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On CTV, NASCAR Canada and Dick Trickle

  • Choosing a car at dealership. Thoughtful grey hair man in formalwear leaning at the car and looking away

Everybody knows it’s better to see anything live and in colour, as it happens.

You can sit in a movie theatre in Toronto and watch the Met’s production of Aida in New York, but you miss out on the fun and excitement of getting to the legendary Opera House at Lincoln Square on the Upper West Side.

It’s all very well to sit through a travelogue on Ireland in the great room of a central Toronto country club but you’re not feeling the heat of the summer or breathing in the smell of the Irish air. And, yes, it was fun being outside the Air Canada Centre when the Leafs were playing Boston but wouldn’t it have been better on the inside?

Having said all that, you sometimes just can’t get somewhere, and that’s when TV steps in.

In a blockbuster announcement this week, CTV and NASCAR said two of this season’s major stock car races from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park will be televised live across Canada.

Coverage this coming Sunday of the first race of the 12-race 2013 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series season will begin at 1 p.m. EDT on CTV.

And on Sunday, Sept. 1, TSN plans to televise the Canadian Tire Series race that will be part of the NASCAR Camping World Series truck race weekend. That program is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.

Barrie Speedway announcer Dave Bradley will handle the play-by-play duties while Billy Rowse Jr. and Adam Ross will provide the colour. They will be joined by pit reporters Todd Lewis and Spencer Lewis.

Long-time TSN auto racing host Vic Rauter will join the team for the live telecasts.

The live broadcasts will highlight the 2013 television schedule. The 10 remaining Canadian Tire Series events will be tape-delayed and shown on TSN as one-hour specials, with the exception of the final race Sept. 21 at Kawartha Speedway, which will be turned into a 90-minute special.

Additionally, TSN — which has been the television home for the series since NASCAR took over from CASCAR in 2007 — will air a season-in-review show on Nov. 30.

Great stuff.

Now, as the opening examples illustrate, it’s always better to be somewhere — whether it’s for a hockey game, or a Broadway show, or a Rolling Stones concert (I hear that tour’s being sponsored by Depends . . .).

But if you can’t make it out to Old Mosport (north of Bowmanville, by the way) for the annual Victoria Day Weekend Speedfest, then be sure to tune in to CTV at 1 o’clock Sunday afternoon and enjoy the headline event of the weekend.

Now, Canadian Tire Series races at the Honda Indy Toronto and Montreal’s Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve have been covered live previously by TSN.

And other races – American Le Mans Series sports car races, for instance – have been televised live from Old Mosport by NBC and the SPEED Channel.

But this will be a first time the first race of the NASCAR Canada season will be a live, coast-to-coast, event.

The rest of the lineup:



Race Date Venue TSN/TSN2 Premiere
May 19 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (road course) Sun., May 19, 1 p.m. *
June 15 Delaware Speedway Sun., June 23, 1 p.m.
June 22 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (speedway) Sun., June 30, 1 p.m.
July 7 Circuit ICAR Sun., July 14, 11 a.m.
July 13 Motoplex Speedway Sun., July 21, 1:30 p.m.
July 17 Auto Clearing Motor Speedway Sun., July 28, 11 a.m.
July 27 Autodrome St. Eustache Sun., Aug. 4, 11 a.m.
Aug. 11 Circuit de Trois-Rivieres Sun.., Aug. 18, 11 a.m.
Aug. 17 Riverside International Speedway Sun., Aug. 25, 1 p.m.
Sept. 1 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (road course) Sun., Sept. 1, 11 a.m. ‡
Sept. 7 Barrie Speedway Sat., Sept. 14, 2 p.m.
Sept. 21 Kawartha Speedway Sun., Oct. 6, 5:30 p.m. ^
2013 Year In Review Sat., Nov. 30, 1 p.m.

 All races subject  to change. Check local listings for updated broadcast times. All times ET.

* Scheduled live telecast on CTV

‡ Scheduled live telecast on TSN

^ Telecast on TSN2

SAD NEWS: Late Thursday afternoon, the news arrived that Dick Trickle, a midwest stock car driver who won the NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year award when he was 48 years old, had taken his own life at the age of 71.

Here’s a link to the tribute (click here) but I can tell you that my favourite Dick Trickle line was at that year’s NASCAR banquet in New York. As he accepted the award, he thanked Winston cigarettes for sponsoring the series so “young guys like me can make a name for themselves.”

There’s a video clip on the Internet that was sent to me today by my friend John Bassett that shows Trickle lighting up a cigarette at Talladega during a caution period. All those old-time racers smoked during races.

I can remember the glory days of the NASCAR modified series, the days when Richie Evans, George Kent, Jerry Cook, Reggie Rugierro, Maynard Troyer and all those guys would race and the moment – the moment – there was a red flag, the flashes from the cigarette lighters in the cockpits as the boys would light up could be seen from all around the speedway.

Here’s that link.

R.I.P., Dick.

  • On CTV, NASCAR Canada and Dick Trickle
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