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Speedway Spotlight: Stew Young remembers growing up at the racetrack in Langford

Mayor hopeful there will be another 50 years of memories at the races
Langford Mayor Stew Young said he’s attended more than a thousand races at what is now called Westshore Motorsports Park. (Bailey Moreton/News Staff)

Langford Mayor Stew Young is familiar with the sights and sounds of burning rubber and car engines roaring around the track at what is now called Westshore Motorsports Park. Having been born and raised in the community, Young estimates he’s been to more than a thousand races in his lifetime, seeing hundreds of racers win in dozens of categories. Throughout the track’s storied history, the Canada 200 events were a highlight – the Canada versus U.S. rivalry capturing his imagination.

In the track’s earlier days, when it was known as Western Speedway, Young said it was the biggest event in town and thousands of people would make their way down Millstream Road to watch.

“It was just part of your life back then while I was growing up here in Langford.”

That lifelong fascination has morphed for Young over the years, from excitedly watching the fancy cars go by as a kid with a hotdog in hand, to hiring drivers from the track when he started his company as an adult.

“We just all knew each other and there’s a great camaraderie here and it’s a history that a lot of people are a part of.”

Just as the track and Young have changed a great deal, so has the community around it. Langford has grown and expanded, with its population surging and new housing developments springing up all over the city, including at the Westshore Motorsports Park site.

That means 2022 is the last season of racing at that location.

“Hopefully everybody in the region gets a chance to come here for the last year … (to) see the facility and take part in it. It’s pretty special.”

Young is also hopeful a group working on finding a new location for the track will be successful. The group’s aim is to have a location picked and a purchase deal struck by fall, with the new track opening in time for the 2023 season the following spring.

“I’m sad to see it go, absolutely. It’s unfortunate, there are a lot of people that are sad to see it go. It’s a part of our history. It’s part of Langford. I’m hoping we get another chance to have another 50 years of memories.”

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