Hometown: Appleton, Wisconsin
At the age of 10, Rick and two of his neighbors in Marengo, Illinois crafted a go-kart out of wood and a REO lawn mower engine...with the blade still attached. In what turned out to be the world’s fastest lawn and laundry cutting device known to man-kind, Dresang developed a love for cars and all things that go fast.
In 1970, he moved to Plymouth, Wisconsin when his parents relocated for work. It just-so happened that one of the world’s premier racing facilities was down the road in Elkhart Lake. As a broke high school student, Dresang snuck in via a friend’s car trunk in 1973 to see his hero, Mark Donohue, compete in that year’s SCCA Can-Am race. Donohue blistered the field and set a track record that would not be broke for over a decade. The mold was set.
1974 saw Dresang take ownership of Riverside Service in downtown Plymouth and start his snowmobile racing career, which lasted until 1988. He ran Riverside until the end of 1975, but along the way met many racers that used his shop for service on big race weekends.
One racer/owner was Dan Gurney, who in 1975 needed a lift to repair an axle in his broken down hauler. Dresang tossed the team the keys to the shop and returned in the morning to find $300 in the tip jar.
Fast forward to 2004, Dresang, who had been running his son in karts since 1996, was look for an Offenhauser engine to use for a display piece in his house. He found it, but there was a 1972 All-American Racers Eagle attached to it. A former Mark Donohue car at that. In a world where everything happens for a reason, Dresang and his wife Alison purchased the Eagle and returned it to its former glory with the help of Paul Jay.
Four years later, Dresang and his wife, Alison, purchased another Eagle, 1981 All American Racers Eagle-Cosworth #8101, the late Chip Mead’s LPS / White Castle Indycar, and in 2009 purchased 1977 Eagle DGF #005, one of the rare Formula Ford cars that AAR put out. The team he runs prides itself in restoring cars to their former glory and keeping them that way.
Perhaps that $300 from Gurney was just a down payment on solidifying the active racing future of AAR cars.