A truly colourful “Canadian Character” drag racer plots a comeback chapter……

Over the past 30+ years, Doug Hearsum has been down the drag strip in a very wide variety of drag racing vehicles.  But the Hanover Ontario-based racer may very well be poised for some of his most entertaining rides yet.

About three years ago, the veteran drag racer started to mold his newest effort when he began an accumulation for a nitro Funny Car entry.   With direct help from Jeff Arend, Doug first bought a Victory Race Cars chassis, formally owned by California’s Bobby Baldwin and also Worsham Racing and the estate of Chuck Beal.  He followed that up with acquisition of numerous drive-line, safety and engine components, much of which is direct from John Force Racing.  

Canada’s Doug Hearsum is looking to make his nitro FC debut this summer racing this former Chuck Beal machine.

Hearsum reports that he is now positioned himself for a possible nitro class debut, racing what could be described as a “tuned down” NHRA fuel car.

“We got things to a point before COVID came and screwed us all up,” Doug said.  “Everything got parked for a while but since I’ve gathered up a couple of complete motors (TFX block and heads).   That’s all gone over to Mark Morris at Paton Racing (Paris ON) and Mark is going through everything.   I have a few other parts on order.   Gary Kraus (Pony Up Mustang FC from Western NY) has agreed to help out  for a tune-up and Jeff Arend (who actually did drive this car too) will be providing us with some advice.”

Doug Hearsum

At this point in time Doug Hearsum is working on a timeline that would put his car on the track this summer and potentially be available for both the Canadian Nitro Nationals (at Cayuga) and the IHRA Canadian Nationals (GBM).

“I do have two bodies that I can run  too — a Chevy Monte Carlo and also a Dodge Stratus,” he continued.  “Todd Paton (at PDS) is going to help us out with a data logging system.”

This will be the first nitro FC for Doug Hearsum who had previously in his career been highly active and rather successful racing in TAFC classed machines, throughout much of the 1990’s.  In fact he did win two IHRA national event titles – taking wins at NYIR (Leicester NY) in both 1991 and 1993.  After liquidating his TAFC operation, Doug moved on to experience stints in the Pro Mod category – driving machines previously owned by Kirk Silbermann and also Gary Irving.

Doug Hearsum’s drag racing career also includes driving stints in these two popular Ontario Pro Mod cars owned by Kirk Silbermann and Gary Irving.

Since then and in more recent times Doug did keep his Advanced ET licence in tact racing in Steve Watson’s front-motored altered within Ontario’s T/D class spectrum (below photo).

“After I turned 62 – I said to myself if I’m going to do this I better do it now,” he winked.  “I’ve got some good parts and I’m getting some good advice — so I’m pretty optimistic about getting back out there this summer.”

Doug did reveal that in addition to the Ontario appearance possibilities — if all went well he would look at entering a couple of Funny Car Chaos events – scheduled for in Ohio and Michigan.

Doug even drove in Top Fuel (for owner Arnold Matthews – Kingston ON) but by far enjoyed most of his career success in the TAFC class with then racing partner Andy Ego.

Posted by Bruce Biegler

DragRaceCanada File Photos