MIS to Honor Evie Handeland
The track tucked quietly away in the rural countryside of the Town of Rutland just south of Madison has seen changes in both ownership and name over the past sixty years, but through it all there has been one person who has seen just about everything.
Evie Handeland has worked at Madison International Speedway for many years and for several different track owners. To say she’s “part of the fixtures” would be an understatement.
You see, Handeland and her family have lived in a farmhouse just behind turns three and four since 1948. That’s almost five years before the Oregon Legion constructed the original quarter-mile track on the property.
“Evie is just the greatest,” said MIS General Manager Dave Grueneberg. “She is always here to help and keeps the place looking great. She has a lot of energy and isn’t afraid to tackle any job no matter how big or how small.”
That’s quite a compliment for Evie not to mention the fact that she is 88 years young and is always available to lend a hand.
“She can tell you a lot of stories about this place,” said Grueneberg. “She used to watch the races with her kids sitting on the roof of her barn. When the half-mile was built in 1969 it brought the action pretty close to her house. Now the trees have grown and she can’t watch from home.”
To honor Evie, MIS officials have decided to name the Super Late Model Triple Crown Challenge race on Sunday, July 14th the Evie Handeland 100. “We have such a rich racing history here at Madison,” added Grueneberg, “but it’s about more than just racing. It’s about people and recognizing them for their contributions. We just want to say thanks to Evie.”
Fan gates will open on Sunday at 11:30 AM with qualifying at 1:15 PM and racing at 2:30 PM.