Fremont Speedway is the home of the Rick Ferkel Classic

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By Brian Liskai
FREMONT, Ohio – Fremont Speedway will now be the home for the Rick Ferkel Classic, honoring the national sprint car hall of fame member and one of the original “Outlaws.” The Rick Ferkel Classic will be held at Fremont Speedway Saturday, June 10 as part of the Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions Ohio Sprint Speedweek.

Ferkel, 84 years of age, who began his racing career in 1965, is enshrined in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum and the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame. Ferkel, who lived in nearby Findlay and Tiffin, Ohio most of his life, recorded nearly 400 sprint car wins during his driving career. Known for traveling wherever there was a “big” money show across the country, Ferkel became known as “the Ohio Traveler” and was always a fan favorite because of his friendly demeanor.

Ferkel’s iconic #0 came about due to not making much money during his first year of racing. Fremont Speedway hosting the Rick Ferkel Classic is apropos as The Ohio Traveler scored his first ever sprint car feature win at “The Track That Action Built.” It’s also fitting the Rick Ferkel Classic is held during an All Star sanctioned race as Ferkel was one of the first “All Stars” competing across the country in 1973 and would later become an All Star official.

Former sprint car driver, owner and race promoter Shane Helms first came up with the idea to honor Ferkel in 2018, promoting the race at Ohio’s Atomic Speedway near Chillicothe. He later moved the event to Waynesfield Motorsports Park near Lima, Ohio. When Helms stepped away from Waynesfield after the 2022 season, he knew he wanted to continue to honor one of his childhood heroes.

“Rick is an icon not only in Ohio and the region, but across the country. I always felt there are people in this sport that need to be continually recognized and honored. This sport wouldn’t be what it is today without people like Rick Ferkel. I knew Fremont Speedway was the logical place to continue the Rick Ferkel Classic,” said Helms.

Fremont Speedway Committee Chairman Ryan Schiets said the track will be home to the Rick Ferkel Classic for a very long time.

“We are honored to host an event that pays tribute to such a legend in sprint car racing. We hope the younger drivers and fans can learn to understand what Rick Ferkel means to not only Fremont Speedway but sprint car racing as a whole,” said Schiets.

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