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June 1962 – October 2021 By Dave Argabright - JOHN MAHONEY PHOTO

DOUG AULD

Within weeks of the announcement, Auld was hired as associate editor of Open Wheel, and was quickly promoted to editor. It was a challenging period and Auld set about rebuilding the staff of contributors and regaining stability for the magazine.

But with emap’s decision in September 2001 to shutter the magazine (emap had just been reorganized as Primedia Specialty Group), the stability and momentum Auld had nurtured was shattered. The sprint car community was in mourning at the loss of a great magazine. Auld was moved to the position of senior editor of Stock Car Racing Magazine, but almost immediately he began working on a plan to launch a new magazine dedicated to covering the open-wheel community.

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Drawing upon a combination of grit, gumption, passion and determination, Auld began assembling the components needed. He recruited several key investors and the pieces began to fall into place.

The magazine — SprintCar and Midget Magazine — became a reality when the first issue shipped on Feb. 8, 2002, with a cover date of March 2002.

“Doug wanted people to understand his reasons for starting the new magazine,” Chelsea Auld said. “He felt like he had no other choice; with them closing Open Wheel, it needed to continue somehow.

“And he felt he could do it right and keep it going. He wanted people to accept him doing that, and from that point he devoted his entire life to the magazine.”

It was not an easy road. In fact, it was filled with difficulties and as Auld rounded each turn it seemed there was another obstacle waiting.

“It definitely wasn’t easy,” recalled Bruce Ellis, a longtime columnist who was with SCM since day one. “He thought sprint car racing needed a magazine and he felt the only way it could happen was if he just made it happen himself. He took a big chance…he could have easily gotten another job, but it was important to him that our sport had a quality magazine we could all be proud of.

“He trusted himself to do it right, with good writers and a good product. He wanted to continue the Open Wheel tradition.”

In the 19 years that followed, Auld grew to become a key editorial voice in the sport. Using his monthly column to voice his vision for the sport, Auld shaped the opinions of countless people — from fans and racers to those in leadership positions in various aspects of the sport.

In September 2017, Auld sold SCM to Turn 3 Publishing and remained as editor.

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“Doug’s magazine was always very informative,” said Steve Beitler, longtime Skagit Speedway owner and promoter. “We got to read about other people doing what we were doing, and got their perspective. It enlightened us on what was going on and how people were doing things. You got good ideas from those stories.

“The magazine, and Doug, played a huge role in a lot of different issues through the years. He had a great voice and he used it in the right way because he truly cared about the sport.”

“Doug provided our industry with a voice,” said IRA president and K&K Insurance representative Steve Sinclair. “Doug had his opinions for sure and he made it very clear where he stood on many subjects. But what made him unique was his ability to listen and hear another point of view. I could always count on him to listen with an open mind when we felt differently about something.

“He gave our sport a platform both to learn and to share our stories. A lot of the characters in our sport were introduced to me through the pages of his magazine. As IRA president it always gave me great pride to see anything regarding our series show up in the pages of SCM. It was a feeling that we had accomplished something worthy of national recognition.”

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