Inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame in 2011
Doug Flannery was raised on a dairy and fruit farm south of Grand Rapids,
where apple trees and hard work was the norm. His school years were full of
repairing farm equipment and making 1970ís motorcycles and snowmobiles
travel faster than they should.
Doug became a master in the small engine class at Byron Center High School
in 1977. It only took about a week for him to prove his extraordinary talent
of engine anatomy. The teacher gave him many projects to tackle from the
teacherís own snowmobile shop just to keep him from getting bored and to
keep Doug busy. At the age of 15, and to disbelieving eyes, he could pretty
much repair or replace any engine he was given to work on. He had the
uncanny knowledge that allowed him to figure out what was wrong with the
machine and how to repair it to make it run even better. Moving on the the
Kent Skills Center, then to Garís Polaris & Honda, he ended up setting up
shop in his dadís garage on the farm while still in his teens. This soon
became known as ďDougís PlaceĒ the place to get your engine fixed right.
He knew that engineering and racing was in his blood, but modifying engines
for racers was a bigger challenge and greater reward. His new found respect
by the racers had him moving to Gun Lake to set up his own speed shop called
Flannery Performance. His shop soon became known around the world as the
place to have your engine modified whether it was a bike, snowmobile, three
wheeler or four wheeler.
xThe racing circuit soon realized that Doug knew his speed tricks well. He
would modify with a purpose and for a certain speed, whether it was for 500
feet or 500 miles. Word spread quickly. From the east coast to the west
coast, Canada and Europe racers discovered that his dyno-tested mod engines
were the best and would last. True racers found that when he spoke, you had
better listen close, because he would only say it once. In 2003, there were
15 Flannery engines at the Soo international 500.
He gained increasing popularity and was called on for advice by famous
people in the racing industry for engine, clutch, bike and snowmobile
modifications. People like Larry Rungland from Rungland Industries, Polaris
engineers, Jim Joliffe (inductee into the Eagle River Hall of Fame) from
Micro-Belmont Engineering, (and the list goes on) all contacted him for
engine modification information or specialty work. They knew that Doug had
the answers they were searching for to achieve peak performance.
In 1998, Todd Krikke, who was recently inducted into the Michigan Motor
Sports Hall of Fame, running a Flannery modified engine, set a 95.12 mph
qualifying time at the Soo International 500 time trails. His record still
stands today thanks to Dougís modified dyno-tested engine. There are a
number of race teams who placed in the top ten at the Soo International 500
in the past 10 years.
Doug Flannery is an engineering genius. One with a quiet, humble demeanor
and is certainly one of a kind.
Send mail to Allan
E. Brown with questions or comments about this web site.
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