posted April 23, 2001 03:19 PM
50TH SEASON OPENER RAINED OUT: GRAND OPENING TO REUNITE FORMER MERRITTVILLE OWNERS
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT JIM IRVINE 905-892-8266 (O)
Thorold, Ontario … Merrittville Speedway was set to open for it's 50th consecutive season Saturday April 21st but a persistent afternoon shower forced officials to cancel the first event.
"We feel for the race fans and race teams both - it's been such a long winter - every one can't wait for the season to begin," relates (GM) Jim Irvine, " after a successful practice day last week … we'll just have to wait until April 28th for the real thing."
Saturday's race card was to have seen initial point events for the Sportsmen, Pro Stocks, Dwarf Cars and Street Stocks in addition to the first of 7 events for the 4 Cylinder cars. Rounding out the card was practice sessions for the 358 Modifieds.
Unfortunately the night will not be rescheduled except for the 4 Cylinder division, which will be announced at a later date.
All 5 regular divisions are on the card for Saturday April 28th - 358 Modifieds, Sportsmen, Pro Stocks, Dwarf Car and Street Stocks – with a special ceremony kicking off the 50th season.
One of Merrittville Speedway's founding owners John Marino will return to the Speedway to participate along with his successors - Ken Kavanagh, Stan Friesen, Kurt Uhl and Alan Ley - joining the Irvine family - owners Bryant and Marilyn, son Jim who serves as General Manager, and daughter Kathy who manages the office and website.
Ed MacPherson Construction built Merrittville Speedway prior to the original July 1, 1952 opening day and the St. Catharines company still in business today will be represented by Sandy MacPherson. MacPherson was no stranger to the Speedway as he also served as an official after a career as a driver.
Thorold Mayor Robin Davidson and her counterpart 50 years ago former Reeve of Thorold - Mel Swart, MP Tony Tirabassi and other area dignitaries will officially open Merrittville Speedway's 50th consecutive season of Saturday night racing.
Along involved in the opening night festivities will be Merrittville Speedway's Reunion Night Committee members who have been involved in Alumni functions for several years in preparation for the Golden Anniversary Season.
Chairman Rick Kavanagh, (son of former owner Ken Kavanagh), Wall of Fame Members Jeno Begolo and Bruce Swartz - both former competitors as well as Ted Renshaw and members of the Canadian Motor Racing Historical Society will have some memorabilia and Vintage Race Cars on display.
Rounding out the program April 28th will be the first of several Demolition Derbies for 4 Cylinder Cars. Gates will open at 5:30 with the first heat at 7:30.