Brad Doty 2 Doug Auld Photo
Brad Doty (Doug Auld photo)

DOTY: Sadness

I don’t consider myself a writer, so I may not be able to put into words as eloquently as others in this publication exactly how shocked and saddened I was — and still am — by the sudden passing of my friend and colleague Doug Auld.

As the editor of this magazine, Doug had his work cut out for him when it came to editing my columns, especially when I first started, because he had to make a lot of corrections at times. He corrected my grammatical errors and changed the wording at times, so it made more sense and I didn’t look like someone who had never written anything other than their name, which was truly about the extent of my writing skills when I started writing this column.

I had to dig deep to see when I did my first column and it appears that I did a “guest column” for Open Wheel magazine and its editor at the time, Dick Berggren, in 1995.

Doug Auld eventually became the editor of Open Wheel magazine and it was unfortunately shut down. At that time, Doug Auld was instrumental in putting investors together to start a new magazine known as Sprint Car & Midget.

It was sometime after Sprint Car and Midget was up and running that Doug asked me if I would do a monthly column. Doug was always patient with me and I learned overtime how to do a better job laying out my stories to the point that — at least most of the time — he didn’t have to work as hard and spend as much time editing my work.

I would email my column once a month and sometimes we would correspond in response to those emails, but most of the time when we talked to each other, it was at a race track somewhere.

Every now and then we would speak on the phone and what we thought would be a quick conversation almost always turned into long talks about various topics.

Those who knew Doug, knew he wasn’t afraid to voice his opinion and he would let you know when he thought something needed to change to make the sport better.

It was usually during these phone calls when Doug would open up about what was on his mind or if something was happening within the sport that he thought was good or bad for the sport.

If he thought it was something that was bad for the sport, that’s when his “passion” really showed through.

We didn’t always agree, but he opened my eyes on many occasions and made me look at things from a different perspective. I think we both went away from these conversations with a better understanding of each other’s outlook, not only regarding the business side of racing, but of life in general.

When it came to is insight into racing, he didn’t just talk the talk, he also walked the walk.

After being involved in racing for many years on many different levels with several different job titles, he also built his own sprint car and actually raced it for a while.

He obviously wanted to compete and have the thrill of driving one of the baddest race cars on the planet, but he also wanted to know more about what the driver’s mentality was during the heat of battle. And, since he was a car owner, he got a better understanding of the issues facing car owners.

Yes, Doug was passionate about racing, but I’d say he was even more passionate about music.

He was in punk rock bands when he was younger and played in clubs in and around New York City. Like any young musician, he had aspirations of making it to the big-time and being a full-time musician.

Sometimes life gets in the way of our dreams and even though his career went in a different direction, his guitar and music was still a huge part of his life. He had recently recorded a CD of original songs in his home studio.

Doug and I didn’t frequently speak about our personal lives but he knew my son plays multiple instruments and gives guitar lessons and so he would almost always ask how my son was doing and how his guitar playing was going.

Many times our conversations led to Doug reminiscing about his days of playing the clubs and educating me about the music business. I’m sure going to miss our phone conversations and, especially, seeing Doug at the races.

My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, daughters and his entire family.End Bug

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