Dennis Lampman 1989 Don Thies Photo
Dennis Lampman – 1989 (Don Thies Photo)

Midwestern Late Model Racer Dennis Lampman, 67

OAK CREEK, Wis. — Midwestern stock car racer Dennis Lampman died Jan. 1 at the age of 67. 

Nicknamed the “Gentle Giant” because of his physical size, 6’4” tall and 300 pounds, and friendly demeanor, Lampman competed in late model action on the American Speed Ass’n and ARTGO Challenge Series circuits from about 1982 to ’01.  In addition, Lampman also raced on Wisconsin asphalt tracks, including Slinger Super Speedway and Wisconsin Int’l Raceway in Kaukauna, Wis.

Usually carrying the No. 9 on the side of his late model rides, Lampman scored his biggest win of his career at Michigan’s Berlin Raceway on Aug. 7, 1993, capturing an ASA 300 lapper in his Ford Thunderbird.  Leading the last 17 laps, Lampman took the checkered flag in front of Steve Holzhausen, Jeff Neal, Butch Miller and Johnny Benson Jr.

“I was going to pit, but then changed my mind,” said Lampman about this late race strategy during a caution period.  “I wanted to lead a lap and collect the five bonus points.”

A regular on the ARTGO circuit for many years, Lampman was awarded ARTGO’s Larry Detjens Sportsman Award as voted by his peers in 1989.  He finished seventh in the ARTGO standings in 1989 – his best ARTGO points finish. Lampman had a perfect attendance with the ARTGO series the following year (1990), making all 17 tour races and finishing 11th in the standings.. 

Racing out of Racine, Wis., and, later, Oak Creek, Lampman began doing some drag racing but turned to racing stock cars around 1977 at Hales Corners Speedway, outside of Milwaukee, and at the high-banked Slinger oval.  Beginning his oval track career, Lampman cut up his wife’s Dodge Challenger body to go racing on both the dirt at Hales Corners and the pavement at Slinger.

A consistent front runner, Lampman won late model features at both Slinger and at Wisconsin International.  His son, Tim, has raced late models in Wisconsin.

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