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THUNDER IN THE 1000 ISLANDS

THUNDER IN THE 1000 ISLANDS

LAFARGEVILLE, NY - Join us Friday April 12th and Saturday April 13th for the THUNDER IN THE 1000 ISLANDS!

Can-Am Speedway 2024! Article 9/50

Can-Am Speedway 2024! Article 9/50

LAFARGEVILLE, NY - The 2024 Golden Jubilee Season is closing quickly and opening day is right around the corner. Opening day will feature stars in three open wheel DIRTCar Series to kick off the year. One of those being the DIRTCar 358 Modified Series, which has been a part of Can-Am from the very start and has been important part of the 50 year track history.

Jubilee Schedule Highlights

Jubilee Schedule Highlights

LAFARGEVILLE, NY - On June 14th 1974 the doors opened for the very first time at the Can-Am Speedway (then called Winner’s Circle Speedway) in Lafargeville New York. Jim Clark won the first ever Modified feature event and Gordie Dobbins won the Stocker feature and helped lay the foundation for the speedway, which is still going strong heading into its 50th year.

WATCH LIVE

WATCH LIVE

THUNDER IN THE 1000 ISLANDS - NIGHT 1 LINK TO WATCH LIVE!

Golden Jubilee: The Taylor Family
1645
3/1/2024

3/1/2024

Can-Am Speedway


Golden Jubilee: The Taylor Family

The Golden Jubilee season is fast closing at the Can-Am Speedway. The 2024 season schedule is out and everyone is looking forward to a historic season.

As we look back at the past, the speedway has seen many families over the years who have made significant contributions to the history of Can-Am.

One of those would be the Taylor family and most notable Tom, Ernie and Chris, who all became multi-time feature winners over several seasons at the track.

Back in 1987 the late Tom Taylor began his journey driving in the Street Stock division, which saw an ultra-competitive field on a weekly basis. Growing up with the family I recall speaking with Tom about those days.

He said many years back, “I quickly realized the car was not meant for the Street Stocks, it wasn’t fast but in 1989, the Thurston’s brought in the Pure Stock class and I thought well that sounds a lot better to me and I could be a little more competitive.”

Competitive he was, as Taylor began his season with solid runs which led to his first ever win on July 15th of 1989 then added a second one on August 24th, leading to becoming the division’s first ever track champion, which saw him top a list of drivers that included current 358 Modified Track Champion Tim Fuller.

Starting around the same time was Tom’s brother, the late Ernie Taylor, who also found the Pure Stock class to his liking, winning a race in the first year of the class in 1989. Ernie would make a return to racing in the IMCA Hobby Stock class in 1998, where he returned to victory lane and was a title contender that year.

Ernie also ran his final season in 1999 winning several Hobby Stock events that year, before venturing into the Street stock and Sportsman divisions briefly, then returning back to the Hobby Stock class at the end of the season, finding himself back at the front of the field yet again.

After watching his dad and uncle find success, Chris Taylor would begin his career in the IMCA Hobby Stock class in the 1999 season, which went anything but smooth. A pair of terrible crashes which resulted in destroyed race cars, made it a rough start for his rookie campaign. That never stopped him as along with Crew Chief and brother Chico Taylor, they went back to work in the garage and put together a third car, which resulted in Chris’s first career win by season’s end.

After a stint in the Street Stock class in 2000, Chris and his brother took their talents to the IMCA Modified class and were winners on several occasions from 2001 through 2006 at Can-Am, battling top drivers like Larry Bezner, Billy Dunn, Mike Adderley and may others as well.

“Can-Am was our home for many years and we truly miss it there” Chris says as we recalled some old times at the speedway.

“The pictures make me realize how much we have aged but they were some fun times back in those days,” he adds.

One of the unique things that all three drivers had were, hand painted cars back many years ago, which were done by Chris and Chico’s mother Donna Taylor.

Tom, Ernie and Chris were all unique in their driving styles.

Tommy would stay steady and get what he could get out of his machine every week. Ernie was hard charging and fast on any given night at Can-Am.

Chris became one of the top drivers at Can-Am in the mid-2000s and proved to many that no matter the struggles, if you keep going, you’ll find success.

What does Can-Am mean to the Taylor family?

Chris said in recent talk, “it’s nice to see Can-Am thriving again, it reminds me of how it used to be many years ago, we really miss it.”

Moving to the Carolina’s has not stopped the Taylor’s racing habits as they continue to be involved in Chris’s son Griffin’s Modified program, as he continues the family tradition of winning at his weekly tracks. But it goes without saying the family has not forgotten their Can-Am roots.

The Golden Jubilee season is on the way as the Thunder in the 1000 Islands weekend will kick off the 50th year of operation for the track, highlighted by the Super DIRTCar Series and the opener for the DIRTCar 358 Modified Series April 12th and 13th.

Stay tuned to our website at racecanam.com and the track Facebook page for more feature stories on drivers, special events and historical moments that have all been part of the 50 years at Can Am Speedway in Lafargeville New York.


Article Credit: Tim Baltz

Submitted By: Tyler & Michelle Bartlett

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