TOPEKA, Kan. — Frederick R. “Fred” Meyer, a businessman who played key roles in Republican campaigns from Dallas County, Texas to the White House, but known to the motorsports community as a World Challenge driver over the course of seven seasons, died Sept. 24 after a battle with cancer. He was 84.
A mechanical engineer with a Harvard MBA, Meyer’s successful business career included building Tyler Corp. (Dallas, Texas) into a Fortune 500 company. In the early 1970s, Meyer was drawn to politics, and ultimately led campaigns for local GOP candidates and is credited with helping fellow Texan George H.W. Bush ascend to the Presidency of the United States.
Outside of his business and political activities, Meyer was an avid sportsman, participating in marathons and ultimately being drawn to motorsports while in his early 60s. Meyer made his SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge debut April 21, 1996 at Phoenix Int’l Raceway driving a RealTime Racing Honda Prelude.
Switching to an Acura Integra Type R in 1998, Meyer competed over seven seasons in World Challenge, amassing 64 starts with RealTime, which ranked him sixth in series history at the time of his retirement in 2002. SCCA Pro Racing recognized Meyer for his accomplishments on the racetrack and off at the 2002 Awards Banquet following his retirement at age 74.
“Fred was a driver for RealTime Racing from 1996 through 2002,” Peter Cunningham, RealTime Racing owner said. “His contributions to the team went far beyond his driving. For the last 16 years, Fred was my mentor, providing invaluable advice on both business and personal matters. He was RTR’s number one fan and attended races whenever his busy schedule permitted. His loss is the worst I have ever known.”
“Fred was easily one of the most well-liked individuals within the World Challenge paddock during my tenure with the series,” Eric Prill, SCCA Pro Racing VP Marketing & Communications said. “He was a sportsman and took racing on the track very seriously. Fred may have never won a race, but he certainly won the admiration of everyone in the paddock. His smile is a lasting legacy in the history of the series.”
Meyer is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Barbara Meyer; two daughters, Amy and Cheri; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Meyer was preceded in death by his son, Brad, in 2007.