Since 1979, there has been a Crouse piloting a red and white No. 29 race car at Viking Speedway in Alexandria and tracks in west central Minnesota. First it was Larry Crouse, who raced from 1979-97 in the sportsman and super stock divisions and was inducted into the Viking Speedway Hall of Fame in 2013.
In 1997, Jeff Crouse took over the driving duties of the 29 car from his father and has been a strong runner in the Wissota Super Stock division ever since.
Jeff, who lives in Alexandria, has literally followed in his father’s racing footsteps and yet has made a name for himself in the racing ranks over the past two decades with more than 115 feature wins and six track championships in the super stock division.
“He was my main influence,” Jeff Crouse said of his father. “I grew up around it. I grew up putting 350 Chevy (engines) together in the garage. We lived and died when Viking Speedway was racing…I got to watch my dad race. Just watching him race, and see how he conducted himself, and the way he did things off the track.”
Larry Crouse still remains involved in his son’s racing career, driving the tow rig to the races and helping out with the cars, which now includes a Wissota Street Stock that Jeff pilots.
“It’s a family-oriented thing. I get to see him every day and that’s a cool thing,” said Jeff, now 40.
Jeff Crouse won his fourth Wissota Super Stock track championship at Viking Speedway this past summer, and has six super stock titles in his career overall. The red and white super stock is usually running towards the front wherever it shows up.
“It’s competitive. They haven’t messed with the rules and it’s affordable,” Jeff Crouse said. “You can race day-to-day and week-to-week and be running in the top five or six every night.”
The 2011 season is the one that stands out to Jeff Crouse. He won the Viking Speedway Super Stock title, winning 10 of the 18 features at the track that season. He also on the Fall Classic.
“It was one of those special years where everything was going right,” Crouse said.
Jeff Crouse began driving a street stock in 2017, which is owned by Craig Hillman. The season went so well that they decided to run the division on a regular basis this summer. He recently picked up $1,500 for winning the Sandy Benson Memorial at Casino Speedway in Watertown, S.D.
“It’s such a fun class and a competitive class,” Jeff Crouse said.
Jeff Crouse is currently third in the Wissota Street Stock national points and is aiming for a top five finish in the division. He is sixth in the Wissota Super Stock national points and would like to finish in the top 10 when all is said and done.
“We just race and race and once we get to the end of the year, we see where we are it,” Jeff Crouse said.
With the Wissota 100 coming to I-94 Speedway in Fergus Falls in mid-September, Jeff Crouse is looking to qualify both cars for Saturday’s main event. That is one thing he has never done — race in a feature at the Wissota 100. Because of his hockey coaching schedule, Crouse hasn’t been able to race the event more than a few times.
“That is going to be a goal of ours is to get in the A feature in both cars,” Crouse said.
While his summer is busy with racing, his fall and winters are usually busy, too, thanks to his full-time job as the head coach of the Alexandria Blizzard hockey team. Practice starts the day after Labor Day. The team plays a 48-game schedule with the season ending April 1.
Which is just in time to get ready for racing season.
“It works out great. Winter season is hockey and we race in the summer,” Crouse said.
Wissota Super Stock and Street Stock *29
Residence: Alexandria, Minn.
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