During John's time with us, he was a three-time NLRA series champion, and 2001 series tour champion. Seitz won 26 features with the series, which topped the list from August 2006, until Brad Seng broke the mark in May 2015.
He has since been inducted onto the River Cities Speedway Hall-of-Fame, and had the track's fall Late Model special renamed in his honor.
The following is an article that was first published in the Grand Forks Herald in February 2007, written by fellow River Cities Hall-of-Famer Wayne Nelson.
Off the track, Seitz was quiet, kind and helpful to fellow competitors. The advice or help from Seitz usually paid off for other drivers and made winning races for the Bemidji late model racer more difficult.
Seitz, one of the region's top drivers, died of apparent natural causes early Sunday in Idaho while on a snowmobile trip. He was 36.
The driver of the No. 92 late model car won more than 160 races during his 13-year career. He started in super stocks and moved up to late models a few years ago, quickly becoming one of the area's top drivers.
“He always wanted to better himself,” said Brad Seng, a late model driver from Grand Forks who was one of Seitz's closest friends. “He was never content. If he beat you by five car lengths, he'd wonder why he didn't beat you by 10 car lengths.
John at the Brown County Speedway in 2006. JR Hughes photo.
Seitz, with his ability to race the high side of the track, was involved in perhaps the two most memorable races at RCS in the past few seasons.
Last season, Seitz won a 20-lap feature after lining up in the 24th and final starting spot. In the competitive late model division at RCS, passing a handful of cars during a feature is a demanding task, let alone passing 23 cars on the tight quarter-mile track.
After the race, though, Seitz said he believed he could win. “I always think I have a shot at winning,” Seitz told the Herald after the race. “I went from 24th to first and I didn't touch a single car. There was no muscling guys out of the way.”
John early in his career in the Super Stocks in 1994. JR Hughes photo.
In 2004, Seitz won the 2004 Harvest Bowl Nationals at RCS after he was sitting in fifth place with six laps to go. The 34-car field included some of the biggest racing names in the Upper Midwest.
Seitz also was active in the Northern Late Model Racing Association, a Grand Forks-based organization that promotes racing throughout the region. He served as the group's competition director.
“The last several years, John has been one of the best in the region,” said Tom Corcoran, longtime late model driver from East Grand Forks. “The future was wide open for John. Over the past 10 years, everyone got to know everyone in the late models. It's a pretty tight circle. Everyone is pretty broken up right now.”
“John is by far the toughest rival I've had in racing,” said Balcaen, a Winnipeg driver who completed his 23rd season of racing in 2006. “He had desire and passion to race. And he was a talented race car driver who understood the setup of a car. He was a fierce competitor. It won't be the same without him.”
Seitz also was active in NLRA charity events. Two weeks ago, he helped organize a charity stock car race between late model and sprint drivers on Cameron Lake in Erskine, Minn.
After the races each Friday night at RCS, fans and racers usually congregated around Seitz's hauler in the west end of the track's pit area.
“The 92 car was next to me everywhere we went,” Seng said. “There is no one who will fill that void.”
Seitz is survived by his wife, Amity, and sons Zach and Nick.