By Phil Whipple,
RaceOnTexas.com Staff Writer. Photo By: Sean Folsom
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Racers across the great state of Texas dream about having that one amazing year when everything goes right. Whether they drive a Modified, Sport Mod, Factory Stock or even a Sport Compact, they long for double-digit wins and earning a championship.
For 28-year-old Anthony Gordon, his 12th year in racing proved to be a career-best season that may never be duplicated. In 30 starts driving three different types of vehicles, Gordon recorded 17 wins, 27 top five and 30 top-10 finishes along with the Street Stock crown at I-37 Speedway.
“A lot of it comes down to the fact we raced more often than we usually do,” Gordon said. “We ran more this season than we did the previous three years. When we started out in dirt racing, we did it in a Sport Mod. We had a lot of second place finishes, but just never got that monkey off our backs and got a win.
“This year, we finally earned that victory and I think it really turned our whole program around. From that point on, things started to click. This is a momentum sport, and we carried it in 2019.”
To break down this incredible performance, Gordon drove to victory on 13 occasions in his Gordon Leland-owned Street Stock; three times in his own Sport Mod; and once in the Ray Doyon-owned No. 43 truck in Texas Dirt Truck Series action at Texana Raceway in Edna.
“It was pretty fun climbing into three different cars,” Gordon added. “They’re all different; I think the Sport Mod takes more focus where you really have to be up on the wheel. But whether it’s in that class, the Street Stock or in the Truck series, it takes a good setup and a plan to win.”
Gordon wasn’t always a dirt track ace, unlike many of his rivals. He learned to race on asphalt.
“I got my start in 2007 in the Thunder Stock class at Thunder Hill Raceway in Kyle, Texas,” Gordon explained. “I’ve been fortunate to have won at least one feature in every season since I started. This was the first year we’ve won more than six or seven features in a single season.”
This wasn’t the first taste of success Gordon has had in his career, it’s actually his second title.
“I had one other championship before this season, a Street Stock crown at Cotton Bowl,” he said. “I managed to win that crown in 2015 without winning a feature race.”
In the summer of 2019, wins came often in the Street Stock, and that streak extended into fall.
“This year, it felt like we went out and earned that championship in convincing style. That first title at Cotton bowl was special. We were consistent back then with runner-up finishes every week, but to win so many races this year was nice for us, my car owner and all of our partners.”
Along with his amazing natural talent behind the wheel, Gordon has several devoted and highly-skilled people working behind the scenes to keep his program so successful.
“I have to start by thanking my Street Stock car owner, Gordon Leland,” the appreciative driver said. “If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t be racing at all. I also need to thank my Dad, Russell Gordon, for all he does for my race team.
“I also have Robert Mayberry, Tony Bernal, Johnny Torres and Mike Bradley. Week in and week out, they were the guys who I could depend on for help. I appreciate all they do for me.”
As he traveled around earning those wins and putting up such amazing numbers, Gordon carried a handful of high-profile marketing partners with him that made it all possible.
“I’m very fortunate to drive for Gordon Leland and have the strong support of a great company like Alamo Hot Rod Parts,” Gordon said. “I also have to thank Tony Bernal at 8T1 Construction, DeWalt Tools, and of course my Dad here at All In Designs. I could never do this at this level or be so competitive without their support.”
Gordon raced a unique yet well-built machine in 2019. Some racers will know the names.
“We ran a Doghouse chassis out of Gulfport, Mississippi,” he explained. “The engine was built by Automotive Specialists in North Carolina. It was built in 2016, but it sure ran well for us this year.”
When the 2020 season goes green, Gordon hopes to follow the same path he did this year.
“Since we got that points title for my car owner this year, we’ll probably travel around a little more next year and not be quite so tied down to I-37,” Gordon said. “Points racing is stressful. We’ll just be out there chasing wins.”