Viking Speedway: Storck, Hillig now Hall of Famers
Scott Hillig of Long Prairie and Dave Storck of Morris are the two newest members to join the Viking Speedway Hall of Fame, being inducted during intermission last Saturday night at the Viking Speedway.
Both are former Viking Speedway point champions and have nearly 50 years of racing between them and a host of track season championships.
Hillig began his love for racing as he watched his father, Marv, race, then began helping Ron Flynn work on his race car.
At the age of 15, he received the chance to run a pit-man's race with Flynn's car and defeated Frank Gabralzek's pitman, Les Tschida, in the race, which launched his driving career.
Hillig was a competitor at the Viking oval for 24 seasons and never raced anything but small block Chevrolet engines in his race cars.
He finished in the top 10 for season points during 18 of those years. In 1993, he finished first in Mods and second in the Late Model Division.
"My first car had a 283 Chevrolet and the last car had a 355 Chevy," recalled Hillig.
He was the 1988 Winston State NASCAR Modified dirt track champion at the Viking oval and won track champion-ships in 1991, 1992 and 1993. He finished second to Jeff Wildung one year in the Late Model division and was the lap leader in 1988, 1989 and 1990. He won the hard charger award in 1992.
Hillig treasures his memory of the night he raced three features, winning two of them. His first win came in a make-up Modified feature. He then ran the Late Model feature and bested the competition, following that with a second place in the second Modified feature.
Hillig credits much of his success to dedication and great team support from his group, as well as financial support from his many sponsors over the years, including Bryant Heating and Cooling, Hilltop Homes, Custom Transfer, Hil-lig Auto Center and Hillig Enterprises.
His pit crew members also were vital, according to Hillig, who gives credit to Al Hayes, Becky Hillig, Bill McLain, Dan Wiek, Dennis Ebnet, Leonard Olson, Marvin Hillig, Nick Saarela, Ryan Lubbers and many others who helped turn wrenches along the way.
Hillig, Ryan Muzik and Dave Storck drove side by side numerous times in features at the Viking oval and did not touch each. "You learn other drivers' driving habits and have a lot of respect for one another's abilities," noted Hillig as he explained how the drivers could battle each other and not crash.
"But even still, sometimes you occasionally rub a little, but not intentionally.
"I believe that was what made racing at Viking Speed-way so much fun. It was the high level of the competition," pointed out Hillig.
Hillig never won a track championship at any other track, but has won many races at other tracks. He never raced steady enough at another oval to win a track title.
Hillig still goes to many rac-es at different tracks around the state. He also does some motorcycling with his wife and runs his business.
"I think the best part of rac-ing at Viking Speedway is the level of competition and the great people you meet," con-cluded Hillig.
Hillig retired in 2005. He also served on the Viking Speedway board of directors for one term in the mid-1970s.
He and his wife, Becky, own Hillig Auto Center in Long Prairie, which is an independ-ent used car dealership and employs a staff of seven.
The Hilligs have two daughters, Paige and Kate.
Storck was 23 years old when he crawled in behind the wheel of a race car. He contin-ued to race for 32 years before retiring in 2010.
Dave's brother, Mike, and a few of his friends built a street stocker in 1979.
"A couple of my friends and I would go to the Viking to watch," recalled Storck. "About the third night, my friends and I sat in the grandstand and agreed to build a car."
One friend had a motor and transmission, one had a 1966 Chevelle sitting in the woods and Storck had metal for a roll cage and a shop to put it all together.
Two weeks later he was racing and the third night at the big half-mile oval in Alexandria, he won the first of many heat races.
He moved up to the Modified Division in 1985 and enjoyed a great deal of success.
Storck ran Chevrolets his entire career, except for the Ford he ran in the Pro-4 Division in 1995.
Storck credits his success to many things, including a great pit crew who worked long hours to give him a car that was always ready to compete; car owner Mark Anderson for giving him good equipment in Modified for the 26 years he drove for him; for the race fans who were always there to cheer him on, even on a bad race night, and for the sponsors who helped support his racing and his family who gave him the time to chase his dreams.
Storck had many pit crew members in his 32-year career including, Mark Anderson, Tim Eystad, Mike Lawler, Rick Froemming, Mike Boren, Julie Storck, Ellsworth Enge-bretson, Duane Harstad, Rog-er Delong, Kevin Smith, Doug Kill, Greg Greiner, Kevin Warner, Glen Wevley, Matt Anderson, Dick Wente, Chad Wente, Jeff Pring and others.
Storck also recalled the days when he, Hillig and Muzik battled wheel-to-wheel in many races.
"It got to the point where, if I couldn't get up to the front with those two in a race, I would be disappointed that I missed out on all the fun. I thought we all had the same driving style, drive fast, take care of your equipment and don't run over anyone going to the front," pointed out Storck.
Among his most cherished accomplishments at Viking was winning the 1990 Modified track championship, finishing in the top 10 in points for 21 years, and being selected by his peers as a sportsmanship award winner seven times.
His most treasured accom-plishment was winning three Modified Track Championships in 1990.
He will now work on getting the things done around home that he has put off for the past 32 years, noted Storck. "The list is huge," he pointed out.
He also plans on spending a lot more time with friends and family. Storck and his wife, Kay, have four children, Shelley, Karrie, Corey and Courtney.
His brother, Mike, is also a racer and still circles several different tracks.
"I raced my brother Mike pretty much the same way as other racers except we would give each other another inch or two when we were around each other," continued Storck.
In his career, Storck raced in six states and Canada, including 43 different tracks across the country.
His 14 Track Champion-ships include the following - 1982 Thunder Class (Wee-Town); 1986 Modified (Red River Valley Speedway); 1990 Modified (Viking Speedway); Modified (Red River Valley Speedway); Modified (WeeTown Outlaw Speedway); 1991 - Modified (Red River Valley Speedway); 1993 - Modified (I-94 Speedway Fergus Falls); 1994 - Modified (I-94 Speedway Sauk Centre); 1995 - Modified (I-94 Speedway Fergus Falls); Pro-4 (I-94 Speedway Sauk Centre); 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004 - Modified (Madison Speedway).
Storck also was honored at the NASCAR banquet in Orlando, FL and Nashville, TN in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004 for being a top 10 finisher in the Midwest Region of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series.