This Sioux Falls Man Is Racing At 71, Guess How Many Grandkids Are Cheering Him On
Howard Baartman of Sioux Falls has been a race car driver since 1982. That's why his car carries the number 82 on it.
I have personally followed Howard's racing all of those 32 years. I've spent 20 of them announcing the races he was competing in.
So as I write a little bit about Howard, I know what I'm talking about when describing him. I will start by saying that I have become personal friends with him.
Howard is an owner of a trucking company. He is a family man.
He loves racing. Howard has always had good machinery whenever he pulls into a track. His cars always stand out. And when it comes to engines, he holds nothing back. I remember one time when he went directly to a NASCAR team for a special crankshaft.
On the track, he puts the hammer down and drives to win. But in the hundreds of times that I've watched him on the track, he drives clean. This guy is a sportsman more than anything else. If he feels there's possible trouble, he's immediately off the throttle.
His competitors both respect him and fear him. The fear comes from knowing he can beat them.
For 32 years no one has ever booed Howard Baartman. I can tell you that there's a large special group that really cheers loudly for him. It's because he's their grandpa.
At 71 years young he's still at it on the race track. I asked Howard how many grand kids he has. He said, 'I have 22 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.'
He has been very instrumental in helping young kids get started in racing over the years. He has provided them not only with advice, but also with cars.
You will see one of those cars he has for one of his grandchildren in this video along with Howard's new car for the 2014 season.
Now let's take a ride with Howard: