January 26th, 2010 – A number of car racing tracks in Ontario have formed a new association, named the Ontario Speedway Association (OSA), to better promote car racing in the province and to help ensure the survival of the existing race tracks in Ontario.
Given the weather over the past two years and the current state of the economy, speedways in Ontario have been hit hard financially. The new association was formed to foster open communication between speedway promoters and owners and to work together as best as possible to help each other and the sport.
“I’ve been both a driver and track promoter for a number of years now”, states Derek Lynch, promoter at Kawartha Speedway and a driver in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. “The sport is at a crucial stage. Track owners cannot afford to keep paying bigger purses while at the same time facing increasing costs across the board and shrinking revenues from many parts of the business. Something has to change. There are a lot of successful people involved as owners and promoters at the various tracks around Ontario. It’s time for us all to put our heads together and figure out how to turn things around”, added Mr. Lynch.
“We’re in the sports and entertainment business. And just like any other industry, there needs to be an association that works towards ensuring the industry thrives”, states Jim Payetta, co-owner and head of marketing and business development at The HorsePower Sports & Entertainment Group Inc., which owns Barrie Speedway and the Barrie Colts OHL Hockey team. “The sport of car racing has been hit hard over the last couple of years. We need to be able to work with the other track owners and promoters to better market the sport to sponsors and fans. We also have to work together to bring down the costs of racing as much as possible for drivers and car owners. These men and women invest huge amounts of their own money and time into their cars in order to come and race and put on a show for fans. We have to make sure they can afford to continue to do so, or the sport will suffer”, added Mr. Payetta.
“I have been in the business for over 30 years and we have tried to work with the other tracks before, but this time it’s different”, says John Casale, owner of Flamboro Speedway. “Short track racing in Ontario is facing some big challenges. Costs are rising, cars are getting more expensive for the drivers, many tracks need to invest in improvements and we have so many more things to compete with for the fans entertainment dollar. By working together, we can better face the challenges of the day and we’ll be able to better promote the sport of car racing”, added Mr. Casale.
To date, the member tracks include: Barrie Speedway, Capital City Speedway, Delaware Speedway, Flamboro Speedway, Kawartha Speedway, Mosport Speedway, Peterborough Speedway, Sauble Beach Speedway, Sunset Speedway and Varney Speedway.
The new association will meet on a regular basis and will soon be launching a website that will include links to all of the association member tracks.
For more information contact:
705-791-6665 or 705-737-6947