There is lots of racing appealing to every taste on tap locally and on television this weekend. Only Formula One will be MIA.
At Toronto Motorsports Park, the South Coast Community Weekend will take place on the Cayuga Dragway and action will start Friday and continue through Sunday. This is the fourth drag-racing event at the Cayuga-area facility this summer and it’s pretty much a bargain.
Complimentary spectator event tickets are available at businesses in Cayuga and the surrounding area, or by contacting some of the racing associations that will be participating — the Quick 32 Sportsman Series, the Pro Modified Racing Association or the Pro Bike & Sled Series.
General parking is $20 per carload and weekend camping is available.
Now, as is the case with most other forms of motorsport, women are seen as equal partners with men and that is certainly the case with the Quick 32 Sportsman Series presented by NAPA Auto Parts. Three of the top drivers in the series are experienced female racers who take a back seat to no man when they approach the start line.
Melanie Simmons (above, right), Katie Ward and Sydnie Hyde are all strong racers in the series and all three have increased their efforts since the series began four seasons ago.
Simmons, from Orillia, drives the Toyrific Racing Top Dragster. With a No. 1 qualifier and quarter-final finish at the IHRA National Event at the Grand Bend Motorplex several weeks ago, she is able to blast down the quarter-mile in the mid six-second range at more than 200 miles an hour.
Ward has stepped into a faster car this season. The Orangeville racer, a driver for the Hinbest Racing team, started in the Quick 32 Sportsman Series with a normally-aspirated Top Dragster but for 2012 she is co-driving the team’s other car, a supercharged Top Dragster, with Michael Hinbest. This car is one of the quickest in the series and Ward has also recorded runs in the mid-six second range.
Now in her second year of Quick 32 Sportsman Series racing, Hyde drives the Hyde Racing Top Dragster, a new car for her this year with a huge, 740-cubic inch engine. The Stratford racer has run the quarter-mile in the high-six second bracket.
Simmons and Hyde started their racing in Junior Dragsters and progressed to the faster cars. Ward started racing in 2010 in an eight-second Quick 32 Top Dragster.
All three women are dedicated ambassadors of the sport and take part in off-track promotions, media interviews and autograph sessions.
For information about Toronto Motorsports Park in Cayuga, call (905) 772-0303 or visit online.
Now, talking about complimentary admission tickets, it won’t cost anybody anything to attend this weekend’s CASC-Ontario Region races at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.
Just go to the CASC website and click to download tickets for Saturday and Sunday. Or click here. And you can print out as many as you like, which makes it a great way to take the family somewhere for the weekend and not have to spend an arm and a leg.
Racing in five divisions organized by BARC will start Saturday at 8:30 in the morning and Sunday at 9 a.m. Classes in action will include Vintage/Historic, G70 Limited, F1200, F1600, Formula Libre, GT Sprints and so-on.
Over at Delaware Speedway just outside London, the International Supermodified Association will be racing Friday and Saturday nights. As anybody who’s read my stuff knows, these are my guys.
The supers (left, and thanks to the Delaware website for the photo) are the fastest short-track racing cars on the planet and the ground shakes when the pack flies by. It’s a professional class, so the purse is healthy, which means admission is not free. An adult single-night ticket costs $40 but there are family passes and weekend passes available that make it more affordable. Check with the Delaware website for details. Or click here.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is back in action at Pocono Raceway this Sunday and Jimmie Johnson will be out to show everybody that his dominating performance last weekend in the Brickyard 400 was a precursor to him winning his sixth championship in seven years.
Of course, defending Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart, fresh off his World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory at Ohsweken Speedway on Tuesday night, will be out to put a stop to that, as will all the other Sprint Cup regulars.
Of special interest will be the performance in the Penske Racing No. 22 car of Sam Hornish Jr., who’s been given the ride for the rest of the season after Penske fired A.J. Allmendinger, who’d twice flunked drug tests administered by NASCAR. If Hornish can finish high consistently, he’ll be in the car in 2013. Otherwise, expect Ryan Newman to join the team to drive that car.
That race, incidentally, can be seen on TSN2 at 1 p.m.
In NASCAR Canada competition, D.J. Kennington of St. Thomas will be looking to win his sixth race in a row at Trois-Rivieres on Sunday. However, he’ll be up against Andrew Ranger, who’s either won or finished close to the front in the last four or five years there, as well as defending series champion Scott Steckly and the rest of the Canadian Tire Series regulars.
The other TV race of interest this weekend will be the IZOD IndyCar Series race from the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Sunday. It will be on ABC at 12:30 p.m. or on same-day tape-delay on TSN2 at 5 p.m., or after the NASCAR race, whichever comes first.
Have a happy and safe holiday weekend, everybody. I’m going to stretch my legs, too, and will resume writing sometime on Monday.