Don Collins
Class of 2005

Don Collins started his racing career at the Thompson Speedway in 1948.  He showed up with a car he had built himself, intending to find someone at the track to drive it for him.  When he hadn’t found anyone by warm-up time, he borrowed a helmet from “some guy from Abington” and took the car out for warm-ups himself. On his cool-down lap, an official flagged him down and told him that he had been placed in the first heat, so he should pull over and get into line with the race cars that were pulling onto the track.  After that race, he purchased the helmet from “the guy from Abington”,  and Don Collins became hooked on racing.

Collins spent much of his career at the Waterford Speedway, where he won more than 100 feature races and five track championships. 97 of those wins came in the highly competitive modified division, where he competed against Hall of Famers including Dave Humphrey, Ed Flemke, and Bill Slater.  Collins continued his winning ways through the 60s, competing against Waterford standouts like Dick Beauregard, Ray Delisle, and Sal Dee. He also competed at Norwood, Seekonk, Plainville, and Malta.  

Don was a car builder and mechanic, as well as a driver.  He prided himself on being “tire wise”.  “Like today’s cars, if you could make your tires last until the end of the race, and your tires were in better shape than your competitor’s tires, you stood a better chance of winning the race”, says Collins.

Collins remains third in the all time Waterford win list, with only Bob Potter and Phil Rondeau having more victories at the tough 1/3 mile oval.