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Tom Schemmer, of Fremont, built his first race car in 1952, a 1938 Ford sedan that raced at Fort Miami with Paul Bertok as the driver. He continued to build cars and campaign them throughout the area with Bertok until 1954 when he built a car for hall of famer Rollie Beale. In 1955, Schemmer installed a Cadillac engine in hall of famer John Auxter’s 37 Chevy couple and they placed 8th in the Daytona 500 on the beach course. In 1960 Schemmer joined back up with Auxter as his engine man with Darl Harrison as the driver at Fremont Speedway and they continued through 1965. In 1966 Schemmer was the chief mechanic and partial owner of the WHS Special #91 driven by Harrison at Fremont. A year later the team won the Little 500 with Harrison and Cy Fairchild sharing the driving duties. From 1968-70, Schemmer was the chief mechanic on the Century Die #44 sprint car driven by Harrison on the IMCA circuit to a national championship and another Little 500 win (1970). Schemmer was named the Mechanic of the Year in 1969 for the IMCA. From 1972-73 Schemmer worked on the Century Die car with Harrison on the USAC circuit. Schemmer, a part of the Fremont Auto Parts/NAPA business, built engines for Donny Eckhart’s #4 car from 1976-78 with driver All Franks winning many races and championships. From 1984-86, Schemmer’s business sponsored Fred Linder; and from 1989-96 backed John Wisbon. Schemmer retired in 1997 from active participation at Fremont Speedway…after 44 years. Schemmer still rebuilds Offenhauser Engines and classic antique engines.

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