Midget Racing Club Inc.
47 years ago a small number of Canadian and U.S. race car drivers were
to meet at Johnny’s Park on Sand Road in Beamsville, Ontario some for
the inaugural event in what was hoped to be a series between drivers on
both sides of the border. But when Canadian Customs dragged its feet in
allowing the U.S. drivers to cross the border, the park was empty when
they arrived. The Canadians, who had waited for some time, had gone
home. No one at the time would have foreseen the establishment of the
Can-Am Midget Racing Club which has become one of the most successful
racing groups in North America.
Racing in open-wheel, single-seat race
cars back in the 1960’s was limited to a smattering of events such as
the quarter-midget shows at Hamilton’s Lacrosse Bowl. There were many
ovals catering to the bigger stock cars but little in the way of true
midget or open-wheel racing. In Buffalo, which has a rich history of
midget racing, a number of drivers were running three quarter midgets at
Lancaster Speedway. On The Canadian side drivers often met at Albert
Banyard’s farm where they carved out a dirt track in the back 40’s.
Spearheading the formation of the Can-Am Midget Racing Club were Harry
Macy of Buffalo, N.Y. and Bill Crawford of Pickering, Ontario. It
didn’t take long for the two groups to stage events at Lancaster and
Western Ontario’s Hide-A-Way, Cayuga, Windsor, and Flamboro Speedway.
Since its humble beginnings, the Can-Am Midget Racing Club has
sanctioned events at more than 30 tracks in New York, Indiana, Ohio,
Florida, Ontario, New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Quebec.
In the early 1970’s Harry Macy met Craig
Hill as Craig’s interest in open-wheel racing brought him over to the
midget side of the pits as the Can-Am Midgets raced on Friday nights at
Cayuga Speedway. Drivers from major sanctioning groups which have raced
in the Can-Am Midget events include Supermodified driver Bentley Warren,
who competed in two lndy 500 races, Joe Gosek who ran the lndy 500 in
1996, NASCAR star Ken Schrader, World of Outlaw / NASCAR ace Dave Blaney,
and USAC star Jack Hewitt.
While the club boasts membership in the triple digits, it is not hard to
think of the original members. Their presence can still be felt by
second and third generation drivers and owners. Dick Watkins and Vinnie
Christiano now both have sons that are behind the wheel. Lloyd
Dempster’s son Keith has racked up an impressive seven championships and
can now be seen behind the wheel of a Sprint car. Harry Macy is now part
of a third generation team as son Bill now has his son Craig Macy in the
driver’s seat. Albert Banyard can be seen working the corners as an
official on the infield, while his daughter, Kim, is the Club’s head
Today’s Club boasts Lucas Oil Products as
title sponsor of the series who came aboard at the beginning of the 2005
racing season and is a firm supporter of grass-roots racing. The influx
of Lucas support has made the Club one of, if not the strongest
traveling series in Ontario and Canada. 30+ cars can be seen competing
in the headline TQ events during the season such as the “Canadian Open”
and “TQ Classic” each vying for their share of the rich purse.
Yes, the Can-Am Midget Racing Club has
come a very long way since the day when it’s first race 47 years ago
that never made it to the green flag. Through hard work and dedication
by numerous members, the club has grown and prospered and brings some of
the best wheel-to-wheel competition to race fans in the northeast.
Contact David Balych
Our mailing address is :
Can-Am TQ Midget Racing Club
1766 Dundas Street East
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada