VINTON, Iowa – A quarter-century of memories were shared and a tear or two shed before the final checkers flew on Wednesday night for the 25th and final Hogan Memorial – one of the longest running events in the history of the IMCA Modified division.
Known by many racers today simply as “The Hogan,” the Benton County Speedway event honors Dick and Janet Hogan who were well known members of the Vinton community. A long time supporter and fan of auto racing, Dick Hogan was publisher of the Cedar Valley Daily Times and involved in many aspects of the community.
Dick and Janet Hogan were quiet people who didn’t like the limelight but both were powers to be reckoned with. The one was always there to offer support for whatever the other was doing.
Dick worked at the newspaper in high school as a photographer and would later become the publisher for the daily newspaper. His guidance and knowledge helped many young journalists fresh out of college make sense of the ever changing industry, according to Faith Ann Brown, who worked several years for Hogan.
Janet worked at the Benton County Courthouse in the Auditor’s office and was always willing to help give/find information to the ‘new kid’ in the pressroom. Both spent their entire lives in the community and were members of several different organizations supporting the community they loved.
Brown was fresh out of college and the Cedar Valley Daily Times was her first job as a reporter.
“With holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas in the middle of the week and my hometown being several hours away, the Hogans often invited me into their home to celebrate the holiday with their family,” said Brown. “Both acted as parent figures helping me to adjust to being away from home the first time.
The first time I was having issues with my car, Dick was right there to help me find the mechanic who would take care of my issue. They helped me find my first apartment before I had even moved to town.
“Dick trusted me enough to hand over the reins of the daily newspaper when I became editor. A decade after my initial arrival I decided it was time to move to something else. Dick told me that I had done a good job and he was proud of things I had accomplished while at the paper.
“I believe it was that trust he had in me that brought me back a decade later to report on the events of the city council and school board in a community that as become as important to me as I know it was to both he & Janet.”
The 25th and final Hogan Memorial was Wednesday, July 3 at Benton County Speedway in Vinton. With lap money and the mid-way leader’s bonus, the Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifier could pay the winner more than $5,000.
“The Hogan has been a premier Modified event for many years and rightfully so,” said IMCA President Brett Root. “It’s one of those events every IMCA Modified driver wants to win. Winning the Hogan is one of those rare career highlight-type victories.”
The event got its start in 1995 as the Dick Hogan Memorial Mid-Season Championship. It was renamed the Hogan Memorial following the death of Dick’s wife Janet.
The Hogans’ son, Scott, won the inaugural Modified race in 1995. After adding trophies from the 2005, 2006 and 2010 events, he leads all drivers with four career victories
Because of the holiday deadline, this paper was completed before the race ran on Wednesday night. Check www.vintonnewspapers.com for a story and photos.