BEAMSVILLE, Ontario — More than 12 years ago, Curtis Fielding hung up his racing gear and headed into the vineyard to launch a successful viticulture career.
It was a move that turned Fielding Estate Winery, a family run venture in Beamsville, into an award-winning small lot winery where Curtis was named 2012 Grape King, the top honor for any grape grower in Ontario. With winery success now in place, Curtis is returning to his youthful passion on the race track.
Teaming up with Kerry Micks of Micks Motorsports and Mark Dilley, Curtis has secured a ride in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Clarington, Ontario, on Sept. 1, and is hoping to expand his 2014 schedule to include more NASCAR Canadian Tire series races and possibly other races in the U.S and Canada.
“I’m aiming for some wins, or at least respectable placings,” says Curtis, who has enjoyed some spectacular races over his racing career. “And I’m hoping to keep the car on its tires and the competition on their toes.”
Curtis has been racing in some form or another since he was 18 when he was racing snowmobiles near his hometown of Minden, Ontario. He was a regular on the Ontario Legends Series in his early 20s. By 23 he was racing in the former CASCAR Sportsman Series before getting out from behind the wheel and concentrating on building a family and business.
It was around that time his family bought a farm near Beamsville and planted the first vines. In 2005 Fielding Estate Winery opened its doors to the public and released its first vintage.
“I always give 100% and wanted to put my time and effort into the farm and business,” Curtis says. “But we have built it well and have the right people in the right places that the time is right to give racing another go.
“And tractors just aren’t fast enough.”