Doug Peterson was exposed to racing at an early age, as his father Leroy competed in short track racing around the Detroit area, but Doug made his priority growing the family Southeast Michigan manufacturing business that produces prototype components & tooling for the automotive and defense industries.
Born in Pontiac in 1950, Doug got the racing bug in the early 90’s, and decided to try his hand with road racing spec. formula cars. After competing in the Skip Barber Series, he then moved to the faster Star- Formula Mazda Series formula cars. Since it is a spec series, it is a true test of driving abilities, and Doug found success there by winning the prestigious 2004 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Mid Ohio. Of course, everyone dreams of driving a Ferrari, so the next step in his career was competing in the North American Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge Series in 2005 in a factory-built spec. race car based on the Ferrari 360 Sports car. Doug took quite a liking to the Ferrari, winning seven of the nine races, and finishing second in the season championship.
It was in the legendary Trans Am Series however, that Doug found his home, driving a Jaguar XKR in his inaugural season in 2011. He then moved to Tony Ave Racing in a bright yellow Corvette, winning the coveted Trans Am TA championship in 2013 with six wins in ten starts. The Ave/Peterson team repeated in 2014, winning back-to-back championships, with five wins in eleven starts. In 2013, he was also able to compete in the 24 hrs. of Daytona driving a Dodge Viper. Doug continued to compete occasionally in both the Formula Mazda and the Ferrari, but his main focus would be in the Trans Am Series.
The next big step was to transition to being a team owner/driver in Trans Am by forming his own team. The Peterson Racing 3-Dimensional Services Group team was strong right from the beginning, winning the Trans Am TA2 championship in both 2018 & 2021 with driver Rafa Matos. Doug and Rafa previously competed against each other in Formula Mazda, and Doug recognized his talent at an early age, while providing much needed assistance to the young driver starting out. While continuing to drive himself at the age of 70, he gets the most pleasure of being able to provide opportunities to other drivers that share his passion for the sport.
The 2022 season started off in great fashion for Peterson Racing with four cars entered at the season opening in Sebring Florida. His current driver lineup consists of Rafa Matos, Adam Andretti, Mike Skeen and Doug. The Peterson Racing 3-Dimensional Services Group started on the front row and finished 1-2 at the checker, with Rafa Matos, and Mike Skeen, while Doug himself finished 8th in a 47-car field. TransAm has a Master’s class for the more “seasoned” racers, and Doug has scored that Master’s championship multiple times, while also finishing 10th in overall Trans Am points last season. Not bad for a 70-year-old!
Doug’s career stats in Trans Am include 13 wins, 9 pole positions, and 27 podium finishes. He has twoTrans Am championships as a driver and also another two as a car owner. His biggest source of pride however, is his family, all the opportunities he has been able to give the 200 plus employees at his 3-Dimensional Services company in Michigan, and his love for this country.
For all the reasons listed above, I believe he is a very worthy MMHOF inductee.