Sunday, April 2, 2023

From Pat Sullivan we have learned of the passing of Jim Riemenschneider, better known to the racing world as Jim Rieder. Shown below with a rear-engine TQ midget of his construction, Jim was instrumental in the career of a host of Hall of Fame drivers.

For many, Jim Rider will always be associated with Pancho Carter and Noki Fornoro. Pancho won the Night Before the 500 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds with Jim in 1972 and his Rieder prepared car took the Hut Hundred. Noki would wax the field in the Night Before in 1985 & 1987. 

When Jim turned his attention to TQs, his Rieder Racers TQs hastened the transformation of the ATQMRA from the conventional and mostly Crosley-powered cars to the exterior-engine, radically offset cars that are clearly the design ancestors to today’s cars.  Rieder TQs won everywhere the ATQMRA raced, as well as with the Can-Am TQ organization and even at the Indianapolis Speedrome.

A member of the National Midget Racing Hall of Fame, Jim won numerous awards including the Ken Hickey award from ARDC. He was the ARDC President in 1971. In 1985 with Noki he captured the ARDC, Super Midget Racing Association and Eastern States midget championships. In 1986 Noki won 23 times and repeated as ARDC champ. All told he won 46 ARDC and 14 USAC midget mains. 

Jim started building cars in the basement of his home New Jersey in 1974. He later moved to Indiana and worked on all forms of open wheel cars and was the Mechanic of the Year in USAC's regional series. In retirement he moved to Henderson, Nevada, although he returned to New Jersey for an ARDC reunion in Warren, New Jersey. 

Smart, talented, capable, personable and a true racing competitor, Jim Rieder had a lasting effect on racing.