Auto Racing

Tim Rose enjoys racing for his dad

Dennis 'Ringo' Rose is car owner

Tim Rose (left) drives his father's 1985 non-wing sprint car he bought back in 1998. His father, Dennis (right), can't r
Tim Rose (left) drives his father’s 1985 non-wing sprint car he bought back in 1998. His father, Dennis (right), can’t race due to shoulder and arm injuries, so his son races the car for him. (Justin Webster/The Gazette)

COLUMBUS JUNCTION — Weekly races will continue to be held each Friday night at Columbus Junction Speedway through Aug 30.

But last Saturday night, the dirt track hosted nothing but vintage race cars for a fan-favorite special feature.

One of the cars running was a 1985 Nance Chassis’ed non-wing sprint car with a 360 motor that would have been raced at Knoxville in the 1980s.

“I’m racing for my dad,” said Tim Rose, of his dad Dennis “Ringo” Rose. “He’s been in sprint car racing for a while and he’s got a bum arm and shoulder, which makes it hard for him to do.”

Ringo bought the car in 1998 and the duo has been racing it at Oskaloosa, Eldon, Knoxville, Bloomfield, Columbus Junction and their home track in Burlington for the last 15 years.

“I love the adrenaline,” Tim Rose said, “the fact that you can get behind something and control the power.”

That being said, he respects the power the vehicle possesses.

“You’ve got to find what the car likes,” Tim said. “You can’t drive the car, you have to let the car drive you first or you’ll get someone hurt.”


Columbus Junction itself runs a bit like a paper clip, according to Tim, with sharp corners and long straightaways.

Regardless of the track, there is a specific checklist he goes through before each race.

“I make sure my Hans device is hooked to my helmet right, my chin strap is hooked up, my arm straps are hooked together and all the belts are together,” Tim said, “I make sure my chest belts are secure and tight and then my dad checks the lap belt and buckles me in good. Then I put my gloves on, the steering wheel, and if it’s a long time before we start, I’ll take a little nap.”

Nap or not, the main goal is just making his pops proud.

“This is all for my dad and it’s making him and the car look good,” Tim said. “It’s just for fun. It’s nice to win, but as long as we go home with the car in one piece and I’m safe along with the other drivers, that’s all that matters.”

Regular races continue at the Louisa County track Friday with gates opening at 6 p.m. and racing at 7:30. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $7 for students 11 to 17. Pit passes are $25 for adults, $10 for kids 7-13 and $5 for 6 and under.


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