Bob Slack and his family ran Cayuga International Speedway for many successful years. It was a sad day for Ontario stock car racing fans when his tenure at the helm of the Crown Jewel of Canadian Stock Car racing came to an end.
With a calm but firm hand Bob ran a professional, operation that set the standard in our region. If Stew Reamer was handing out his "Promoter of the Year" awards at the time Bob Slack was a shoo-in.
Although I hardly knew the man I owe him a debt of gratitude for the many enduring memories I have of my Friday nights and long weekends at his facility.
Cayuga Speedway was a very large part of my youth and helped make me into the dedicated race fan I am today.
Not Cayuga but ...
This win preceded my birth by about a year and a half. Racing has been a part of my life since before I was born.
The changes in racing; a 1975 perspective.If we only knew .....
Cayuga Speedway is under new ownership and the future looks bright!
With 9 events scheduled for 2007, including the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series this should be the best season in many, many year.
Did I miss any? Let me know here.
More great Ontario Racing information is available at SOSCARS
Ontario Racing Series
Here is a site you simply have to see if you appreciate amateur racing. Rod McLeod of kdm Racing has everything right on this site from the car details to recognition of his crew and sponsors and the tracks he runs on..
Other Blasts from the past
International Motorsports Hall of Fame Talladega
Retro Rockets Supermodifieds, with 5 pages of Jimmy Shampine photos
Richie Evans The Rapid Roman
Art Clark - Still winning in 2003!
Check out Vintage Racers.com
Cayuga SpeedwayA long, long time ago
I can still remember
That music used to make me smile ...
The music though was from push rod V-8's and the stage was the 5/8 mile high banked Cayuga International Speedway at Nelles Corners, Ontario. The musicians included my father and dozens of other local heroes but on at least one special occasion every year the ASA would come to town and take on the local drivers in some of the best racing I have ever seen. Here are some images from those "glory days" in my youth.
The last time NASCAR came north to play with the CASCAR boys the locals took the top 2 spots. Bobby, Davey, Donnie and Kenny Allison ran cars supplied by CASCAR regulars in a race that included Canadian veterans Earl Ross, Norm Lelliott and Howie Scannell.
Bob (sneaker) Senneker won the 1985 Molson Export 300, an ASA fall classic. Prior to the ASA coming to Cayuga this was always the season ending Maple Leaf 250 for Super Late Models.
Dick Trickle, known widely then as the White Knight, followed up his 1984 win in the Molson Export 300 with a second place in 1984. Bill Elliott came within 12 laps of putting Cayuga in his win column but a flat tire on his Jr. Hanley prepared Thunderbird relegated him to third place.
My all time favourite ASA driver, Butch Miller, took the checkered flag in the 1986 Molson Export 200.
In order to win at Cayuga in 1971, first you had to beat Howie "Scooter" Scannell and his #99 Dodge Hemi.
Bob Senneker visited victory lane at Cayuga many times in his storied career.One occasion was the premiere running of the Maple Leaf 250 in 1971. New York Native Art Clark won it in 1973 and 1974. A little known fact is that these races and the Export A Series of Champions were run under the sanction of NASCAR Canada.
Jr. Hanley and Don Biederman defined racing at Cayuga in 1976. Jr's orange #72 quickly became known in southern Ontario, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio as the car to beat but as often as not in the late 70's it was a sheetmetal silver car with the number taped on it. Jr had a policy of only delivering cars that were race tested and he was selling them faster than the paint would dry in those days. Biederman drove the #43 for what seemed like an eternity. Like Hanley, his cars were rarely works of art in terms of beauty but they were poetry in motion on the track.
An aerial view of Cayuga Speedway in the mid 70's. Note the small track in the infield where the Can Am Midgets and Mini-stocks used to run. This was years before the Legends cars were invented. Roger Slack, grandson of Bob Slack has been working with Bruton Smith's organization for years and I suspect that he may well have been the one who came up with this "idea" for Charlotte and Atlanta.
In 1975 the Carling O'Keefe Challenge Series was where the big dogs in Canadian Stock Car Racing ran and many Americans ran it as well. Pictured above is the legendary Jerry Makara on the outside of 1974 NASCAR Winstop Cup Grand National Rookie of the Year Earl Ross. At bottom is none other than Joe Ruttman. The original image of Ruttman's car in the souvenir track program was reversed, but I fixed it; aren't computers great?
Jack Monaghan made the long haul to Cayuga from Windsor ON every Friday night and became a staple of the speedway. Love him or hate him, everyone had an opinion on Jumpin' Jack.
In 1975 I was 10 years old. If my dad couldn't win I pulled for Don Biederman, and since Dad was running Limited Late Model and Late Model compacts there was no-one but Don in the Super Lates for me. Here Daytona Don gets the best of Joe Ruttman in a match race that was talked about for months before and after the event.
Don Biederman died in 1999 at the age of 59 and was recently inducted into the Canadian Motorsports hall of fame. He was a perenial arch-rival to the more widely known (and ultimately more successful) Jr. Hanley but nobody was more of a racer than Biederman.
A trip down memory lane for southern Ontario race fans. Don Biederman led Ralph Book, Jr. Hanley, Howie Scannell and Brian Setterington. Setterington drove an STP sponsored, Petty Enterprises look-alike #54 so he was a favourite of mine as well.
The Compact Division points. Randy Slack and my father traded wins week in and week out in this series for a couple of years.
Art Clark in his trademark #7 Camaro entering turn 2. I'm pretty sure Bob Slack lived in the house in the background.
Randy Sweet is in the #07 Mustang. If it was a "run what ya brung" event, Randy was nearly unbeatable. He damn near invented the rear spoiler and was not opposed to starting it at the front bumper. This car looks pretty tame.
Bobby Allison in an honest to God, Coca Cola sponsored, #12 Chevrolet out of the shops in Hueytown Alabama. He wasn't just there shaking hands either, he was taking names and racing for money
1973 Grand National Champion Benny Parsons also competed at Cayuga in 1975.
In 1983 when Alan Kulwicki came to Cayuga with the ASA he already had two victoriesion the series and had finished 3'rd in the ASA standings the previous year. Everyone was convinced that this young bachelor was destined for greater things.
One of my father's last rides at Cayuga. I believe he finished 3'rd in the McKerlie Millen Classic of 1992.(Image not good enough to blow up)