Catching Up With: Lisbon Veteran Driver Duffy Froemke
There aren’t racing divisions Duffy Froemke of Lisbon didn't tried at least once in his career.
That includes years in street stocks and late models; the outlaw streets and bombers and the IMCA Stock Cars.
He event rented a legends car one night at Sheyenne — and won the feature. He’s also driven an A-mod once and for one year drove a B-modified owned by Randy Klein.
“I’ve about tried them all,” said the 46-year-old, who stopped racing after the 2017 season after a career that spanned more than a quarter century.
Froemke won the Jamestown Stampede in 2011 and 2013 in the Wissota Street Stock class, the class where he spent a majority of his career.
“That was the most fun out of all of them,” Froemke said.
Like many, Duffy grew up around racing in the Lisbon area.
“My dad raced and my uncles all raced. It was a family affair I would say,” Froemke said. “I grew up going to the track as a kid.”
Current cousins Nate and Zach Reinke race in the Midwest Modifieds while cousin Jonny Carter races in the street stocks. Jonny and Duffy usually were battling towards the front at Sheyenne Speedway in Lisbon.
“Me and Jonny had a lot of good racing battles,” Duffy said.
In 2017, he hopped behind the wheel of an IMCA Stock Car for the first time and won features at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo.
“They’re like the old outlaw street cars,” Froemke said. “You can spin the tires if you get on the gas. You have to drive those cars which makes them fun.”
After the 2017 season, Froemke decided to walk away from racing, selling the street stock to fellow Lisbon veteran Jerry “Old Man” Lamb and the stock car to Mike Anderson of Walcott.
His children were getting older and getting involved in activities, plus the demands of preparing to race each week — particularly the tires — became tiresome.
“The work going into it was the (biggest factor). It got to be too time consuming,” Froemke said. “It took the fun right out of it.”
Froemke is also busy running an excavation business. He owns a gravel pit and also runs some cattle, and also enjoys fixing old cars.
Retiring in his early 40s means there’s a chance of a comeback, but Froemke said it’s not likely. He doesn’t attend races often anymore because “I’m afraid I’m going to get the itch.”
“You never know, but I got rid of most of my stuff. I’m pretty much washed up,” Froemke said. “I never say never to anything.”
He’s enjoyed the people he’s met through racing.
“The people around the track, the competitors, the friendships you make at the track, no matter what class you are in, there are a lot of good people in the racing community,” Froemke said.