AULD: Goodbye D.J.

Dick Jordan shows off some of his Tony Bettenhausen trophies and awards for a recent feature in Sprint Car & Midget Magazine. JOHN MAHONEY PHOTO
Doug Auld
Doug Auld

“I don’t want to go to the doctor, because when you go to the doctor the next thing you know they diagnose you with something and then you’re sick.”

That was Dick Jordan’s reasoning when we spoke at the PRI show in December, and it was typical Jordan. He hadn’t been feeling well for some time – in fact, he was so weak that he could barely walk – but refused to go for the tests that could determine what was ailing him.

Sadly, when friends finally convinced him to seek medical attention, the diagnosis was terminal. So, perhaps in his own way he was right.

There’s no denying just how stubborn Dick Jordan could be. And, perhaps that was one of the reasons he was such a great asset to the USAC organization. His support for the sanctioning body was unwavering. In April of 1978, when a tragic plane crash took the lives of seven USAC officials – virtually the entire management team – Dick Jordan was there. The guy whose job it was to write press releases was instead keeping the sanctioning body in operation.

On Friday, August 9, Dick Jordan passed from this earth. And, that’s a tremendous loss, not only for his beloved USAC but for the entire racing community. He was 74 years of age at his passing, and had spent more than 50 of those years as the public and media relations director for USAC. But, for many of those years was much, much more. He was a steady, guiding hand. He had experienced the history of the organization firsthand and could, on occasion, mentor not only young racers, but also the executives that were his employers.

For us media guys, he was the guy that always had the answer. He was also a friend. And, he will be missed by all of us. God Speed, DJ.