The LoanMart Madera Speedway is ready to host its Fred Gerhardt Classic this Saturday, where a renamed midgets class main event will pay tribute to one of racing’s legendary engineers.
Gerhardt, a Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, was described by Speedway owner Kenny Shepherd as “one of the best innovators” from racing’s past.
“He was a huge part of the Fresno connection to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” Shepherd said. “Back in the 1950s, Fresno was just a huge hub of activity in some of the biggest and best innovations in racing, and he did a ton … he was the inventor of the rear-engine car, just a great mind.”
Gerhardt teamed up with legendary driver Bill Vukovich — who the Speedway honored earlier this season — to craft one of the strongest midget teams in racing, taking a national championship in the class in 1950...