On Friday, January 21, visitors to the Canadian Motorsports Expo will have an opportunity to join a host of Ontario stock car veterans, including legendary Hall of Famer Junior Hanley and crew members Bob Sumak, Ross May and Peter Andaloro for a ‘Bench Racing’ discussion recalling the exploits, adventures and achievements of legendary Canadian racer Don Biederman.
Biederman, who passed away in 1999, is also a member of the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame (inducted in 2001). As a racer and personality, Biederman was true character, often described as cantankerous, opinionated and outspoken. But in addition to those things, he was a very determined, talented and successful racer.
Hanley and the others will be on hand to chat about Biederman, and their time racing with – and against – each other. Adding to the Biederman tribute will be the presence of the recently discovered ’72 Nova, which Biederman took to victory lane in the 1977 Oxford 250, racing against several NASCAR stars.
Discussing his longtime friend, rival and fellow Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame member, Hanley said, “Don was a pretty good racer, and he came to the track to win. He was a different person at the track; no one was going to get in his way.”
A regular competitor on the Ontario short track circuit, Biederman eventually expanded his schedule to include 42 NASCAR Grand National events; a pair of top 10 finishes being his best results. The racer’s most memorable accomplishment came in 1977 when he took his #43 Nova to victory lane, in Oxford, Maine. It was there he won the prestigious NASCAR-sanctioned Oxford 250, besting NASCAR stars like Bob Pressley, Harry Gant and Morgan Shepherd. The upset win still ranks high on the list of Canadian racing accomplishments. That season, Biederman also won the Maple Leaf 250 and the Northern 200.
Unfortunately, the Canadian racing fraternity lost Don Biederman much too early when he passed away at his home, in Brantford (ON) on May 31, 1999 at the age of 59. Continued Hanley, “Don was out of the car by then, but he was still helping a lot of guys with their equipment. Don was one of those personalities that everyone missed once he was gone.”
The Hanley / Biederman Forum takes place Friday, January 21 at 6 p.m. on the main stage at the Canadian Motorsports Expo. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to get a rare, personal insight into one some of the most exciting and successful characters in Canadian motorsports history.
As for Biederman’s legendary ’77 Oxford 250-winning Nova, it is being supplied to the show in its pre-restored condition by owner John Hutchins, and thanks to the efforts of Canadian racing photographer Dave Franks. Last year, the car was discovered in storage on the property of Hutchins’ business, Heart Lake Used Auto Parts, in Brampton, ON.
“John Hutchins owned the car and had it tucked away years ago,” explained Franks. “We went looking for a Nova in order to build a Biederman replica, but we lucked out and found the original. The restoration is a work in progress, but we will have the unfinished body hung on the frame in time for the CME show.”
Dave Franks (DaveFranksPhotos.com) will also be at the show to participate in the forum. He will also have a booth, selling and displaying thousands of historical photos from his collection, including many of Hanley (signed), Biederman, Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR, ACT, CASCAR, and tons more from the Ontario short track racing scene over the past several decades.
For more information about the 5th Annual Canadian Motorsports Expo, including celebrity racer Q&As, forums, seminars, autograph sessions and awards presentations, visit www.CanadianMotorsportsExpo.com.
PHOTO: (l to r) Don Biederman and Junior Hanley chat beside Biederman’s #43 car prior to a race at Toronto’s Pinecrest Speedway in 1974. On Friday, January 21 at the Canadian Motorsports Expo, Hanley and several of Don’s former crew members will talk about the late Don Biederman and their racing achievements and exploits. (Photo courtesy of DaveFranksPhotos.com)
ABOUT THE CME: The Canadian Motorsports Expo is a three-day celebration of Canadian racing that runs January 21, 22 and 23, 2011 at the International Centre (6900 Airport Road in Mississauga). The show is powered by Inside Track Motorsport News. In addition to booths and racing vehicles representing the entire spectrum of Canadian motorsports, the show is loaded with seminars and forums to entertain and inform racers and fans alike. Star drivers – including reigning IndyCar Series Champion and Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti, and rising NASCAR Sprint Cup star Brad Keselowski – will be at the CME to sign autographs and meet the fans. One of the special themes of this year’s CME is the Karting Reunion. Please check the show’s website for updates and changes.
For more information about the Canadian Motorsports Expo, visit www.canadianmotorsportsexpo.com. You can reach co-promoters Inside Track at (416) 962-7223 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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