Story By: TIM BALTZ / CAN-AM SPEEDWAY – LAFARGEVILLE, NY – It all began with a six-race schedule back in 1974 at a track known then as Winner’s Circle Speedway, with Jim Clark and Gord Dobbins claiming the Modified and Stocker checkered flags.
After a change in ownership and promoters in 1975, the Can-Am Speedway has been full speed ahead ever since and staff and management are ready as ever, for the 48th season opener, which is set for April 29th.
2021 was a great season overall in all 5 divisions. Tim Fuller was able to claim his first Whitesboro Plow Shop DIRTcar 358 Modified track championship, after being close several times in his career. Fuller also claimed 4 feature wins during the season and was one of 7 different winners a year ago. Billy Dunn scored a division leading 5 feature wins and gave the veteran a run for the title, but came up just a few points short of his 7th Can-Am crown. Other track title contenders for 2022 include Jordan McCreadie who claimed a feature win last season, veteran 358 Modified competitor Lance Willix, sophomore Jackson Gill and two-time winner last year Ryan Bartlett.
The Bob Johnson Auto Group DIRTcar Sportsman has been owned the last two seasons by Tyler Corcoran. The Central Square New York native led the division with a total of 6 wins on the year enroute to his second straight title. Corcoran became the first driver since the late Brandon Hagan to claim back-to-back championships, who accomplished the feat in 2012 and 2013. Dave Rogers came back to the Bob Johnston Auto Group DIRTcar Sportsman division after a year away. The two-time champion had a strong season finishing second in points and scoring his only win on June 4th. Mike Fowler can also throw his name in the mix for the 2022 crown. Fowler was the only other multi-time winner in 2021 claiming two victories and finishing third in track points.
Justin White saw a season of firsts in the FABCO DIRTcar Pro Stock division in 2021. White scored his first career win on July 30th and then owned victory lane the following two weeks. White also secured the 2021 track title, another first, then went on to score another first, this time a win in the DIRTcar Pro stock Series event on September 10th. White will have some company to try and repeat as champion however. Burton Ward, Kevin Fetterly Jr. and Tyler Bushey all secured wins in 2021 and will be in the mix once again. A total of 8 different drivers found victory lane in the 14 events contested a year ago.
Tony Frezzo also had a phenomenal year in the Marsha Gibbons TLC Real Estate Thunderstock division in 2021. Frezzo, in 14 events, owned the field many nights as he claimed a division high 9 feature wins and a 134-point cushion over division runner up AJ St. Mary to claim top honors. Steve Smith, Matt Zira, Mike Greenfield and Justin Pope also graced victory lane. Paul DeRuyter led all drivers in last year’s Donath Motorworx Limited Sportsman division with a total of 4 feature wins and more upcoming talent is expected in 2022, which will make this division one to watch all season long.
The much-anticipated debut of the Panther Frameworx 602 Crate Sprint Car division will add some excitement this season. The addition of this new division has seen success at the nearby Brockville Ontario Speedway. With border restrictions lifted making it much easier for Canadian competitors to be a part of the action, a strong field is anticipated for the season opener.
VP Racing Fuels and Lubricants will be on hand as title sponsor for the season opener on Friday April 29th with all six divisions on the card. The first green flag drops on the 2022 season at 7:15pm.