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Thread: Part 30 - Quentin, LaSalle, Illinois, Dan and Steve Niesen, Ladd, Illinois

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    Default Part 30 - Quentin, LaSalle, Illinois, Dan and Steve Niesen, Ladd, Illinois

    The Niesen family of racers focused on racing at DePue, Illinois since it was 8 miles from Danís home at Ladd, Illinois to DePue, Illinois. Traveling to races in different parts of the country was not in their plans although they did attend some races other than DePue, Illinois.

    Quentin Niesen - May 29, 1927 - 2015, Dan Niesen August 6, 1963 - , Steve Niesen April 25, 1988 -

    Quentin never actually raced. He did have drivers for his equipment during the 1960-70 time frame in class C-Service hydro. A diesel truck mechanic by trade he built his own C-Service engine in his home garage at LaSalle, Illinois. The garage consisted of two lathes and a lot of hand tools. Engine work time was generally consumed with files and dremel tools. All balancing work was done in this garage with the more difficult task going to Stan Leavendusky, Kansas City, Kansas. Quentin built his own boats.

    Dan Niesen also followed his dad in the diesel mechanic line of work. Dan started racing in 1983 in class C-Service hydro on a Hal Kelly Wetback hydro. In 1986 he added C-Service runabout. In 1984 he placed third in both C-Service hydro and runabout at APBA Nationals at DePue, Illinois. In 1973 a frost plug came out of a cylinder and his dad rushed home, took another set of cylinders off the shelf, installed them on the engine and Dan finished third only to be disqualified at inspection for the ports being too high.

    The Novice 350 class he blew over backwards at DePue in 1985. This is something you never forget. Later the class name was changed to OSY400. The boats were changed to Sorensen kit boat and later a basic Sorensen with some changes. Dan remembers the years DePue did not have races from 1974-84 because of the very shallow water. The previous year the lake was at flood stage.


    Steve Niesen started racing in 2004 in class OSY400. Thirteen entries and he made the final two heats using a Yamato 80 engine against the Yamato 102 engines. Steve currently drives in class 125 and 175 hydro. His engine is made from off the shelf motorcycle parts. Suzuki crank and rods, Yamaha cylinders and a custom crankcase. In 2017 he placed third in both classes at DePue. Currently Steve and his dad are working to get a 500 capsule boat ready to race using Konig power.

    Photo 1 - Yellow cap/shirt Quentin Niesen, Orange cap George Young, Dan Niesen in lifejacket, L- friend of Quentinís from work
    Photo 2 - Dan is green shirt, Quentin and Steve - New boat from Sorensen kit, testing at DePue
    Photo 3 - Dan with re-finished DeSilva in his dadís garage
    Photo 4 - Steveís first boat ride at 10 yrs. old, dad Dan at back and grandfather Quentin at front
    Photo 5 - Back - Danís brother & sponsor Nick, Steve. Front - Quentin & Dan
    Photo 6 - Steve driver, Quentin & Dan class OSY400 using Y80
    Photo 7 - Quentin holding the boat, Dan in the boat
    Photo 8 - Dan Niesen, Ladd, Il. at the Springfield, Illinois race July 4, 2015
    Attached Images Attached Images         

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