1932 - 1933

 

The History of Motor Sports in Hibbing and Northern Minnesota - A Timeline

 
                                                                     1932            7,000 people are on hand, at the fair, to see Sig Haugdahl, from Daytona Beach,
                                                                                                         Florida, set a new track record with his Straight Eight Miller race car. The new
                                                                                                         1 lap record is now 28.60 sec. A great contingent of drivers are here for the race.
                                                                                                         Also returning is Miss Elfreida Mais of Indianapolis who last appeared here in
                                                                                                         1916. During an exhibition run, she sets a new woman’s state record for the
                                                                                                         ˝ mile at 33.60 Sec.
 
                                                                     1933             At the fair, on Sunday, an estimated crowd of 35,000 people are present. In what
                                                                                                          is billed as the fastest field of drivers ever assembled for a county fair, every race
                                                                                                          is a complete sell out. Sig Haugdahl breaks his own record with a single lap time
                                                                                                          of 27.60 Sec. This time is only 0.20 seconds slower than the world record.
                                                                                                          Haugdahl and Emory Collins take most of the honors. Elfreida Mais was again
                                                                                                          present. The Hibbing Tribune noted: “Elfreida Mais, premier woman dirt track
                                                                                                          driver of the world, provided the final thrill of the day when she crashed a 
                                                                                                          solidly constructed wall of boards and planks while traveling at better than
                                                                                                          60MPH. The impact sent splintered pieces of boards and planks flying more
                                                                                                          than 50 feet in the air and scattered fragments more than 100 feet.”

                                                                                                          Miss Mais will appear here again for the July 4, 1934 races with her second
                                                                                                          husband, driver Ray LaPlante. She will perform the same stunt from 1933 but
                                                                                                          with the added attraction of dousing the wall with gasoline and igniting it before
                                                                                                          crashing through it. Tragically, she will be killed two months later while 
                                                                                                          performing this same stunt at the Alabama State Fair.

© David L. Aho 2012

Dave is a member of the Hibbing Historical Society and the Minnesota State Historical Society and is a City of Hibbing Heritage Preservation Commission board member.