Column By: JIM CLARKE / PETERBOROUGH SPEEDWAY – PETERBOROUGH, ONT – Local racing’s iconic personalities continue to make a valuable contribution to the sport.
In a social media post following the recent 2021 running of the Autumn Colours Classic at Peterborough Speedway, Cavan, Ontario’s Dan Demers announced that he had just completed a 67 lap race, in car No. 67 at the age of 67 and finished 13th. Ironically, ‘13’ is the correct answer to the mathematical equation of adding 6 and 7 together.
Demers – who retired from his position as a high school Science, Math and Technology teacher in 2014 – has been a fixture on the Central Ontario motorsports scene for 21 years. While some racers are looking for their next main event win, Demers is still waiting for his first Mini Stock checkered flag since 2001. Even with a futility streak that has been kept alive through most of his career, the veteran campaigner isn’t worried a bit. In a highly competitive world, he’s always been doing it for fun and for the love of the sport.
“I’ve met some great people and made some amazing friends during my time in racing,” explained Dan Demers. “Dave and Cindy Crowley, the former operators of Ricky’s All-Day Grill supported my team for about 10 years and remain good friends today. I taught their daughter during my time at Holy Cross in Peterborough and even though the restaurant is no longer in business, I’ve kept the name on the car as a way to say ‘thanks’.”
Like all local racers, Demers appreciates the dedication and support of his sponsors including Goodwin Metals Ltd., Kingsway Auto Centre, Dart Heating & Air Conditioning, The Alignment Centre and Bruiser Automotive. Even though he still enjoys his time at the track, the driver – who won the Autumn Colours Classic Bone Stock feature in 2009 – says he expects to step away from weekly racing after the 2022 season.
“Driving and maintaining the racecar can take a lot of time away from my family,” Dan Demers explained. “Our grandsons Korben, Ryker and Brydan and granddaughter Marilyn are all under the age of 4 and even though they haven’t shown much interest in racing to this point, I want to spend as much time with them as I can, while I can.”
Demers says even as he gives-up his Saturday nights with the No. 67 Mini Stock at Peterborough Speedway, he hopes to maintain his involvement with the Peterborough Motor Sports Club where he has been a member for 28 years and currently serves as club president. Competing in ice racing, auto slalom, rally cross and navigational rally events, he just won his 17th Club Championship.
“I owe a huge debt of gratitude to anyone who has ever turned a wrench, helped chang