Anthony Leek is one of the closest friends I have had in our racing community since I first got involved 13 years ago. For the decade or so that I have known him, he has never changed. He is bright, energetic and has a common sense approach to the business of dirt track racing like no other person I know.
In a sense, I understood him because he always tried to do what was right for his local racing community.
The Emo, Ontario resident worked hard to promote his home track of Emo Speedway. He volunteered to work at the track. As well, Anthony got involved with the direction of his home track by becoming a board member. Eventually he was elected as President of Emo Speedway and had a successful run until his decision to step down.
Where Anthony Leek shined the greatest was his promotional work, especially his project, the Northern Super Stock Touring Series in 2007 and 2008. Anthony was driven to succeed. From organizing sponsorship to getting tracks to host his tour, nobody did it nor will ever do it like him.
Whenever he was in town, I would always get a call to arrange a meeting at our usual hangout, the Dairy Queen at Pembina Highway and Bison Drive. What would typically start out as a conversation over ice cream would sometimes be an overrun chat session about racing where time was forgotten. What many people don't know is if it wasn't for Anthony Leek, I may have left racing for good in 2007. His friendship, encouragement and support brought me back to Red River Co-op Speedway in 2008. To this day I still consider 2009 as my most satisfying and fulfilling season to date. A season that I almost missed.
Lately our conversations have been less about racing and more about our future goals and dreams.
Anthony Leek is turning a page and moving on to a new chapter in his life. His desire to get involved in provincial politics and hopefully represent the people of Kenora-Rainy River in the upcoming Ontario election comes as no surprise. He brings that same common sense and infectious enthusiasm to a new group of people that he always has for his racing community. Anthony Leek is all about community and representing the best interests of the residents within his community. For this, he is perfectly suited for a life of public service.
Earlier this year, I got an email from Anthony that simply said, "One more." He wanted to promote one more race at Emo Speedway before he moves on. On Sunday, June 30th Emo Speedway will host the Northern Late Model Racing Association and this race will have Anthony's signature written all over it.
This will be one night that I would not miss for the world.