To think Scott Doyen almost turned around.
Halfway between his home in Bay City, Mich. and U.S. 131 Motorsports Park back in August, Doyen almost pulled the plug on a weekend that had yet to even begin. After all, a swirling storm the day before left all the entire state soaked and on the drive to the track for the CarSafe Northern Nitro Jam the rain just kept coming. But Doyen, determined to try his hand at his very first IHRA race, decided to keep going.
And then something miraculous happened. About an hour from his destination the rains stopped. The sun came out and Doyen finally felt a sense of relief as he pulled onto the grounds and unloaded his dragster. Now all that was left was to cross his fingers and hope for the best.
Amazingly, less than 24 hours later, Doyen was an IHRA winner in Top Dragster.
“I drove down Saturday morning of the race and all the way to the track I kept asking myself ‘what in the world am I doing wasting gas to go sit in the rain,’” Doyen said. “But as soon as I hit Battle Creek things cleared up. Being my first IHRA race, I didn’t even have an IHRA cert so I had a lot of work to do as soon as I arrived. The whole weekend was such a rush.”
That rush was spread over two days as Doyen went five flawless rounds with his worst light of the entire race being a .010 as he downed several big hitters to claim his first Ironman in his very first IHRA race all in an emotional weekend that meant more to Doyen than any race prior.
“My mom and dad both just passed away and it was definitely emotional after I won,” Doyen said. “Me and my dad raced for a long time and all we ever wanted was to win one of these trophies. It was so crazy that my mom, known as the chicken lady, nicknamed the team and we had a vehicle with two rubber chickens on it that said ‘don’t pluck with us’ and after the race the announcer said ‘winner, winner chicken dinner’ and played the chicken dance song. It made the win all the more special.
“I know that mom and dad were both there to celebrate with me, I just didn’t get the hug that I wish I could have got.”
Through that win Doyen, driving the aptly named “Catch Up” dragster, qualified for the Tournament of Champions and is in Memphis this weekend seeking for his first world championship, not just for himself, but for his entire team and especially for his mom and dad.
Since the deaths of Joan and Bob Doyen, both within the past three years, Doyen has found healing in the sport that he loves and that his family loved as well. And if he could bring a championship back to his home in Bay City, that would mean the world to Doyen and everyone associated with his team.
“If things go like they did in Martin, I think we are going to have a world champion here in Bay City,” Doyen said.
Not too bad for a man that almost turned around.
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