MASON CITY — The No. 24 has a certain legend surrounding it on the race track in Mason City.
Ted Zieman rode it to massive success over 35 years in a number of different cars, his son Terry inherited it from there, and now it’s up to Ted’s grandson, Josh, to carry on the legacy.
Josh ran a full slate in 2016, and after taking half of this season off to find the right motor for his No. 24 machine, Zieman feels his ready to carry on the family business.
“I’ve got some big shoes to fill, that’s for sure,” Zieman said. “I’ve waited and now I’ve got a chance to show what runs through my blood.
“(Sunday) was my second night in the car with a new motor and I drove from 11th to fourth. I’m really excited and we’ve got some really big things to come.”
On win this Sunday would mean even more.
Last year when Al Hejna took over as promoter of the Mason City Motor Speedway, one of the first things on his list after bringing the track back up to speed was to find a way to honor Ted Zieman, who passed away in 2005. He did so with a race in his honor, and Sunday marks the second-annual Ted Zieman Memorial.
“He was just like the (Dale) Earnhardt or A.J. Foyt up here; he raced everything,” Hejna said. “He’s just an icon of this racetrack.
“My dad and him raced hard. They were always friends but they were rivals. Me and my brother raced with Terry. It’s just history and I want to acknowledge history from year’s past and share with fans who might not know it and even with the fans who do.”
Ted retired before Josh could ever see him race, but Josh still spent a ton of time watching his dad carry on the family name.
After all those years sitting in the stands, the time is finally his. And of course, his dad still helps with the car.
“I grew up watching him (pointing as his dad) race. I grew up in the stands, and if there’s anybody with racing in their blood, it’s me,” Zieman said. “I’ve literally worked my entire life — I’m 31 years old — and I’m living the dream.”
Drivers will race for an increased payout in honor of Ted Zieman in all classes but Modifieds.
A win in the B-Modifieds or Stock Cars pays out $624, Hobby Stocks pay out $524 and the Tuners will race for $324.
Also on track at the Mason City Motor Speedway this week for the fair:
Friday – Demolition Derby at 7 p.m.
Saturday – Truck and tractor pull at 3 p.m.