By Jeff Pederson
Pedal Down Promotions
(PEDAL DOWN PROMOTIONS) May 21, 2021 – As one of the most experienced drivers in the pit area on a weekly basis in Plymouth Dirt Track Racing action at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds in Plymouth, Wis., 360 Sprint Car driver Lance Fassbender has seen his highly successful racing career come full circle over the past 29 years.
As the son of Wisconsin racing legend Fuzzy Fassbender, it was certainly no surprise when the Rubicon native and current Burnett resident found his way into the seat of a race car at age 16.
“I was born into racing as my dad, Fuzzy, raced for many years, as well as my older brother, Kent,” Fassbender said. “I started selling The Checkered Flag Racing News at the Dodge County Fairgrounds on Saturdays and at Slinger Speedway on Sundays, all the while dreaming of racing myself. I saved up money from a cleaning job I had for years as a kid and bought my first Stock Car when I was 16.
“I started racing at Beaver Dam Raceway in 1993 the year it reopened and Slinger Speedway,” he said. “I favored the dirt and continued on to the Dodge County Fairgrounds Speedway later in the year. In the five years, I raced Stock Cars, I was able to improve and win a championship in 1996 and I also won the Street Stock portion of the Fall Classic at Chilton that year. I was pretty proud of that because they bumped me up to that division because I had racing wheels instead of stock wheels. The Street Stock class that I ran with had four-barrel carbs, spoilers, racing tires and headers when I had street tires, a two-barrel and stock exhaust manifolds. From there I moved into the 360 Sprint Car division in 1998. In 2013 and 2014, I ran with Interstate Racing Association 410 Sprint Car Series. I have been back with the 360 Sprint Car ever since. I used to go race anywhere and everywhere from local to ASCS, IRA, USCS, non-wing and many tracks in between. I’ve raced in 10 states over the years. I would say my career has progressed well, as I am still doing it and feel I am competitive.”
Much like his father, Fassbender has enjoyed plenty of success behind the wheel.
“I have won five track and series championships total, including a Stock Car title at the Dodge Cunty Fairgrounds Speedway in Beaver Dam, as well as four 360 Sprint Car titles with the Midwest Sprint Car Association, Plymouth Dirt Track Racing, Eastern Wisconsin Stock Cars and at Wilmot Raceway,” Fassbender said. “One highlight that stands out was holding the 30-lap track record at The Plymouth Dirt Track. I think it still stands, but not sure. I recall a race when I started 12th and won a green-to-checkered A main. That was pretty cool to me.”
Fassbender, who has collected six Plymouth Dirt Track Racing 360 Sprint Car A-main victories and 20 Midwest Sprint Car Association main event wins in his career, has experienced the enjoyment of racing on many different levels during his lengthy career.
“The enjoyment of racing for me has evolved over the years,” Fassbender said. “In the beginning, it was the giddiness of actually being on the track. Then it became the thrill of winning. After that, it was the pride of fellow competitors respecting me. It has now morphed into the simple joy of my wife and kids all being involved in my racing and they’re excitement and support of it, and also back to the thrill and fun of being on the track.”
For the 2021 season, Fassbender is sporting a throwback graphic scheme on his purple No. 7 360 Sprint Car in honor of his late father.
In addition, he is playing a role in organizing the inaugural Fuzzy Fassbender Classic at the Dodge County Fairgrounds in Beaver Dam. Wis. featuring the Midwest Sprint Car Association 360 Sprint Cars, Bumper to Bumper Interstate Racing Association 410 Sprint Cars and Modifieds on Friday, May 28.
“The paint scheme on my car this year is a tribute to my dad,” Fassbender said. “I’ve been wanting to do one for many years, long before he passed, but I never could decide on what to do. So, I decided to go with the car he drove the year that I was born, 1976, when he drove for John Hoch. With the help of Aaron Falbe and Rob Eisentraut, we were able to come up with the look for this year. It just so happens I always thought it was one of the coolest paint schemes my dad had.
“I hope everyone can come to the Fuzzy Fassbender Classic on Friday, May 28 at the Dodge County Fairgrounds Speedway,” he said.
While few drivers in the PDTR 360 Sprint Car division have as much experience as Fassbender, he is not ready to hang up his racing helmet just yet.
“I will keep racing as long as I can afford it and continue to enjoy the exhilaration of competing,” Fassbender said. “I have a daughter that wants to do it, so I might be involved even longer.”
Fassbender’s pit crew includes Kristian Wagner, Jim Jensen, Nick Gross, Matt Gross, Rob Ganz, Nicky Fassbender, Noelle Fassbender, Jolene Fassbender and Lilly Fassbender.
Fassbender’s 2021 sponsors are R&H Racing Equipment, Doug’s Skip’er Inn, RC Custom Design, Jensen Sales and Service, Falbe Auto Body, Classics Turner Hall and Be Beautiful Salon.
“I really appreciated all of the efforts of my pit crew and sponsors to keep me on the track,” Fassbender said. “I would like to give special thanks to Dan Buss and Bob Diener for helping with extra funds as well. I am honored and humbled to have all these nice businesses and friends believe in me and help me do what I love. It’s been a privilege to have been able to compete in the great sport of racing for all these years. I will help anyone if they ask because I have been helped so many times in my career. Finally, I thank the good Lord for the many blessings he has given to me through the years.”
The fourth PDTR racing program of the 2021 season at The Plymouth Dirt Track at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds in Plymouth, Wis. will be sponsored by Pit Stop Pizza and feature 360 Sprint Cars, Late Models, Grand Nationals and B Mods on Saturday, May 22.
Pit gates open at 2 p.m. with grandstand gates opening at 3:30 p.m., hot laps scheduled at 4:30 p.m. and racing slated to begin at 5 p.m.
The Plymouth Dirt Track at the Sheboygan County Fairgrounds is located at 229 Fairview Drive in Plymouth, Wis. For more information, visit www.plymouthdtr.com or check out Plymouth Dirt Track Racing on Facebook.
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