When NASCAR Canada and Canadian Tire teamed up to create the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, which is Canada's only national auto racing series, it ended the 2008 season on a high note.
A reception and banquet was held at a northeast Toronto hotel and a fine time was had by all. Vic Rauter was MC, all the Canadian Tire brass was there, and champion Scott Steckly's wife stole the show with one of the most gracious and emotional thank-you speeches I've ever heard at one of these events.
The media were there, the champion and runners-up were honoured and it was a fitting conclusion to the season.
Then NASCAR decided - for whatever reason - that since the Canadian Tire Series is a regional series (they lump it in with the four or five minor-league series they run throughout the U.S.), it didn't rate a banquet of its own.
It invited 2009 champion Andrew Ranger down to Charlotte for a "do" last December where all the champions of those series were honoured. There was nothing held in Canada.
That might be fine and good for the U.S. regional series' but, as noted above, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series is a national series and deserves some special recognition that might result in post-season publicity in this country.
So NASCAR is doing something to correct this. It announced Friday that it will host a NASCAR Canadian Recognition VIP Reception on Wednesday, Nov. 10, in The Fermenting Cellar of Toronto's Distillery District to recognize the accomplishments of participants in the Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 as well as competitors participating in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series in Canada.
In addition to drivers and teams from both series, the invitation-only event will include sponsors, track operators and media partners, as well as representatives from NASCAR’s Canadian and U.S. offices.
“This is a great opportunity to honor the depth and strength of the racing talent prevalent at all levels of stock-car racing in Canada," said George Silbermann, Managing Director, Racing Operations for NASCAR.
"It is also the perfect setting for thanking our key corporate partners like Canadian Tire, Mobil 1, Whelen Engineering and TSN, just to name a few.
“Gathering the Canadian motorsports community together in this way helps to highlight the passion and commitment that exists at the top of our sport, and at racing venues in provinces from coast to coast.”
Special recognition will be focused on the newly-crowned 2010 Canadian Tire Series champion, D.J. Kennington of St. Thomas, Ont., who won his first series title.
Good for NASCAR and NASCAR Canada for making this happen.