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Don Fleming

Auto Racing

  • Inducted in 2014
  • Athlete

Don was born in 1932 on a farm located where Ajax Downs Casino and horse racing track is currently situated. He attended Almonds Primary School at the northwest corner of Highway 2 and Lakeridge Road and then Whitby High School.

Don began his racing career in 1952 at the Oshawa Speedway and continued racing through 1962, then returning for a brief time again in 1969. Originally, he raced pure stock cars but as the rules changed, he moved into modified and super-modified cars.

His ‘home track’ became the Exhibition Grounds in Toronto, and he won numerous Preliminary and Feature races in both the modified and super-modified series during the period of 1954 to 1961. Tuesday and Friday races at the ‘Ex’ often drew crowds of 20,000 fans. In 1955, he won the Season Championship in modified stock car.

Don also raced at the Pinecrest track at Highway 7 and Keele Street but only for international races. On Saturdays and Sundays, Don would race at other tracks such as Bridgeport (Kitchener), Delaware (London) or Flamborough (Hamilton), as well as tracks in the US.

To qualify for the Feature race, it was often necessary for the drivers to compete in 3 Preliminary races prior to that evening’s Feature race. Don won between 40 and 50 Feature races in his career and many more Preliminary races.

Newspapers at the time reported on the local races and Don’s name appeared in numerous articles along with the nickname ‘The Whitby Flash’.

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