FREMONT, Ohio – The Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame will induct its fifth class on June 8.
The list of inductees was picked for the first time by the membership of the Fremont Speedway Historical Club and includes five groups of drivers, two racing mechanics, two race car owners, and a special service recipient.
The list of drivers includes the Liskai brothers of Al, Dick and Steve, Paul Dewald, Bill Hahn, Gordon Holbrook and Randy Ford. The mechanics are Sonny Conger and Mervin Keegan and the car owners are Larry Keegan and Don Eckhardt. The special service inductee is the late Phil Huss, otherwise known as Smokey the Clown.
Here’s a look at the drivers:
– The Liskai Brothers. Al, the oldest, raced from the late 1960s through 1990. He scored his only career win at Fremont Speedway in 1978 in a non-wing sprint car. That night he also set a new qualifying track record that stood for several years. Al, who resides in Fremont, recorded track championships at Millstream Speedway in Findlay and two at KC Raceway near Chillicothe. He also made the A-main for the 1973 Knoxville Nationals. Dick, who passed away in 2002, raced from the late 1960s through the 1990s. He posted 3 wins at Fremont and scored wins at Millstream as well. At one time Dick even got into the promoting of racing at the former McCutchenville Speedway.
Steve, the youngest of the Liskai brothers, raced in the 1970s and early 1980s. Steve, who lives near Gibsonburg, also posted 3 career wins at Fremont and scored his biggest win at Chrystal, Michigan in a 50-lapper. During the mid-1970s all three were a weekly fixture at Fremont Speedway.
– Randy Ford of Elmore grew up in a racing family. His dad, Jim, a Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame member, raced and owned cars for many years. Randy drove the family No. 10 to the Fremont Speedway track championship in 1986 and has 7 career feature wins at the track. Randy also posted track championships at KC Raceway and Eldora Speedway and won a World of Outlaws event at “The Big E” and won features all over Ohio. When his dad took over the promotion of Fremont Speedway in 2000, Randy became an important part of the track operations.
– Paul Dewald of Tiffin began racing in the mid-1960s. He posted four career feature wins at Fremont having driven in the sportsman and modified divisions before moving into the sprints in the mid-1970s. Bill passed away on June 1, 1974 while competing at Fremont at the age of 37. He was well liked both fans and fellow drivers.
– Bill Hahn of Gibsonburg was the 1987 Fremont Speedway Six-Cylinder Sportsman Champion and also competed up until a year ago in the late model division at area tracks. “Gentleman Bill” posted 11 career wins at Fremont Speedway and during his career posted track championships at Oakshade Raceway and Millstream Speedway and won races all over Ohio. Bill passed away unexpectedly in January 2012.
– Gordon Holbrook of Oak Harbor, started racing in 1977 in the Six Cylinder Sportsman Division at Fremont Speedway driving the No. 48. He recorded a career total of 33 wins with 19 of those coming at Fremont and sits 28th on the track’s all-time win list. In 1981 Gordon won the Six Cylinder Sportsman Championship at Fremont Speedway driving for Ross Jones in the 41 car. He finished his career in 1988 driving the No. 1h.
– Sonny Conger of Fremont was a mechanic/car builder/owner of cars that claimed 9 Fremont Speedway championships with drivers Dale Hasselbach, Al Franks and John Ivy. Sonny’s cars have won nearly 80 features at Fremont Speedway. Sonny is still active today at the speedway, helping several teams that continue to rack up feature wins and championships.