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Old 07-16-2009, 11:27 PM   #1
BillyK41
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Default Battle Wagon

Hello, everyone! Bill Kolb here, former owner and driver of the #41 Mini Stock Battle Wagon and the #41 Super Lite Truck (Mini Pro Truck), along with being the current main entity for the #41 Mod Coupe.

After watching all the greats at Lakeside back in the dark ages when I was a kid (including Uncle John Palmer and his brother Don), it took quite a while to finally get a car on the track. After watching Frank and Margaret Young start up the Mini Stock class at SCR, I figured that would be the way to go! Frank and Margaret both OK'd my request to put something different on the track; as I'd always preferred the Sedan body style over the Coupe body, I figured to go with a wagon. I found the original Pinto Wagon out in Golden for a great price; after working on it at a work friend's shop in Aurora (and once the divorce was in the works), I hit up both the Youngs and Pete Sabeff and Wayne Dennis in order to get the car on the track. The car was certainly one that you could tell was built on a budget --- just ask Peggy Ertler about the original "Aerodynamically Brushed-On Blue" job that the car sported!!! Hey, it looked good from the stands!!!! It was an auspicious beginning to what has proven to be a typical racing career -- one filled with joy, grief, happiness, frustration, anger, and fulfillment!

Anyway, once Frank and Margaret let me drive their Omni (before the Wagon came into existence), I knew I was hooked! I can remember edging Margaret at the stripe that first race; even though we weren't anywhere near the lead at the time, it didn't take away from a gratifying experience! As I recall, my points that year ('96, I believe) showed up in the final points as Name:??? ! Over the next 2 years, I learned a lot with that car, and it took me through the races until that final night when I won the Main. I didn't get any sleep that night!

After that season, most everyone in the Mini's went up to Fort Morgan; I wanted to stay on the asphalt, and Randy Milan at BCS was gracious enough to allow me to run the Wagon there. Although I never did win any races with the Wagon at BCS, I did have it fast enough to run the Fast Heat more than once. I really thought I had a chance one night when I wound up 3rd Quick in Time Trials; in the heat race, I stuck bumpers with another car (one of the faster two that night) and eventually got caught up with another car; while sitting in Turn 4 with a broken sway bar and flat right front, another car came full bore into the left side of the car. After shaking off the cobwebs (and being thankful that the boiler plate was on the driver's side bars), I crawled out to see that the axle had been pushed through the rear end housing, the left side rear springs were off of the car, and the Uniframe and body were really bent up. What I remember most about that night was how the fast 2 took themselves out in the Main; nobody else could touch me that night....

Anyway, after the second Battle Wagon came into being (and only earning one 2nd-place finish in it), and running the truck at BCS as well (with a few Quick Times, Trophy Dash wins, and multiple 2nd- and 3rd-Place finishes), I finally relented to having a Coupe built. Gary Land has told me that the body on the car is the original body from his first car that he ran at Lakeside! From what I've gathered, and from what I've experienced, this has been THE most fun and frustrating car that I've raced yet! For the all-too-few times that I've actually had it on the track at all 3 Front Range tracks (BCS, CNS, and I-25), it has been quite a bit different than what I've driven in the past (and, before I forget, many thanks to both the late Jerry Wize and to Theron Bredeson for giving me a taste of what it was like to drive a Coupe!). The future of and with the car is an uncertainty at this point in time, but I am most thankful and grateful that I've at least had the chance to experience my life-long dream!

Sorry for being so long-winded, but that's pretty much the career in a (large) nutshell!! Oh, and Mr. Starr, should you happen to have any pix of way-back-when, I would be for than happy if you would be so kind as to put a few on here! Thanks for your time, everyone!

Last edited by BillyK41; 07-16-2009 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:25 AM   #2
rapid30
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Default Re: Battle Wagon

Welcome Billy, its good to have you, maybe you could scrape up so old pics of your uncles back in the day at Lakeside to share.
Bruce
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:29 AM   #3
webby
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Default Re: Battle Wagon

Thanks for sharing Bill! Can't wait to hear more as time goes on. Great stuff.
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:30 AM   #4
lakeside #29
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Default Re: Battle Wagon

Glad to see you here Bill, When we needed cars at SCR you were there. Your Pinto was cool. You reminded me of "Rocky Balboa" you didn't have a lot money but you had "heart". Thanks my friend, I'm glad you were with us.

Frank and Margaret were a huge help at the track, but helping start a class of cars was really an accomplishment. It wasn't the first time Frank did that, he was involved in starting up the pure stocks in the '80's at Lakeside. Rest in peace Frank you were a good friend.

Chris Ertler
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:48 PM   #5
lakeside #29
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Default Re: Battle Wagon

The car was certainly one that you could tell was built on a budget --- just ask Peggy Ertler about the original "Aerodynamically Brushed-On Blue" job that the car sported!!!

Hi Bill and CiCi
I loved that car. And it could have been in primer gray as far as I was concerned. At least I knew the wagon was you and didn't have to try to remember the number.
Peggy
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