Can-Am Speedway

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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.




Golden Jubilee: Kevin Slate - The Full Fender Master


Can-Am Speedway

Golden Jubilee: Kevin Slate - The Full Fender Master

We continue to look back at the history of the Can-Am Speedway as the past 50 years have brought us some incredible moments and some great drivers as well. One of those drivers was Kevin Slate, who made the Economy Stock class his personal playground in the early 90s.

Like many former and current racers, Slate got a good view of the Can-Am Speedway on Saturday nights in 1985 from the grandstands. A place where he would watch one his heroes, 10 time track champion and the winningest Modified driver in the speedway’s history, Pat O’Brien.

“My earliest memories would be cheering Pat on from the grandstands”, said Slate as he recalled some fond memories as a fan.

“As the years went on, I thought it might be fun to get out there and give it a try, and well I learned quick, it looked much easier from the stands!” Kevin joked as he remembered his first few races behind the wheel of his number 73 Economy Stock.

In a career that began in 1991, Kevin Slate soon became one of the top drivers in the Economy Stock class, racing against the likes of Todd VanTassel, Jeff Papin and many others, he learned a lot.

By 1992 Kevin had claimed his first win which he recalls as something special. “I remember winning my first feature at Can-Am and getting a chance to talk to John Burr in victory lane,” Slate recalled. “He was a great man and he was great with all the racers too.”

In 1993 Slate took control of the division and went on a run that year that many will not soon forget. Slate won 10 features in 1993 and the Economy Stock championship, what also helped his Can Am efforts was traveling to other tracks that season.

“We would race as much as four nights a week,” Slate said. “We would run Thursday nights at Brockville, Fridays at Evans Mills and Can-Am Saturdays, we would even make some trips to run Utica Rome Sundays as well.” “The extra track time really helped and I think that’s what made us so good at Can-Am our championship year,” Slate added.

Kevin eventually made the move to the Street Stock class, running shows at Can-Am on dirt and eventually closing out his career by the end of the 1998 season.

“Can-Am means so much to me,” Slate said. “I learned so many things over the years and to have won a championship and be a part of the past 50 year history, is something special and I’m proud of it too.”

As we have asked several drivers already, if they really missed being out on the track every week, Kevin responds quickly, like many others have.

“I really do miss it”, he says. “The experiences we got back then were far better than you would ever get out of a video game today, that’s for sure”
He also added, “You know we didn’t race that long but we had fun doing it and family life became the focus later on, but we had some fun and we were pretty good at it.”

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 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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