For the casual race fan of the Rice Lake Speedway, the name Louie Foss might not ring any immediate bells, but for the insiders at the track and those people interested in preserving the long and rich history of the speedway, Louie has been a giant in what his contributions have done for the speedway.
Elected in the Friends of the Speedway category which includes those people that have been involved with the speedway as car owners, sponsors, track officials and supporters of the track, Louie is one of the few members of the Speedway Hall of Fame never to have turned a lap in competition at the track.
However, in terms of what his presence has done for the speedway, and in documenting its long and rich history, his accomplishments stand tall.
Louie started his involvement with the speedway as a fan who came out and watched the Saturday night races. He wondered why the speedway didn’t have a program, so he asked why and the next thing he knew, he had volunteered to put together a weekly race program.
For the next sixteen years he served as editor and contributing writer of the “Keepin’ Track”, the weekly free race paper provided by the speedway, a tradition recently revived by Dan Adams after several years of not having had the paper.
A meticulous and exacting individual, Louie always strived to write the best possible program, keeping everyone informed about the present and past track history and to give the drivers, their pit crews and owners and their sponsors the recognition they deserved.
During those sixteen years, he wrote more than 250 programs, year end summaries, special event programs and track trivia questions, a fun activity still done presently.
He also was a track official and served on the board of directors of the Indianhead Stock Car Racing Association during the 1980s.
When interest was expressed in starting a Rice Lake Speedway Hall of Fame, Louie was at the forefront of those contacted and one of the first willing to step forward and get this worthwhile endeavor started. Louie’s expertise and his extensive history of the speedway through all his exacting research were key in both getting the Hall of Fame started and making informed selections of the members inducted.
While Louie will always minimize his importance to the speedway, if not for his extensive research and fact checking, much of the history of the speedway would have been lost forever.
Louie is also deeply involved in the community of Rice Lake and is an important member of another Hall of Fame, the Rice Lake area athletic Hall of Fame.
Louie is retired from the Rice Lake Post Office and is currently working for the Rice Lake Parks & Rec. Department.
Louis and his wife Sharon reside in Rice Lake.