CHEK Upside: Looking back at the history of the Canada 200

WatchThe Canada 200 has a long and storied history at Western Speedway, so CHEK took a look back at what makes the race so special.

It all started back in 1972. The Canada 200 is one of the country’s longest-running stock car races, with a long list of famed winners. The first of which was the late Ross Surgenor.

Angus Stanfield was Ross’ car owner for that inaugural race and remembers the buzz surrounding the event.

“Like you say it was the first Canada 200, it was the first time that they had a 200 lap race for our class of cars anyway,” Stanfield remembers. “Between that and the Daffodil, they were the two big events that year and going forward.”

It’s drivers like Surgenor, Gary Kershaw, Roy Smith and Roy Haslam that helped build the legend of the Canada 200 and make it such a marque event.

“It’s always been a place where guys want to race and having the Canada 200, it brought a lot of other people here,” says Stanfield.

“It was big for Victoria and it was great for the fans, it became a race to look forward to.”

It’s also seen a fair share of off-island stars. NASCAR champion and three-time Daytona 500 winner Bobby Allison ran the race in 1975 for Dick Midgley and it was a night to remember.

“You know that was a great introduction and later on at other races we became friends, I got to know him quite well. Spent a lot of time with him when we made our first trip to Australia and so that definitely stands out,” says Midgley, who has owned cars that have raced all over the world.

This Sunday, one driver will add their name to the list of Canada 200 greats when they roll into victory lane.

“It’s the big effort that everybody puts into it because it means so much to everybody, you know,” says Midgley.

The Canada 200 goes green this Sunday following the premiere of the documentary “Before I’m Gone” at 6 p.m. on CHEK, featuring racer Dave Smith.

Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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