Push on for Calgary race

DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:16 AM ET

Back when there were three IndyCar races in Canada -- in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal -- the folks at Molson Sports and Entertainment were on the hunt for a fourth Canadian date.

After all, the two that Molson ran -- Toronto and Vancouver -- were huge successes.

The Montreal Indy race, strangely, never really caught on in a city that is mad for motorsports. Most observers blamed that on the fact that the local Montreal Formula One Canadian Grand Prix promoters -- who controlled the rights to Circuit Gilles Villeneuve -- just weren't interested in competition and some even accused them of deliberately sabotaging the event.

Now, nearly a decade later with Molson long gone from the racing scene in this country, it is curiously ironic that their work in paving the way for big time racing in Western Canada is being picked by a new group of Montreal race promoters that, for the most part, is made up of the same executives that buried the series in La Belle Province.

Montreal's Octane Group most certainly will get the rights to operate the Honda Indy Edmonton for the next three years on Wednesday.

That deal was actually reached on July 5, according to sources who talked to Sun Media, and it will be formally rubber-stamped Wednesday by Edmonton City Council.

More interesting, however, may be the work being done in Calgary by Octane.

The same source that correctly told Sun Media last month about the Edmonton deal, now says Calgary is the new focus for the group.

"Molson really did all the groundwork years ago, when it considered Calgary as a replacement for Vancouver which lost its race due to Winter Olympic construction," Sun Media was told.

So while Octane bosses are in Edmonton announcing their deal for that race, a group of them will detour to Calgary to talk to city officials about putting the Stampede City on the IndyCar calendar as soon as 2012.

PIT STOPS

Leave it to those crazy Charlotte Motor Speedway guys to come up with a way to make some dough off of the "on again" feud between NASCAR stars Carl Edwards and Brad Kosolowski.

The tires weren't even cooled yet from the latest contretemps between Edwards and Kosolowski at the NASCAR Nationwide Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at Gateway International Speedway on Saturday, when Charlotte boss Marcus Smith issued each a challenge to settle their duel in a unique manner.

Smith wants the pair to race six-wheeled, 13-ton school buses on the frontstretch quarter-mile oval at CMS.

"There's been no love lost between these two aggressive drivers since last year," Smith said.

"If they'd like to settle the score here, we'll have a couple of school buses tuned up and ready to go.

"There's no better way to beat and bang than in a 30-foot school bus on a quarter-mile oval!"

FINISH LINES

Am I the only one who finds it strange that when his NASCAR teams do well, Jack Roush praises the horsepower produced by the Roush Yates engines and when they're not doing well he refers to them as Ford engines? ... Fans contributed more than $25,000 by signing Paul Tracy's race uniform in Toronto, which was matched dollar-for-dollar by Honda Canada for a total of more than $50,000 for the Make-A-Wish foundation for seriously ill children.

dean.mcnulty@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos