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Author Topic: Capital City Speedway Ottawa, Ontario  (Read 3447 times)

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Offline mostwanted2005

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Capital City Speedway Ottawa, Ontario
« on: January 25, 2010, 12:05:08 AM »
Racing in our nation's capital has been around for 60 years and during that time many changes have taken place from location, to owner's and this past weekend the track once again was in for a change.  I have been researching for this story for  a few weeks now. I was ready to post it until this past Sunday when I received a message that the track promoter announced he’s not returning for the 2010. This has left the driver's and sponsors and fans all wondering what the future holds.
Racing in the Ottawa rea, by all accounts, began in 1949 as a dirrt track 30 miles south of Ottawa in a town called Carsonby. Racing back then was not like today. It wasn't that popular and due to lack of support the track closed after one season in operation.  A few years later another attempt was made in a field just west of the village of Bells Corners, just a few miles outside of Ottawa, called Meadow Parks Speedway.  This track like the one in Carsoby were not very people friendly. Lack of seating, parking, lighting and the fact that they weren't to accessable to the racing fans led to the demise it racing once again.

Racing arrived back in Ottawa, this time for good in 1955, when a 1/4 mile dirt track  opened at Lansdowne Park Stadium site, also home to the Ottawa Roughriders and the Central Canada Exhibition.  The first night of racing was june 1st and an impressive crowd of more than 5000 people were in attendance. The track was so successful that race promoter Gerry Bisson made many improvements and changed the name to Lansdowne Speedway. 

The track was lengthened from 1/4 mile to a 1/3 mile and the dirt oval was now a paved oval. The corner banking was increased, extensive safety rules were incorporated and a guard rail was built to surround the track.  The new and improved track opened the 1957 season and quickly became one of Eastern Canada's premier race facilities attracting race fans and drivers from as far away as Montreal and upper New York State.  It was home to Late Model racing, Sprint races, Demolition derby's and Powder Puff Derby's.  Racing which normally took place Wednesday nights was expanded to Friday's and Saturday's as well.  However the growing interest also a down side. Like in many racing communities, noise complaints were on the increase.  Pressure would also comefrom Lansdowne's other main tennants, the Ottawea Rough Riders and the Central Canada Exhibition Association (CCEA).  Although racing was a lucrative and generated lots of income for the CCEA, they wanted to construct more seating for the footbal stadium and with other planned improvements, the race track could no longer be accomodated.  The last night of racing at Lansdowne was August 17, 1960.

Promoter Gerry Bisson, got to work immediately on a new race facility in the town of Stittsville, located southwest of Kanata, about 20 miles from downtown Ottawa.  The new "State of the Art" facility was a 3/8 mile paved oval and also included a dragstrip. Bisson would continue as promoter at the track until the end of the 1973 season. Peter Warren and Fred Byers bought the track in 1974 and changed the name of the track to Ottawa Valley Speedway. The surface was changed to a clay surface but would be changed back to asphalt the next year. In 1976, Gerry Bisson returned to head the track and did so unitl his death in 1977.  During the mid 1970's, the race track enjoyed some of it's greatest years. Several well known racers from the United States like "Barefoot" Bob McCreadie and Richie Evans wuite often made the trek north to conquer the fast track. In 1994, Penny Bell bought the track and the name was changed back to Capital City Speedway.  She owned it until 2002 when David Melamed took over the track operations and the name changed once again, this time to the Ottodrome International Speedway. Three years later in 2005, the track changed hands again and was bought by the Drummond Family, and they inturn changed the name back to Capital City Speedway.

Arnie Malcolm, longtime operator of the Luskville Dragway, took over in 2006 and was in charge until this past weekend. Jeremy Coulter, who races in the Legend Car series at Capital City, recently took over as the track's new marketing manger and big changes are in store for 2010.  He will also be running JM Motorsports Arrive and Drive Legends race schools in 2010 at the track. The weekly race card consists of the Kenyon Racing Products Late Models, Drummonds Gas Thunder Cars, Lentech Automotive Legends, Autovation Inc. Mini Stocks and the Crilly Chassis Works 4 For Fun cars.
Check the website for more information. Racing takes place Wednesday nights with other events scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays. Racing starts at 7:30 pm.


Capital City Speedway Ottawa, Ontario
« on: January 25, 2010, 12:05:08 AM »

Offline blkflagagain

  • Fell short of the 20 race mark in 2009.. Quite sad indeed!!!
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Re: Capital City Speedway Ottawa, Ontario
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2010, 12:17:41 AM »
Thanks for the history lesson in regards to the nation's capital.. Very imformative!!

Once a king always a king. Once a queen always a queen. Once a knight.......... never enough!!!


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