FREMONT , Ohio – For many area residents, going to Fremont Speedway on a Saturday night was the fun thing to do. That tradition has been handed down from generation to generation.
On June 7, many generations will come together at “The Track That Action Built” as the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame will induct its sixth class. And to add to the special nature of the event, for the first time ever, some hall of famers will take place in an actual racing event.
Besides 11 individuals and a business being inducted into the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame – the second class to be picked by the membership of the Fremont Speedway Historical Club – there are 23 drivers who will compete in a complete night of racing in 305 sprints. The Legends Race has drivers who represent thousands of feature wins and many, many track and series championships. And if you think it’s an exhibition race you are very wrong. The legends drivers will compete in heats and a feature that pays $1,000 to win.
“The Hall of Fame induction is always very, very special and very emotional. So many people have given so much over the last 63 years to make Fremont Speedway what it is today and we are so proud to be able to honor them every year with induction into the hall of fame. And for today’s fans, they will get to see true giants of the sport of dirt track racing competing again,” said Rich Farmer, Fremont Speedway Promoter and a trustee of the Fremont Speedway Historical Club.
In order to be eligible for the Legends Race, the drivers had to be at least 50 years of age or older and have not competed in a sprint car in last two years.
Here are the drivers who will participate in the Legends Race: Kenny Clark Jr.; Mark Keegan (Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame inductee); Eric Rankin (Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame inductee); Rodney Duncan; Jim Linder (Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame inductee); Clay Keim (Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame inductee); Bobby Distel; Kenny Jacobs (National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee); Larry Helms; George Dussel; Kelly Kinser; Jerry Nemire; Brian Neeb; Charlie Fisher; Rick Ferkel (National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee); Al Liskai (Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame inductee); Gary Griffith (Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame inductee); Joe Keegan; Ed Haudenschild; Charlie Swartz; Rick Daugherty; Lee Potter and Jimmy Leaser.
The Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame Class of 2014 includes five drivers, two racing mechanics, a family of car owners/mechanics; and two special service recipients.
The list of drivers includes L.J. Connors, Clay Keim, Eric Rankine, Todd Vance and Jim Ward. The racing mechanics/builders include engine builder/driver Gary Griffith and the Van Ness family (Dad, Harold Van Ness Sr. and sons Harold Jr. (Jim) “Hap” Van Ness and Norm Van Ness) Going in under the car owners category will be the duo of Bob Leaser and Joe Wright and Harold Kemenah. The special service inductees include Ken Kiser and the Baumann Auto Group.