TERRY ST.AMAND #06
If it wasn’t for a first date with a former girlfriend where
she took him to Merrittville Speedway, Terry St. Amand may
never have raced in 5 different decades in a career as a
driver, car owner and sponsor.
Induction into the L. St. Amand
Enterprises Wall of Fame surely has been long overdue but
one of the Reunion Committee’s few rules reads that drivers
must not have raced for 5 years to become eligible.
Starting out in the 1969 season, Terry
St. Amand’s driving career saw him most recently field a
Hoosier Stock and sharing driving duties with former crew
man Paul Wichert in a car built at Turn 4 Collision. That
car is back on track once more the season with Wichert
behind the wheel. Going back to Terry’s start in the sport,
sitting in the Grandstands the first time, Terry quickly
fell in love with the sport so much that he decided that
racing was something for him.
Upon hearing that Ivan Little had his car
for sale – he was beat to the sale by none other than Davey
Moore. That former girlfriend’s brother pitted for Late
Model Driver Bob Webster so the two followed racing to the
tracks of the time and it was after a trip to the former
Speedway Park that Terry would purchase his first race car
in August – a former asphalt car from the Pincecrest
Speedway. Unfortunately that car just would not work on it’s
new home on the dirt with Terry vividly remembering having
his hands full – spinning out numerous times every night. It
was here that he would hook up with his long‐time Crew Chief
Ed Potashnyk. Ed had been on the scene for a few years
helping a few drivers and seeing Terry’s troubles – offered
1970 when Terry went to purchase his membership he found
that the numbers from 1 to 99 had been already used. He
liked the number 6 so put a 0 in front of it to get his
trademark number ‐ 06. Terry and Ed would put that number on
a 1963 Chevy … the Red Dog Special … the first car Ed and
Terry would build. 1971’s build would see the two put a 69
Chevelle Body on a 1957 Chevy Frame and together with bigger
tires – it made for a raceable car. So raceable in fact that
he would win 15 features with it.
A garage fire prior to the 1972 season
saw his race car destroyed but with Ed and Terry rebuilt it
and went on to take 21 feature wins en route to Most Popular
Driver Award and the Merrittville Late Model Championship.
Flash forward to the 1987 and 1988 Seasons when Terry
purchased a former Harvey Hainer driven car to join the
Sportsman Division – he is quite proud to this day of having
15 and 21 Win Seasons once again in addition to the Points
Championships both years as well.
His return in the late 80’s after some 15
seasons off as a driver saw him in his first stint as a car
owner with Davey Moore the driver. Moore’s first three
Championships of 5 straight were in a St. Amand owned car.
About the same time, Terry would venture into business
opening the Harvey’s Restaurant in Welland. Terry’s 1987
return to racing saw him retain the black coloring that came
with the Hainer car but for 1988, crew man Brent Ransom came
up with the red and white design that many of us remember.
We also remember when Terry would join the Modified ranks in
the 90’s with his neon yellow cars.
Although he would not visit Victory Lane
at Merrittville – he would take the 06 to the winner’s
circle 4 times at Ransomville Speedway. St. Amand would add
2 more career wins in his Hoosier Stock at Merrittville in a
career that spanned the 4 different divisions. Terry hasn’t
ruled out a return to the sport to add a 6th different
decade to his resume but thinks it might be just a one off
deal. In addition to Davey Moore, Terry’s roster of drivers
is quite impressive and includes Jim Begolo, Ken Cosgrove,
Fred Carleton, Bob McCreadie, Don McGinnis, Ron Smoker and
Mike Granton. Drivers that earned the car owner almost 60
One of the most memorable – McCreadie’s 1992 Ransomville Summer Nationals
$10,000 Victory. Crew members over the years have included Potashnyk, Wichert,
Ransom and Granton as well as Jimmy Binks, Derek Miller (who now helps Scott
Wood) and Tom Blazina among others. “Ed and I were working on the car at a
garage we used to have on Hartzell Road and there was this kid that used to
watch us from a distance,” reveals St. Amand, “one day he rode his bike over
closer to the shop and before long … started to help us. For those that know him
– that’s how Blazina got his nick name – Ten Speed.
Although currently residing in Thorold,
Terry grew up in the Western Hill area of St. Catharines and
it wasn’t long before he became neighbours with Randy
Williamson. The two would ride together to the races until
that time that Williamson took a ride with Pete Bicknell
with the two eventually going into business with Bicknell
Racing Products and Merrittville Speedway.
Terry comes from a large family and at
first his dad could not see the point of racing – running
around in circles and wasting gas. Eventually he would come
around though as he saw his son and friends having fun
involved in the sport.
Terry remembers creating a lot of
excitement in the Late Model Division racing his Chevy
against the Dodges of the day but for Ed and him – it was
all about winning $20 so you could get into the pits the
next week. If you wrecked – it was hard to get back on track
in those days. Things were so different back in the day. “it
was Labour Day and there was an afternoon race at
Ransomville and night race at Merrittville,’ remembers
Terry, “ we wrecked at the Big R and when I got to Customs
coming home – I told the guy … I can’t stop I got to fix my
car and just drove on.” Try that today and see what happens.
All through his racing, Terry and his
ex‐wife Diane would own and operate the Harvey’s and Swiss
Chalet in Welland and you would see the logos on the St.
Amand owned racers over the years in addition to a few
seasons when the current Welland Junior Canadians Greater
Ontario Junior Hockey League Team was known as the Welland
Harvey’s Swiss Chalet Flames. Today, daughters Lisa and Tera
are involved in the family businesses and you see the
Harvey’s logos from the two St. Catharines locations on the
Hoosier Stock of son‐in‐law Kevin Knapp not to mention his
brother Rob’s 2K Sportsman.
To borrow from Harvey’s, it’s a beautiful
thing – a career as driver car owner and sponsor. It’s a
beautiful thing as well that Terry St. Amand is a member of
the L. St. Amand Enterprises Wall of Fame!