Saturday, February 08, 2014

Saturday at the Canadian Motorsports Expo 2014

No rubber was burned on the concrete floor of the @CMEtoronto show at the International Centre, but the race cars drivers probably wished they could do some donuts and head right into the 2014 racing season. As we can't escape winter in Toronto, the next best things for race fans is to head to Canada's Ultimate Racing Show. Posted by James Hamilton and Joe Hamilton.
Hall five of the International Centre is full of drag, stock, antique and a large variety of other race cars and the CME continues from Friday, February 7 to Sunday February 9. NASCAR Sprint Cup Star Ryan Newman was the star attraction on Saturday, February 8 and on Sunday NASCAR legend Richard Petty will headline the show.
NASCAR driver Ryan Newman, right, laughs after signing the shirt of a baby fan
Long lines of fans wait for their turn to meet Ryan who is a NASCAR Sprint Cup star hoping to win his second Daytona 500

Canadian track stars from the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series (NCTS) will also have a major presence at the Sunday edition of the CME with a 30 minute Q&A session on the Inside Track stage.
Promotional models from Backwoods Girls had their own meet and greet

See more of the car show and Sunday's schedule after the jump.

Former IndyCar driver Alex Tagliani will race the full season with NCTS
Alex Tagliani and Alex Nagy on the Inside Track stage
Hooters girls mentioned that the Downtown Toronto Bikini Contest will be in April

Three time NCTS Champion driver Scott Steckly with Inside Track photographer Joe Hamilton and Linda Jones, President of Driven Motorsport Innovations
Scott Steckly's #22 Canadian Tire car

Many of Ontario's racetracks were at the show to promote their brands, including Ohsweken Speedway
Ladies from TDC Entertainment
Road Racing Panel Discussion featuring several representatives of various parts of the Canadian road racing community discuss their plans and news for 2014: l to r, Perry Iannuzzi, Robert Giannou, Rob Reeves, Jason Sharpe and Gary Wood.
Meet the media panel discussion is one of my favourite events of the show. Canada's top motorsports journalist discuss Canadian and international racing: l to r, moderator Todd Lewis (TL Sports and Entertainment), Tim Miller (Hamilton Spectator), guest Angie Skinner (co host of Sirius Speedway), Michele-Marie 'Meesh' Beer (Open Wheel blogger), Erik Tomas (Raceline Radio host) and Norris McDonald (Toronto Star). The event really benefited from Angie's involvement in the US racing scene.

Some of the topics of conversation for the group were the new Sprint Cup rules, such as group style qualifying and the change in qualifying for the championship Chase race. Erik was pleased to note the start of the new Canadian Motor Speedway which cost $15 million to get to this point in its development.

The group talked about the open wheel IndyCar racing series. Recently the 6 year title sponsor changed COOs and the race series was dropped by IZOD at the end of the 2013 season and the series is looking for a new sponsor going into 2014. Speaking of IndyCar: Scott Dixon is the defending 2013 series champion and Toronto will host the July 18-19-20, 2014 double header race.
Acton Don Francks was at the show with an antique racing car. Don has a long biography of film and television roles including his stint on La Femme Nikita.


10:30 – 11:30 a.m. Short track guru Spencer Lewis hosts several up-and-coming racers in his annual installment of the Young Guns Panel on the CME Stage. Hear what some of Canada’s future stars have in store for 2014.

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Driver Q&A: The NCATS Series features many of the country’s top stock car racers. Several of them will be making big news at the CME. The NCATS drivers will take to the CME Stage to talk about what’s new for their programs for 2014.

12:30 – 1:00 p.m. Richard Petty Q&A on the CME Stage: Seven Sprint Cup Championships. Seven Daytona 500 wins. 200 Sprint Cup wins. Richard Petty is undisputedly The King of NASCAR racing. This is your chance to hear Richard Petty live and in person as he takes part in a Q&A with the fans!

1:00 – 2:15 p.m. NASCAR legend Richard Petty will sign as many autographs as possible for the fans, on the CME Stage.

2:30 – 3:00 p.m. Mike Skinner Q&A: Known as ‘The Gunslinger,’ Mike Skinner won the first-ever NASCAR Truck Series race before going on to be the series’ inaugural champion. During his illustrious career, he was teamed with the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. at Richard Childress racing. Mike will be joined on the stage by his wife, Angie Skinner, host of SiriusXM’s NASCAR Radio.

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Drag Racing Panel Discussion: Series promoter Bruce Mehlenbacher hosts a discussion featuring some of the sport’s most prominent racers and industry personalities.

NOTE: Schedule is subject to change. Check for updates.

One of my favourite race tracks in Ontario is the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, formerly known as Mosport, located north of Bowmanville. The track has a 10-turn road course and features both cars and motorcycle races. On May 18, 2014 the start of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series begins at the park and from June 27-29, 2014 they are holding the Glory Days Celebration of Speed. Other notable events include the Victoria Day SpeedFest Weekend, the Canadian Historic Grand Prix, Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix, the Superbike Doubleheader Weekend and the Chevrolet Silverado 250.

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