Tricky Travelstad highlights night of big hits at Rockford Speedway

The O’Riley’s Auto Parts Smash-O-Rama at the Rockford Speedway Saturday night, April 15, was a huge hit—literally.

Tricky Travelstad, a modern-day daredevil, thrilled the large crowd with two unusual stunts.

For openers, Travelstad drove a car off a ramp and directly into the side of a fifth-wheel camper trailer. He not only drove into it, his momentum actually carried him all the way through and out the other side.

The trailer was rigged with gasoline and created a spectacular fireball upon impact. He managed to drive away unscathed.

Travelstad’s second display of bravery involved two full-size school buses. He drove one head-on into the other. The unique part about this stunt was the second bus was standing vertically on its back doors more than 25 feet in the air. After he hit it, it toppled over onto the bus he was in and damaged the entire front end. Once again, he came away without a scrape.

Rockford Speedway’s Hornets, and Grand Nationals were also in action April 15. In fact, the Hornet division made its 2006 season debut with Camran Frederick claiming the 13-lap swarm. He survived a large pile-up on the first lap, and beat the other 23 drivers to the checkered.

In the 25-lap Grand National feature, rookie Ricky Nielsen took the checkered in only his second start in the division. After competing in the Road Runner division in 2005, Nielsen moved up to the Grand Nationals this year.

“I can’t believe it,” were the first words out of the jubilant Nielsen during the post-race interview. He managed to hold off late-lap challenges by Grand National veterans Doug Bennett and Fred Nason.

Saturday night, April 22, is Scout night at the Rockford Speedway. All scouts—both boys and girls—in uniform will be admitted to the track for $2. The NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series returns with the NASCAR Late Models, Budweiser American Short Trackers and the Coca-Cola Road Runners. The Classic Modifieds will also be at the track to make their 2006 debut. Racing starts at 7:07 p.m.

Doug Halberstadt is a local resident and is track announcer at Rockford Speedway. He can be reached via e-mail at

From the April 19-25, 2006, issue

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