Column By: RANDY KANE / RPW – OLEY, PA – Louden Reimert knew at a very early age his passion was a long career in local dirt track racing.
“I’ve always wanted to be a race car driver,” Reimert revealed. “I’ve been going to Grandview Speedway since I was less than a year old. Maybe it wasn’t my choice at that point, but as I got older I quickly realized it was something that seemed pretty cool and was something that I really wanted to do.
“I tried playing baseball and basketball. I tried it for a few years, actually, but I always came back to racing. I always enjoyed watching racing and just loved everything about it. Once I got into racing a Quarter Midget at the age of five I realized it was something I really wanted to do,” said Reimert.
Reimert’s grandfather, Terry, recently retired and now 65-years-old, for over 30-years raced as a 358 Modified regular running weekly at Big Diamond Speedway in Forestville, the now closed Penn National Speedway in Grantville, plus a Saturday night schedule at Grandview in Bechtelsville. He also was a Reading Fairgrounds campaigner weekly up until that speedway was shut down.
His father, Shawn, 47, did much the same schedule for roughly two-dozen seasons, but sprinkled in big block Modified events up at Syracuse, NY and often raced 358 Modified rides at central and northern Pennsylvania raceways and throughout New Jersey, too.
Louden is a third generation driver, now 16, as a tenth grade student in Oley.
“We started out at Phoenixville and raced there until I was about ten, I believe?” submitted Reimert. “I raced a Slingshot car while I raced Quarter Midgets about the time I turned ten and I felt that I was ready for the bigger cars, running the SpeedSTR at Kutztown around the time I was 14. I heard that Grandview lowered the age to race there to 14 and tried to talk my dad into allowing me to race his 358 Modified car there, instead, but he told me we’ll see how things go at Kutztown a few years first. I always wanted to race and always wanted to go fast so those thoughts about moving up seemed right to me.”
Reimert tried a 125cc Micro Sprint and a 270cc Micro Sprint, but was kind of bored running those cars with the wings on them.
“I loved racing on the dirt tracks and running a Sportsman or 358 Modified car made sense to me,” explained Reimert. “When I raced the Quarter Midget, I never really spent much time in the garage working on the cars, but once I got older and got into bigger cars, dad introduced me to working on the race cars in the garage every night. He told me if I wanted to race I’d also have to learn about by working on the race cars, too. I realized how much effort goes into racing, but the older I got the speed interested me and just made things more fun.”
Over the winter Reimert and his family purchased a 2013 Bicknell chassis from Mike Lisowski, who raced his Sportsman car out of Minersville. Engine builder Nick Gatto, a Reading resident, was hired to piece together a Sportsman engine and, now, Reimert is racing every Saturday evening aboard that sharp-looking Kochel Equipment backed No. 58 Sportsman entry as a rookie wheel twister at Grandview Speedway.
A handful of trips to Bridgeport Speedway in south Jersey early in the season have also given the youngster additional experience at a much bigger and faster spacious five-eighth-mile dirt oval, but his heart was still at Grandview, a third-mile high-banked dirt track, where things happened a lot quicker.
In addition, Reimert will continue running the family-owned SpeedSTR at Kutztown, this summer.
“My dad knows I like to run that high, outside line,” Reimert noted. “He always told me that if they like to race on the bottom you can’t win races following cars around on the bottom. You’ll have to go run where they aren’t to pass them.
“As long as I am able to race, financially and physically, I’ll be eager to do it. If I can’t do it, well I just can’t do it. That’s racing.”
Reimert knew how to get to where he eventually wanted to be and he’s ready to finally show off his skills, as often as it is possible, this summer.