Victoria (ISN) – On a few occassions this summer, Darrell Midgley will trade his promoter status to one of driver in the new Keg Steakhouse & Bar Driver Challenge for the Late Models that starts May 12th at Western Speedway.
Darrell is no stranger to Late Model racing and is a strong contender in any event he chooses to enter. His interest in racing began very early as his dad, Reg, was a long time promoter at Western Speedway and his whole family was very much involved as well. Darrell started racing Capital City Go-karts at the tender age of eleven and travelled to various tracks including the U.S. and in 1978 won a National Championship and, in fact, raced go-karts until 1980. You will find Darrell racing quite regularly in the Western Speedway Hornet Series and chooses to pass a podium finish to the next driver in line as he rarely accepts accolades for just the fun of racing.
His career led him into Late Model racing in both dirt and asphault competition and either surface is fine with Darrell. In 2009, he won the Northern Provincial Pipeline Championship racing on dirt at several tracks throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the U.S. Interestingly enough, Campbell River’s Jason Beaulieu placed second in points that same year making a 1 – 2 finish for Vancouver Islanders. Running for outright points was never a priority for Darrell as he took part in several different Late Model series choosing different tracks and places they would like to go to and compete. Midgley picked up the win in the Canada 200 in both 1999 and 2000 and both parents were at the track to see these victories which was quite special as his dad started that race in 1972. In 2010, Darrell won the Katana Boat Sportsman Series race held at Western Speedway, in May, and followed that with a second place finish in the Canada 200 later that year. The following year the Katana Boat Series became known as the ASA Advance Testing Tour for BC Late Models and Darrell placed fourth in the Canada 200 again racing on the Langford oval. Darrell made two trips to New Smyrna Beach, Florida running the World Series of Asphault in 2006 and 2008 racing eight events over ten nights. Darrell says: “Thats a really, really fast place and we couldn’t have done that without Dwight Kennedy.” According to Darrell, Kennedy, his major sponsor, is responsible for a lot of events, successes, and experiences in his career and was a top contender racing against Midgley for the 2009 N.P.P. Championship. “He can wheel a dirt car real fine, no problem there,” Darrell says.
Darrell has won several races at Redwood Acres in Eureka and won the Win River 150 racing at Reading also in California in 2001. He raced at that facility before they reconfigured the track and really enjoyed going there. “That is probably one of the biggest races up and down the West Coast for Late Models,” Darrell says. Up until that time, they had travelled to that event thirteen years consecutive and would see up to forty cars entered. Darrell was the only Canadian entered and there was a lot of patriotism at that event following 9/11. After winning, race Officials passed the U.S. flag to Darrell for the parade lap. “That was a very emotional time and a great honor for me as a Canadian to do the circle around the track.” Darrell says. In 2011, he also raced the Vegas Fall Classic event held at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a few other drivers included from Vancouver Island.
Regarding the Keg Steakhouse & Bar Driver Challenge, the challenge will be to drive “smart and not use all their stuff” in the first Feature. “Its a great concept and I can’t take any credit for it. It’s Steve Copp, Bill Smith Jr., and Daryl Crocker that come up with this format and its a great idea.” says Midgley. His plan is to run each event with this Series plus the Canada 200 and maybe a few more events at other venues in Canada or Stateside in 2012. He credits his good fortune to Ted Zerbin, Brad Davies, Daryl and Glen Crocker, Dean Pickup, and Gord Davies, as they are so talented in building race cars and “Just an amazing group of people and have been with us all along and made me look better than I am.” Darrell says. This quiet individual has no regrets concerning his career other than maybe the chance at a younger age the opportunity to run the Nascar Craftman’ Truck Series and a Busch car which was offered during his illustrious racing career.