116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
WEST LIBERTY — After putting five decades of blood, sweat and tears into racing, Ron Boyse of Kalona is enjoying his final laps.
“I'm past my prime but it's still fun and we try to do our best,” said the 65-year-old Boyse, who is retired from Billion Chevrolet in Iowa City, originally Old Capitol Motors, after 44 years of service as the parts manager.
In 1972 at the age of 15, Boyse was introduced to auto racing when his older brother, Ken, started racing Late Models at Eldon Raceway. A year later, Boyse joined in the fun.
“I thought I was going to set the world on fire but that got straightened out real fast,” Boyse said. “I was still in high school and didn't have a lot of money. In fact, we had a tackle box for a tool box and we didn't have any spare tires.”
Eventually Boyse bought a 1966 Chevelle for $1,500 and was able to find success, including three consecutive Late Model championships at Tipton in the mid-1980s.
This summer, for the first time in 50 years, Boyse is traveling to tracks around Eastern Iowa with the Super Late Model Racing series which returns to West Liberty Saturday night.
“I started racing at West Liberty in 1976 and everyone parked in the infield,” Boyse said. “With open trailers, everyone could see what you had. Now, people are much more secretive about what they've got.”
Now that Boyse's wife, Becky, is done working as well, the couple is attempting to find time to do all of the things they love.
“She's loved racing ever since she met me and she loves to go,” Boyse said.
That being said, Ron and Becky already have started to shift some of their support to another racer in the family.
“I've been helping my nephew, Brock Haines, and I own half of that car which keeps us busy,” Boyse said. “Even though we are retired, it seems like we don't have any time anymore.”
Last weekend, however, Boyse was in the driver's seat and is excited to race at West Liberty.
“It's a half-mile of clean racing,” Boyse said. “It's a lot faster than many of the smaller tracks.”
Not only do the Boyses suggest racing to families and friends looking for a good time, it's changed their lives for the better.
“We've met so many wonderful people that we wouldn't have met without racing,” Boyse said. “It's just been fantastic.”