As we remember to turn the clocks back this weekend, one group continues to look back as the Thorold, ON DIRTcar sanctioned facility race into the future. Merrittville Speedway’s Reunion Committee, coming off a successful 60th Anniversary, continue to link racing today with the many years of the Saturday Night tradition that has been a passion of so many lives.
Meetings will soon be held in preparation for Saturday July 14, 2012’s Jerry Winger Memorial Lucas Oil Slick Mist 50 Event and while the Nostalgic Night is some four months away, members are looking to add to quite a list of former drivers, crew members and personalities dating back to 1952’s inaugural event.
“Since the 40th Anniversary we have enjoyed quite a response,” said Merrittville Speedway’s Reunion Committee Chairman Rick Kavanagh. “We have honored and caught up with our racing friends from every era, but we always reconnecting with former drivers and families continue to share old photos, news articles and memorabilia.”
Merrittville Speedway’s Annual Nostalgia Night in 2012 will feature a full five Division Lucas Oil Weekly Racing Series program featuring the Bobcat of Hamilton 358 Modifieds in the Jerry Winger Memorial Lucas Oil Slick Mist 50, in addition to the Original Pizza Logs Sportsman, Hoosier Stocks, J&S Heating and Air Conditioning Modified Lites and the Turn 4 Collision 4 Cylinders.
For fans of bygone eras, vintage race cars of all description will be on display before taking to the track for some old school racing. Merrittville’s History will further be celebrated with the introduction of the 61st Anniversary L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Fame Inductees just prior to race time.
“From so many years in the record books, there has to be so many drivers out there. From those that were with us a few seasons, to those who spent a lifetime in the sport,” said Merrittville Speedway GM Erica Bicknell-Jones. “We would like to involve everyone from any division.”
For Merrittville Speedway’s current family of drivers, crews, car owners, sponsors and fans, chances are you have some kind of connection to the past. The Reunion Committee challenges you to spread the word helping the volunteers bring as many together this coming season.
Prospective Merrittville Alumni can contact the Speedway or Reunion Committee in a number of ways:
• Visit Merrittville Speedway’s upcoming Mall Shows at the Seaway Mall (the week of March 12th) or the Pen Centre (the week of March 19th).
• Connect with Merrittville on Facebook.
“Right now we are still in the planning stages of this year’s Reunion Night,” said Kavanagh. “If any of our Alumni would like to join with us, we do some bench racing and some business leading up to the annual event and others throughout the season, including a day at the track in April renovating the Wall of Fame and putting our member’s signs up for the season.”
In addition to Kavanagh, the Reunion Committee is also made up of former drivers – Jeno Begolo, Ted Renshaw, Terry Huffman and Mark Swartz and Merrittville GM Erica Bicknell-Jones. Kavanagh is the son of former Speedway owner Ken Kavanagh, who is also a Wall of Fame Member.
For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 61st Consecutive Season in 2012, including news on the Reunion Committee, Saturday July 14’s Nostalgia Night and the 2012 L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Fame Inductions, visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com. Race fans and Race teams alike can follow Merrittville on Facebook (Facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway) and Twitter (Twitter.com/Merrittville).
By Jim Irvine, Merrittville Speedway Public Relations