DATE OF INDUCTION: February 13, 2016
CAREER SPAN: 1969 – Present
BRANDS RACED: All
AGE AT INDUCTION: 72
The sport of snowmobile racing was built upon the foundation of safe and fair competition for all racers, brands and types of competition. Tom Zernia of West Bend, Wisconsin was a formative leader who built the foundation for snowmobile competition. His influence on the sport was as profound as it was durable, working tirelessly for more than 40 years as a race official, technical expert, rules maker and information resource for nearly every race circuit of the past 35 years.
Zernia first entered the technical side of race circuit involvement in 1969 with USSA. He would progress as a committee member and later as a Technical Director for Sno Pro and also to the Professional Driver’s Circuit. In 1979 he became the Technical Coordinator for WSRF where he pioneered the process of working with snowmobile manufactures to create and publish snowmobile specification books for use by the circuit to enforce fair competition. He would also serve as its chairman of the executive rules committee. In 1981 he was one of three people who formed International Snowmobile Racing (ISR), the central organization serving the many snowmobile racing circuits and clubs with information, rules guidance, technical information and safe practices.
As the Secretary Treasurer and Technical Coordinator for ISR, Zernia managed the technical information and rules enforcement that is the foundation of safe and fair snowmobile competition throughout the world. With steadfast resolve and a keen understanding of competition, Zernia helped race circuits create rules that provided uniformity, enforceability and the highest level of fairness for all competitors.