While race fans of today enjoy the talents of drivers
such as Todd ‘Sparky’ Gordon – the Gordon family name is like so
many others that have graced Merrittville Speedway’s Pit Area.
Racing is in their blood and before Todd’s XXX – his Dad made his
won history in first his #71 and then the 8D. Back some 41 seasons
ago, Doug ‘Flash’ Gordon would get his start in racing in the former
Late Model Division in 1968 with a 1958 Ford. In his first time out
he won his qualifying heat – a victory that he probably still
remembers to this day.
Soon Doug would move on to drive a 1963 Chevrolet
in the same Late Model Division for car owner John Cosby. Cosby
bought the car from Lyndon Wood with the #38 changed easily to a 39
for Doug. Winding up his close to 5 year Late Model career, Doug
would purchase another car – the #71 from John Swartz.
Another opportunity soon surfaced for Doug as a
former Terry Edwards driven Coupe became available for car owner
Phil Gerrie for the move to the Modified Division. Doug with get his
start with the former #51 just as the Gremlin-bodied Tube Chassied
racers were coming onto the local racing scene. Doug Gordon's car
in 2001 In the mid 70’s Doug would soon land in a former Dave Lape
car and what was interesting about this car was that it was the very
first Show Car Engineering Car built by the late Howard Conkey. With
this car and Doug’s rising talent – he and fellow racer Don Turner
would share the Most Improved Driver Award in 1974.
With this car Doug would race from the 70’s into
the 80’s at a time when Davey Moore would dominate winning a string
of championships. One night in 1980 however was all Doug’s though as
he would win his first Modified Feature. He did it in such a
fashion – blowing his engine crossing the finish line.
The recession years of the 80’s drove Doug into
other areas of the sport – first serving as a corner man and then as
Assistant Starter while his wife Judy was developing as a Scorer
herself – working in the tower at both Ransomville and Merrittville
His first love was to be behind the wheel and as
the 80’s became the 90’s he would make his return – teaming up with
Neil and Ken Sharp to form Sharp Gordon Racing. While Doug’s name
never made it to the annual Jerry Winger Trophy which we are also
celebrating tonight – it did make it to the Sterling Silvr Award
that honors Bill Willard Senior every Labor Day. Doug was the first
winner of the Trophy for the Sportsman Division donated by former
racer Ken Walsh in 1990 and still continues to this day.
As Doug’s driving career was winding down – it
was his son Todd’s that was winding up. In the late 90’s Todd would
join the former Pro Stock Division before joining the Modified ranks
himself. In a career that has spanned some 40 years, Doug would
get back behind the wheel in an instant. In fact that happened in
recent years with Doug in Victory Lane after winning a Mechanics
Race in Todd’s car. “If they were all like this,” relayed Doug
about the 15 lap Fun Event, “I’d be back every week!”
Back in a late 90’s interview with Merrittville
Speedway Reunion Committee Chairman Rick Kavanagh, Doug took the
time to thank those that had helped with his racing career – one
that started with fixing their race cars in Gary Saunders’ and Paul
Christie’s driveways. Doug also mentioned Stan Friesen and Kurt
Uhl, Ivan Little as well as Pete Bicknell and Randy Williamson.
Doug’s racing involvement also included a stint working at Bicknell
Racing Products where he learned a tremendous amount of
Old friend Barry Robertson and the Sharps – Neil
and Ken, last year’s Crew Chief of the Year Bob Walton and crew
member Derek Miller have also been a big help to Flash. While Doug
and Judy now cheer on their son Todd and keep his racing career
develop – it’s only fitting that he meet up with those that have
helped his racing career.
Doug – it’s your turn to join Gary Saunders, Ivan
Little, Stan Friesen, Kurt Uhl, Lyndon Wood, Terry Edwards and Don
Turner and a host of others on the L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of
Fame at Merrittville Speedway!
Congratulations from the Merrittville Speedway