Doug Gordon was awarded the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Championship Saturday evening after his quarterfinal win at the NHRA Texas FallNationals. Competition resumed on Sunday afternoon, and Doug succeeded in winning the race to collect a double-up victory.
During the semifinals, Doug in the Beta Motorcycles Morro Bay Cabinets Top Alcohol Funny Car suffered a broken crankshaft at half track and the car coasted across the finish line for a win over Christine Foster, who also experienced issues. Foster’s car did a wheel stand, and the body eventually blew off, allowing her car to land back down on all four tires and slow to a safe stop on the track, Foster was thankfully okay after the incident.
If that wasn’t dramatic enough, the Gordons were notified that they would have approximately 50 minutes to service the car before the final round. The engine would have to be replaced, and the blower also required maintenance after the catastrophic explosion during the run. For reference, a typical turnaround time for race teams in the professional classes is 60 minutes, and they are usually staffed by eight mechanics.
Fortunately, drag racing is a community of fierce competitors that will drop everything to help someone in need. Today was no exception, as the Gordons received assistance from twelve guys from five different teams. Sean Bellemeur, who lost the championship to Doug the day prior, brought his crew over and they were the first to jump into action once the Gordons returned to their pit.
With all hands on deck, the car was put back together in time for Doug to fire it up and confirm the fresh engine was ready for the final round. A loud cheer erupted from the Beta Motorcycles pit when the car came alive. Doug quickly changed into his fire suit and the team made their way to the staging lanes for their final matchup with Jim Whitely. The same group of guys that helped rebuild the engine followed the Gordons to the starting line to watch as Doug drove to victory. The winning run of 5.414 at 271.12 was a stellar run after the thrash between rounds, Whitely shook the tires and shut off early.
Doug talked about what it took to pull off the FallNationals win, “We can’t thank Bellemeur and his team, Samsel’s guys, Cam from Shields Racing, or Matt Bynum enough for coming over to help us get the car together for the final. It’s overwhelming to think of all the work that needs to be done in such a short amount of time when you wreck an engine, but to be surrounded by this family of racers is just amazing.”
Now that the LODRS World Championship is locked up, the Gordons will continue with their final three scheduled events chasing the LODRS West Region TAFC Championship, a title they have claimed six times. They will head to Las Vegas to compete at the NHRA Nevada Nationals October 26-29 and the following weekend in the Las Vegas Regional event. They will close out the season at the NHRA Finals in Pomona, California.