother to hang my dad’s ’57 Chevy tribute body on our race experience car, so it’s good to be back in ’98.”

For anyone who has ever wanted to experience what it’s like to drive (or ride) a real race car on a real race track, the Nostalgia Dirt Series driving experience is ready and waiting.

The first week of May was an exciting week for Ben and Mark as the brothers kicked off the Nostalgia Dirt Series racing experience on Saturday. May 7th. Holt said they spent the week preparing to deliver the most informative and intense racing experience in the US.

Holt added that several of the experienced participants/graduates have become circle track pilots in their own right.

Also open to all race car drivers and fans are “Nostalgia Nights” at two area tracks.

Nostalgia Dirt Series “Nights of Nostalgia” takes place on various Thursday and Friday nights throughout the season. Check the Nostalgia Dirt Series website for the full schedule. “The Standard Class and Super Standard Class took to the track for a great action-packed night of racing and all vintage cars are welcome to come and participate,” said Holt.

Holt commented that his vision is that one day the Nostalgia Dirt Series will be all over the United States and help keep car and driver racing history alive in everyone’s minds.

“The Nostalgia Dirt Series will welcome any and all vintage race cars. We will offer racing as well as exhibition,” Holt said.

He added that he is very excited to engage with other clubs across the United States and is excited to see the different types of cars and grow the sport of vintage nostalgia racing.

“You will see a lot of exciting things coming from the Nostalgia Dirt Series consisting of a museum, driving school, and points and payout racing. I have many exciting goals and I know that with the good Lord on my side I will be successful in achieving them.”

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