Dirt Track Nationals a hit on a new speedway

Teen rider Tanner Williamson says it’s exciting to have a new track to race in Northwestern Ontario.

THUNDER BAY – At six years old, Tanner Williamson jumped into a go-kart and, with it, got addicted to racing.

By 13 he had switched to stock cars and now at 17 he has already had three victories under his young racing belt, including a first place finish on Saturday in the modified stock car event at the Thunder Nationals. Bay Truck Center Dirt Track, the first official victory on the new Dairy Queen International Speedway.

Fort Frances, Ont. native has built his credibility on the track over the past few years, and it all falls into place this summer, he said, as he and his team prepare for Sunday’s final.

He’s excited to have another speedway in the area, especially one that plans to offer weekly races on Wednesday nights next summer, up to 14 different race nights.

What a lead, he said.

“It’s a really nice track, I love every part of it,” said the teenager, admitting his racing dream would take him to the NASCAR circuit.

“The mod works great. We took third place in the qualifying race and got out and took the A title from third place. This weekend has been quite successful so far.

Williamson said running has been a part of his life for as long as he can remember.

“Since (I was a kid) I have been coming to the race track every weekend and I can feel the engines, I can hear the people around you cheering you on, the excitement, the atmosphere of the sport, it’s amazing . “

That’s exactly what track co-founder Louis Nadin felt on Sunday, the roar of racing cars whipping up a racing track built like a labor of love and a love of sports music to his ears.

With thousands of fans filling the stands, Nadin and her brother, Norm, are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead of them next year and beyond.

“It has been an incredible weekend. The crowds are amazing, the weather is wonderful, the pits are full of riders – there are probably 100 riders in the pits. It’s just amazing, it’s an excellent participation rate, ”said Nadin.

Week 1 was part of a learning curve for the track officials, who spent Saturday night evaluating the circuit after two days of hard driving by some of Ontario’s top stock car drivers.

“The trail is a bit bumpy, but they worked on it last night until around 2am. My brother was on the grader and there were a few guys on the packer, so they set it up pretty well, ”Nadin said.

“It took a bit of trouble, but this is sort of the maiden voyage for this track, so it’s probably going to take a year or two to get it where it needs to be.”

The races are expected to continue in 2022.

Final results were not immediately available after Sunday’s races.

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