Speedway supporters rallying before council meeting

Source: http://forterietimes.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2201205

Supporters of the Canadian Motor Speedway are hoping the Town of Fort Erie will give the project its full endorsement at Monday's council-in-committee meeting.

If approved by the local government, the project will still need to be given the green light by the regional government at its next meeting on Dec. 9th.

Normally, council meetings are held in the council chambers at town hall but because a large crowd is anticipated, the Leisureplex banquet hall will be the venue. Before the council session begins, a group of supporters will be found at the Quarter Mile Restaurant and Sports Bar on Garrison Road, who plan on marching to the meeting in hopes of seeing council voting in favour of the speedway, to be built on 823 acres of land adjacent to the QEW between Bowen and Gilmore Roads. To date, $150 million has been spent by the project's investor, Emirates Consulting, a subsidiary of the Kuwaiti Investment Bank. The build-out could be expanded to about $400 million considering the commercial, industrial and educational uses the facility will have. McMaster University has agreed to build and operate a research and development centre at the site if it is approved by both the municipal and regional governments by the end of next week.

Ed Moody, who refers to himself as a "retired motorsports historian" says this project is what the Canadian auto-racing industry has been waiting for. Although he has just recently moved to Greater Fort Erie, he feels his new place of residence will become an area visited by tourists even more than what it already is.

"If this speedway is approved, there will be a lot of people attracted to the area," said Moody, who spent many years as a freelance motor sports writer for Sun Media and worked at Mosport Speedway in Bowmanville since the 1960's.

He feels there isn't enough people addressing the "mistruths" that have appeared in local newspapers. One submission suggests there will be out of control tailgate parties that will continue until the early hours of the morning after a race event. He finds this hard to believe and says "someone is confusing a football game with a car race."

Reminiscing about the Crystal Beach Amusement Park era, Moody said this was a time when people travelled from all over Ontario and parts of the U.S. to visit Fort Erie. He feels there hasn't been anything to attract people from outside the area other than the Fort Erie Racetrack, since the Crystal Beach park closed in 1989. He referred to the historic family venue as a reason for people to visit Fort Erie for entertainment. At the same time, he feels it was also a reason for residents to stay in Fort Erie because of the employment opportunities it offered, especially for young students hoping to fund their post-secondary education.

"That's exactly what is going to come with this speedway," he said.

Mayor Doug Martin made a similar comment, saying if the speedway is approved many students will be able to find employment right in their backyard, saving up for their futures.

"This is a place for students to work in the summer to save enough money to go to university," said Martin.

The mayor will not be present at the meeting as he will be travelling to Switzerland for a discussion on refugees, hosted by the United Nations. Even though he will not be there, he says it is still very important to "hear from everybody," which includes people opposed to the project, people in support of it and those who will be directly impacted by it.

"And you also have those looking at this as an opportunity for employment while putting Fort Erie on the map," said Martin.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 15 people have registered to make a delegation at the council-in-committee meeting. Anyone wishing to join this list, in opposition or in support of the project have until Monday at 3 p.m. to speak at the meeting which will be chaired by acting mayor and Ward 1 Coun. Sandy Annunziata.

The rally at the Quarter Mile is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. and will include a free BBQ for those in attendance.

A Facebook group at has also been an outlet for showing support with almost 4,000 users of the social networking site as members.

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For Immediate Release - ACT – 120109-57

Waterbury, VT – The American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Models from Thunder Road will open the newly paved Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vermont on Sunday, May 23, 2010. Track promoter Jerry Richards said, “This is going to be a great way to bring the new asphalt to life at Devil’s Bowl. It has been over 30 years since the track was asphalt, but we think having Thunder Road’s Late Models on the ½ mile will certainly give our fans at the “Bowl” a great opening event.”

Thunder Road Late Models will be joined by some of the regular ACT U.S. Touring teams for this grand opening of the original Champlain Valley Racing Association (CVRA), which was founded by legendary promoter CJ Richards.

Tom Curley, the President of ACT and managing partner of Thunder Road said, “When we learned that the “Bowl” was being returned to asphalt we really wanted our teams to be a part of it. Most of the Thunder Road Late Models have raced various tracks on the ACT, and this just seemed like a great fit. We have no races scheduled at Thunder Road from May 2 until Memorial Day weekend, so I am sure there will be great support from the Late Model teams.” When asked if there would be some ACT U.S. Touring teams in attendance, Curley concluded, “I am sure there will be a number of teams from Chittenden County and central Vermont who will want to give Devil’s Bowl a try, and this change the CVRA is going through is something ACT wants to support.” The sister track of Devil’s Bowl, Albany Saratoga Speedway, will host an ACT event on April 25th at the newly paved 4/10ths mile speedplant.

Some of the Northeast’s biggest names in Late Model racing are expected to attend this historic event at Devil’s Bowl. Defending Thunder Road Champion Jean-Paul Cyr, who started his Modified racing career at Devil’s Bowl, along with three-time Thunder Road Champion Cris Michaud, will bring his potent Ford to the ½ mile. “I think this is really great,” said ACT star Brent Dragon from Milton, VT. “My father (Beaver Dragon) and uncle (Bobby Dragon) were both a part of the five-track Northern NASCAR circuit back in the mid ‘70’s, and I am really excited that we have a “long track” back in Vermont”, said Dragon. Brent Dragon is noted for his dominant performances on most of the long tracks where the ACT participates.

For additional information contact the ACT office at 802.244.6963 or media@acttour.com or the Devil’s Bowl Speedway at their website www.CVRA.com


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PASS North 2010 Schedule

Sat.-Sun. APRIL 17-18 - SPEEDWAY 95 - Hermon, ME - 150 Laps

Fri.-Sat. 4/30-5/1 - BEECH RIDGE MOTOR SPEEDWAY - Scarborough, ME - 150 Laps

MOTORSPORTS PARK - No. Woodstock, NH - 150 Laps

Sat JUNE12 - SPEEDWAY 660 - Fredericton, New Brunswick, CA - 200 Laps

Sat. JULY 3 - CANAAN SPEEDWAY - Canaan, NH - 150 Laps

Sat. JULY 10 - BEECH RIDGE MOTOR SPEEDWAY - Scarborough, ME - 150 Laps

Tues. JULY 13 - LEE USA SPEEDWAY - Lee, NH - Laps TBA

Sat. JULY 31 - RIVERSIDE SPEEDWAY - Groveton, NH - 150 Laps

Sat. AUG. 14 - SEEKONK SPEEDWAY - Seekonk, MA - 150 Laps

Sat. AUG. 21 - SPUD SPEEDWAY - CARIBOU, ME - 150 Laps

SPEEDWAY -Thompson, CT -  Laps TBA

Thurs.-Sun. SEPT. 9-12 - BEECH RIDGE MOTOR SPEEDWAY - Scarborough, ME - 300 Laps

Fri. or Sat. SEPT. 17 or 18 - WHITE MTN. MOTORSPORTS PARK - No. Woodstock, NH
- 150 Laps


Schedule is Subject to Change



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