Being regular spectators at Western in the early 1960’s, Ross Surgenor and his pal Don Cummins decided upon hearing an announcement over the track’s PA system early in the 1963 season that “Jalopies” were going to be featured at future race meets that it was time to get involved and picked up a rules sheet from track owner Andy Cottyn who was spearheading the return of this former class of car. Joining the “Vancouver Island Track Racing Association” (VITRA), they chipped in $15.00 apiece and bought a 1938 Buick sedan. With the removal of the car’s glass and a few other minor racing upgrades which included a quick red paint job and some hand lettering on the number “17”, they had a racecar. Strapping on his helmet, Ross slid behind the wheel and it didn’t take long for Western’s fans to notice that this tall and lanky new driver was one of the standouts among his fellow rookies in this resurrected division. Ross guided the big Buick to a 2nd place finish in points and he and Don set about building a new car for the following season, a 1950 Ford.
Ross repeated his 2nd place points standing finish and also won the “Dick Willoughby Sportsmanship” trophy. In a similar Ford for 1965, Ross captured the coveted #1 spot in points and also scored a 1st in the season-end Championship race. 1966 saw him competing in Nanaimo with V.I.T.R.A and he was again crowned points champion and also won the Sponsor’s Trophy race. In 1967, Ross ended the year in 2nd place. He also repeated as the Willoughby Sportsmanship trophy winner, won the July Cup and was also the track record holder. Moving up to the new “Super Stock” class in 1968, Ross and his crew campaigned a 1958 Ford which carried him to first in points for the year. Continuing with the same Ford in 1969, Ross ran at Langley Speedway, Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington and Tri-Cities in Richland, Washington in addition to Western. Ross was overall Super Stock champion in 1970, winning many awards including the July Cup, Sponsor’s Trophy, the Corby Cup (most Main Event wins), the Championship race, was voted “Driver of the Year” plus he also held the track record.
Building a ’68 Ford Torino for 1971, Ross and crew had several “new car” problems which hampered their success but the following season, Ross won the inaugural “Canada 200” at Western. In 1973 he was 2nd in overall points in the Super Stock “International Drivers Challenge”and 3rd in season-end points in the NASCAR “Late Model Sportsman” division at Monroe, Washington’s “Evergreen Speedway”. In addition, he qualified for the “Permatex 200” in Riverside, California, won the “Rainier Sportsman 250”, the “Belmont Stakes” race at Langley Speedway and also the “BC Superstock Championship”. In 1974 he drove Dick Midgley’s #29 Chevelle in the “Canada 200” as well as in 6 NASCAR “Winston Cup” and “Winston West” races. His final seasons at Western saw Ross in a #58 Mercury Cougar.
Following a brief retirement, he came back out behind the wheel of an O.T.R.A. (Old Time Racers Association) car, competing throughout the Pacific Northwest for a couple of seasons and again winning his share of races.
Ross passed in January of 2020.