Last weekend, two of the more memorable races on TV were the dual IndyCar races on the street course through Toronto's Exhibition Place. Indy racing has been a staple in Toronto for many years dating back to the mid 1980s with CART.
But back in 1958, NASCAR's Grand National series raced at Toronto's old Canadian National Exposition stadium for the first and only time. The race was also the second and last time the GN cars rumbled in Canada. Buddy Shuman won the first time the series went north of the border in 1952. Tim Leeming wrote about that race here:
Not a lot is known about the 1958 Toronto race. Few articles are readily available. Even the local media paid it little attention. The race has become known as the Jim Mideon 500. I have my doubts though since no one knows anything about Jim Mideon, and the race wasn't 500 miles, kilometers, laps, minutes, or anything else 500-related.
Rex White won the pole driving for Julian Petty, and Papa Lee Petty took the checkers. These results ensured the Petty family is connected to yet another NASCAR trivia question.
Interestingly, the race isn't really remembered for Lee's win. Instead, the race is known as the debut Grand National start by a driver who got booted out of the way by Lee on his way to the win: son Richard Petty.
Richard had made his first professional racing start a few days earlier in a ragtop race at Columbia. But the Toronto race is considered his first Grand National series start.
Though I didn't learn a lot of new info about the race itself, I did find several photos of the old stadium and how it was used after racing at CNE stopped.
Read on for more:
And as a re-run of a blog entry I posted a year ago about this race as "special edition" part of my Richard Petty 200 Wins, I thought I'd include the link:
Schaefer: It's not just for racing anymore.
updated by @tmc-chase: 07/17/17 05:09:45PM