Remembering Gordie Bonin

  • Dec. 4, 2013 4:17 p.m.

As we move through the years we gather all types of memories, meeting a wide variety of people who fill up portions of our lives.

I am fortunate enough to meet more people than the average person due to the nature of my work but sometimes a good person slips through the cracks.

Such is the case of Gord Bonin, a Saskatchewan-born man who called Red Deer home for a good chunk of his exciting and fast life.

He recently passed away in Las Vegas at the age of 65 and while some people might not recall the name anyone associated with the world of drag racing will know immediately we are speaking of ‘240’ Gordie Bonin.

He was a fixture on the NHRA circuit in the early ’70’s and shocked the racing contingent by placing second in the 1972 nationals with his Pacemaker Vega funny car and kept showing up to the big time races, placing well, finally winning the title in 1979 with his Bubble Up Trans Am.

The winning didn’t stop there for Bonin as he won the NHRA Division Six Funny Car title every year from 1975 to 1980.

The source of the nickname was the fact he consistently pushed his car to crack the 240 mph barrier while so many others failed to get the speedometer to reach that number.

Also in 1979, Bonin became the fourth member of the NHRA Cragar 5 Second club when he flew down the quarter mile track in 5.97 seconds.

Another claim to fame was a cameo in the movie Fast Company which saw Bonin drive his funny car through a garage door, roll up to a red light and then to the joy of a couple of young men, he launched it off the line when the light turned green.

Bonin was well respected within the ranks of the NHRA and became the group’s marketing director. He is also a member of the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Now I will admit I have never had the patience to watch NASCAR or even the Indy races but I did enjoy the mere seconds it took for a funny car or a top fuel dragster to rip down the track, two more quickly line up, burn out and be ready for the next duel.

Gordie Bonin was one of the best at his game at the highest level of the sport and we can call him our own.

I only wish I had met him but that is my loss.

sports@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

WATCH: Joe Hittel is the number one fundraiser in Northern Alberta for Rope for Hope

Hittel of Red Deer raised $14,000 for Make A Wish event

Watch: Westerner Days in full swing

The heat and the thunderstorms didn’t stop anybody

The Expo Wheel ride a no-go at Westerner Days

Red Deerians take in Westerner Days all week long

20,000 swarm to Westerner Days on day two

Westerner Days Fair & Exposition saw the community meet-up for Tim Hortons Kids Day

WATCH: Red Deer Airport’s Boot Scootin BBQ supports great cause

Airport hopes to donate $4,000+ to Aspire Special Needs

WATCH: Red Deer Airport’s Boot Scootin BBQ supports great cause

Airport hopes to donate $4,000+ to Aspire Special Needs

Ex-Raptor DeMar DeRozan says goodbye to Toronto on Instagram

The guard was traded to the San Antonio Spurs earlier this week for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green

Cigarette packs with graphic images, blunt warnings are effective: focus groups

Warnings considered effective flag ailments smoking can cause, like colorectal and stomach cancers

Canada’s title hopes quashed at Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco

On the men’s side, Canada was eliminated in the round of 16 as they were shut out by Argentina 28-0

Astronaut drops in on Kraftwerk gig, plays duet from space

Alexander Gerst becomes an astronaut musician with live performance from International Space Station

Four people taken by STARS to Edmonton

Blackfalds RCMP investigates single vehicle rollover south of Hwy 11A

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

UPDATED: Remains of all eight Bruce McArthur victims now identified, Toronto police say

McArthur worked as a landscaper and allegedly concealed the remains of several men in planters

Premiers to wrap up 2 days of meetings at New Brunswick seaside resort

Meetings held in the scenic seaside town of St. Andrews on Thursday focused on trade

Most Read