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The true meaning of determination

bigjamiemac
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bigjamiemac
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Joined: Aug 28 2008, 11:53 PM

Dec 24 2009, 06:06 AM #1

Many young children grow up loving race cars along with having a dream of driving one some day. This is true for Doodle. At the ripe age of 3 days old, Doodle was introduced to engine roars, the smell of burning rubber and gasoline fumes. His father, Richard Dickens, Sr., was a race car driver at Beech Bend Raceway Park. Doodle's uncle, Richard's brother, Ricky Dickens had became a well known driver there as well. There was no doubt that Doodle would grow up to drive a race car. Being a race car driver was in his blood. He was sure to follow in the his father and uncle's footsteps. Throughout his entire childhood, he became so curious of the cars his father and uncle was driving, that at night, after the races were over, he would sneak out of the house, go down the street and wait for his dad and the car to arrive. Then, he would watch as they would begin preparing for the next week's race. It was not long after that, Doodle knew he would drive one someday.


It was a rare if Doodle ever missed attending the Friday night races at Beech Bend. He loved racing in general but figure 8 racing was a passion. So much a passion that he, his younger siblings and other neighbor children would have figure 8 races in their yards, but these were not your typical figure 8 races, they raced on bicycles. Yes, there were times that they would meet in the intersections! That was exciting but not exciting enough for Doodle. So, he found a small car and took to racing cars in his yard on the old bicycle figure 8 track. He wanted to drive a "real" race car but his mother would not agree to it. You had to be at least 18 to drive at Beech Bend and his mother would not sign the release form. That didn't stop Doodle from wanting to drive, he just waited it out until he turned 18. By this time, Beech Bend no longer had the figure 8 due to a death that resulted from a figure 8 crash. Just because there was not a figure 8 didn't stop Doodle either, he decided that he would drive the oval. And that he did. The very first night he drove, he drove a borrowed car and won the heat race. After this slight taste of victory, he was ready for more.


Doodle spent the next couple of years running the oval division until the figure 8 was re-introduced to Beech Bend. This time, he was old enough to make the decision himself. They all knew that Doodle would become the 3rd Dickens figure 8 driver. Doodle soon became a force to be rekoned with! He was a firce competitor and everyone that watched seen that. He was winning heat races, winning features but coming up just short of winning a championship. If he could have captured a championship, he would become the first Dickens to do so in the figure 8 division. Just when it looked as if he would be a contender for the championship, he was involved in a scary non-racing wreck. He was a passenger in a car that his someone headon. This was on the night of the last race of the season and Doodle was only 2 points away from getting a championship he always hoped for. Doodle sustained several injuries from the wreck and was taken to the hospital. He had no idea how severe his injuries were and was telling the nurses and doctors to hurry up because he had to go race. Racing was his only concern. Doodle didn't get to race that last race and it was not certain if he would ever race again or maybe even walk. The wreck crushed both legs which required a steel rod and pins to repair. He also had a broken sholder, the sholder required a steel rod also. His foot was crushed and a steel plate and pins had to be placed to repair it. He had a long road ahead of him. It took several visits to the doctor, several phyical therapy sessions and his will power for him to walk again. As soon as he took his first step without his crutches, he was ready to get started on another race car. The fact he had suffered these injuries from a wreck didn't take his love of racing away! He built another race car and went racing again...pins, steel rods and all!


Although he had missed a season or two, it didn't show. He was still able to win heat races and features. Not long after returning back to racing, he would have to make another trip to the hospital. This time, it was due to having a racing related accident. He was driving a blue Camaro that belonged to his unlce. Doodle started last on the field but within 3 laps had made his way to the lead but that was as far as he made it. As he was coming through the interesection, he was hit in the passenger side door, his car then went sliding across the track and came to rest against the concrete wall on the frontstretch. He tried to get out but was unable to move. He was pinned in the car and in severe pain. At this time, the track did not require roll cages nor steel plates for safety. When the impact occured, the passenger side of Doodle's car was pressed against him. His seat was knocked loose and his arm was pinned under the seat. The arm that just healed from having a steel rod placed in it. The steel rod was protruding out of the sholder and was bent. Really dazed and confused, Doodle was not sure what just took place. All he knew, he was being taken to the hospital. Once he was released, the first place he went was to see the car,well, what was left of it. The once blue Camaro looked just like a huge blue horseshoe. This being one reason why Doodle has not ever ran the color blue on a car to this day. Again, he never stopped loving racing and was ready for more!


In 1999, Doodle was raking in the wins. So much so, he caught the eye of a young lady that just began attending the races at Beech Bend. Doodle and this young lady was introduced in July and began dating. From that moment on, he fell into a slump. He was not winning races, was not qualifing good. His luck changed drastically. He blames the young lady for "jinxing" him. She says is just "racer's luck". We may never know why the change occured. After dating for a year, Doodle decided to make this girl his wife. He gained enough courage to pop the question to her during a Friday night race at Beech Bend, right behind the flagman's stand with thousands in attendence. Of course, she said "yes". This yound lady being Angie. Doodle and Angie were the first to ever become engaged at Beech Bend in the tracks history. Well, the first that anyone knows of. They met at the track, spent almost their entire life there, so, it was only fitting to get engaged there. They married April 2001. In 2000, Doodle had purchased a new race car. He had a new motor built and set out to change his luck back around. That didn't happen has planned. The first night at the track with the new car was going smoothly. The car looked great! It ran great! Until, during the oval feature, Doodle went into turn 4, the throttle stuck and he killed the wall and the car. Luckily, he was alright physically but not emtionaly. He was now without a car and needed a new one fast. This wreck being the second reason he has not ran blue. When he purchased this car, it was already blue with orange decals. It looked great so he left it that way. After two wrecks in a blue car, he decided it was bad luck. Doodle set out on a mission to find a new car and fast.
He received a phone call that someone he knew had a car for sale but the problem was that Doodle and several others were interested in it. The first person there with the money would be the proud owner. Doodle made it first. He purchased a 1982 Chevy Mone Carlo. It was red with a silver top and hood. It didn't take long to get it race ready, a motor and a slight adjustments and Doodle was on his way back racing. He decided to run the oval that night along with the figure 8. It was the first night out with the car and the last race of the season. Doodle won the oval feature by over a half a track! He was back, so everyone thought. Until it came time for the figure 8. The car would not perform as it just did in the oval. This was very aggervating to Doodle. Angie tried to tell him to stop racing the car in both events. Soon, he listened to her and became winning races on the figure 8 track again but not after struggling to get to get the car set up correctly.


It was the fourth of July weekend, 2002, Beech Bend had two scheduled events. One of Friday night and the other on Sunday. Friday night's race being just another 25 lap feature. Sunday's event was scheduled to have a 50 lap feature. Friday had to go well in order to make Sunday's race. Doodle had to race both events in order to keep his second place in the points championship. He had a great chance of taking over the points championship if all went well for him or if the points leader had just a little bad luck. Friday night did not go as planned. He was involved in another wreck. Doodle claimed he was fine but was unable to move his neck or feel his arm. The track ambulance called for another ambulance to have him taken the the hospital. They found he had a consucion and a severely bruised arm. With his arm in a sling, he left the hospital in the wee hours of Saturday morning, went directly home to evaluate the damage to the car. He was determined to race Sunday. He was determined to race his car Sunday! Dedication and determination are just two of the characterics Doodle is known for on and off the track. With the help of a fellow racer and Angie, the three of them got the car repaired and were at the track on Sunday. Doodle qualified for the pole position and things began to be going great. All except Doodle's arm was suppose to be in a sling and he was not suppose to be using it. Angie could tell he was in great pain but he never once complained. The green flag fell, Doodle took the lead and never looked back. He led the entire 50 laps, driving the majority of them with one hand. The fact he could not feel his arm, his head was hurting and his neck was stiff, he climbed out of that car with the smile from ear to ear. It had been awhile since Doodle had won a figure 8 race. This was the first figure 8 win that Angie got to witness as his wife. And little did she know that him winning this race would be so special to her in so many ways. The Wed. following his win, Doodle came home with a surprise for her. This was totally unexpected. He handed her a tiny box and stated, "I didn't get you much for our Anniversary (which was in April, 3 months prior to this). I had saved the money to buy you something really nice but accidently spent that money on new front end parts, so, since I won Sunday, I got you this." She opened the box to reveal a diamond ring she had requested for their 2 yr anniversary months before. The ring is precious to Angie but knowing she had a part in helping him grow and continue his success on the race track would have been enough for her. Doodle went on to finish a close second in the championship points. Everyone knew it would not be long and he was become the figure 8 champion he deserved to be.


The start of the 2003 season was going great! Doodle was making several trips to victory lane. He was qualifing in the pole position almost weekly. In fact, he had 18 poles out of 21 races that season. And was still driving that 1982 Monte Carlo. By this time, the car was dubbed "The Rocket" and became "the talk of the town". Everyone that attended Beech Bend knew to watch the red and yellow number 85! Many people were surprised that this car turned out the be the car it was. It had set in a fence row for approx. 5 yrs prior to Doodle getting it. A lot of people said that it would not make a good race car. That is would not be safe. They were wrong. That race ran strong for 9 consecitive yrs. Yes, it had to have body panels replaced, two new front clips and a new rear clip but that didn't matter. There was just something about that car and Doodle driving it that make it unstoppable. 2003 turned out to be the year Doodle had worked for and waited on his entire life. He became the first out of 3 Dickens to capture a figure 8 championship and he wasn't done. Doodle also made history at Beech Bend being the first and only figure 8 driver to win 4 consecitive championships- 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006. All while driving "The Rocket"! In 2007, Doodle decided to take a different route. He chose not the race and take the year off. He did not attend many races that year as it was hard to sit in the stands a be a specator. He had several people contacting him to drive a car for him. He tuned all of them down. Doodle had never driven a car for someone else and was not sure how he would take to doing so. He did not know if he would be the same driver in someone's equipment as he was in his own. Even though he struggled to maintain his own car on a weekly basis at times, had limited sponsorship funds, he just did not like the idea of driving for somone else. He was very appreciative of the offers but in the end, he chose to not drive in to 2007. Instead, he helped his uncle, Ricky, to win his first figure 8 championship. That was important to him. Since Doodle was not contending for the 2007 championship, he really wanted the championship to go to a Dickens and Ricky was the only one racing at the time. Ricky did go onto capture the championship. That meant that the figure 8 championship had went to a DIckens for 5 straight years. This was something the entire family was proud of.


In 2008, Doodle decided that maybe driving for someone else would not be as bad as he had thought. So, he took an offer from a close friend, Jerry Cline. Jerry put Doodle in an open-wheel and they set out to win races and try to ultimately capture yet another figure 8 championship. If they did, that would give Jerry his first championship ever. Jerry was a familiar face at Beech Bend. He was a former driver and had was a car owner off and on throughout the years. The fellow racers did not like that Doodle was in the open-wheel. They complained that it had an advantage over their cars. Each week Doodle and Jerry had to deal with complaints and threats over Doodle driving that car. The car was legal, it met all figure 8 rules so, they continued to race it. Doodle was again, winning races and heading toward winning another championship! This one did not come without a fight as some of the other drivers began to get really "dirty" on the track. That didn't stop Doodle. In fact, it only pushed him to strive to do his best. It pushed him to push himself to do better. He used it as motivation. During one event, Doodle was hit by another car coming across the straightway, Doodle's car went airborn, did a 360, and appreared it was going to roll over. Luckily, it landed on all four tires. Doodle never hesitated, he got the car back under control and worked his way back through the pack to take the win! 2008 was another great year. Another championship. This one was special as he did it for Jerry. Jerry promised his good equipment, Doodle promised him wins and a championship. Both of the held up their end of the deal.


The start of 2009 was interesting. Doodle had heard of a traveling figure 8 series and they were going to racing close to his hometown. He decided that he would go race with them. The only problem, Doodle was way out of his league. He was running a stocker and they were running outlaws...somewhat of a big difference. It didn't matter. Doodle loved racing, figure 8 racing, and that's what he showed up to do- race! He wanted to experience something besides Beech Bend. Knowing what he was up against, Doodle knew there was no way that he would contend for a win...it didn't matter. He races to have fun and because he loves the sport and this was going to be fun. By the end of the weekend, Doodle had met a lot of great figure 8 drivers, made a lot of friends and knew he had a place to race and the fun be put back into racing for him. And he was pleased with pulling off a fourth place finish, receiving the highest finishing stocker award and hard charge award. He decided that he would race the entire 2009 season with the IOFS. Doodle and his friend, Billy, decided that if Doodle would committ to driving all the races, Billy would committ to helping him! Doodle, along with his most loved race car, "The Rocket", and Billy set out to win the IOFS Street Stock Championship and a new outlaw chassis. The second race on the IOFS circuit did not go as well as the first. Doodle, Billy and Angie made a 6.5 hour drive to Plymouth, IN. During this event, Doodle lost an engine while running 8th with only 8 laps to go. Usually, this would have upset him very badly but he took well. He knew that he had to get busy on buidling a new motor because he had a race to attend in Anderson, IN in about two weeks. Doodle is very particular when it comes to building an engine, so much, that he built this motor in the kitchen of their house! It was much cleaner than outside and much cooler. Angie didn't mind one bit. She knew that that was important to Doodle. He completed the engine just in enough time to get it in the car and head to Anderson. Little did he know, he was going to be faced with another chanllege. Finding another race car after an intersection crash. He was no longer going to be able to race The Rocket. Billy came threw for him. Billy had a car that he took Doodle to take and race. In one week, Doodle and Billy got the car race ready and they headed, once again to Plymouth, IN. Several local people supported Doodle and the IOFS, but several said he was crazy for traveling that far to race when he had no chance of winning. Doodle was looking at the bigger picture. Racing was suppose to be fun and he had not had fun in a long time until now. He set the goal for himself to complete the season with the IOFS, he met that goal. He set the goal to win the chassis, he met that goal! Doodle is a racer, plain and simple! Now, with the new outlaw chassis at home, he is in the works or building it and getting ready for 2010. He has set a goal to, hopefully, win Rookie of the Year. He has set the goal to, hopefully, win his first ever IOFS race! He has set the goal of running the 3 hour. Only time will tell if and when he will meet those goals. There is no doubt Doodle is determined and dedicated to trying! He will never give up!


This Story was written by Mrs. Angie Doodle Dickens :)


I was going to take her story and make it mine but after reading it there was no need to, she covered everything I was looking for.. Now we know more about Doodle but there is more to find out so Make sure you stop by race8.com on Sunday evening and take part of the Meet The Driver with special guest Richard " Doodle " Dickens.. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night :)b

bigjamiemac
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bigjamiemac
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bigjamiemac
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Dec 26 2009, 03:20 AM #2

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Dec 26 2009, 03:26 AM #3

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Dec 26 2009, 03:29 AM #4

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Dec 26 2009, 03:30 AM #5

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Dec 26 2009, 03:33 AM #6

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Dec 26 2009, 03:36 AM #7

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Dec 26 2009, 03:38 AM #8

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Dec 26 2009, 03:41 AM #9

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Dec 26 2009, 03:42 AM #10

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Dec 26 2009, 03:44 AM #11

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Dec 26 2009, 03:46 AM #12

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Dec 26 2009, 03:50 AM #13

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Dec 26 2009, 03:52 AM #14

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Dec 26 2009, 03:56 AM #15



This is the End of The Doodle Era at Beach Bend Raceway... Now the next chapter in Doodle's Career!!!
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