The Johnsonville Stage will be a hive of activity

Starting today and running all weekend long, the fourth annual Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo presented by Mothers will fill more than 300,000 square feet of Toronto’s International Centre. And for the 2018 edition of the Motorama show, one of the primary focal points of the show will be The Johnsonville Stage.

Canada’s largest late-winter celebration of custom vehicles and motorsports takes place March 9, 10 & 11 in Toronto, and for the fourth consecutive year, valued show sponsor Johnsonville Sausage will provide the setting for the majority of the show’s awards presentations, autograph sessions, discussion panels, media announcements and much more.

Over the past three Motorama shows, the Johnsonville Stage has been the platform for fan interactions with such notables as NASCAR super stars Richard Petty and Bobby Allison, television celebrities Steve Darnell, Jimmy Shine and Jessi Combs, musician and car collector Billy Gibbons, as well as the legendary Miss Hurst Shifter, Linda Vaughn. The stage is also the gathering point for the honourees of the annual Short Track and Drag Racing Night of Champions, and the place to be for Q&A interviews with the competitors of both the NASCAR Pinty’s and APC Late Model Series.

This year’s show will feature guests Ron Capps, Courtney Hansen, Jeff Lutz, Lou Santiago, David Schroeder and Twiggy Tallant.

The Meet the Media, Road Racing, Hot Rod and Drag Racing discussion panels will take place on The Johnsonville Stage at various times throughout the weekend. The stage will also be the setting for the Show Car award ceremonies, and there might just be a surprise visit or two from some motorsports celebrities who will be on stage to meet and greet their fans.

“We’re very proud to be a part of the Motorama show, and we’re excited to be, again this year, sponsoring The Johnsonville Stage at Motorama,” proclaimed Brad Martin, Managing Director for the Canadian branch of Johnsonville Sausage. “There will be lots of excitement in the air as everyone prepares for the upcoming season, and we’re very pleased to be given the opportunity to share in that excitement.”

Johnsonville Sausage, the most popular brand of sausage in the United States, and available in 30 countries – including Canada – is a perfect fit for the motorsports fan. Johnsonville products make the ideal complement for any tailgate or backyard party.

“We’ve identified motorsports fans as one of our core target consumer groups,” continued Martin. “Our products fit well with the experience of getting outdoors at the race track and enjoying good food and good times with friends and other race fans. Johnsonville is proud to be associated with the community of car enthusiasts. It’s with the same pride and passion Johnsonville Sausage has for delivery a great eating experience around the wide variety of fresh and smoked sausage flavours available across Canada. Check out for recipe ideas.”

See below for the schedule of events for The Johnsonville Stage.

12:30 to 2:00 p.m. – AUTOMOTIVE EDUCATION AND CAREER PANEL: Several members of the automotive education, auto industry and motorsports communities will take part in this discussion about their respective programs / companies / careers and how those interested in a future in one of these areas can get involved. Hosted by Rick Seeley, expected participants include: Matthew Aspro (U of T Formula Racing Team), Wayne Toth (Niagara College), John Mifsud (Professor of Motive Power / Centennial College), Ric Potvin (Canadore College), Pete Shepherd (NASCAR Pinty’s Series racer and co-owner of Driven 4 Communications), Kendra Adams (stock car racer) and Taylor Thring (stock car racer / #BurnOutTheBully).

5:30 to 7:00 p.m. – SHORT TRACK PROMOTERS: A collection of Ontario’s top short track, dirt oval and series promoters will be on hand to participate in a Q&A session with fans and discuss their roles in promoting their tracks and series, as well as motor racing in southern Ontario. Expected participants include: Mark Rinaldi (Brighton Speedway), Gord Bennett (Full Throttle Motor Speedway), Alex Nagy (Jukasa Motor Speedway), Clinton Geoffrey (Ohsweken Speedway), Dave Gainforth (OSCAAR), J.P. Josiasse (Peterborough Speedway), Mark Dilley (Sauble Speedway) and Brian Todish (Sunset Speedway).

10:30 to 11:20 a.m. – MOTORAMA’S 2018 CELEBRITY GUESTS: This year’s celebrity guests at Motorama include: Ron Capps (2016 NHRA Funny Car World Champion), Courtney Hansen (Automotive TV Personality / Dream Car), Jeff Lutz (Discovery Channel’s Street Outlaws), Lou Santiago (co-host of Discovery Velocity’s Car Fix), David Schroeder (2017 Drag Week Overall Champion) and Twiggy Tallant (Vegas Rat Rods). See and hear them on-stage as they participate in a Q&A with the fans.

11:30 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. – APC LATE MODEL SERIES DRIVER PANEL: This exciting series enters its fourth season of action in 2018 and continues to grow. It featuring many of the province’s top Late Model racers, competing at tracks around southern and central Ontario. Series Announcer Jamie Maudsley hosts this session. Expected participants include Series Organizer Luke Ramsay and several registered series drivers, including Shae Gemmell, Josh Stade, JR Farrelly, Jamie Cox, Rick Burbridge, Treyten Lapcevich, Jake Sheridan, Mat Box and Andrew Gresel.

12:30 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. – DRAG RACING DISCUSSION PANEL: This year’s Motorama show boasts several honoured guests from the drag racing world. Hosted by Bill Richards and Larry Satchell, expected participants in this panel include 2016 NHRA Funny Car World Champion Ron Capps, reigning Hot Rod Drag Week Overall and Unlimited Champion David Schroeder, multi-time Drag Week champ and Street Outlaws star Jeff Lutz, Ontario Street Outlaws series promoter Paul Norris, jet dragster racer Neale Armstrong, Yvonne Potter of Paton Racing, and Andrew Stirk of DSE Sportsman Promotions.

1:45 p.m. to 2:40 p.m. – SEMA STAR BUILDERS: Show announcer Rick Seeley hosts this on-stage session that features several builders who caught our attention at SEMA and have brought their vehicles to Motorama. They include Ty Hauer of Indiana’s Reisinger Custom Rebuilding, Ohio’s Anton Lanesky of Anton’s Rod Shop, Eddie Pettus from Iowa’s Eddie’s Rod and Custom, and Pennsylvania’s Mike Heim, of Quality Custom Rides. Be sure to check out their feature vehicles in Hall 2.

3:00 to 5:00 p.m. – SHOW CAR CLASS AWARDS: Hosted by Rick Seeley, Gary Challice and celebrity guests Courtney Hansen and Twiggy Tallant, with more than 200 vehicles in competition, there are dozens of different classes and categories to be judged. The class awards will be announced and presented on The Johnsonville Stage during this session.

5:15 to 6:30 p.m. – DRAG RACING NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS PRESENTED BY STONERIDGE SPECIALTY INSURANCE: Bill Richards and Larry Satchell return – with a special appearance by 2016 NHRA Funny Car Champ Ron Capps – to host this awards presentation which honours Canadian drag racers who won track or series championships during the 2017 season. More than 40 champs have registered for this special awards presentation.

6:45 to 8:15 p.m. – SHORT TRACK NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS PRESENTED BY STONERIDGE SPECIALTY INSURANCE: Hosts Greg Calnan and Adam Ross will be joined by Courtney Hansen and Twiggy Tallant to honour dirt and asphalt oval track racers who won year-end track or series championships in 2017. Each champion will receive a plaque and will be interviewed about their title-winning campaigns. Special thanks to Eibach Canada, London Recreational Racing, Image Factor Media and Inside Track Motorsport News for their support of this ceremony which will honour almost 90 short track champs.

SUNDAY, MARCH 11, 2018
10:30 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. – CAR SHOW PROMOTERS PANEL: Several of North America’s top car show promoters will talk about what’s new for 2018 for their respective shows, leading into a Q&A discussion about the hobby. Expected participants include: Jim Pearsall (Syracuse Nationals), Bill Doherty (Atlantic Nationals), Bob Larivee (founder of Detroit Autorama), Kristine Hill (Summer Showdown), Chris Gooderham (Canadian Automotive Expo) and a representative of Oshawa Autofest.

11:30 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. – MEET THE MEDIA: One of the show’s most popular on-stage features. Several members of the Canadian motorsports and automotive media discuss issues related to Canadian and International racing. Expected participants include: Erik Tomas (Raceline Radio Network), Norris McDonald (Toronto Star), James Neilson (Inside Track Motorsport News), Gary Grant (The Garage Guy /, Wally Nesbitt (Inside Track Motorsport News), Jim Kenzie (Toronto Star) and Tim Miller (Hamilton Spectator / Inside Track Motorsport News).

12:45 to 1:25 p.m. – NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES DRIVER Q&A: Into its second decade as the country’s top racing series, the NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES is entering an exciting time. A new GM body-style will be introduced at Motorama and the tour is set to make its first appearance outside of Canada, in the fall, so there will be lots to talk about. Series Announcer Adam Ross will host the session which is expected to feature Anthony Spiteri of Pinty’s Delicious Foods and several NPS series racers discussing their plans for 2018.

1:45 to 2:40 p.m. – HOT ROD PANEL: Legendary hot rod personality and Motorama Show Car organizer Gary Challice will be joined by Show Announcer Rick Seeley to host this discussion featuring several prominent members of the hot rod, custom car and classic car communities. Expected to participate on the panel are several local prominent builders with vehicles at Motorama, as well as celebrity guest Lou Santiago.

3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. – SHOW CAR SPECIAL AWARDS: Hosted by Rick Seeley and Gary Challice, and some of our celebrity guest presenters, dozens of awards will be handed out at the show, including the Motorama Grand Champion who will be presented with a $5,000.00 cheque!


ABOUT JOHNSONVILLE SAUSAGE: Founded in 1945 by Ralph F. and Alice Stayer, Johnsonville is the most popular brand of sausage in the United States and is available in 30 other countries around the world, including Canada. With corporate headquarters in Sheboygan Falls, WI, their award winning product lines include Brats, Italian, Smoked, Breakfast and Snack Sausages. More information about Johnsonville products and recipes featuring their products can be found at