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08/31/2009

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Give us the old CanAm cars back,7L's of hell on wheels,you could hear them all the way to Whitby....now that was real racing

toronto was a great stock car venue back in the 60's. Exhibition Stadium and Pinecrest Speedway were fabulous. Growth in Toronto probably was the key to pushing stock car racing out. I can recall going to Mosport for a stock car race in late 60 and lo and behold I saw a great stock car race on a sports car track. I believe the winner was Sol Tovala and a fearless British Columbia driver named Billy Red Foster was a fan favorite. Maurice Carter and his Camaro may also have driven in that race. Stock car racing is an easy sell but the lure of F1 and Champ car racing has got in the way of what the fans really want.

A couple of issues.

Where there 100,000 fans or was that the total attendance over three days? If one is calling into question that ethics of reporters for getting a watch, I am sure that an accurate attendance count is just as significant.

The accuracy of the number aside, what was the impact of having a significant number of well recognized local drivers in all races? Would the winner of the race have gushed over the potential of the local guy he beat back to third?

If the race had been at ExPlace rather than Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, how many local drivers other than Ron Fellows, would have rides? Given that the IRL had to collect dead animals to draw flies to the Honda Indy July race, is there anyone in the city who can organize an event of the scale imagined? The days of just announcing a race and getting tens of thousands of the curious to show up have been gone for decades.

Montreal has a significant cadre of people who have decades of experience in promoting big events. Even that group couldn't draw people for the ChampCar series. They won't be coming to Toronto anytime soon.

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