Earlier this year, Daniel Demaras stumbled across a story on Yesterday’s Speedways about a ‘ghost track’ in the East York area where Demaras Racing’s worldwide headquarters is located. This inspired a series of articles on www.demaras.com about long gone Toronto tracks. The Ghost Track series included articles on Oakwood Stadium, Exhibition Stadium, Harewood Acres and Soldier’s Field in East York that inspired the series.
After seeing pictures yesterday of F1200’s racing on a local oval track, one more article was needed.
Originally called Cayuga International Speedway, the racing facility opened in 1966 and raced for two seasons as a 5/8 mile clay oval.
When Bob Slack purchased the facility from its original owners in 1967, the track was turned into a paved oval and rebranded Cayuga Motor Speedway for the 1968 racing season. During its heyday in the 1970s and ’80s, owner Bob Slack worked hard at promoting the big track with motorcycle jumps, parachute demonstrations and in 1977 he even got Colonel Harland Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame to visit the track and sign autographs.
The Slack family owned Cayuga Motor Speedway for over 25 years and until they sold it in 1994. During this time Cayuga was called Canada’s “Crown Jewel” and the racing facility hosted Late Models, Mini Stocks, Compacts, TQ Midgets, and Modifieds. Over the next several years Cayuga Speedway changed owners several times, hosting special events each year until it closed after the 2009 season.
For 5 years, the big track remained dormant until it was resurrected by Ken Hill of the Ohsweken Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Mr. Hill was the owner of the largest Indigenous tobacco company in Canada, purchased the property with partner Jerry Montour. The track was renamed Jukasa Motor Speedway, and with the goal of returning the track to its glory days, two years of renovations (including removing the old track surface) was undertakenbut. The track was ready for racing in August, 2017 and hosted a race in the APC United Late Model Series. The Canadian Short Track Nationals were first held at Jukasa in 2018 and run twice, with rumour at the time that the race would carry a $1-million purse.
Jukasa Speedway owner Ken Hill died in January 2021 at only 62 years of age. As the driving force behind the track (it was his labour of love) it was unlikely his partner Jerry Montour would continue to operate the speedway. In May 2021, Jukasa cancelled their 2021 racing season due to restrictions caused by the pandemic, and by November 2021, the track was closed again. The track remains padlocked to this day.