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2009 Pre-Season News

Posted: May 5, 2009
The World of Outlaws Late Models are back at Ohsweken Speedway on June 18, at Autodrome Drummond on June 20, at Cornwall Speedway on June 21 and Estevan Motor Speedway on July 11.

Considering the state of the economy, there is not as much bad news as might be expected. How about we get the bad news out of the way first?

The Bad News

Lake Doucette Motor Speedway in Nova Scotia has cancelled the 2009 season. The message on their web site indicates that they intend to open again in 2010.

The Alberta Sprint Tour has also shut down for the 2009 season. The message on the AST web site hints that there may some special events in 2009, but not a regular schedule. It does not state whether they plan to restart in 2010.

Things aren't looking good at Race City in Calgary, AB. Track owner Art MacKenzie attempted to have the lease extended to 2015 but the request was turned down by the Calgary city council. The road course and the drag strip will operate in 2009. The Calgary Oval Racing Association will operate the oval this year. The group's web site has details on the season. If nothing changes, the 2009 season will be the last for Race City.

The Good News

Despite the economy, there was more good news in the off-season than bad. There are new series, new tracks and resurrected tracks.

Rapidfire Motorsports Park in Drayton Valley, Alberta is re-opening in 2009 after sitting idle for two seasons. The Northern Provincial Pipelines Late Model Series will be appearing at the 3/8 mile clay track in July.

Dinosaur Downs Raceway is the new track located at the Drumheller Stampede and Ag Society grounds. The track is a 3/8 mile dirt oval. It replaces Hidden Valley Motorsports Park, which was also located in Drumheller.

There were some big changes announced over the winter at Delaware Speedway in Ontario. There will be upgrades to the track surface, pit road and the various specator amenities. Details of the renovations are listed at the tracks web site here: http://www.delawarespeedway.com/2009-04-10--Renovation.php. The other news from Delaware is that they are back under NASCAR sanctioning.

The Canadian Sprint Car Series is a new touring series located in Quebec. I don't have much other information because I don't speak French. For more information on the Canadian Sprint Car Series, see their website (assuming that you speak French).

There a second Quebec-based touring series starting up this year. Rev-Star features a spec-race car, called Speed STR, that looks similar to sprint car. The cars are powered by a four-cylinder 2.4-litre Mopar engine putting out 275 HP and fueled by alcohol. The series will race on dirt and asphalt. There is a lot of information at the series web site (again, only in French).

The WESCAR Late Model series has joined ARCA West and is now known as the ARCA West OK Tires Sportsman Series.

The Ontario Sportsman Series has picked up a new title sponsor and hsa been renamed the Lucas Oil Sportsman Cup.


Rumours

This off-season was no different than any other in that there are rumours of new tracks.

Fort Erie, Ontario seems to be the hot-bed of rumors. The most-discussed track rumour is the one that is being backed by a Kuwaiti bank. It is planned to be a multi-circuit track consisting of a 1 mile oval and and 2.5 mile road course. The group has already purchased 623 acres of land near the QEW, between Gilmore Road and Bowen Road. The track will be called Canadian Motor Speedway.

Apparantly, there are two other groups also attempting to build race tracks in the area. One of these efforts includes a 3.5 mile road course on land bounded by Bossert Road, Sodom Road and the QEW. The third proposal has only been mentioned in passing by the media with no details given.

There are more details on the various Fort Erie rumours in an article on www.grandprix.com and from the Niagara Falls Review.

There is a group trying to re-open Yellowhead Raceway in Hinton, Alberta. The group has a web site started: racehinton.netfirms.com/. There's no 2009 schedule and the site hasn't been updated since the autumn. Yellowhead closed during the 2007 season.


The Badlands Motorsport Resort has been in the planning for a few years but I only became aware of it this winter. Well-known race circuit designer Alan Wilson was contracted to design the new facility that will feature three-separate circuits that can be combined into one, large circuit. Land has been purchased in Kneehill County, about 97km north-east of Calgary.

The concept of the facility is that it intends to be more than a typical race track. It will feature such amenities as pools, a spa, accommodations, conference rooms, lounge and even residential housing. It would appear that they don't intend to host professional events.

The earliest opening date for the Badlands Motorsport Resort would be in 2011. Check the website for more information: www.badlandsmotorsportsresort.com.