Tri-County Youth Sports Grant
Tri-County Youth Sports Grant Winners
Don Bohlander

Don Bohlander won more stock car racing championships in Peoria than any other driver in the history of the sport.

Seven years after he took a 1942 Ford Coupe onto a track for his first race in 1954, he won his first season championship at Mt. Hawley Speedway, the forerunner to the Peoria Speedway.

He went on from there to almost unparalleled success. He won nine more season championships, took his first state championship in 1965 and then chalked up six more between 1967 and 1978.

He won point championships at five tracks: Peoria, Mt. Hawley, Sterling, Freeport and Davenport. In 1974 and 1975 he was a regular on the stock car circuit of the United States Auto Club (USAC) and raced at such major tracks as the Daytona Speedway, Talladega, Pocono and Michigan International.

During his 45 year racing career he won over 350 feature races at over 25 tracks, escaping serious injury in all but one race, a feature duel in 1982 at Tupelo, Mississippi when his car rolled end-for-end six times.

Among his many honors he was presented a plaque in 1998, his final year of competition, calling him a Mississippi Valley racing legend.