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Michigan Motorsports History Month: Jack Doering

Harrison Twp, MI (Thursday, March 16, 2023) - When it comes to successful racetrack promoters in the state of Michigan, one of the first names most people think of is Jack Doering. Affectionately known as “Race Track Jack”, Mr. Doering started out by racing at the Dixie Motor Speedway in 1954. In 1958 he was the Pit Steward at Auto City. The 1959 season saw another change for Doering as he was put in charge of promoting the track for then owner Joe Grabenhorst.

Grabenhorst and Doering became equal partners at Auto City from 1962 until 1985 when Mr. Grabenhorst passed away. During that span of time, Jack was also the owner of the Dixie (now Birch Run Speedway) Motor Speedway from 1969 until 1984. When it came to both tracks, Jack was one to bring not only great racing action, but entertainment as well. From a wrestling match at Dixie featuring “Gorgeous” George vs. Dick “The Bruiser” to Speed-O the Clown, the Joey Chitwood Thrill Show, motorcycle demolition derbies and huge fireworks shows, the man would make sure that the fans got their money's worth!

A catalyst for the creation of the Michigan Speedway Promoters Association with Ed Jones, the organization was founded in 1973. Mr. Doering was also instrumental in creating the MSPA Carling Circuit of Champions. The Wednesday night shows for Super Late Models would take place at a different track each week and the Series Champion would receive a car.

Some of the biggest racing events to hit Auto City and Dixie can be credited to Mr. Doering. Events like the Dixie Classic, The Mudslinger, The Colonel’s Firecracker 150 and the AC Rochester Performance Series have a direct tie to the Doering name. After paving Auto City in 1986 Jack was able to bring in the ARTGO Series and ASA over the course of his ownership.

Inducted into the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1987 as only the second promoter at the time, Mr. Doering was later honored by being inducted into the Greater Flint Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. Success in the motorsports industry is hard to come by and many have tried, or aspire to achieve the level of success of “Race Track Jack”.

Story - Chuck Darling



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