Dave Halliwell’s start to
racing came the same time as Merrittville Speedway itself. Back
on the Thorold track’s first ever event – July 1, 1952 – he was
in the starting field.
While driving, Dave also
crewed for Wall of Famer Orville Kelly in 1952.
Dave then joined the
Sportsman Class in his Bunting Garage #89. Another Wall of Famer
– Bruce Vandyke would help put the car together which Halliwell
drove from 1953 to 1955.
1956 saw another change
for Dave as he would join the Jalopy Division with his # J-15.
After a Jalopy Career
that ran from 1956 to 1960 – Dave was forced to sit out the next
year or move up. Dave would choose to step
back from behind the wheel – but stayed very much involved in
the sport. The 1961 and 1962 seasons saw him serve as Safety Man
and Tech Inspector in addition to Corner Worker.
The 1963 Season saw Dave
return once again as a Driver. With a new number – ‘23’ he would
make a return to the Sportsman Division. It was a car that he
built on his own. That year it debuted as the White Rose Gas
Station #23. Eventually his 4 year run as driver it evolved into
the Sam’s Auto Service Special. Dave would soon reunite with
the Roberts Family.
met his wife Lillian at Merrittville Speedway while Howie who
had helped him with his car – was now working at the Front Gate
in Ticket Sales while Harry Roberts was involved in track
preparation. What Dave means to his
family and the sport on the pit side, the Roberts were one of
the numerous behind the scenes supporters of racing on the track
staff side of the fence that continues to this day.
driver’s rosters from that first event 57 years ago to this day
– there is a huge and perhaps unfinishable list of individuals
who have worked behind the scenes all in harmony together –
maintaining Merrittville’s status as the Best Family
Entertainment in Niagara.
chapter to the Halliwell story would unfold when Dave would get
behind the racing career of his son Brian. Surely a highlight of his
illustrious career was in 1998 when Dave received the Billy
Matthews Memorial Award as Crew Chief of the Year – honoring
the season the father and son had. Brian would race for 15
years and after that stayed involved in the sport as well as an
official. In fact, Brian as recent as July 5th – donned a Lucas
Oil Official Uniform to pitch in for a vacationing Doug Bogar in
Dave’s son-in-law Rick
Agnew was very much a part of Brian’s racing career but in
recent years joined the Saturday Night staff as Assistant Pit
Steward – helping out one of Dave’s long-time friends and L. St.
Amand Enterprises Wall of Famer – Bob St. Amand, Sr. Rick has also joined the
Tuesday Night Kart Scene as well – crewing for Vincent Pagnotta.
In addition to his son’s
racing – Dave was instrumental in assisting drivers including
Todd Zelichowski, Jeff Cook, Jay Tries, Kory Howe, Dave Gifford,
Rick Baker and Jack Cassell. Dave Halliwell was
admired for his strength, knowledge, patience and sense of humor
and was respected by all that new him.
Dave Halliwell passed
away in January of this year but many of his family and friends
are with us tonight to celebrate his lifetime in the sport.
Congratulations – Papa
Dave … Go Fast and Turn Left! and welcome to the L. St. Amand
Enterprises Wall of Fame.