"The Canadian Blast"
Davey Moore jumped into the local stock car scene, with both feet in 1970-71 and headed directly into the modified sportsmen coupes rather than hone his skills in the late model division. Davey purchased a race proven coupe from Ivan Little of St. Catharines. The former #61 Ford coupe was painted bright yellow, with a bright red #6 painted in it's doors. Well, like every rookie, Davey Moore paid his dues racing both at Speedway Park on Friday nights and Merrittville Speedway on Saturdays. The St. Ann's native took some hard knocks, but presevered against the likes of Ivan Little, in a new Jeno Begolo built big block coupe, Mike Zajac, Bruce Van Dyke, Denny and Don Deagle, Henry Shivak, Don Turner and George Treanor. Davey got his start helping warm up the coupe for 3 time champion driver Mike Zajac. Bitten by the allure of fast competition. Davey was determined to race competitively against his mentors.
When Stan Friesen and Kurt Uhl purchased Merrittville Speedway from Ken Kavanagh and Bill Russell, that left the seat vacant in the #52 Ray Stevens modified.coach for 1972. This was Davey Moore's start in driving for car owners. The yellow #6 was gaining momentum as a very competitive ride and Davey Moore was racing at US tracks when not racing at Merrittville on Saturday nights. The go for broke, aggressive inside driving style started to develop. Mike Zajac was probably one of the first drivers to develop and concentrate on driving the car low on the track. Davey Moore's driving style earned him the name, "The Canadian Blast" and another one of these love-hate relationships with the fans evolved. little did we know of the domination to come.
With various car owners, such as Bill Morden, Fred Coe and Mike Cudeck, Cliff Barcomb and Mike Maroney, that the "Canadian Blast" #6 would dominate Merrittville's relatively new D-shaped oval. A brief synopsis of Davey Moore's on track accomplishments included Davey's ability to handle the reconfigured turn 4. For 1976 Moore would again win the Syracuse Qualifier and the modified points title at the wheel of Bill Morden's Garden City modified gremlin. To give you an idea of how dominant Davey Moore's #6 would become. he won all major modified feature events at Merrittville. except for Don Turner's decisivE victory in the Schaefer Syracuse Qualifier at the whee! of his #39 Tobias chassied gremlin. Believe it or not it took 3 years for the 24 year old St. Ann's driver to win his first feature.
The September 5 1972 St. Catharines Standard article was titled "Davey Moore wins his first major victory in Modified." The labor Day Championship was the last major event of the season. It was a tough 50 lapper, but Davey Moore led Ivan little, Pat Collins, Denny Deagle and Mike Zajac across the line. It was a fitting beginning to a win streak that would go on to break 100 feature wins in a short period of time. For 1972, Bob St. Amand would win the championship, closely followed by runner-up Jeno Begolo in the former Lloyd Holt coach. Next up was car owner Neil Sharp who built a beautiful yellow coupe, with a 427 Chevy engine and after one altercation had the name" Round Two" with a pair of boxing gloves painted on the sides of the hood. This long wheel base coupe was a definite weapon on the area dirt tracks in 1974. In August of 1974, Davey held off the likes of Don Turner, Lloyd Holt and Mike Zajac to claim another victory in the Round Two # 6 coupe. Apparently Davey's victory came after a two week suspension and had something to do with the Round Two boxing gloves painted on the car.
Davey's aggressive style was turning into that of a champion. After his mentor - Mike Zajac's serious crash in 1974, Davey Moore and family would build a gremlin style car with parts purchased from Mike Zajac's wrecked championship modified coupe. During part of 1975, Davey Moore drove the #06 modified of Terry St. Amand and started to register more victories in this tough division. The Moore family gremlin modified would go on to win the Schaefer Qualifier for Syracuse and earn Davey Moore his first paints title in 1975. Bob St. Amand, Don Turner, George Treanor and Mark Elsie chased the "Canadian Blast" for the points title. The hard charging Davey Moore was now a modified champion.
For 1979 Davey Moore again would hold off Will Cagle and Jack Johnson to again win the CRC Syracuse Qualifier. This was one victory along a string of 11 straight en route to capturing "The Canadian Blast's fifth championship in a row behind the wheel of the #6 yellow modified. By the way. "Mr. Smallblock" Pete Bicknell would finish 5th to the big blocks in the Syracuse Qualifier. It is no secret that St. Catharines Standard sports editor; the late Jack Gatecliffe's favorite driver was Davey Moore, who followed his career at Merrittville Speedway closely. "Davey Moore was soaring to victory all over the dirt circuit, but especially at Merrittville Speedway. "The Blast" was piloting a new Fred Coe, Mike Cudeck owned Tobias gremlin and by the middle of that season, he had won 4 straight features, but was now being chased by Ivan little, Pete Bicknell, Mike Granton and Don Turner. Davey Moore was the first Canadian to win the Big Block race at Syracuse. Brian Stevens was also coming on as a top young modified racer, behind the Ray Stevens-owned #44A modified sponsored by York Electro Plating's Bryant Irvine. During the 1980'5, Davey Moore would run the dirt circuit but always would return to Merrittville on Saturday nights, and win feature events, but the competition was getting tighter.
Pat Ciolfi was also a top modified pilot and today is Merrittville's technical inspector. Davey's brother-in-law Harvey Hainer was also coming into his own as a top modified pilot behind the wheel of the 2H Part Mart Special Modified. By the late 1980's Davey Moore now at the wheel of Mike Maroney's 5-0 Taxi 611 modified was still winning and holding on to the 2nd place in the Labatt's points race, having won over 70 feature events. As Merrittville Speedway entered the 1990's, Davey Moore would occasionally drive his brother-in-law Harvey Hainer's 2H modified and the last time we spotted the #6 on Merrittville's clay was just a few short seasons ago, when Davey drove the #6 modified Swiss Chalet sponsored car owned by Terry St. Amand. With a star studded career and nothing left to prove to anyone, Davey Moore resides today on the family homestead at St. Ann's with his wife Pat and their two sons, Drew and Jason. We had a chance to visit with Davey during our 50th anniversary radio show and you can still see he gets the itch to drive. especially when the cars fire up their engines.
Tonight we celebrate our 51st season of continuous operation; it is with great pride that we honor Merrittville's first 5 time champion - Davey Moore. "The Blast" is back.