2-time world champion drag racer, Port Arthur native Coleman Roddy inducted into Hall of Fame

Published 12:20 am Friday, January 19, 2024

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Two-time world champion drag racer Coleman Roddy finally got his dues — 40 years after retiring from the sport at the height of his career.

Roddy, a Port Arthur native, was recently inducted into the National Hot Rod Association Hall of Fame during the Champions Banquet in Fort Worth.

Besides winning world champion titles in 1983 and 1984, Roddy also earned the coveted Quaker State Sportsman Cup, so it seemed he would be an obvious choice for induction into the Hall of Face at that time.

Coleman Roddy was recently inducted into the National Hot Rod Association Hall of Fame. (Courtesy photo)

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He credits his wife Aubra for being the driving force to push for his inclusion into the NHRA Hall of Fame.

“I’d given up on this many years ago,” he said, believing the organization forgot about him.

He got a call approximately two weeks ago and was inducted Jan. 13.

“There were a lot of people who came together to make all of this happen. I’m very humbled and grateful,” he said.

Roddy started out his career in racing on the bottom as the perennial first round runner up. He said that meant going to the track, getting beat in the first round and going home.

He didn’t stay at the bottom. He credits some tough drivers and hard lessons that moved him upward. He was just a local guy, who, after a long process, learned how to drag race with the help of many others.

He gave a few names, Glenn Hammond, George Green and Gerald Thomas, as crewmembers who were invaluable to him.

In his acceptance speech, Roddy doesn’t take credit for skills in driving; instead he gave thanks to those who helped and shed light on their part in his success.

A display at the Museum of the Gulf Coast tells of his career, saying his initial goal was wanting to do well enough to see his name printed in National Dragster. He achieved that and much more. He wound up on the cover of the publication for winning “back-to-back NHRA Winston Competition eliminator titles in 1983 and 1984.”

After retirement from racing, he devoted more time to R & R Auto, which he operated with his father in Port Arthur and Nederland.

The obvious question, does he miss it?

The answer is “yes.”

“It’s very habit forming. It is what it is,” he said. “I don’t think you ever, as a racer, ever get over it.”

To see Roddy Coleman’s exhibit at the Museum of the Gulf Coast, visit 700 Procter St. in Port Arthur.

For more information, call 409-982-7000 or email museumofthegulfcoast@gmail.com.