Bruce Makinson Climbs into a Small Block Modified Seat for 2020


It would be difficult to discuss weekly short track auto racing history in National Capital Region without including the name ‘Makinson’.

With the team’s unique car number design, the family legacy began in the late 1940’s with ‘Rapid’ Roy Makinson’s efforts at venues like Beamish Hill Raceway and Landsdowne Park before passing the torch to his son Bobby who displayed his talents for a dozen years in the family car at Frogtown, Can Am and Cornwall.

After his father and brother retired from dirt track action, Bruce Makinson went out on his own to log laps in a Thunder Car on the asphalt circuit at tracks including Capital City and Kawartha Speedway before moving to Sportsman-Modified at Brockville, Can Am and Mohawk International Raceway starting with the 2003 season.

Originally from Ottawa, but now residing in Richmond, Ontario the 59-year-old self employed material handling technician classifies himself as a, patient ‘big picture’ racer. Makinson – who won a 50 lap Sportsman feature at Brockville in 2011 and a 2015 Friday night victory at MIR – has never looked to win a race on the first lap. He says he hasn’t set any immediate goals for his first season in the new division

“With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting everyone’s plans this year, its hard to say what we’ll be doing or where,” admitted Makinson. “My family has always enjoyed running at Can Am but if the border remains closed, we’ll have to look at staying closer to home. Wherever we wind-up, I’m looking forward to the challenge of running against some of the Small Block Modified field’s biggest names for a couple of years.”

No matter where this year’s travels take the #81 machine, it will begin the countdown to 2022, which will mark Bruce Makinson’s motorsports retirement and write the final chapter in the Makinson Racing legacy. After a bad wreck at Mohawk International Raceway midway through the 2018 schedule left him with a concussion and 3 damaged vertebrae, the driver made a promise to his wife Lynda (of 32 years) that he’d retire after a pair of seasons racing the 358 Modifieds.

The driver – together with his wife, brother and family friend Don Patterson – has been working hard to get the team’s Bicknell Racing Products chassis ready for its eventual Small Block Mod start. Makinson Racing is looking for additional sponsorship support to join its 2020 partners Sandy Vanier – CPA, Jeff Clark – NAPA Manotick, Royal’s Restaurant, King’s, Your Independent Grocer and First General Services. For a copy of the team’s marketing portfolio, contact

Fans and friends can follow Bruce Makinson at the track during the 2020 season or look to for updates throughout the year.