Today we lost one of our own, one of our first members and drivers, and a big part of our NLRA family, Howie Schill.
Remembering Howie the racer, he began his career in 1994, joining his brother Troy in the Late Model division in Grand Forks. It took just two years for Howie to find victory lane, winning his first feature at the Grand Forks Speedway on June 2, 1996. He went on to win twelve times in Grand Forks.
In 1998, the NLRA embarked on it's first season of racing. Four races were run that season, and Howie was the first winner in series history, winning at the Victory Lane (now Red River Co-Op Speedway) in Winnipeg on June 25th. Howie finished third in the points that season, won by his Brother Troy.
The very next season, Howie became the first River Cities Speedway Late Model champion, winning three features, and securing the title by twenty points over Tom Corcoran.
Howie won two more NLRA series races, both coming at the Greenbush Race Park in 2007 and 2008.
Once the 2010 season came, Howie's son Cole joined him as a competitor, as the pair raced together that season, and again in 2011 & 2014.
Howie raced one more time, finishing fifth at the 2019 Stock Car Stampede at the Jamestown Speedway in Jamestown, ND. The race was won by his son Cole.
Most important, is the person we lost. Most of us with the series have had Howie as a fellow competitor, but all of us were lucky to have him as a friend. Howie and his wife Juanita, and now Cole and his wife Erica are always among the most popular among their fellow competitors night in, and night out.
Howie spent a majority of his later years not only getting Cole's career going, but helping friends like Jon Samuelson, Jeff Hapala and David Buringrud, and Dan Dowling get their careers started as well.
Whether you were a grizzled veteran, or new to the club, Howie always took time to have a chat or offer help when needed.
Howie's loss is and will be a tough one for all of us, but all of us with the NLRA are sending our love, thoughts, and prayers to Juanita, Cody, Cole, Erica, Howie's Grandchildren, Troy, Harold, Sr., and the entire Schill family today and beyond.