Racing Friend Founded Several Top Midwester Series
Gary Vercauteren, 55, 7101 Jack Pine Rd., Baileys Harbor, died unexpectedly Friday October 7th , 2005. He was born February 28, 1950 in Green Bay to the late Harold and Regina (Gerrits) Vercauteren. He graduated from Abbot Pennings High School and St. Norbert College in De Pere. On July 27, 1991 he married Kay Schaefer. Following graduation from college, Gary started his newspaper career as editor of the Chilton Times-Journal. In 1979 he purchased the Chilton Times-Journal publishing company and sold the business in 2001. After selling his business Gary and Kay moved to Door County where he pursued his racing series full time and also coached high school football.
Sevastopol JV football coach and was also the varsity offensive line coach. He was extremely proud of the JV’s record of five wins this year along with the varsity’s first win in over 20 years.
Gary had a sincere love of nature, wildlife, fishing, landscaping and he also enjoyed cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Gary was keenly aware of current world events and enjoyed hosting election night parties.
Gary had been involved in many civic organizations including the Chilton Optimist Club, Rotary, Jaycees of Chilton and Reedsville and the Sister Bay Lion’s club. He received many awards throughout his lifetime including the Wisconsin Fans for Auto Racing “Support of Auto Racing” award along with awards from Chilton Speedway, Fox River Racing Club and the Wisconsin Newspaper Association.
Gary is survived by his wife, Kay and by his children Jennifer and Keith, Milwaukee and John at home. He is survived by two brothers, Pete (Donna) and Jim both of De Pere and two sisters Diane (Tom) Stepien, Howard and Donna (Mike) Kelly of Appleton; father and mother in-law Robert and Rita Schaefer, sister in-laws Jean Schaefer, Sandra (Jim) Propson, and brother in-law Michael Schaefer all of Stockbridge. He is further survived by numerous friends and relatives and by his beloved pets Sparky and Whiskers.
Friends may gather at Huehn’s Funeral Home in Sturgeon Bay (1414 Michigan St.) for visitation Tuesday 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at St. Mary’s of the Lake Catholic Church in Baileys Harbor (Hwy 57). Visitation will also be held Wednesday at the church from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. with the funeral mass and burial to follow. A memorial fund has been established in Gary’s name.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Speed51.com would like to send our condolances to the entire Vercauteren family and all of his friends and associates in this time of loss. Speed51.com did a story with Gary earlier this year on his hopes of saving the old ASA National Tour with the American StockCar League. That story can be found right here.
Dick Trickle (left) with Mid-American Racing President Gary Vercauteren (right) after finishing first in the Super Truck Division at Road America (Chuck Look Photo)
His lifelong passion of motor sports began in 1967 when Gary submitted his first article for Midwest Racing News. His racing exploits continued when he began working for Wisconsin International Raceway. He helped to create the Red, White and Blue State Championship Series at Wisconsin International Raceway which recently celebrated its 34th anniversary. He also served as public relations director for Wisconsin International Raceway and the Fox River Racing Club for many years. He published the official racing programs for Wisconsin International Raceway since the 1970’s. In 1992 he created the Mid-American Stock Car Series which includes the Mid-Am cars and trucks, ASL, MARS and Stock Car Classics Series and he traveled extensively throughout the Midwest to many race tracks.
Gary also had a passion for coaching high school football. He coached at De Pere, Chilton, Sevastopol and Gibraltar schools. He had finished coaching his last game for Sevastopol minutes before his death. Gary was the