Merwyn “Mert” Dunker
Merwyn “Mert” Dunker was born in Fremont in 1937. Growing up, “stock” was never good enough as he even customized his bicycle as a youth, and later became a mechanical engineer. In 1957, his life changed after joining Omaha’s Roadstars Car Club and winning his first award for his custom ‘31 Ford pickup. His career as a starter came from being in the right place at the right time when the race promoter handed him the flags after the designated starter failed to show. From there, he established himself with the NHRA, flagging the starts across the country in the era before the now ubiquitous “Christmas Tree” lights. In the meantime, Dunker established himself as a top official on the show car circuit and is a noted collector of small scale cars. Also a drag racer and writer, Dunker has done it all and continues flagging old-timers races to this day.