In the world of racing, there are names that resonate through the ages, legends whose impact transcends time. Steve Drummond was one of those remarkable figures, a man who left an indelible mark on the sport as both a chassis builder and a racer. As news spread of his untimely passing on May 15, the racing community mourned the loss of a true icon.
[Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in DI #183, the Sportsman Special Issue, in July/August of 2023.]
Tommy Burdett, who competes in the Xtreme Front-Wheel Drive class with his son and driver, Julian Burdett, spoke of Steve’s generosity and unwavering support.
“Although we weren’t super close, you always helped me out,” Burdett said in a Facebook post. “When I needed extra money to finish my car, you put me to work at the legendary Drummond Race Cars. You always answered my stupid motorhome questions, and when we made our first 7-second pass at World Cup, you were camped out at the finish line and you all were clapping and cheering as we came by. Man, that meant the world to me and Julian, as we looked up to you.”
David Farlow, driver of “The Yellow Car” ’86 Ford Mustang GT, spoke of the profound impact Drummond had on his life.
“I watched and idolized Steve Drummond racing at some of the earliest World Cup Finals races I attended in 2007-2008,” Farlow said. “You would hear his name over the intercom with some of the baddest cars on the property at the time. A few years later, I was fortunate enough to meet Steve while racing go-karts in Orlando after a day at PRI. I was almost star struck because he was so humble and such a nice guy.
“As time went on, we met again multiple times and got to enjoy his and the Drummond Race Cars team’s company at many races,” Farlow continued. “Steve always greeted you with the biggest smiles and hugs and was always willing to help any time. He literally was larger than life, a legend in so many eyes. So hard to believe he’s gone. Watch over us all, buddy. You’ll truly be missed.”
Jordan Fisher, a recent DI 30 Under 30 honoree, had the privilege of working for Drummond Race Cars before going out on his own and building and racing the fan-favorite “Junk Mail” truck.
“I will always be appreciative of you willing to take me in and give me an opportunity to work for Drummond Race Cars and learn from one of the best,” Fisher said in his post. “I would not know as much as I do today if it wasn’t for being around and learning from you and being pushed to do my best! Definitely gonna miss seeing ya at the track! Thoughts and prayers for Kathy, Cody, and the entire Drummond family!”
John Sears, tech director for numerous major events and organizations, remembered Drummond as not just a competitor, but also a husband, father, and friend.
“We just spoke a week or two ago about some Pro Mod chassis rules and specs,” Sears said on Facebook. “You told me that you were so proud of your son and how he stepped up while you were in the hospital. Kathy, we send our deepest condolences and big hugs during this time.”
Drummond may have left this world prematurely, but his legacy remains etched in the annals of racing history. He will forever be remembered as a larger-than-life figure, a legendary chassis builder, and a racer who inspired countless individuals. He is survived by his wife of more than 30 years, Kathy; son, Cody; step-mom, Becky Drummond; sisters, Linda Alkan and Shelly Drummond; half-brother, Lee Drummond (Holly); and his beloved dog, Ally.