A few months back, one of the tracks I’ve been wanting to visit for a number of years, announced they were staging a special event for 358 ‘Dirtcar Style’ Modifieds, for Saturday the 10th of July.
The Southern Ontario Motor Speedway FKA the South Buxton Speedway is located, close to Chatham, and not far away from the border with the USA , at Detroit, Mich.
It’s about a seven and a half hours drive down the length of HWY 401 from my place in Cornwall so that’s why it was still on my hit list.
I wrote the event on my calendar and was looking forward to the trip.
With the USA/Canada border still closed for traveling fans and race teams , the management reluctantly had to announce a cancelation .
I was very disappointed , but decided to carry on with my plans and make a visit anyway for their regular show. There was no racing taking place in my area on Friday night , so that made the choice of going on a road trip that much easier.
Racing was taking place on Friday night at the Delaware Speedway , near London , Ontario.
So I left my home in Cornwall at 7-30 in the morning for the long drive down HWY 401. I booked into London’s , Knights Inn around 3-30, in time for a bit of rest and relaxation before the races.
The Delaware Speedway is located on the other side of the city from my Motel, and it took about 30 minutes to get there , in the Friday afternoon traffic.
It’s a paved track and the headline division was the Late Models.
There were about 20 cars in the division and they were very entertaining.
Although I prefer dirt racing, I still enjoy a good dose of racing on the asphalt . It brought back fond memories of my weekly visits to Ottawa’s Capital City Speedway, many moons ago .
There were the regular type of support divisions for the less expensive , 4 and 8 cylinder cars.
The pits and tech building were located on the paved center so once, I was out on the middle , that’s where I decided to stay.
I was very impressed with what I saw, and there appeared to be a good fan base in the grandstands.
It was all over by 10- 30 and after picking up a McDonalds , I was back at the Motel by 11-30.
The next morning there was no big rush to get my next track.
The Southern Ontario Motor Speedway is only about 1hour 30 minutes away. so I had a short tour of the St Thomas area before arriving at my next nights accommodation , the Colonial Motel in Chatham .
It wasn’t long before I met up with track manager Blake Outhouse, who gave me a bit of info on the place. The new owner is a man from Texas , who has put a lot money into the speedway, with the goal of turning it into an impressive facility.
A new grandstand is in the construction stages , and the piles of new steel were clear to see.
The division I had come to see were the UMP Modifieds , which are similar to the Canadian Modifieds raced at the Brighton Speedway, and the IMCA Modifieds that race all over the USA.
With the tracks close proximity to the USA border, they would normally have visiting drivers from Michigan, but because of COVID restrictions there wouldn’t be any on this occasion.
One thing I must mention, is the amount of wind mill power generators in the area, There seamed to be wind farms everywhere around.
Also on the program , they had some smaller Modifieds, Late Models (again similar to those of Brighton) and the usual four and eight cylinder street stock division, There were also a handful of Legend Cars.
I took my pictures in the middle on turn 3 and 4 for the heat races before moving to the outside at intermission.
It was here I had the pleasure of meeting the tracks photographer Shelby Lee Olmstead,
She is a very friendly young lady who made me feel very welcome.
I then tried a few pics on the outside for the features .
Winner of the Modified feature was Drew Smith in the # .86.
I didn’t stay right to the end, as I had the long drive ahead early the next morning.
I was back at the motel soon after 11-00 , and ready for a good nights sleep, before the next days long haul.
Luckily there was a Tim Hortons in the same street as the motel, so at 6-30, with a cup of tea to go, I was heading back to Cornwall.
It was plain sailing, there were no delays (even in Toronto) and with the minimum of breaks, I was back home by 2-00 pm.
Time to unwind, and watch the start of the England V Italy football game on TV for the European Cup. Within minutes of the start, England had scored the first goal, and were one up as I headed across the city for the evening races at the Cornwall Motor Speedway.
I was there just after 4-00 and set up my stuff in the middle.
My brother Chris in the UK kept me up to date by text as the game unfolded. To sum it up, Italy equalized, and at the end of full time it was a tie. It was still a tie after extra time , so it went to penalty shoot outs. Italy won.
The nights schedule was for Modifieds, Sportsman, Pro Stocks, Mini Stocks and STR’s.
The Features for the STR’s and the MiniStocks were run following the heat races and before the intermission .
Richard Lague won the STR race and James Clarke got another win in the Mini Stocks ,
After a bit of track prep, and prior to their feature, the Sportsman accompanied by Speedway staff , took to the track to pay tribute to Stephane Brisson, one of the tracks Tech men, who recently passed away following a long battle with cancer.
There 32 lap Feaure began and was won by Gab Cyr.
The 40 lap modified feature was up next ,
Mat Williamson started on the front row, and had an unhindered drive to the checkers.
The Final race of the night was for the Pro Stocks.
It was still only 9-30 when this began, and by 9-45, Stephane Lebrun had taken the win.
A nice early finish, just what I needed after a busy weekend