FREMONT, Ohio – Two years ago the first class was inducted into the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame. Now work has officially begun to construct a facility to house the hall of fame and other memorabilia associated with “The Track That Action Built.”
On Saturday, July 10, prior to the night’s races at Fremont Speedway, a ground-breaking ceremony for the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame was held. Hall of fame inductees “Gentleman” Johnny Auxter, who raced at the track’s first event 59 years ago, and De Genzman, who won track championships at the track and currently owns a sprint car that competes there weekly, turned the first shovels of dirt for the facility.
The dream of a building at the Sandusky County Fairgrounds became a reality when recently inducted Genzman contributed $10,000 to the building project. Thanks to donations from other hall of fame inductees and from the many loyal Fremont Speedway fans, over $20,000 has been raised in just two years for the project.
“This dream of having a building has come about a lot sooner than we anticipated thanks to the generosity of De and Marilyn Genzman and all of the great race fans,” said Hall of Fame Committee Co-Director Randy Mapus. “Fremont Speedway has been an important part of the lives of many people and being able to construct a building to house the hall of fame and other historical aspects of the track will be great.”
Hall of Fame Committee Co-Director Brian Liskai added that John Horn of JLH Company Contractors also played a big part in moving the project forward.
“When John heard we were working to build the facility, he stepped up and committed his company’s resources to get the project going,” said Liskai.
The building will house not only the plaques of the current 27 hall of fame inductees, but will have many photo and video exhibits and even restored race cars and other items significant to the 59 years “The Track That Action Built” has been around. Plans include a souvenir shop as well. It will be located to the east of the restroom facility, under the historic covered grandstands.
Both Liskai and Mapus expressed their appreciation to Fremont Speedway Promoter Rich Farmer for his encouragement and support of the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame.
“Rich has continuously stepped up to keep the project alive and moving forward, whether it’s financial support or simply rolling up his sleeves and working on the project, he has been there every step of the way,” added Mapus.
Current plans are to have the building up by the end of the racing season in September (weather permitting), with a grand-opening soon after.
“We still have a long way to go in terms of finances. Funds will be needed to finish the interior of the building and to operate it, but we’re confident the fans will continue to support this important project,” said Liskai.
Fans can continue to support the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame – a registered non-profit organization – by purchasing the hall of fame plaques that are available at the Action Photos Booth at the track each week or by simply tossing in their spare change at the Hall of Fame Wishing Well located under the grandstands. Checks made out to the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame – donations are tax deductible – can be sent to Fremont Speedway, 2111 Hayes Ave., Fremont, Ohio 43420 or contact Randy Mapus at email@example.com or Liskai at firstname.lastname@example.org.