After viewing his first Demo Derby at the Vancouver PNE at age 8, he was bitten by the bug. By 1972 at age 17 he learned the sport of racing and building Demo Cars to run at the Chemainus Gravel Pit. In 1973 he competed in derbies around Vancouver Island at Duncan, Lake Cowichan, Courtenay, Victoria, Chemainus and Nanaimo. He then joined the newly formed Crash to Pass series at Victoria’s Western Speedway. He won the 1979 Championship as well as the Driver of the Year award. In 1980 he was part of the 3 car team which competed at the PNE. In 1982-83 he won the 3 car PNE Championship. He then ran the 200 lap Enduor race in 1985 at Western. He wound up in first place over the rest of the 120 car field.
In 1981, he moved into racing a 1934 Ford sedan with the Old Time Racers Ass’n. He ran this car throughout the Northwest and won many events. He won the last race held at Nanaimo’s Grandview Bowl. He became involved with Fraser Carmichael and Joe Pullen and spearheaded the purchase of Cassidy Speedway, a partnership that still exists today. He also won the Old Timers Dirt Cup race at Cassidy.
Moving up from the OTRA Class, he transitioned into Sprint Cars at Cassidy. He won many races as well as Championships in 1995, 1996 and 1997. He still holds the Cassidy track record at 12.84. He always loved pavement, so he ventured into the NSSRA program competing for two partial seasons then one complete season. In 1998 he finished 3rd in points and won the Most Outstanding Effort Award.
When the WILROC series was formed in 2000, he joined and owned cars in the series until 2006. He claimed the 2000 WILROC Championship with driver Dave Emmerson. He ran cars in two classes – a 360 dirt sprint car at Skagit Speedway and an asphalt car with WILROC. Starting in 1999, he was mentoring other young race car drivers such as Dave Emmerson, Britt Gillett, Randy Makowski and Todd Heikes. He was also specializing in rebuilding and modifying engines as well as his chassis work.
In 2001, he and his local team with driver Todd Heikes made history south of the border when they captured the overall 360 Sprint Car Championship at Washington’s Skagit Speedway. No other Canadian had ever accomplished this feat. Besides the competitive nature of this class, the team also had to travel by ferry boat, cross the border and tow down and back each week. True dedication!
We now welcome Dave Smith into the Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame