IF YOU’RE A MAINSTAY of the local racing scene, odds are that you just love to race. Jason Fusselman is one of those guys. He enjoys racing, he enjoys the fans and he enjoys the other racers. After the races you will usually see a large group of fans gathered around Fusselman’s number 55 Hobby Stock. Pictures are taken, kids sign their name on the trunk lid of his race car and he hands out hero cards. Sometimes a lucky child gets to take home the trophy. Fusselman got started racing when he drove a friend’s car in a mechanics race. He started racing at the Shelby County Speedway in Harlan, Iowa, with his brother in the two-man cruiser class. After that car was claimed by a spectator, they built another two-man cruiser and
numbered it 28 after their hero Davey
At the end of the 2000 season, Fusselman’s mother won a two-man cruiser in a raffle at the season ending Tiny Lund Memorial at Shelby County. The car carried Tiny Lund’s number 55. Jason took the #55 cruiser and raced with a friend and his brother kept the 28. 55 has been Fusselman’s number ever since.
For the 2003 season, Fusselman switched to the hobby stock class and was the Rookie of the Year at Shelby County and except for a brief stint in a SportMod that has been his class ever since. In 2010, he switched back to a hobby stock and posted his first career win at the Shelby County Fair race.
Since then, Fusselman has continued to race locally in the hobby stocks about 35 races a year. Along the way, he has competed at approximately 25 different tracks in five different states and likes to venture out and add a new track or two every year.
About five years ago, some friends told Fusselman that they were going to make him a winner and they started changing things. Every race night they changed something until they found what worked. That become the winning formula for Fusselman, who has now claimed 45 feature wins and five track championships, three at the Shelby County Speedway and two at the Crawford County Speedway in Denison, Iowa.
Most of his racing has been at IMCA sanctioned tracks but he has ventured to NASCAR tracks (I-80 Speedway and Adams County) and to some USRA tracks as well.
When asked what his most memorable night was, Fusselman said, “Well actually I have two. My first feature win in 2010 at the Shelby County Fair stands out because I ran door-to-door with one of the best drivers in the Hobby Stock class in Shannon Anderson. We never traded paint and I was fortunate enough to win by inches.”
Another memorable win for Fusselman was in 2017 at the Super Nationals in Boone, Iowa. It was the Race of Champions and Fusselman started tenth in a ten-car field, racing against the best drivers in his class in the nation. Fusselman stormed through the field and on the last lap made the winning move to take the win. “You might say I went from the outhouse to the White House,” said Fusselman.
Last summer, Fusselman won the Midwest Madness Tour for Hobby Stocks last year. Over the course of the seven-day event, he scored one of the seven nights of racing with a win at Shelby County Speedway in Iowa and bested 96 other drivers who competed during the week.
Fusselman has a pretty strong pit crew which in addition to his mom includes Keith Knop, Bill Osbahr, Dave Hulsebus, Tony Attanasio, Tucker Osbahr and Bre Pauley. Several are drivers or have been drivers themselves and have been a big help to Fusselman in getting his game to the top. “Keith (Knop) and Bill (Osbahr) are the ones who told me if you want to win, we have to change some things and that’s when we started making changes and I started winning,” said Fusselman.
“I’ve raced against Jason (Fusselman) for about twenty years, going back to the two-man cruiser days,” says Chuck Madden Jr. “We are very close friends, have had many good times racing against each other. Jason gets a lot of respect from others. I don’t think you could find a person that would say a bad thing about him. We compete on the track but try and help each other out. If he wrecked, he would be in our shop and we would help him get his car back in shape.”
Career hobby stock racers have bucket lists races they’re chasing just like any other racer and Fusselman’s got one hanging out there he’d love to lock down. “I would like to win the Fall Nationals
at RPM Speedway in Hays, Kansas. I haven’t been able to go for the last couple of years but that’s a big race and they have always treated the drivers good down there.”
One thing is for sure – Jason Fusselman loves racing at the level he is racing at, he loves the competition, he appreciates his sponsors support as well as his friends and family support and he loves meeting all the fans after the races.
This article was printed in Issue 04 2021 of Dirt Empire Magazine. To read the digital copy, click here.
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