Bob St. Amand Sr Memorial at
Merrittville continues to
be ‘THE EVENT’ for Race Fans and Race Teams
If you follow the Big Block Super DIRTcar Series – you must know that some memorable events have been hosted by Merrittville Speedway in celebration of the Canadian Civic Holiday every August since 1972.
2013’s edition is set for Monday August 5th hosted by L. St. Amand Enterprises and St. Amand Auto and Truck Repair.
20 years after the inaugural event won by Will Cagle – Merrittville’s own Ron Smoker led the final ¼ lap to upset the field and Big Block Star Brett Hearn to win the event. Another 20 years later in 2012 … it was another Saturday Night Star – Mike Bowman beating the Big Block stars once again with his Small Block.
What will the 2013 event bring? You must also know Matt Sheppard … the three time Super DIRTcar Series Champion … this year’s UNOH DIRTcar Nationals presented by Summit Champion at the Volusia Speedway Park in Florida and for Merrittville fans … he’s the three time champion of our 100 lap event prior to last season! The last two events in the series were on Canadian soil – a Quebec doubleheader at Autodromes Drummond and Granby July 22 & 23 has Brett Hearn atop the points before returning to Merrittville Speedway the first Monday of August.
Hearn who missed last year’s 100 recovering from an illness is a three time winner of the event with victories in 1986, 1991 and 1995. The last time however was when the event was part of the 358 Modified Super DIRTcar Series. Since the first running of the event in 1972 there have been many drivers that have won it more than one time but only one who has won it four times in a row. Alan Johnson won the last three years that it was part of the 358 Modified Super DIRTcar Series and was the first winner when it returned to it’s Big Block roots in 2006.
2010 was the celebration of the first Bob St. Amand Memorial 100 and since then race fans and especially race teams will see quite an event presented by L. St. Amand Enterprises. “When we lost Senior unexpectedly,” relates (Merrittville GM) Erica Bicknell-Jones, “the entire racing community rallied around Bob’s family … now they have embraced the event … it is shaping up to be the event of the summer once again!” “It’s something he would liked to have been a part of,” prided Bob St. Amand Jr. who recently purchased the Automotive Repair portion of the business from his uncle Pat, “Merrittville drivers … and visitors alike … the drivers all meant so much to him … everyone in the family is doing their part.” While the family-run companies are sponsoring the event – they are inviting everyone to take on a challenge and participate in many rewarding levels that are available.
“We’re proud to bring back lap sponsorships and other packages,” reveals (Bob Sr.’s granddaughter Brooke St. Amand, “for as little as $30.30 you can support the drivers … we also have come up with some other ideas as well.” Race fans wishing to extend a special message to their favorite driver … or racing-minded business owners may wish to donate to the event. Visit http://merrittville.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=3835 to see who has already sponsored a lap.
Several Merrittville Drivers over the years have enjoyed success in the event that brings DIRTcar’s best in each year. And that started right from the first edition in 1972. Although Will Cagle won – the rest of the top 5 were hometown heroes – Ivan Little, Jeno Begolo and Denny and Don Deagle – all of them Wall of Famers like Bob Sr. The following year in 1973, it was recent L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Fame inductee Lloyd Holt as the winner.
The event over its history has been run as Big Block, 358 Modified and combined events. Since it’s return to Big Block – 2006 was the year that saw Merrittville Drivers Pete Bicknell and Ken Cosgrove take the runner-up and third spots. Before it’s refocus to featuring 358 Modifieds – Ron Smoker stole the show from Brett Hearn in a last lap last corner move that is still being talked about to this day! During the 358 phase – Bicknell (2002) and Jamie Turner (1994) both took home top honors.
“How sweet it would be if one of Papa’s own is in Victory Lane once again,” anticipates Colleen Curvin, “regardless of the outcome … we are working on bonuses for Merrittville regulars … each division on the card as well.” Bob St. Amand Senior was Merrittville Speedway’s 1972 Modified Points Champion and was inducted into the L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Fame by the Merrittville Speedway Reunion Committee in 2002. When he retired from racing – he became Merrittville Speedway’s Pit Steward until his passing after last year’s Super DIRTcar Series Event. Up until that time the event had been run for 17 years in memory of Trevor Wilkens.
The heart-pounding, high-powered, pedal-mashing entertainment includes a 25 lap Event for the full fendered fans as the Hoosier Stocks compete in another Home Track Duel on the Dirt Series against the Brighton Speedway Pro Stocks. A Non-winners race for the Rick’s Delivery Sportsman Division was recently added to the night that will conclude with the final Enduro Qualifier accelerated by Niagara College T
he Great Clips Grandstand Ticket Office Gates open Monday August 5th and the Club Castropignano Pasta Dinner begins at 4 PM and runs until 6. Merrittville Speedway is located at 2371 Merrittville Highway in Thorold.
For directions click on http://www.merrittvillespeedway.com/directions.html or call 905-892-8266 or via e mail – firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all the news on Merrittville Speedway’s 62nd Consecutive Season in 2013 – visit www.merrittvillespeedway.com. Race fans and Race teams alike can follow Merrittville on Face Book (Facebook.com/Merrittville Speedway) and Twitter (Twitter.com/Merrittville)