By Brian Liskai: FREMONT, Ohio – The Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame has opened up its 2013-14 membership drive. Race fans can become voting members of the Hall of Fame by becoming a member.
The one-year membership fee is a minimum donation of $20 – some members have volunteered to donate more to help the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame with its expenses.
Located on the grounds of the historic Sandusky County Fairgrounds, the Hall of Fame building sits along the midway of Fremont Speedway which has hosted racing on the dirt oval since 1951. The Hall of Fame building houses thousands of artifacts and racing memorabilia like driver uniforms, helmets, trophies, photos and vintage race machines.
Each year a class of inductees are honored prior to racing in June. There have been five classes of inductees into the Hall of Fame.
This year Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame members will chose 10 inductees for the Class of 2014. Members will chose five from the driver’s category from among:
- Jim Ward – 17 wins, 1978 and 1979 sport stock champion
- L.J. Connors – 10 wins, 1981 six-cylinder sportsman champion
- Clay Keim – 14 wins in the 305 and 360 sprints
- Eric Rankin – 4 wins, 1991 and 2000 410 sprint champion
- Todd Vance – 6 wins, 1988 410 sprint champion
- Jack Gordon – 9 wins, 1976 Lighting Rod champion
Members will select two from the mechanics/builders category from among:
- Robert Berkley – the carburetor man and car builder, gave Harold McGilton his first ride in the 4JR
- Van Ness Family Racing – mechanic and car owners of McCune, Roepke, Cicanese, Liskai’s, Nemire and Harrison to name a few. Owned cars from 1956-1975
- Gary Griffith – champion engine builder and racer
Members will select two from the car owners’ category from among:
- Tom Drawback, owned car number 3 that Jim Linder drove to the 1983 and 1984 410 sprint championships
- Harold Kemenah – owned sprint cars that were driven by Al Liskai, John Beaber, Jack Hewitt and Fred Linder to name a few. Fred drove the #3x to the 1984 and 1986 All Star Circuit of Champions championships.
- Bob Leaser/Joe Wright – owned race cars driven by Al Franks, Fred Linder and others. They also won a sprint car championship with Al Franks.
Members will select one from the supporter/life contributor category from among:
- Fritz Meyer – wrecker service
- Ken Kiser – has provided the sound system for the speedway since it opened in 1951.
Members are also asked to submit names of people they feel deserve to be inducted into the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame.
The Fremont Speedway Historical Club directors – Rich Farmer, Brian Liskai and Randy Mapus – have the final say in all ballot entries and votes. In the event of a tie the directors will be the tie-breaking vote.
To become a Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame member, please submit a check made out to the Fremont Speedway Historical Club for at least $20 – again some members chose to give more to help the Hall of Fame with expenses like utilities, display cabinets, etc. with a self-addressed stamped envelope to Randy Mapus, at 7503 Sunnydale Ave., Castalia, Ohio 44824.
Or, you can sign up to become a member at the Hall of Fame during any racing event at Fremont Speedway.
Also, the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame is hosting its first ever golf outing on Sunday, Sept. 22 at Sycamore Hills Golf Club. The event wills tart at 10 a.m. with a shotgun start. It is open to the first 36 four-person teams to register.
The cost is $400 per team and that includes 18 holes of golf with cart, door prizes, putting contest, a live band, New York strip steak dinner and a hole-in-one contest – winner gets a new car courtesy of the Baumann Auto Group.
The champions of the outing will take home $2,500 with second place at $1,300 and third getting $800.
For more information contact either Mike and Tina Dukeshire at 419-680-0193; Lisa Hammer at 419-680-0956; R.J. Willey at 419-307-6675 or Brad and Rikkie Brown at 419-541-7249.
All proceeds from the golf outing benefit the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame operations. The Hall of Fame is a registered non-profit organization and all of those who operate the facility are unpaid volunteers – every cent of every donation goes to the upkeep of the building and promotion of the Hall of Fame.
Also, the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame has undertaken the efforts to raise funds to build a special chair lift to transport fans to the covered grandstands. The Historical Club is raffling off a beautiful model 37 Ithaca shotgun, custom engraved with the Fremont Speedway logo and the Hall of Fame logo with gold inlay.
Tickets for the gun raffle are $10 each. The winning ticket will be pulled Saturday, Sept. 14 during the racing of the Jim Ford Classic.
For more information about the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame contact Randy Mapus at firstname.lastname@example.org or Brian Liskai at email@example.com.