As a distraction from his business activities, North Dakota native Ben Docktor started to race stock cars on the dirt ovals of Alberta and Montana. He also competed as an IMCA open-wheel racer and the Players/GM Challenge. The former oil field roughneck also fielded teams in the local stock car arena.
But his goal in racing was to provide others with a facility, and the original plan of a small oval track grew to a race facility that would become a showpiece for motorsport in Western Canada. Preliminary work started in 1982, and the oval track was completed in 1985. By 1987, and using his own capital, Docktor was ready to share his dream amid the racing world with the multi-purpose Race City in Calgary.
Along with the half-mile oval track, a 2.1-mile road circuit, and a quarter-mile drag strip were built at the complex, and for the next 20 years fans were able to watch their racing heroes from several types of racing, including NASCAR, NHRA, IRL, CASCAR, and CASC events. Along with the sports cars and dragsters and stock cars, motorcycle racing was also a big attraction. Fans were able to watch such notables as Bobby Unser, Michael Waltrip, Mark Martin, and Shirley Muldowney compete at Race City.
Until 1995, when the facility was sold to Art MacKenzie, Docktor was at Race City every weekend as the track’s biggest fan. During his time with Race City, Docktor brought the best in major-league racing to Western Canada as one of the country’s biggest boosters of motorsport.