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Fremont Speedway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The New Fremont Speedway
The Track That Action Built
LocationFremont, Ohio
OwnerSandusky County Agricultural Society
OperatorFremont Speedway Board of Directors
Former namesFremont Raceway
Major eventsJim Ford Classic (2 nights), HOF induction
Length1/3 mi (0.536 km)
Race lap record11.732 sec. (Lee Jacobs, Jacobs #2, 2003, 410 Sprints)

Fremont Speedway, also known as "The Track That Action Built" and "Home of the All Stars", is a semi-banked 1/3 mile clay oval speedway located at the Sandusky County Fairgrounds in Fremont, Ohio, United States. Races are typically held on Saturday nights. Regular events include 410 cubic inch sprint cars, 305 cubic inch sprint cars, and dirt trucks. The speedway also is hosting the American Late Model Series, and new for the 2012 season, is a Run What You Brung. The speedway has previously hosted the National Sprint Tour, and United States Auto Club, and World of Outlaws.

Track records

Division Time Driver Date
410 Sprint Cars 11.732 seconds Lee Jacobs May 3, 2003
305 Sprint Cars 13.286 seconds John Ivy May 17, 2014
Dirt Trucks 17.672 seconds Dan Roepke, Jr. April 26, 2014



Auto racing at Sandusky County Fairgrounds in Fremont, OH, circa 1936.
Auto racing at Sandusky County Fairgrounds in Fremont, OH, circa 1936.

The first automobile race was held at the Sandusky County Fairgrounds on Sunday, June 7, 1936 when the International Speedway Association leased the half-mile horse track for a Big Cars race. Big Cars, as they were known, were the forerunners to today's sprint cars. An estimated 7,000 people attended the first race as Clay Corbitt picked up the feature win. Despite the success of the first race, it would be 12 years before Fremont hosted another auto race. On September 19, 1948, the Tri-State Racing Association leased the fairgrounds for a racing program billed as the Tri-State Racing Association's Championship. Over 4,000 fans were in attendance to watch Red Bales win the feature event.

In the fall of 1951, Joe and Dorothy Stelter and Harry Maynor of Toledo, Ohio founded Fremont Speedway. Their original track was just over 1/10 of a mile in length and nearly flat. On September 30, 1951, a crowd of 1,500 attended Fremont Speedway’s first official race. 38 drivers took part in the 20 lap feature event, which was won by Leo Caldwell of Perrysburg.

In 1952, Maynor sold his interest in the speedway to Frank Jensen of Toledo, and Wayne Wall of Toledo purchased an interest in 1953. Wall sold out in 1954 and the Stelters and Jensen operated the track until 1957 when a local Fremont businessman, Don Emick, purchased Jensen's stock. This operation continued until 1960 when Emick sold out, leaving Joe and Dot as the sole owners. After Joe's sudden death in 1962, Dot decided to continue and became one of the first female promoters in the country. Dot later married Paul Szakovits and he helped to operate the track. Dot promoted the speedway until 1976 when longtime announcer Gary Kern purchased the facility.

During the 1990s, the facility changed hands many times. In 1994 Joseph Darr became a partner with Kern. Delphos, Ohio resident Ken Langhals operated the speedway in 1995. In 1996 Kelly Applegate purchased the speedway, followed by Ken Meggitt in 1997. The track then sat idle for two years until Jim Ford, a former driver and sprint car owner from Elmore, Ohio, leased the track from the Sandusky County Fair Board.[2] Ford reopened the track in 2000 with many improvements. In 2007, Ford stepped down as promoter due to health issues. The fair board elected Rich Farmer and Andy James as co-promoters of the speedway in 2008. In 2010, Emods competed at the speedway for the first time ever.[3]

The speedway has become a pioneer in dirt track racing over the years. It was one of the first tracks in the nation to run the now popular 305 sprint car division. In 2000, Jim Ford created the dirt truck division as an affordable entry level into dirt track racing.[4] Similar divisions have since spread across the nation. The speedway was also the first dirt track in the nation to incorporate soft wall technology.[5]

The speedway has hosted many nationally renowned race car drivers including Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell, Jeff Gordon, Dave Blaney, Kasey Kahne, Brad Doty, and Doug Wolfgang. "The Ohio Traveler" Rick Ferkel began his storied career with a victory at the speedway. The speedway has also hosted nearly 100 All Star Circuit of Champions events, earning it the nickname "Home of the All Stars."[6]

Hall of Fame

The following people have been inducted in Fremont Speedway's Hall of Fame.

Inductee Category Year
Auxter, Johnny "Gentleman" Driver 2009
Ball, Art Driver 2009
Beale, Rollie Driver 2009
Billow, Harold Owner/Builder 2009
Ford, Jim Driver/Promotor 2009
Fosco, George Driver 2009
Franks, Alvin Driver 2009
Harrison, Darl Driver 2009
Keegan, Gug Driver 2009
Linder, Jim Driver 2009
McCune, "Irish" Jim Driver 2009
McGilton, Harold "Mac" Driver 2009
Notestine, Gene Driver/Official 2009
Robison, Herbie Driver 2009
Shilling, Dorthy "Dot" Promotor 2009
Smith, Wendell Driver 2009
Strasser, Paul Driver 2009
Beaber, Johnny Driver 2010
Burmeister, Sonny Owner/Builder 2010
Genzman, De Driver 2010
Hemminger, Wally Driver 2010
Keegan, Mark Driver 2010
Kern, Gary Official/Promotor 2010
Lowe, Earl Owner 2010
Roepke, Jim Driver 2010
Sabo, Joe Owner/Builder 2010
Sheets, Roy Driver 2010
Caldwell, Leo Driver 2011
Fleming, Jim Driver 2011
Gill, Bud Owner 2011
Hasselbach, Dale Driver 2011
Kear, Shirley Life Contributor 2011
Kresser, Harry Driver 2011
Leaser, Tom Owner 2011
Maffett Sr, Wayne Driver 2011
Miller, George Driver 2011
Youster, Leroy Driver 2011
Boos, Ron Owner 2012
Clark, Ken Driver 2012
Cook, John Owner 2012
Emick, Bert/Brigiette Promotor 2012
Ferkel, Rick Driver 2012
Forsythe, John Sponsor 2012
Griffith, Earl Engine Builder 2012
Hewitt, Jack Driver 2012
Keegan, Jim Driver 2012
Linder, Fred Driver 2012
Linton, Don Owner 2012
Ritter, Grover Owner 2012
Sabo, Tim Driver 2012
Schemmer. Tom Engine Builder 2012
Smith, Ed Engine Builder 2012
Stelter, Joe Promotor 2012
Conger, Sonny Owner, Builder, Mechanic 2013
Dewald, Paul Driver 2013
Eckhardt, Don Owner 2013
Ford, Randy Driver 2013
Hahn, Bill Driver 2013
Holbrook, Gordon Driver 2013
Huss, Phil "Smokey" Ambassador 2013
Keegan, Larry Owner/Crew Chief 2013
Keegan, Mervin Builder 2013
Liskai, Alex Driver 2013
Liskai, Dick Driver 2013
Liskai, Steve Driver 2013
Connors, L J Driver 2014
Griffith, Gary Driver/Engine Builder 2014
Keim, Clay Driver 2014
Kemenah, Harold Owner 2014
Kiser, Ken Communications Provider 2014
Leaser, Bob Owner 2014
Rankine, Eric Driver 2014
Vance, Todd Driver 2014
VanNess Family Owner/Builder 2014
Ward, Jim Driver 2014
Wright, Joe Owner 2014
Berkley, Robert Owner/Mechanic 2015
Cicanese, Bill Driver/Builder 2015
Drusback, Tom Owner 2015
Gordon, Jack Driver 2015
Holman, Mike Official 2015
Kiser, Chris Driver 2015
Meyer, Fritz Wrecker Service 2015
Naida, John Driver 2015
Potter, Lee Driver 2015
Steinmetz, Fran Driver 2015
Thompson, Howard (Moe) Employee 2015
Blaney, Dale Driver 2016
Fisher, Vince Owner 2016
Keegan, Joe Driver 2016
Kistler, Paul Engine Builder 2016
Leaser, Ron Driver 2016
Malloy, Len Owner 2016
Nuber, Larry Life Contributor 2016
Pierce, Keith Owner 2016
Pierce, Roy Owner 2016
Sears Jr, Bobby Driver 2016
Willey, Dick Builder/Mechanic 2016
Beechler, Mike Builder 2017
Burkin, Lamar Owner 2017
Ford, Doug Mechanic/Official 2017
Hoffman, Jeff Driver 2017
Knoll, Bobby Driver 2017
Kraylek, Jack Driver 2017
McComas, Ron Owner/Builder/Mechanic 2017
Nemire Sr, Ken Driver 2017
Neimire, Jerry Driver 2017
Phillips, Eric Owner/Engine Builder 2017
Root, Ken "Red" Mechanic 2017
Smith, Ken Official/Photographer 2017
Willey, Gary Driver 2017
Engler, Jay Owner 2018
Gill, Buddy Mechanic 2018
Gill, Larry Mechanic 2018
Hazzard, Richard Owner 2018
Keegan, Don Owner 2018
Keegan, Ron Owner 2018
Leaser, Jimmy Driver 2018
Miller, Skip Driver 2018
Potter, Lin Driver 2018
Thompson, Joe Driver/Official 2018
Thompson, Shirley Official 2018
Wisbon, John 2019
Berryman, Bruce 2019
Marko, Dave 2019
Creeger, Jerry “Dude” 2019
Farmer, Rich 2019
Kear, Chuck 2019
Slatter, Floyd Builder, Mechanic 2019
Keegan, Chuck 2019

[7] [8]

Racers with three or more Championships (Active Divisions)

410 Sprint Cars/Super Sprint: 8 Championships; Mark Keegan. 5 Championships; Jim Linder. 4 Championships; Gug Keegan and Al Franks. 3 Championships; John Ivy and Byron Reed

305 Sprint Cars: 3 Championships; Bryan Scott and Stuart Brubaker

Dirt Trucks: 4 Championships; Steve Sabo

All-time win list

The following drivers sit at the top ten of Fremont Speedway's all-time feature win list (as of April 5, 2012).

Rank Name Wins
1 Art Ball 71
2 Gug Keegan 62
3 Mark Keegan 59
4 Jim Linder 58
5 Herbie Robinson 54
6 Jim McCune 45
7 Wayne Maffett, Sr. 44
8 Harold McGuilton 40
9 Alvin Franks 34
10 Wally Heminger 32



  1. ^ "Fremont Speedway Track Info". Archived from the original on 2010-01-05. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  2. ^ "The History of Fremont Speedway". Archived from the original on 2010-10-15. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  3. ^ "Fremont Speedway ready to kick off 59th season of racing" TJSlideways
  4. ^ "Ex-Fremont Promotor Jim Ford Takes His Last Lap" The Last Lap
  5. ^ "Indy: Soft Landing, Foam blocks on walls scale down injuries" The Blade
  6. ^ "Fremont Ohio - Visitor's Guide". Archived from the original on 2010-01-29. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  7. ^ "Fremont Speedway HOF Inductees". Retrieved 2019-12-25.
  8. ^ "2019 Fremont Speedway HOF inductees". Retrieved 2019-12-25.
  9. ^ "Fremont Speedway All Time Win List". Archived from the original on 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2010-02-10.

External links

This page was last edited on 31 December 2019, at 01:45
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