By Darryl G. Smart
Canada’s Crown Jewel has permanently closed its doors.
On Tuesday, “Stakeholders of Jukasa Motor Speedway have made the difficult decision to close Jukasa Motor Speedway for business, effective immediately,” a press release said. “There are no plans to re-open. We are extremely thankful for the fans, competitors, staff and partners for their support of Jukasa Motor Speedway since its reopening in 2017.”
Jukasa Motor Speedway was renamed and reopened in 2017 by owners Jerry Montour and the late Kenny Hill. During this time, ‘Canada’s Crown Jewel’ as it was known, reclaimed some of its previous glory when it was known as Cayuga International Speedway. Since the reopening a number of huge events had taken place, including the finale for the NASCAR Pinty’s Series known as the Fall Brawl 200.
The venue also was host to a number of musical events, headlined by artists like The Sheepdogs and the Georgia Satellites.
Unfortunately over the last two years, because of COVID-19, Jukasa Motor Speedway has been closed for major events.
IN THE BEGINNING
It was opened in 1966 as a dirt track but was paved the following year when Bob Slack purchased the track. Since then Cayuga Speedway has been synonymous with racing at its best and is regarded by fans, racers and sponsors alike as Canada’s premier racing and entertainment facility.
Championship racing at its very finest has been the trademark of the former Cayuga Speedway. Its goal to provide motorsport fans with the best “Specials Only” format was attained through major sponsorship backing and a large base of dedicated fans.
In the glory years, hundreds of thousands of fans attended events at this famed facility to capture the excitement of such prestigious racing sanctioning bodies as the American Speed Association (ASA), Hooters Pro Cup, Great American Truck Racing, CASCAR, NASCAR Bush North Series, NASCAR Pinty’s Series, DIRT, ISMA, ACT, ARCA and the Players Challenge Series along with many more.
The track has hosted stock car racing at its best, and many of the biggest names in racing have participated in the exciting sanctioned events including: Bobby Allison, Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Junior Hanley, Don Biederman, Bill Elliot, Matt Kenseth, Alan Kulwicki, Mark Martin, Tony Stewart, Rusty Wallace, Darrell Waltrip, Bob Sennecker, Dick Trickle and many more.
However, the non-stop fender to fender action at the Speedway has not only been limited to stock cars. It also hosted GATR – the big rig trucks, NTPA Truck, and Tractor Pulls.
There were also numerous memorable musical events, including “Another Roadside Attraction” featuring The Tragically Hip. Other major musical acts such as Sass Jordan, Kim Mitchell, The Tea Party, Travis Tritt, The Jeff Healy Band, April Wine, and David Wilcox have performed at the Cayuga International Speedway stages.