|Date: 1/27/2010 10:02:27 PM|
RICK @ the RACES (23/24 Jan)
Jan 23 The Canadian Motor Sports Expo (Toronto, Ont)
Jan 24 Maple Grove ( Beauharnois, Quebec) Ice Racing
This past weekend was a busy one and it all started at 5-00 am on Saturday morning when my buddy Roger Aubin arrived at my door in Cornwall.
I took the wheel of his Ford Escape and we set off west bound down Hwy 401. Our destination was the Canadian Motor Sports Expo that was being held in Toronto.
First stop was at the Gananoque Tim Hortons where we met up with www.rickattheraces.com webmaster Craig Revelle. He then followed us further down the 401 to the Kingston and Sharbot Lake exit where he parked his car. He'd be attending the Todd Stewart, RAAL Motorsports winter get together in the city later that night. Craig then joined us in the Escape and we continued on our journey. Next stop was for Breakfast at the Ten Acres Truck Stop at Belleville, where we'd prearranged to meet Kawartha Speedway's PR man , Jim Clarke. Jim wasn't joining us for the show ( he'd been there the previous day) but was able to give us a run down of what to expect, as we tucked in to Breakfast.
From Belleville we continued down to Toronto and arrived at the show around 11-30.
Last year while attending this event, I got to meet star of the show Jacques Villenueve during the media conference and was able to ask him a few questions.
Topping the bill this year was NASCAR ace Matt Kenseth. Other big names in attendance included Former F1 driver Derek Daley as well as Canada's own hero's Paul Tracey and Ron Fellows. Also on hand and accompanied by their race cars , were two friends of mine from the DIRT circuits, Jessica Zemken and Chris Raabe.
My first port of call was to visit one of the seminar rooms for a talk on Driver Development that was being given by Irishman Derek Daley. I was surprised to learn that the former F1 and Indy Car pilot started his racing days in Banger type racing.
From here I moved to another room where a media conference had been called to announce the new DICKIES sponsorship for NASCAR Canadian Tire Series driver Kerry Micks. The car had been covered by a tarp and following the conference the official unveiling took place.
It was then the turn of Matt Kenseth for media attention, and I stood in to listen while friends Bob Sanders and Joe Chisholm of Race Time Radio did an interview. It was here that I met up with another good friend from the media, show organizer Greg MacPherson of Inside Track magazine.
While wandering around the exhibits I chatted to many of the friends I bumped into. Cornwall Motor Speedway promoter Ron Morin was there and so was Capital City Speedway's new General Manager Jeremy Coulter.
Jeremy was accompanied by fellow Capital City Speedway Legend driver Mike Madore. I then found my friend the former Legend pilot, turned Sprint Car driver Erin Joyce chatting with Jessica. That gave me a great photo shoot opportunity to catch both of them together.
Afterwards, I chatted to 'Jess' and quizzed her about her forthcoming plans for the 2010 season. She confirmed that her friend top NASCAR driver Tony Stewart would be backing her and she would be doing some racing in the Ohio area. Jess also assured me that she'd be back on my patch for the World of Outlaw shows. I was interested to know about her plans for the up and coming Florida speedweeks and was told that a sprint car ride had been secured for the end of the month. I also asked if she'd had any offers to drive a Modified down in the Sunshine State. She smiled and said no, not yet, but it would be nice. So if anyone is taking a spare car down there, you know who to contact. I'm planning to be at the Volusia Speedway and I'm sure that I'm not the only one who'd like to see her in action there with some quality equipment.
In previous years the Canadian Motorsport Expo has had very little to interest the dirt racing fan, but this year there was something for everyone. If this recipe is continued each year, this could turn out to be the 'must see' show in the North East.
At around 4-00pm Roger, Craig and myself were ready to leave. We were all feeling a bit hungry so before getting back on the 401 we dropped in to the nearby Hooters, one of our favorite restaurant chains. On our past road trips , we often used to dine at their facility at the Carousel Center in Syracuse NY, until it closed down. It always had excellent food and scenery was great !
Once back on the road Craig was dropped off at his car in Kingston, and two hours later I was back at my place. It was long day !
The weekend was not yet over and on Sunday morning I set off for the opening ice races for the 'Club KiloWatts' . Bad ice conditions had delayed the start of the season by two weeks.
Over the last few years the club has raced at two different locations on Lac St Louis close to Beauharnois and Maple Grove in Quebec.
Since about 2006 they have been using a track close to the Beauharnois Marina where it was visible on shore from the towns Sauve Park but for 2010 it has moved. Racing is now taking place about one kilometer up the shoreline, and located back in Maple Grove where I first witnessed ice racing back in 2003.
The spectator entrance has also changed. Instead of driving on to the ice at the marina like in recent years, access is now by way of a slip road beside the Canadian Legion Hall.
This time I preferred to park my car in the street and walk out to the ice. There were about 40 cars in attendance of both 4 and 8 cylinder divisions. I stayed on the ice for about an hour taking photos before calling it a day.
It turned out to be quite a busy weekend !
CHECK OUT the Latest RETRO REPORT about my life and times around the race tracks , Episode 14 covering 1981 is now up on www.rickattheraces.com
PIC 1 Derek Daley gives a talk at the CME
PIC 2 The unveiling at the CME of the DICKIES sponsorship on the Kerry Micks car
PIC 3 Matt Kenseth and Greg MacPherson share a joke in the CME Media room
PIC 4 Joe Chisholm and Bob Sanders of Race Time Radio interview Matt Kenseth at the CME
PIC 5 Matt Kenseth signs autographs at the CME
PIC 6 Sprint Car girls Erin Joyce ( L ) and Jessica Zemken ( R ) at the CME
PIC 7 to 12 Exhibits at the CME
PIC 13 Lisa , our waitress at Hooters
PIC 14 to 16 Ice Racing from Maple Grove, Quebec
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