August 28, 1983 - Dale Earnhardt Wins in Canada in Sam Ard Built Car

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
6 years ago
9,126 posts

I had totally forgotten about this until I read the story below recapping Dale Earnhardt's exciting win at Cayuga - Ontario, Canada - in a 1983 NASCAR North race driving a Sam Ard built car. Photos are by Dave Franks.

Memory Lane: An Intimidating Win At Cayuga Speedway

Posted on13 January 2012.

By Randy Spencer / OntarioOval.com

In this edition of Memory Lane, we look back at the Motion 250 NASCAR North tour race at Cayuga Speedway. The date was August 28, 1983 and the stars of the show were Grand National drivers Buddy Baker, Bobby Allison and 1980 Winston Cup champion, Dale Earnhardt.

Due to a conflict, Earnhardt wasnt able to make the practice the previous day, but showed that he could master a track with little practice. The three NASCAR stars arrived on a NASCAR corporate plane and headed for the track where Earnhardt jumped into a Sam Ard built car and proceeded to set a fast time of 20.881 seconds. This was nearly two tenths of a second faster than pole sitter Wes Rosner. He would proceed to turn even faster laps in the final pre-race practice session.

Earnhardt started 21st in the field and began moving to the front of the 33 car field on the first lap and by lap 23 he had moved up to fifth. By lap 37, Earnhardt found himself knocking on the back door of outside pole sitter Bobby Dragon, who led from the start. On lap 47 Earnhardt took the lead and wouldn't relinquish it for the remaining 203 laps. He then started to lap the field and by the 97th lap he had lapped all the cars that were still on the track. It took Earnhardt just another 20 laps for the NASCAR star to put another lap on the field and if not for a lengthy and what Earnhardt later called an unnecessary pit stop, he may have put another lap on the pack. Three drivers managed to get within one lap by the end, Randy LaJoie, Claude Leclerc and Dick McCabe.

Earnhardt was the only one of the name drivers who was still running at the end of the first Grand National North race ever run at Cayuga. Bobby Allison retired on lap 86 after his car began to smoke badly and was black flagged to the pits. Allison returned a few laps later in Barney McRae's car. McRae received burns to his foot from the cars hot transmission tunnel. But Allison retired for good on lap 147 when the engine failed. Buddy Baker was in the pits early and parked the car after 120 laps with an overheating engine. Oakville's Jr. Hanley retired with a similar fate on lap 104. Three time Cayuga track champion Jerry Makera retired after 72 laps. The hot weather took its toll as only 14 of the 33 cars in the starting field, completing the race.

Earnhardt, who said it was an easy track to drive and was similar to Martinsville, earned $5,000 of the $50,000 US purse for the win in front of the largest crowd in the tracks history. More than 21,000 fans came through the gates for the two day event with 13,500 for race day alone. Earnhardt, who was the first Grand National driver to win at Cayuga had just one regret. He missed his daughter Kelley's 11th birthday, but I'm sure he was forgiven with the convincing victory.

1983 Motion 250

Stroh's Tour race number 21 of 27
August 28, 1983 at Cayuga International Speedway, Hamilton, Ontario
250 laps on a .625 mile paved track (156.2 miles)

Fin St # Driver Sponsor / Owner Car Laps Money Status Led Points
1 21 115 Dale Earnhardt Wrangler Brand LeMans 250 running 204 70
2 6 07 Randy LaJoie Snellman Construction LeMans 249 running 0 48
3 7 11 Claude Leclerc Modick Performance LeMans 249 running 0 56
4 8 0 Dick McCabe R.C. Moore Regal 249 running 0 54
5 18 41 Jamie Aube Coca-Cola (Allen Avery) LeMans 248 running 0 52
6 3 75 Beaver Dragon Rossi Buick-Olds Regal 248 running 0 50
7 11 36 Tom Glaser Bosch / Burlington Cars Malibu 246 running 0 48
8 26 1X Gardiner Leavitt McConnell Enterprises (Gardiner Leavitt) Malibu 244 running 0 46
9 24 22 Mike Shaughnessy Technequip Welding Nova 240 running 0 44
10 14 00 Roger Laperle Mont Bruno Moving LeMans 239 running 0 32
11 1 28 Wes Rosner Severance Furs Grand Am 214 crash 0 40
12 10 5A Jean-Paul Cabana Club 5A Cutlass 212 running 0 28
13 4 7 Chuck Bown Skoal Bandit Grand Prix 206 bearing 0 36
14 29 16 Stub Fadden Patten's Gas LeMans 203 valve 0 34
15 15 70 Jean-Paul Larose Autobus St. Eustache LeMans 192 rear end 0 32
16 19 03 Milt Wright Gates Salvage Nova 186 running 0 30
17 20 01 Paul Mauceri Paramount Macaroni (Paul Mauceri) LeMans 157 running 0 28
18 33 4 Barney McRae Custom Corner Ventura 147 overheating 0 26
19 12 33 Jeff Stevens Norseman Motor Inn (Sandy MacKinnon) Cutlass 140 engine 0 24
20 9 15 Mike Rowe Homestead Farms Cutlass 129 overheating 0 22
21 28 21 Kevin Lepage Nordic Ford T-Bird 128 oil leak 0 10
22 5 24 Mike Barry Borderline Racing LeMans 125 engine 0 18
23 2 71 Bobby Dragon Moe Brown Racing LeMans 122 crash 0 16
24 25 38 Buddy Baker Valvoline Grand Prix 120 overheating 0 14
25 22 100 Junior Hanley Mont Bruno Moving Cutlass 104 rocker arm 0 12
26 32 22A Bobby Allison Miller High Life Omega 86 rear end 0 12
27 13 42 Jerry Makara Makara Racing Regal 72 engine 0 12
28 17 44 Keith Cavanagh Cavanagh Racing Nova 62 overheating 0 12
29 27 17 Bob Brunell Bakelite Canada LeMans 56 valve 0 12
30 30 31 Andre Beaudoin UAP Nova 17 transmission 0 12
31 16 84 Steve Poulin Poulin Enterprises Grand Am 16 ignition 0 12
32 23 48 Robbie Crouch Tower Restaurant (Ron Lamberti / Glenn Wright) Regal 14 engine 0 12
33 31 95 Blair Bessett Club New England Apollo 0 engine 0 12

Stats from Racing Reference




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"

updated by @dave-fulton: 08/28/17 12:37:04PM
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
6 years ago
9,126 posts

Just looked at the 1983 Winston Cup schedule. Dale Earnhardt finished 2nd and Bobby Allison 3rd at Bristol in the Busch 500 the night before this Canadian race at Cayuga. Talk about "iron men."




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
david earnhardt
@david-earnhardt
6 years ago
112 posts

this was the old dale i remember - you could still get close to him then - i guess i had more fun with him at the dirt tracks than anyhwere - we would scrape together enough money to buy a hotdog then split it - ralph would buy hotdogs after the race if any were left when they were half price - man he could stretch a dollar - those were the days back then and we had a blast - long hair and flannel shirts - he wanted so bad to drive his daddys cars - never did - but that fire burned in him to end - he was the last of the old school drivers .

Jan Woodberry
@jan-woodberry
6 years ago
171 posts

Great article....thanks for sharing!! :) ~jan~

Leon Phillips
@leon-phillips
6 years ago
626 posts

Great story did not no that

Sandeep Banerjee
@sandeep-banerjee
6 years ago
360 posts

Thanks for sharing this little known piece of history, Dave.

Eric Jawurek
@eric-jawurek
6 years ago
8 posts

Bobby Allison & Dale Earnhardt

Eric Jawurek
@eric-jawurek
6 years ago
8 posts

Dale Earnhardt (115) - Junior Hanley (100)

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
6 years ago
9,126 posts

Cool photos. Thanks for sharing.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Eric Jawurek
@eric-jawurek
6 years ago
8 posts

Buddy Baker

Eric Jawurek
@eric-jawurek
6 years ago
8 posts

Buddy Baker

Eric Jawurek
@eric-jawurek
6 years ago
8 posts

Dale Earnhardt

Eric Jawurek
@eric-jawurek
6 years ago
8 posts

Eric Jawurek
@eric-jawurek
6 years ago
8 posts

Bobby Allison

Eric Jawurek
@eric-jawurek
6 years ago
8 posts

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
3 years ago
9,126 posts

Dale taking the checkers in Canada on August 28, 1983 from the Getty Images archives.




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Bobby Williamson
@bobby-williamson
3 years ago
907 posts

Paint that #15 white, and add a #00, and it is a Sam Ard car. Sam was among the last of the old-school-do-it-all racers.......from driving the tow-truck, to building the race car.

Brandon Miller
@brandon-miller
2 years ago
21 posts

What model was the car Earnhardt drove? Racing Reference lists it as a Lemans but it looks more like an Olds Omega to me.

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
2 years ago
9,126 posts

"Bump" for our Canadian neighbors




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
2 years ago
9,126 posts

Brandon, I have seen the Sam Ard built, Dale Earnhardt driven 1983 Cayuga winning car described as an Olds Omega, also at some locations.

omega.PNG




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"
Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett
2 years ago
560 posts

[quote="Eric Jawurek"]

[/quote]

1 21 115 Dale Earnhardt Wrangler Brand LeMans 250 running 204 70

Race car #15/#115,

Don't look like an Pontiac LeMans?

It has McCreary Race Tires Instead of GOODYEAR Race tires?

Look like an # 7 on the headlight cover?

Dennis Garrett

Richmond, VA. USA

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
2 years ago
9,126 posts

Dennis, your eagle eye spotting of the number "7" on the headlight cover of Dale Earnhardt's Cayuga winning car might unravel the ownership mystery, because I don't believe Sam Ard owned that car. For many years, the #7 was campaigned by New Hampshire car owner Quint Boisvert in various northern stock car series, for many years with Skoal sponsorship. One eyed Curtis Markham (longtime Denny Hamlin spotter) of Fredericksburg, Virginia spent several seasons driving for Boisvert in #7 Skoal cars. In this Cayuga race, Chuck Bown drove a #7 Skoal Pontiac for Boisvert. I'll just bet now that though Sam Ard may have built that winning car, it was very likely owned by Boisvert who would have had a deal made by NASCAR to furnish that car for Earnhardt with the Wrangler sponsorship. If any of our northern race fans know the identity of the bearded fellow with Dale and Teresa in victory lane, it would probably pinpoint the car owner.

3227_discussions.jpg

cayugabeard.PNG




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"

updated by @dave-fulton: 08/29/17 08:56:52PM
Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett
2 years ago
560 posts

Dale Earnhardt Sr. has been known as being the first in bending/breaking the NASCAR's racing history ?

But this time wasn't first time that a race winning driver wearing an Good-Year tire patch race uniform but had an different brand (McCreary) race tires on his winning race car.

"Do you happen to know who did this before?"

Thanks for any information or photos.

Dennis Garrett

Richmond,Va. USA


updated by @dennis-garrett: 08/30/17 11:11:56PM
Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett
2 years ago
560 posts

[quote="Dennis Garrett"]

[quote="Eric Jawurek"]

[/quote]

1 21 115 Dale Earnhardt Wrangler Brand LeMans 250 running 204 70

Race car #15/#115,

Don't look like an Pontiac LeMans?

It has McCreary Race Tires Instead of GOODYEAR Race tires?

Look like an # 7 on the headlight cover?

Dennis Garrett

Richmond, VA. USA

[/quote]

Looks like Oldsmobile body with an Buick Apollo frontend?

Some of Sam Ard's race car building trickery?

Winning driver Morgan Shepherd sitting on hood of car owner Ed Whitaker #7 Wrangler sponsor (Pontiac? Oldsmobile? Buick?) race car.

1983 Southeastern 150


NASCAR Budweiser Late Model Sportsman Series race number 11 of 35 
Saturday, May 21, 1983 at Bristol International Speedway, Bristol, TN 
150 laps on a .533 mile paved track (80.0 miles)

Time of race: 0:56:16 
Average Speed: 85.255 mph 
Pole Speed: no time trials
Cautions: 2 for 19 laps 
Margin of Victory: 1 lp 1 sec 
Attendance: n/a 
Lead changes: 2

http://racing-reference.info/race/1983_Southeastern_150/B

Dennis Garrett

Richmond, Va. USA

Dennis  Garrett
@dennis-garrett
2 years ago
560 posts

I bet this race car had GOODYEAR race tires instead of McCreary race tires! 

Check out the GOODYEAR race tires semi tractor trailer parked right next to victory lane!

Dennis Garrett

Richmond,Va. USA

Dave Fulton
@dave-fulton
2 weeks ago
9,126 posts

All of these photos were taken with his Kodak camera by Nick Vitucci who was at the event as a teen!

wasthere.PNG




--
"Any Day is Good for Stock Car Racing"