Trucks Haul Excitement to Canada
This past Labour Day 2013, Ron Fellows and his Canadian Tire Motorsport Park team brought big time NASCAR to Ontario. The Camping World Truck Series is a top tier NASCAR division and a hugely popular series that offers close, exciting competition and drama. The debut of this series here didn’t leave us disappointed either. From a rookie in the series leading the practice speed charts all weekend to a second generation NASCAR star winning his first race in this event.
Emotions ran high in this race, where pushing and shoving on the track spilled over to the crews and drivers after the race ended. NASCAR being the strict governing body that they are had things under control quickly. The incident involving Italian racing star “Mad” Max Papis and racer Mike Skeen’s girlfriend made international sports headlines. Coined “The slap heard round the world” gave the series a little more attention that week. In a fit of rage after her boyfriend Skeen and Papis had contact on the track, she decided to give Max a little of her own payback with a slap across the face on camera. Not exactly the kind of press the series or the track would like, but press none the less. It will be on the racing replays for years to come I’m sure.
Of course the racing and battling on the track was even more exciting and the best I’ve seen in awhile. Record crowds for CTMP and the series itself were anticipated and fulfilled. The main event itself called “The Silverado 250” was won by second generation driver Chase Elliott, son of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott in a controversial bump and run last corner pass. There were a lot of fireworks over that one! I was invited to this event by NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner and Fox Sports commentator Phil Parsons. I’ve know Phil for over 35 years and it was a thrill to hear from him and have me attend. A lot of work goes into producing a motorsport event on television which I was lucky enough to see first hand. While browsing the pages of the latest Motoring issue, he told me he never tires of the grueling schedule he keeps between TV commentator, team owner and helping his son Stefan who is beginning his racing career. He definitely has the credentials, Phil grew up in NASCAR watching and helping his older brother Benny Parsons win the NASCAR Championship in 1973 and the Daytona 500 in 1975. Benny went on to be a television commentator, so Phil had a great mentor through the years.
At Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, the track facilities for the fans, driving in and out of the venue were improved in 2013 and they will only get better in the near future. More improvements in the paddock for the competitors is predicted with state of the art garages, and a busier schedule of events including the first Canadian edition of the TUDOR United Sportscar Championship, North America’s premier sportscar series. It’s possible we may even see the NASCAR Nationwide Series in the near future if Fellows gets the green light from the Daytona Beach office. “It’s NASCAR’s call “ Fellows said, “ I’m not saying it’s happening, but if they liked how things went this weekend our future may be very promising for top level stock car racing.”
Well, from what I saw at this event it may be very promising indeed. The fans were enthusiastic, had a great time and they were treated to an amazing event. So check it out next year and get your tickets early, it will be a popular destination. For schedule and ticket information go to www.canadiantiremotorsportpark.com
Written by Perry M. Mason