Western Speedway legend Dick Midgley was inducted into the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame on Saturday (Feb. 25).
Midgley was recognized for his years of work as a car mechanic, builder and owner in the competitor category as a part of the Class of 2022 at the hall of fame ceremony held in Toronto.
“I guess the only part that made me nervous was making a speech in front of approximately 1,000 people, which took me by total surprise. But really, it was a very, nice place, very well done. It was a big show and people seemed to enjoy it,” said Midgley, speaking during an event held in Langford in his honour and for fellow hall-of-famers on Saturday (March 4).
Midgley cut his teeth at the Western Speedway.
In 1958, he co-owned a car with his older brother in the Jalopy class at Western Speedway in Langford, where they won the track title in their first season. After several years building cars and tearing around the Langford track, Midgley looked further afield, starting to race in NASCAR competitions in the U.S.
Several fellow West Shore racing icons raced Midgley’s cars, including Roy Smith, Ross Surgenor, Terry Forsythe and Gary Smith.
All in all, more than 70 drivers competed for Midgley in the NASCAR West Series from 1972 to 2014, including two Daytona 500 starts, with Roy Smith as the driver, in 1976 and 1977, according to the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Norm Wilcox, another Langford track legend, credited Midgley with being part of a select few who helped spread awareness of the Western Speedway.
“They put Western Speedway on the map, especially in the U.S. There’s so many great people in the Hall of Fame that established the racing community on the West Shore. They’re like a great family,” Wilcox said in a previous interview with Black Press Media.
Midgley has also run cars in international events, as far afield as Australia and Japan. These events included a third-place finish with Dave Marcis in a NASCAR exhibition race at Australia’s Calder Park Thunderdome in 1988 and winning the NASCAR-affiliated Australian championship with Jim Richards in 1996.
“I mean, to put it bluntly, it’s a huge effort you have to put forward. It’s not just at the racetrack, that’s actually, I’m not gonna say a small part of it, but a major part of it is car preparation. In my case where we travel to five different countries. It’s transportation,” said Midgley.
“It takes a lot, and a lot of good help from some good friends and good crew members.”
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