Post-NASCAR Careers Find Bickle and Kluever Battling at Dells Saturday Night
Wisconsin Dells, WI- Both Rich Bickle, Jr and Todd Kluever reached the pinnacle of our sport, racing in all three of NASCAR’s top tier divisions. Fast forward to this Saturday night (September 5, 2020) and both drivers will be battling for the $10,000 top prize in the Joe Shear Classic 200 at Dells Raceway Park. Both drivers have returned to their roots, short track auto racing. While Bickle is an ARCA Midwest Tour mainstay, Kluever will be making his first Tour start in twelve years.
The Joe Shear Classic is extra special to Rich Bickle, Jr. He is the only ARCA Midwest Tour driver entered for Saturday night’s race that raced against Joe Shear. Bickle recalled about Shear, “He was one of the best ever, top five. Was the greatest fab and paint design guy back in the day. He helped me become the racer I am.” Both Bickle and Shear won Championships during the 1986 season, Bickle at Madison International Speedway and Shear in ARTGO Challenge Series competition.
While Bickle went on to win a record five Snowball Derbies and drive for the likes of Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip, a win in the Shear Classic has eluded him. After early damage in last year’s Shear Classic, Bickle rallied to finish second. The Wisconsin faithful cheered Bickle on in the 2017 running of the event as he charged to the lead late in the race before settling for fifth. With the recent announcement of his retirement following the 2021 race season, Bickle has just two more chances to win the race named after someone that helped shape his career, and this year’s chance comes at a track that Bickle once won 14 feature events in a row at.
At the turn of the century, there were few if any asphalt Super Late Model drivers that had as much buzz around them in the Badger State as Todd Kluever, much like Bickle in the late 80’s. Now he returns to Dells Raceway Park where he was the Rookie of the Year in 2000. The following year, Kluever went on to win the Madison Championship as well as the Midwest Allstar Racing Series Championship. After a successful ASA career, Kluever bested 25 other drivers to earn a ride with Roush Racing for the 2005 season, which he piloted to Rookie of the Year honors. In recent years, Kluever has found victory lane both in the Midwest Truck Series as well as on the dirt tracks of Wisconsin in his IMCA Modified. Saturday night marks his return to Super Late Model racing.
Joining the Midwest Tour will be the Midwest Trucks and 602 Late Models. Spectator events will open at 3pm for the Holiday weekend special event, with qualifying at 4:30 and racing at 6pm Saturday night September 5. Adult general admission tickets are $25, Seniors (65 and over) and Students (ages 13-17) are $22 with kids ages 12 and under admitted free. General admission tickets can be purchased in advance at:
or at the track box office on the day of the event. Those that purchased tickets for the postponed May 3 Joe Shear Classic 200 at Madison International Speedway can use that ticket to gain admission at Dells Raceway Park Saturday September 5. For additional information please visit www.midwesttour.racing or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Dells Raceway Park is located two miles west of I-90/94 at Exit 85 (Rocky Arbor) just off of Highway 12.