Passionate About my NASCAR

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Lightning flashed and the fans in the grandstands never flinched. Fans could be heard talking over each other. After all, this was the first time NASCAR was right in front of them-in our own country. We had been hearing about a race on Canadian soil since 2003 when NASCAR officials began scouting out possible race tracks in Canada.

With eight Canadian drivers from five provinces competing in the race, Canadians had a lot to be proud of. Carpentier, a native of Quebec, took full advantage of the opportunity to showcase his talents in front of a hometown crowd. He won the pole, led 14 laps and finished second. Indeed, Canadians were proud to be a part of the historic event.

For the most part the race was a great success. Perhaps a little boring at times, but definitely entertaining in the end. It was a controversial finish that thrilled the crowd, infuriated NASCAR officials and jeopardized Gordon’s participation in the Cup race at Pocono Raceway the following afternoon. To top it all off, Robby did a burn out for his “win.” You have to hand it to Robby, he sure is a gutsy individual! While Kevin Harvick, the real race winner, celebrated his victory, Robby Gordon left the NASCAR hauler with the rule book in one hand & a heated temper that was still lighting the NASCAR world on fire long after the race had ended.

Although much can be said about the support NASCAR received from Canadian fans, the lack of sponsorship from Canadian businesses was quite pitiful to say the least. A lot of doors were slammed shut in the hunt for Canadian sponsorship & each day inboxes were full of rejection letters. Trust me I know, I received a great deal of them myself. Home Hardware, however, was on board right from the beginning, disbanding the argument that the inaugural race in Canada would take place without any support from local companies. Finally, after much persuasion, Krispy Kreme Canada & Zellers stepped up to the plate & the search for Canadian sponsorship wasn’t ruled a complete washout.Just like flip flops, seashells and sunburn define summer, racing is a tradition amongst many Canadians. After testing the waters with a Busch Series race in Canada, we’re left to wonder: What was NASCAR’s take on the event?

The failure to host the event at Mosport International Raceway still doesn’t sit well with many fans & racing enthusiasts. Known as one of the most storied racetracks nationally and internationally, Mosport would have been the perfect site for the inaugural race in Canada. With over 39% of Canadian NASCAR fans living in Ontario (24% in Quebec), it would have made more sense to host the event at a track that is no stranger to success. Not to mention the positive impact it would have had on Ontario’s tourism industry.

When it comes to Mosport International Raceway every driver has his/her own story to tell.

On that note I will leave you all with this question, what is your favourite memory of Mosport?

Above image courtesy of Flickr user pylacroix

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Comments

  1. says

    Great first post Kim! Welcome to The Garage.

    With 40 years of Mosport memories to choose from, it’s hard to pick the best.

    Maybe it’s the times spent chasing tadpoles at the bottom of corner 2.

    Maybe it’s running tires up and down pit lane during the 24 hour Firehawk Series race.

    There are so many good times, with a few very bad times mixed in. The place is part of who I am.

  2. says

    Earlier this week I heard an interview with a Nascar driver and the person interviewing him asked in lite of how bad his week had been was he doing OK. He replied, “Who am I to complain. Look what I get to do for a living. How lucky can I be… A bad day racing is still better than good day at a real job.”

    Regarding Nascar passing on Mosport, I don’t know why or how that happened but I can tell you this… Here in California we have some very well known tracks with a lot of awesome history that were passed over by Nascar. One such track in fact was Infineon (Sears Point) which is now one of Nascar’s most popular road race courses. But before Infineon could be run on as a regular event by Nascar lots of changes had to be made. For example, the famous long left hander known as “The Carousel” had to be by-passed so the added a straight called “The Chute” that went from turn 4 over to turn 6. Then all the pits asphalt had to be torn out and replaced with concrete because Nascar spills lots of fuel while refueling which not only ruins the asphalt but is a safety hazard. Many might think that Nascar bullied their way in until they got what they wanted but the truth is that Infineon had done so well as a result that they went ahead and spent 33 million dollars remodeling the entire track and they are still in the black. It has proven to be a win win for everyone. I can’t help but wonder if a similar situation is in the works with Mosport.

    In the end, great race tracks are a lot like great athletes and they will not be overlooked.

  3. says

    Panoz has made most of the required safety upgrades to the track already. Fortunately they haven’t lost the old flavour of the track the way they did at The Glen.

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