Race fans packed the stands at Brighton Speedway Saturday night in celebration of the track’s 50th Anniversary season.
The night featured Pro Late Models, Canadian Modifieds and Pro Stocks. Also joining in on the historical evening were the Eastern Ontario Vintage Stock Car Club and the OSCAAR Hot Rods.
During pre-race ceremonies Pat McEvoy, Gary Sheffield and Bob and Pat Gibson were inducted into the Brighton Speedway Wall of Fame. The early afternoon festivities included live music by Terry Denyes and the Bay City Band and a trip down memory lane. Many past drivers joined fans and current drivers and enjoyed a walk down memory lane as shared by Wall of Fame member, former racer and track announcer Huck Flindall. Fifty years of motorsports entertainment were celebrated and honoured by many, a special appearance by the C1, Bob Prud’homme’s original car as well as years of history laid out for enthusiasts to enjoy.
Sandercock Wins One For #57
A number of racers joined in on the nostalgic celebration and sported throwback paint schemes on their race cars. Pro Late Model point leader Charlie Sandercock (No. 57) carried the colours of his uncle, Lee Sandercock on the driver’s side of his car and the design of “The Flying School Teacher” Huck Flindall on the other.
Sandercock drew the pole for the 50 lap feature while Caley Weese (No. 77) started alongside. At the drop of the green flag, Sandercock jumped out to the lead. Brandon Mowat (No. 46) kept pace with the leader for much of the race.
The only caution of the race came just past the halfway point allowing Mowat an opportunity to challenge for the lead. Sandercock was too strong though and pulled away in the closing laps to capture his fifth win in six weeks. He along with Uncle Lee and Huck Flindall shared a special moment in victory lane as the three generations of No. 57 drivers embraced in celebration.
Mowat crossed the line in second while Humberstone Speedway’s Sam Pennachio (No. 311) finished third. Last week’s winner Phil Potts (No. 29) ended the night in fourth while Andy Mayhew (No. 1) was fifth.
King Of The Modifieds
The Canadian Modifieds were led to the green flag by Nathan Rinaldi (No. 3) and Brandon Gregory (No. 22). Rinaldi led the first circuit of the 50 lap event, but was quickly overtaken by Curtis King (No. 07). Driving a car designed to honour his late father-in-law, and Brighton Speedway legend, Larry Stacey, King pulled to sizable advantage on each of the races five restarts.
Dan Ferguson (No. 11) moved the second position on lap 7, but was overtaken by Doug O’Blenis (No. 32) after a lap 18 caution that involved fourth place runner Kraig Handley (No. 91). O’Blenis and Ferguson raced closely over the final half of the race while point leader Andrew Hennessy (No. 08), whose car was painted to replicate that of former racer Bill Munro, ran a close fourth.
King led the final 49 laps to claim his third win of the season ahead of O’Blenis and Ferguson. Hennessy held on to fourth despite sustaining damage to the left front wheel of his car. Derrick Greig (No. 48) completed the top five.
Purchase Pays Visit To Victory Lane
The Pro Stocks competed in their second Duel on the Dirt Qualifier of the season. Jason Preece (No. 73) and Wade Purchase (No. 53) made up the front row of the 50 lap feature, with Purchase jumping out to the early advantage.
Doug Anderson (No. 27) joined in on the retro theme and carried the red No. 27 that his father Greg drove to two championships in the early 80s. Anderson’s night didn’t start out well as ac problem in corner four caused the first caution of the race. Just two laps later further issues to the front of the car sent him to the pit area briefly. He managed to rejoin the field to become a factor in the end.
At the front of the field, Purchase drove a smooth and steady line around the bottom of the track and held off challenges from Brandon Murrell (No. 19) until a lap 9 restart when the Gores Landing driver failed to get up to speed and was forced to drop out of the race.
By lap 20, Anderson had worked his way back into the top five and began to catch leader Purchase. The two drivers exchanged positions on lap 30, however Purchase would regain command within the final 15 laps and drove to his first win of the season. Anderson completed the comeback by finishing a solid second. Warren Mowatt (No. 2) was fast all night and finished third ahead of Mike Freeman (No. 51) and Dan Insley (No. 28). Point leader Justin Ramsay (No. 03) raced solidly within the top five for much of the race until mechanical issues forced him to the pits with just 13 laps remaining.
Wild Win For Billings
The Eastern Ontario Vintage Stock Car Club brought 17 cars to Brighton Speedway in their first appearance of the season. Nathan Berry (No. 14b) and Paul Billings (No. b10) led the field to the green flag in the 15 lap feature.
Berry dominated the race leading the first 14 laps. On the final corner though, contact from behind from Matt Barbour (No. 37) sent both drivers into the infield. Billings used the outside line to pass both drivers and claim the win. Berry finished a disappointing second while Denzil Billings Jr. (No. x22) finished third.
Tyler Terrific On Dirt
As part of their inaugural season the OSCAAR Hot Rod Series competed in their first ever dirt track event. Tyler Hawn (No. 2) and Dan Price (No. 09) started at the front of the 15 lap feature. Having never raced on dirt, Hawn took to the track like a veteran and led every lap of the race.
Steven Mayhew (No. 14) followed the leader closely, but was never able to mount a serious challenge for the lead and finished second. Art Rodgers (No. 38) crossed the line third, while Price and Jerry Lockhardt (No. 5) were fourth and fifth.
Up Next – Summer Smash Monster Truck Extravaganza
Next Saturday night is the Summer Smash Monster Truck Extravaganza featuring Higher Education and Overkill Evolution. The Pro Late Models, Comp 4’s, and Stingers will also be in action along with the Canadian Modifieds as they compete in their final leg of the ABC Taxi Triple Crown. Racing starts at 7:00 PM. Adult admission is $15. For more information visit www.brightonspeedway.com