Doug Babcock’s legacy lives on at Taylor Speedway

Taking place this weekend for the eighth year, the Doug Babcock Memorial continues to be a special moment for Babcock’s family to enjoy the race track Doug helped build and celebrate his life. From June 23 to 24, six classes of cars will race at Taylor Speedway.

“It’s an awesome time. My dad was a respected guy in the community, and it’s great for us as a family to put up the prize money and honour his legacy,” said Chris Babcock, Doug’s son.

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Babcock, a construction contractor who helped build the Big Bam Ski Hill and Lakepoint golf course, was a big part of building the Taylor Speedway, one of his last big projects in the community, according to Chris.

The idea for the speedway originated in the late 1980s, when local racers would have to go to Dawson Creek to race, but wanted an official track closer to home.

“We put a proposal together, Taylor was interested, and gave us some property,” said Chris.

Construction began on the track in 1988, with racing starting in 1991. It took a long time because the track was built into the side of the hill, and a lot of dirt and material had to be moved to create a level surface for the track, Chris said.

The Taylor Speedway has been a popular spot to watch racing ever since. In the 1990s, Chris said the stands would regularly be full for the demo derbies, then the speedway’s biggest event. Today, the Taylor Speedway Hit to Pass is the biggest event, drawing in more than 300 spectators a day last weekend. “When times get tough, we do get less people coming to the track. But when they weather is right and a big event is on, people still come out to watch good racing,” Chris said.

Maintaining a local race track does have its challenges. Chris said it’s hard to find large sponsors, and the track executive relies on the ticket sales for the big events like the Hit to Pass to keep the track maintained and renovated.

Heading into the Doug Babcock Memorial this weekend, Doug’s legacy lives on in his granddaughter Chelsea Babcock, Chris’ daughter, who leads the Bomber class in points so far this season.

“She’s the only girl in the bomber class and gives the men a run for their money,” Chris said.

Races for the 2018 Doug Babcock Memorial start at 5 p.m. on June 23, and 1 p.m. on June 24. 

Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at sports@ahnfsj.ca.

© Copyright Alaska Highway News

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