Ontario took another step forward from the COVID 19 lockdown this past weekend, when the Humberstone Speedway , at Port Colborne, became the second track to stage actual racing.
Just like the Cornwall Motor Speedway, the week previously, this wasn’t open to the general public, but could be viewed on-line.
It’s been 6 years since I last visited this track, when the 358 DirtCar Series was last staged there.
I had media credentials for this one, along with my photographer buddy, Don Simpson , and on Saturday morning we set off in my Impala for the six hour drive to the Niagara region.
With that area and Toronto being one of the worst places in the country for COVID 19 infections, we booked a motel at Port Hope, far enough away (we hoped) . We checked in on our journey down , so we had no messing around, after the races.
By about 3-30 pm we were at the track, and already long distance travelers Steve Bernier and the ‘Grinder’ JF Corriveau crews had arrived in the pits.
Two other drivers from my area, included, Ryan Arbuthnot from Renfrew (Ont) , and Simon Perreault from Longueuil (Que)
I had a great chat with Randy Williamson, father of DIRTCAR Champion , Matt, who explained to me the reason for last weeks mechanical failure at Cornwall.
Apparently it was a loose power steering joint, that leaked all over the engine, and not a motor problem like most of us expected.
We also had to meet up with the Dalton Slack Racing team. One of our local racers, Chris Raabe had ordered some tires etc, and we were picking them up . Once we found Dalton, the back seat of my Impala got loaded with Chris’s stuff.
It was good to say hello again, to local driver Fred Carleton who I only ever get to see race when I hit the Niagara region.
Don and I , then met up with the other ‘togs’ that included Alex and Helen Bruce, Dale Calnan and a few other locals.
Once things got underway I based myself on turn one and two and stayed there for most of the night.
The track was a bit dusty so the COVID protection mask came in handy.
Joining the 358 Modifieds on the program were the Thunder Stocks, which always put on a good show when I’m down that way.
Their Feature was the first to be concluded and was won by Justin Ramsay. It was a 25 lapper that took place between two 25 lap segments of the Modified 50 lapper.
After the Thunder Stocks it was the final section and remaining 25 laps of the Modified Feature.
Local guy, Mike Bowman followed them home to complete the podium.
It was the Mods I was there to see, and without too many stoppages we were all done by 10-30 pm.
We had a 2 hour 30 minute drive back to the motel, so were pleased to get a coffee ‘to go’ at the nearby convenience store, before hitting the road.
Don did the driving, and after traveling through the middle of Toronto via the Gardiner Expressway , we were at Port Hope at around 1-30 am.
We took the journey home on Sunday a lot more leisurely.
One of my other hobbys is collecting diecast model vehicles, so I’d arranged to meet a seller in Coburg to do a deal on some Vintage Dinky’s.
Next stop was a small detour into Brighton, where we thought we may catch up with Speedway promoter Mark Rinaldi for a chat. We couldn’t see him around so carried on a bit further up the 401 to the Shannonville Motoport Complex.
It’s been thirteen years since I visited there to see some action on the road coarse.
There were a few things taking place when Don and I arrived, Drag Racing, Drifting and there were bikes on the Moto Cross track.
We also took a look at the old dirt oval that was sitting there idol, ‘just asking’ for DirtCar Modifieds .
From Shannonville we moved on a bit nearer to home with a stop for more diecasts, and an A & W lunch in Kingston.
One more stop for Timmys and some gas at the Morrisburg Services and we were back in Cornwall for 4-00 pm.
While I downloaded my previous nights pictures , Don dropped off the tires to Chris Raabe and headed back to his place.