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Auto Racing and the Northwest

There was a time when people would flock to our local fairgrounds, not for the rides, but for the races. With the Twin Cities Motor Association sponsoring races at both the CLE and Murillo fairgrounds during the 1920s and 30s. Frank Colosimo and his "King's Ford Special" dominated the local circuit during those early days, losing only two races between 1925 and 1932.

Racing dropped off somewhat in popularity during the 30s and 40s, but by the time the 1950s and 60s rolled around, the stock car circuit was in full swing with the Lakehead Stock Car Club hosting national and international events. Thousands of racing fans would pack the grandstands on Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons to watch such drivers as Ross ‘Pappy’ Fowler, Glen & Barry Kettering, Albert & Tony Massaro, Lyn McIntosh, and Tom Nesbitt, to name but a few of the brave souls that took to the CLE track over the years. The women of the 1950s were not to be left out of the fun, with the Lakehead Stock Car Club also hosting Power Puff races.

Racing continued at the CLE location up until the mid-1960s, eventually moving back out to Murillo Speedway for a few more years. In July of 1967, Riverview Raceways was opened and operated until the early 1990s providing racing fans with two more decades of driving excitement.

More recently stock-car racing has been held at Mosquito Speedway near Nolalu. The newly formed Northwestern Ontario Circle Track Racing Association is looking forward to hosting events at the Dairy Queen International Speedway which is currently being constructed directly behind the township office in Oliver Paipoonge on highway 130, with their ultimate goal to bring racing back to its days of glory, which would be a great thing.

Until next time keep that sports history pride alive.

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