Gaerte worked with many of the biggest names in Sprintcar racing either on their way up or whilst they were at the top end of their Sprintcar careers.
Those names included current NASCAR stars – Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman and the winningest drivers in the history of Sprintcar racing – Steve Kinser and Sammy Swindell.
He started Gaerte Engines in 1969 with $1,000 and now the company builds and services over 400 engines annually, including many for Australian Sprintcar racers.
Gaerte was awarded as a member of the National Sprintcar Hall of Fame in 2007.
His son, Joe (a double All Stars Champion), has been at the helm of the family business for several years now and will continue the Gaerte name in the sport.