Peterson, Kluver named to Viking Hall of Fame
Bill Peterson and the late Jerry Kluver of Alexandria were inducted into the Viking Speedway Hall of Fame last Saturday, being inducted for their accomplishments as drivers, as well as a lifetime of contributions, service and dedication to the Viking Speedway.
Peterson was born into a racing family in 1958. His dad, Dean, and uncle Butch, were active in the old Lake Region Racing Association.
In 1965, Dean and Butch were among the founders of the Viking Speedway. They also are members of the Viking Speedway Hall of Fame.
Bill's early years were spent helping his dad with racecars, but also helping wherever he could at the track, from selling programs and serving as a gate guard to helping with Enduro and snowmobile races.
This led to an active lifetime of service and dedication. In 43 years of the Viking oval's existence, Bill missed only four race events.
He is one of three generations at the Viking Speedway - his son, Shaun, also races, competing in the Late Model division.
Peterson has served as an assistant flagman, corner flagman, modified tech inspector, safety inspector and scale man.
He also helped his dad put together the annual fireworks display and has served as a member of the Viking Speedway Board of Directors for six years.
He has served on at least nine different pit crews for Dean Peterson, Puppy McPhail, Jerry Geris, Mark Gustafson, Don Snelson, Bill Schmidt, Dick Klug and Rick Aukland and for the last 15 years, Shaun Peterson.
He was voted crew chief of the year in the early 1990s on his son's Pro Four Modified.
Peterson raced from 1977-1984.
He finished third in the point standings in the Sportsman Division in 1980 and 1981, while winning Limited Late Model Division title honors from 1982 to 1984.
He won 10 feature events in a row during the 1984 campaign.
Peterson points out the success he has enjoyed was due to the support of his father and uncle, pit crew members and his wife and family.
Peterson continues to actively serve and support the Viking Speedway.
"The Viking Speedway has been a huge part of my life as well as my family's life, and I am very honored to be inducted into the Viking Speedway Hall of Fame," said Peterson.
Kluver's race career began at about age 10. He and his brothers would compete on their own family built track in their dad's field with cars from the family's salvage yard in Alexandria.
In the early 1960s, he helped on his brothers' racecars under the old Lake Region Race Association of Central Minnesota banner. Kluver also drove the old Modified coupes of that era a few times.
His career at the Viking Speedway began in 1972 as a driver, piloting a Chevrolet product, No. 4.
He drove for just two years and won the 1972 Viking Speedway Rookie of the Year award and the 1973 Sportsman of the Year award at Fargo.
He also spent about 30 years working on his brother Wayne's racecar. Wayne is also a member of the Viking Speedway Hall of Fame.
Kluver also served as crew chief for his son, Jeff, on his Super Stock racecar.
His induction came through energy, service and hard work for the speedway.
Kluver served nine years (three consecutive terms) on the speedway's board of directors, serving in that capacity until his untimely death in 2003.
He always volunteered to lead various projects while on the board, resurfacing and rebuilding the racetrack.
He also was a leader in lowering the infield buildings to insure fans in the grandstand a better view and was instrumental in the building of an infield drain pond and getting the fair board to purchase back straight-a-way land for future use.
In addition, Kluver spent years as a blade operator in maintaining the track for weekly race shows.