It was a historic night for an 82-year stock car driver at Gondik Law Speedway
You are only as old as you feel,” and 82-year-old Dick Christman was feeling really good as he made his return back to stock car racing on Friday, May 26th, in Superior at Gondik Law Speedway.
“My nephew Robbie had to work Friday night, and he was like, why don’t you drive the car; and I was like, well okay, I’ll give it a go,” said Christman.
He began racing back in the 1960s, and it all started when he got behind the steering wheel of a 1948 Mercury. “We had an old man’s car club, and we found an old choppy 48 mercury. We want someone to drive it; so, I drove it, and I did pretty well with it. That got me going, and I’ve been racing ever since.”
Christman has raced all over the Northland and Thunder Bay, Canada, collecting close to 300 featured wins in his 35-plus career. He has 49 feature wins at the Gondik Law Speedway.
Back when the number 89 car was on those dirt tracks Friday through Sunday nights, there was only one goal in mind for Christman, and it wasn’t to go home empty-handed. “The big thing is to win! To pass somebody you set up in the corner. You go low, you go high, or whatever; that is the big rush about racing. Beating somebody; you can take second or third place, but a guy wants to take the checked flag.”
With more than a decade away from the sport, it hasn’t had a big impact on his knowledge, love, and his ability to get back into racing.
“It’s like driving a car, once you drive a car you never forget. You know you can take off a couple of years and still know how to do it. Racing never leaves me, it never leaves me,” Christman expressed.
On that warm and slightly windy Friday night in Superior, that same goal that was top of mind every time Christman raced 35-plus years ago still never changed. “Once that checked flag drops, I don’t care if you’re 100 years old or five years old, I’m do my thing. I’m going to enjoy the day because not too many 82 years old guys that can do what I’m doing.”
Christman finished in 7th place in his heat and 6th place in the pure stock feature.