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AMSOIL Speedway inducts 5 new hall of fame members

AMSOIL Speedway Hall of Fame inductees Friday included, from left, Bonnie Carlson (representing husband Warren Carlson), Rick Egersdorf, Mike Meger and Scott Lawrence. Also inducted, but not in attendance Friday, was longtime track announcer Clark Brown. (Submitted Photo) 1 / 4
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Jerry O’Brien

Five new members were inducted in the AMSOIL Speedway Hall of Fame Friday at the Superior Curling Club.

After a private ceremony, the new inductees toured the track in a pair of convertibles (furnished by Jack Hunker) and ended up in Victory Lane where they were introduced to the fans. The five sections of the speedway grandstands are named for the incoming class and will stay in place until the next inductees are named.

The 14th annual induction class included Warren Carlson, Rick Egersdorf and Mike Meger, who went in as retired drivers; former track announcer Clark Brown, in the achievement category; and Scott Lawrence as the active driver inductee.

The late Carlson did his racing in the mid 1960s and won a feature and some heats. A racing crash and rollover prompted him to give up the driving and use his considerable mechanical ability to work on other cars.

At one time Carlson worked on six cars, including those of Hall of Fame members Jack Hunker and Harlow Filteau as well as Billy Stuart, Wayne Wenske, Rick Sundet and Jim Hunker.

Warren died at age 43 from complications from ALS. His wife, Bonnie Carlson, along with their one daughter and three sons and other family members, accepted the crystal trophy.

Egersdorf was a frequent visitor to the speedway, especially when the big money races were on the line. He won four weekly feature races, won the Late Model Invitation in 1983 and the Super Superior Classic, now known as the Northern Nationals. He also won the WISSOTA Qualifier for the WISSOTA 100 back in 1988.

Meger joined his dad, Andrew “Skip” Meger, in the Hall of Fame. While still in high school, Mike Meger raced the No. 2 Modified with Skip.

The younger Meger raced at the speedway during the brief time the Cook family from the Cedar Lake Speedway were promoting the newly named Superior Speedway. In 1989 the Cooks imported what they called the CLS Late Model to replace the Super Stocks.

A few racers built these cars, including Mike. He did well in the class with some heat and feature wins. But the class never took off and was soon dropped as the Super Stocks were reinstated.

Meger’s car was converted to a Late Model, which he raced for several seasons to win some heats and a feature. He always ran the No. 2 carrying on the family number.

Brown was the announcer at the speedway as well as at several other area tracks for a number of seasons. He was great friends with Hall of Fame member and longtime track flagman Art Johnson. In the beginning the roles were reversed, as Johnson was the announcer and Brown was the flag man. Brown worked in Duluth for the then Willcol Ambulance Service.

He was a great character in an era filled with characters. At the then Tri-State Speedway, everything was done from a structure in the infield, and flagging was done right down on the track. Brown would sit on an actual tree stump and call the races. During one race, a car slammed into the structure sending Brown flying. He was uninjured in the incident.

Lawrence was named to the Hall of Fame as the active driver. He recently turned 50 and has quite an impressive record that is still ongoing.

Lawrence started his racing career at age 18 in 1985 in a Chevy he bought from another competitor for $125. He proceeded to win the Bomber championship in his rookie season and was off and running. The Bombers evolved into the WISSOTA Street Stock over the years, and Lawrence won nine track titles in that division from 1985 to 1999, when he was the WISSOTA National Street Stock Champion with 37 feature wins overall. He also won two Northern Nationals Street Stock titles, and his total feature wins in the division was 48.

He moved up to the WISSOTA Super Stock division and has recorded 27 feature wins at the speedway, the lastcoming just a few weeks ago. He has three Super Stock track championships — 2009, 2012 and 2015 — and has won the division three times at the Northern Nationals.

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