Noted dirt track tuner and team owner Marlin R. Hart, 75, of Belleville, Illinois, passed away on December 17 in Freeburg, Illinois. Hart was an amateur flat tracker in his youth and went on to become a top tuner, turning to the sport full time when his wife, Shelvia, passed away.
Hart developed The Hart Racing Team where he built some of the fastest dirt track bikes for some fast racers, including the Hayden boys – Tommy, Nicky and Roger Lee.
Hart was modest in his achievements and he will be long remembered and envied for the speed and quality of the motorcycles he built. Those of you who knew him well know that “the easiest thing to replace on that motorcycle is the rider.” Hart was a lifetime member of the AMA and enjoyed watching NASCAR.
Hart is survived by his son, Recil A. Hart, three daughters, Carol Arbing, Mandy Ledbetter, and Carrie Schlesinger; five grandchildren, Keith Schlesinger, Jason Schlesinger, Andrew Ledbetter and Nick Daniels; six great grandchildren, Carly, Madalyn, Dallas, Rease, Piper and Justice, a brother, Roy Hart, and one sister Mary Meier.
Funeral services were held on Monday, December 20 in Centralia, Illinois.