John Bickford Discusses Canadian Motor Speedway & Jeff Gordon's Career
By Ashley McCubbin - SpeedwayMedia.com
While Canadian fans have experienced NASCAR racing on their turf with the Nationwide Series cars in Montreal and now the Camping World Truck Series in Ontario, there is one thing that they are craving - a race on an oval. However, looking across Canada, there isn't a facility that could host an event.
Jeff Gordon is all about trying to change that by working with Paxton Waters in trying to build a one mile oval in Fort Erie, Ontario. The land is bought, and the project for the Canadian Motor Speedway is in the planning stages, however has been held up with board meetings for approval. There is one next month, and then after that they hope to break ground and get the track built.
CMS officials were at the Canadian Motorsports Expo powered by Inside Track Motorsports News this past weekend and on hand was Jeff Gordon's step-dad and business manager John Bickford. In speaking with Bickford this past weekend, he said that Gordon has wanted a race in Canada since going to Japan for an exhibition race in 1998. Gordon also questioned the trip to Mexico, continuing to ask for that race. When he learned that there was no facility available, that is when the project began.
"Jeff has always wanted to come to Canada," Bickford said. "He and I were here in 1989/1990. We've always been big supporters. Canadian race fans have supported Jeff throughout his entire career. So I think the idea of giving back is an important component. We're just advocates of giving back to the Canadian race fans and we're not giving up."
Canadian fans have proven their dedication in the past, with the attendance at events in the United States being made up of 10-20% Canadians. Many are also Gordon fans, having followed his career from the beginning. Younger drivers have looked at his career path, trying to follow the same steps to hopefully land where Gordon is today. Bickford said he got Gordon started in quarter midgets after Carol, Gordon's mom, wasn't happy with Gordon racing bicycles around the neighborhood.
"I knew about quarter midgets so I brought a quarter midget home," Bickford said. "He fell in love with it and we took it to the race track to see if he liked it and he did. He always loved cars. As a one year old, he liked cars. Sort of a natural thing for him."
While they continued growing through the racing ladders, Bickford said there was no moment that stood out for him as it was all about moving up to that next step in the racing ladder.
"Like I believed in him from the first moment he drove a car," he said. "I always believed we could go farther and farther. It was always keep your head down and work hard towards the next opportunity."
The road wasn't easy for them, also, because Gordon....
To continue reading the full article, click here.
Show your support for Jeff Gordon by joining the official fan club, the Jeff Gordon Network, where you'll get an exclusive JGN diecast, t-shirt, hat, collectable pin, Drive to End Hunger wristband and hero card, as well as other items and exclusive access to promotions, events and the message boards. Plus, a portion of each membership helps support the Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital! Sign up here -> https://signup.jeffgordon.com/!
To get your #24 Gear, visit www.jeffgordonstore.com.
'Like' Jeff on Facebook - www.facebook.com/jeffgordon.
Follow Jeff on Twitter - www.twitter.com/jeffgordonweb.
Follow Jeff on Instagram - www.instagram.com/jeffgordonweb.
Follow Jeff on Pinterest - www.pinterest.com/jeffgordonweb.
Add Jeff on Google+ - https://plus.google.com/#103139640381300801390.
Subscribe to Jeff's YouTube Channel - www.youtube.com/jeffgordon.
To support the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation, visit www.jeffgordonchildrensfoundation.org.
To learn more about how to host your own game and help children kick cancer, please visit http://www.kick-it.org/jeffgordon.