Hall of Fame Inductee: Rod Frank
Rod Frank has one of the best records in Iron Dog history. Teamed with Iron Dog Hall of Famer John Faeo, he won the first race in 1984 and was the first racer across the finish line in the second race although the team finished second in one of the closest finishes ever as Faeo battled a broken suspension. Rod ran won more time in the late ‘90s before hanging up his helmet and becoming a cover pilot.
Rod started out racing in 1969 on a Sno-Jet and more than once, his winning purse was a six-pack of soda pop. After winning numerous Junior events, he graduated to racing with against the top riders and was the AMMC season points champion in 1981 against a very strong field.
In 1984, he was truly a pioneer; it is worth remembering that back in those days, snowmobiles were unreliable and uncomfortable machines and nobody was really sure they could race 1,000 miles across Alaska and survive – or what the rider would look like when he finished. Proper clothing, support, strategy and pace, all of these things had to be learned and Rod Frank was a quick study.
Today’s racers streak across the terrain at speeds that were impossible to predict 30 years ago. Because of all the advances made on and off the trail, today’s Iron Dog racers are faster than those first racers – but none of them are tougher than Rod Frank.
Without the contributions of Rod Frank and the other early racers, the Iron Dog would not exist.
The induction ceremony will take place during the 2015 Racer Drawing and Banquet.