Volunteer Talks & Spotlight: Tom Nelson


Meet Tom Nelson

On Saturday, June 4th at 12:30pm, volunteer Tom Nelson will discuss his story of Love and Racing.

Tom Nelson, a Michigan native, arrived in Portland in 1969 to continue his career as a Mechanical Engineering degree and Technical Field Representative for Caterpillar Tractor. Something about the city further fueled his love of motorsports, and a few months later he joined Cascade Sports Car Club. He put his growing love of racing into practice when he began autocrossing and rallying. In late 1970, he drove further into the racing world, and decided to race under the sanctioning body of the International Conference of Sports Car Clubs (ICSCC).

Around the same time, Tom agreed to go on a blind date. After using his best judgement, he decided a great first date would be to attend a Cascade Sports Car Club meeting. This was the true test, and she passed with black and white, checkered stripes. Tom and Gayle said “I do” in 1971, and together they increased their commitment to the racing community.  Gayle became a major contributor to the ICSCC by becoming the Assistant License Director, Secretary, and the Chief of Scoring. Behind the scenes, she was the main source of support and encouragement to the successful racer, Tom Nelson. Together their love of racing and their love for one another made them a force to be reckoned with on and off the track. Today, Tom enjoys volunteering at World of Speed sharing his knowledge, love, and stories of cars and motorsports.