Column: Bill Rose’s Passion To Race Drives Busy Lifestyle As He Follows Demanding WoO Sprint Trail
Column By: ALEX NIETEN / WORLD OF OUTLAWS – GRANITE CITY, IL – A regular week for Bill Rose is anything but regular.
On Mondays, Rose heads to his day job like many – building interior trim for homes. The Plainfield, IN native will do that throughout the week and when slower days permit, he drives to Terre Haute Action Track – where he recently took over promotional duties – to lend a hand. Oh, and on the weekends, he follows one of motorsports’ most demanding schedules – the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series 80-plus race tour.
The interior work and promotional role would be enough for most, but an unshakeable passion powers his continued tenure with The Greatest Show on Dirt as the Series heads to a pair of tracks close to home – Tri-City Speedway (Granite City, IL) and Tri-State Speedway (Haubstadt, IN) – this weekend (April 28-29).
“I’m stupid. I shouldn’t do it,” Rose said with a laugh about his non-stop lifestyle. “But I love to do it, and I want to do it with the Outlaws. It’s something I love to do.”
Rose has been racing Sprint Cars for more than three decades. It’s his life. It’s something he can’t imagine not being involved with in some capacity.
“Everybody asks me, ‘Why don’t you do something else?’” Rose said. “I don’t know what else to do. It’s all I’ve ever done is race.”
It’s that dedication that played a part in his recent decision to get involved at Terre Haute. Promoting is another avenue to stay engaged with the sport he loves and might even lead to another level down the road – ownership. With an uncertain future surrounding the track heading into 2023, a few conversations led to the opportunity arising, and Rose wasted no time jumping into action.
“It’s just something I’ve been thinking about and trying to dabble in is doing some promoting or maybe even owning a track in the future,” Rose explained. “It was like, why not? I might as well jump in and do it.
“A buddy of mine lives in Terre Haute, and he’s lived down there forever,” Rose said. “We were talking about the racetrack and the stuff that had happened last year with the guys that were promoting it getting into it with the fair board and everything. I told him that I’d like to maybe dabble in that sometime down the road. And he mentioned it to somebody, and finally I got a phone call and one thing led to another. We put a program together to do three races this year, and we’ll see how it plays out.”
Another motivating factor was Rose’s desire to preserve a piece of Sprint Car racing history. The “Action Track” opened in 1952 and has seen some of open-wheel racing’s finest names circle its surface over the years. The historic half mile lies close to Rose’s heart.
“Terre Haute has always been one of my favorite places,” Rose said. “My two favorite racetracks have always been Terre Haute and Manzanita, and Manzanita is gone. And I don’t know who was going to promote it (Terre Haute) if I didn’t take it over for this year, and we can’t lose Terre Haute. I’m going to try my damndest to do what I can to keep it going.”
Shifting back to his current endeavors on the World of Outlaws tour, it goes without saying that “free time” isn’t a phrase that exists in Rose’s world. Competing on the grueling campaign requires much more than showing up at the racetrack on the weekend. Rose doesn’t have the luxury of a full crew to monitor his operation throughout the week while he tends to his other responsibilities. But he does have the help of his trusted partner, Amanda Hoegsted.
“She’s in the shop all of the time,” Rose said. “If I can’t get the cars cleaned up, she does that. She cleans the trailer up. She does the general maintenance on the car and stuff like that. Whatever she can do, she does. She’ll do the mounting the tires and grooving tires and stuff like that. She does everything she can during the week for sure. I keep her pretty busy with that.”
So far, this season hasn’t gone how Rose would’ve preferred on the racetrack. He’s struggled to earn his desired results and admits he’s been puzzled by the lack of performance.
On the bright side, Rose has pieced together a new car for this weekend’s races at Tri-City Speedway and Tri-State Speedway. The 58 year old owns more experience than most at either facility having competed with a blend of the World of Outlaws, United States Auto Club (USAC), and Midwest Open Wheel Association (MOWA) at both.
No matter the result this weekend or throughout the rest of the year, Rose’s motivation and diligence will remain a constant. Weekdays he’ll handle whatever work projects await while also putting in the effort to usher Terre Haute into its next era of promotion. And when the weekend rolls around, the time comes for him to do what he loves most – wheel a 900-plus horsepower machine with the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars.
“It’s all I ever want to do (race),” Rose said. “Ask Amanda. She’ll tell you that’s all I do. She wants to go do some other stuff and it’s like, when do we have time? I’ve got toys that I want to play with.”
You can catch Rose playing with those toys this weekend with the World of Outlaws at Tri-City Speedway and Tri-State Speedway.