Everybody knows that the Pedregon brothers – Cruz and Tony – will be going head-to-head in a Funny Car match race at Toronto Motorsports Park near Cayuga on Saturday (you do, don’t you?) but how many others are aware that three of NASCAR’s legendary stock car stars will be at Flamboro Speedway near Hamilton on Frday, Canada Day, to take on some of the local regulars?
Ernie Irvan, Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Schrader will join some top Ontario talent in Friday’s Race of Champions event as part of Flamboro’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
According to publicist Joshua Paxton, the afternoon program will begin at 1 p.m. with an autograph session featuring the three NASCAR Stars. Writes Paxton, “Ernie Irvan is often recognized as ‘Swervin’ Irvan’ and is best known for his 1991 Daytona 500 victory and personal recovery and return to racing after a vicious accident at Michigan International Speedway. Ken Schrader and Jimmy Spencer are widely recognized TV personalities as well as for their colourful careers in NASCAR and other racing series."
Two-time Daytona 500 champion Sterling Marlin was originally scheduled to participate but had to bow out.
None of the three NASCAR stars has been to the third-mile asphalt oval previously, leaving them only the Friday afternoon to scope out the place and take a few practice laps. By the time the main event takes the green flag, the stars will have likely have less than 50 laps experience.
As Paxton puts it, their professional skill and wide range of racing knowledge will be put to the test against the best grassroots drivers from Ontario.
The race will feature 8-cylinder stock cars from across the province, recognized at Flamboro as Freedom Village Thunder Cars. Similar division titles include Street Stocks and Super Stocks.
Admission is $35 and fans will also be treated to an intermission interview with the NASCAR stars moderated by Race Time Radio host Smokin’ Joe Chisholm.