Story By: STEVE PETTY / MERRITTVILLE SPEEDWAY – THOROLD, ONT – The 69th season of racing at Merrittville Speedway is right around the corner and as Spring is in the air, owners Don & Lorraine Spiece is pleased to announce the 2020 racing schedule at the Thorold, Ontario speedplant.
Two car shows will kick off the season at the Pen Centre in St. Catharines, and the Seaway Mall in Welland. The show at the Pen Centre will take place on March 16-22. The Pen Centre is located off HWY 406 at Glendale Avenue in St. Catharines. The show at Seaway Mall runs March 29-April 4. Seaway Mall is located on Niagara Street in Welland.
The month of April will begin with the test, tune, and inspection day on April 11. Pit gates will open at 12 noon with cars on the racetrack at 6 pm. April 18th will be the annual Spring Sizzler. Garrison Automotive presents the racing program featuring the first visit of the season by the Southern Ontario Sprints plus 358 Modifieds, Sportsman, Hoosier Stocks, and 4 Cylinders. The Tim Hortons catering truck will be on-site with FREE delicious beverages. April 25 will be the first race towards the 2020 Bobcat of Hamilton Weekly Racing Series championships with the season opener. The Mod Lites and V6 will join the 4 Cylinders, Hoosier Stocks, Sportsman, and Modifieds.
May 2, Peters Excavating presents a full card plus Hoosier Stock Insta Panels Duel on the Dirt home race number one. May 9, 2cool Automotive presents the Brian Stevens Memorial featuring the $444 Pole Dash Challenge. TMR will once again present the Triple Crown for the 4 Cylinders. It is also the first home race for the Duel on the Dirt. Victoria Day Weekend will see two big shows coming to Merrittville. Saturday, May 16, The Pen Centre presents the racing action featuring the first Tim Hortons Enduro qualifier accelerated by JC Auto plus Pro Rider Stunt Bike show. Monday, May 18, Zavitz Financial Strategies and ZPS Benefit Solutions presents the Sportsman Super DIRTcar Series plus the first visit of the season from the Action Sprint Tour. The Northeast Late Model Alliance will also be on the card plus Hoosier Stocks. CAA Niagara presents the full card program on May 23 plus School Bus Races. The month will close on May 30 as Young McNamara presents Autograph Night featuring the 2nd annual Bikes for Kids Giveaway!
June 6 marks the return of Kenny Schrader to Merrittville Speedway as the UMP Modifieds come back to the region presented by Pro Battery. It is the 2nd Triple Crown event and Duel on the Dirt home race for the 4 Cylinders plus Best Appearing Dog Contest. The Sportsman, Hoosier Stocks, Mod Lites and V6 will round out the racing card. Sunday, June 7, Thorold Auto Parts presents WRECKFEST 2020 featuring the return of the area’s ONLY School Bus Demolition Derby. Wreckfest 2020 is also presented by Impact Motorsports. More information about Wreckfest 2020 is available by searching Wreckfest 2020 on Facebook. On June 13, Loop Paint presents retro T-Shirt night plus the second home race for the Duel on the Dirt for Hoosier Stocks. June 20, Cotton Inc. presents the Gary Cunningham Memorial for the Southern Ontario Sprints, the second Tim Hortons Enduro qualifier and $1.50 hot dog night. Celebrate Canada Day weekend on June 27 as Rev’s Full Throttle presents a full card of racing plus Fireworks!
As our neighbors from across the border celebrate their Independence Day (July 4), racing continues at Merrittville Speedway as Seaway Mall presents a full card plus the annual Truck Show n’ Shine. July 11, Graybar Canada presents the Action Sprint Tour. July 18, Pinty’s presents Nostalgia Night featuring the Jerry Winger Memorial for 358 Modifieds plus CAA Niagara Wall of Fame Induction Ceremonies. On July 25, the Action Sprint Tour returns presented by Schneider Electric. That day is also the final race of the TMR Triple Crown. They will be joined by the 358 Modifieds, Hoosier Stocks, Mod Lites, and V6. The Port Colborne Shriners will also be at the racetrack that evening.
Heading into August, on the 1st, Exclusive Imprint presents the Dirt Vintage Racing Series plus the third Tim Hortons Enduro qualifier. On Monday, August 3, Peacemaker 420 presents a 75-lap, $3500 to win the event for the Hoosier Stocks. Baron Roofing & Siding presents the BEI Lightning Series will return to Merrittville for $2020 to win the event. The 358 Modifieds will also run for $2020 to win. Also, on the card is a $1020 to win Duel on the Dirt combined race for the 4 Cylinders. Each winner will also draw a position in their respective division and that position will also receive $1000. Come early for the pre-race Pasta Night. Saturday, August 8, Niagara Employment Help Centre presents a full card plus the Bill Willard Sr Stirling Silver Cup for Sportsman plus Kids Box Car Races. The following week, August 15, Niagara Trailers presents a full card featuring a 40-lap, $1000 to win special for Sportsman plus the second Autograph Night of the season. Fastek (August 22) and Country 89 (August 29) presents full cards of racing to wrap up the month of August.
Championship Saturday is on Saturday, September 5 for all classes presented by Semenuk’s Esso. The John Spencer Memorial for 358 Modifieds will also be on the card. On Sunday, September 6, Tim Hortons presents the 100 lap, $5000 to win Enduro Accelerated by JC Auto. The 4th annual Charity School Bus Race is also on the card plus Side by Side race, Figure 8, Backward Race, Ladies Race, plus Monster Trucks. The season will end on Saturday, September 12 as Cotton Inc. presents the Southern Ontario Sprints plus 50-lap Sportsman event paying $1000 to win, and the $500 to win Insta Panels Duel on the Dirt combined race for the Hoosier Stocks. The 4 Cylinders and V6 will also be on the card.
Saturday, October 24, is the third annual Merrittville Market Craft & Vendor Show. That day will also feature the annual Racers Swap & Shop. More information on the Market Craft and Vendor Show is available by contacting Lorraine Spiece. The Awards Banquet will take place on Saturday, December 5th at John Michaels Banquet Centre.
Admission prices for regular scheduled Saturday night racing action at Canada’s longest-running dirt track are $16 for adults, students (13-18) and seniors (60 and over) are $14 with youth (8-12) is $7. Under 8 is free