@Merrittville •July 11, 2016 THOROLD, ONTARIO – The Welland and Fort Erie Timber Marts and Blast Entertainment are set to assist Merrittville Speedway’s Reunion Committee in welcoming back many old friends Saturday July 16th when the Thorold track celebrates it’s 65th Anniversary Season.
Once again hosted by Merrittville Speedway’s Reunion Committee headed by Chairmen Rick Kavanagh, the night salutes 65 years of dirt racing excitement at one of Canada’s oldest race tracks in addition to the annual Inductions into the L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Fame.
Fred Carleton Sr. of Niagara-on-the-Lake and George Sider of Port Robinson are the 2016 Inductees with the ceremony set for just before 7 PM.
“In the past we have kept the new Inductees a secret until announced during the ceremony,” explained Committee Chairman Rick Kavanagh, “but with us celebrating our 65th – we thought it would be important that family, friends and fans of Fred and George all knew about this special occasion and could share it with them.”
Fred Carleton’s racing career began after a spring drive in 1961 and seeing a ‘Racing every Saturday Night’ Sign and the next week was on the track in the Jalopy Division.
After a few years in the Late Model Division, Fred would move up to the Modifieds. In 1971, with car owner Galvin Sweet, the two would build their own car from scratch powering it with an over the counter 350 c.i. engine against the popular powerplant of the day … the 427.
Despite being underpowered – he would win 10 Features that season.
Once his racing career ended in 1975 … it wasn’t long before his sons Fred Jr and Luke would start their own racing careers with Fred still racing today in the Pinty’s Delicious Foods 358 Modified Division.
The Carleton Family has been involved in the sport for more than 50 years after a Sunday Drive. Today, 4 generations are race fans enjoying the sport.
George Sider is a second generation racer – following in his dad George Sr’s tire tracks.
George would get his start with Enduro Racing in 1982 until joining Merrittville’s regular divisions later in the decade.
After Rookie of the Year honors in 1989, George would earn a Pro Stock Championship in 1990 and would repeat the same achievements in 1991 and 1992 in the Sportsman Division.
1993 would find him move up to the 358 Modified Division and with growing work commitments would end his career in 1994.
Growing up in the sport and in the Auto Recycling Business, George and his late brother Dan had their dad as their mentor. At the age of 10, George could change an engine on his own.
Merrittville Speedway’s Reunion Committee is also made up of former drivers – Jeno Begolo, Ted Renshaw Terry Huffman, Bill Willard Jr.and Ken Walsh as well as Mark Swartz and the Speedway’s Erica Bicknell-Jones and Jim Irvine. Kavanagh is the son of former Speedway owner Ken Kavanagh who is also a Wall of Fame Member.
A huge part of the night is all the reminiscing that takes place in celebration of the track’s now 65 consecutive seasons. The Drivers of the past enjoy meeting with the fans of today – many that can remember the early days of the sport. Just as drivers today can be second or third generation, so too are some fans.
Prior to race time race fans can look forward to meeting many of the families that have been integral in the success of the sport with a Generations Display along the L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Fame. Current generations will have their 2016 Race Cars on display next to their elder’s Wall of Fame Induction Signs.
When the Grandstands open at 5:30, Blast Entertainment will create some atmosphere inside the gates as Alumni and Race Fans enter. Located in Stratford Ontario – Blast Entertainment can provide the music and lighting for your next event. If you attended Merrittville Speedway’s Awards Night last fall you have to know what Blast Entertainment and P.M. Lighting can do.
In the last couple years, L. St. Amand Enterprises had 2 major divisions including Landscape Supply and the Auto & Truck division that Bob St. Amand Jr. now owns as a stand alone company and has became St. Amand Auto & Truck Repair.
Specializing in all aspects of Landscape Supply & Service for more han 75 years, L. St. Amand Enterprises offers an excavating, trucking and backhoe service and complete landscape installations. In addition to lawn maintenance programs they carry complete lines of specialty garden soils and mulches, stone, sand, natural stone, precast walls and interlocking brick in any quantity available for pick up or delivery.
A bulk material spreader service that allows the material to be put where it is needed is available. Flatbed and forklift services are also available.
For further information on L. St. Amand Enterprises – visit their location at 130 Bunting Road in St. Catharines or call 905-682-1132.
The Merrittville Speedway L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Fame includes inaugural member Bill Willard Sr., second year inductees Jeno Begolo and Ivan Little in addition to Don Ledingham, Bruce Swartz, Bryant Irvine, Bruce VanDyke, Bob Davidson Sr., George Treanor, Gordy Wilson, Stan Friesen and Kurt Uhl and their families, Ray Stevens, Wimpy Nicholls, Fred Hurst, Murray Stricker, Bob St. Amand Sr., Tommy Cook, Bill Rafter, Terry Edwards, Jack Munn, George Winger, Jerry Winger, Jimmy Binks, Ed Ortiz, Harvey Hainer Sr., Orville Kelley, Davey Moore, Mike Zajac, Cam Gagliardi, Bob MacPherson, Jack Gatecliffe, Ken Kavanagh and Bill Russell and their families, John Marino and George Cullen and their families, Mel Swart, Henry Shivak, Lyndon Wood, the Deagle Brothers – Denny, Don and Larry, Hughie Tripp, Harvey Hainer, Jr. Tammy Willard, Dave Halliwell, Gary Saunders, Howard Disher, Doug Gordon , Alan Willard, Bob Hatt, Chris Ricker, Bill Willard Jr., Bobby Fisher, Harry Vanderzanden, Harry Sittler, Terry St. Amand, Lloyd Holt, Brian Stevens, Carl Game and 2015’s Inductees Mark Elsie, Jim Begolo and Pete Cosco.
The 2016 Induction Ceremonies into the L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Fame are scheduled to take place just before race time on the CAA Stage. Racing will feature the Jerry Winger Memorial for the Pinty’s Delicious Foods 358 Modifieds plus Vintage Race Cars.
Welland and Fort Erie Timber Marts and Blast Entertainment Nostalgia Night at Merrittville Speedway begins when the Great Clips Grandstand Ticket Office Opens at 5:30. Showtime is 7PM.
To reach Merrittville Speedway call 905-892-8266 or via e mail – firstname.lastname@example.org. Merrittville Speedway is located at 2371 Merrittville Highway in Thorold Ontario. Merrittville Speedway’s Office is open Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM and is located in the Grandstand Area on the ground floor of the Lucas Oil Tower.
For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 65th Consecutive Season in 2016 – visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com. Race fans and Race teams alike can follow Merrittville on Face Book (Facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway) and Twitter (Twitter.com/Merrittville
MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY SPONSORS The 2016 65th Anniversary Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series for Merrittville Speedway’s 5 Divisions is brought to race fans and racers by division sponsors – Pinty’s Delicious Foods, Yager Bros Trucking, Rev’s Full Throttle Powersports, Hoosier Tire Canada and Van Raine Construction in addition to many marketing partners Visit them at . http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/sponsors.htm and visit them when you require their products and/or services.
Lucas Oil Products, Inc., is the world leader in the production high performance oils, fuel treatments and problem solving additives with the largest variety of shelf products of any oil company in North America. Lucas Oil’s premium formulas are marketed worldwide and retail at more than 40,000 auto parts stores across the continent and at virtually every truck stop across Canada. Race fans can look for Lucas Oil Products at their favourite automotive retailer or maintenance center including Kala’s Home Hardware, St. Catharines Discount Auto Parts and RCM Racing Equipment.