Always a familiar and constant
competitor on the Niagara Peninsula’s trio of dirt ovals,
Merrittville, Humberstone and Speedway Park, this
championship event winning driver honed his skills, crewing
and driving his own Chevrolet coupe (modified) in the
Henry got the racing bug after visiting
Speedway Park’s new 1/3 mile oval in 1961, with friends Fred
Carleton Sr. And Bob Webster, both who would go on to
establish their own respective sportsman and late model
careers. All three friends would start driving their own
race cars for the 1962 season. The Merrittville-Speedway
Park connection would prove to be a fast-track for anyone
wishing to break in to the ever growing sport of stock car
Henry Shivak driving his #26 1937 Chevrolet Coupes, would
win many heats and finish in the top 5 consistently, however, would have to wait
for nearly 8 years to claim his first decisive feature win at Merrittville
Once the blue #26 modified found victory
lane, it would only show that Henry had served his
apprenticeship. He continued to rack up feature wins at all
three area ovals, against the likes of Jeno Begolo, Ivan
Little, Mike Zajac, George Treanor and Jack Hollis.
In fact, Henry would chase George Treanor
and Mike Zajac, who were tied for first at his hometrack,
Speedway Park for the Sportsman-Superstock (modified)
championship in 1969. Henry’s, Ryckman’s Corners Garage
special “was now a consistent winner, with it’s 427 cu. in.
engine, winning an abundance of special feature events
especially from 1966 to 1971.
Unfortunately, Henry Shivak also holds
one record, he would probably like us to forget and that
happened during two feature events, his racer lost control
and hit the starter’s stand-upside down, first at Speedway
Park and then at Merrittville Speedway.
This was when the starter stood on a
barricaded platform on the inside edge of the first straight
Tonight, Henry, we are here to honour you
as a competitor, whose consistency was evident in the top
division at not only Merrittville Speedway, but also at your
home track, Speedway Park in Hamilton.
We salute the career of Henry Shivak and
his blue #26 Ryckman’s Corner’s Special, now entering it’s
place on the Merrittville Speedway Alumni Wall of Fame.