PICTON, Ont. – July 10, 2017 – For longtime Brighton Speedway racer Andrew Hennessy, the 2017 racing season is a special one. The Picton, Ont. native has raced at the track his entire adult life and is a significant part of the track’s community. With the Northumberland County track celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year, Hennessy is as hungry as ever to win the Canadian Modified championship. And he’s certainly off to a strong start on the way to achieving his goal.
In seven races so far this year, the driver of the Cobourg Development Services/Bay Marine No.87 Canadian Modified has won three times, finished second twice and no worse than fourth. That’s to say seven-straight top-five finishes since the season began on April 29, a race he won. He continued his hot streak with his third victory of the season to start the month of July last Saturday.
“We haven’t changed much from last year,” said Hennessy, who has won the Canadian Modified title at Brighton for the last two seasons. “We kept good notes and applied them to this season.”
On the two occasions where Hennessy finished outside the top pair – both fourth-place results – the No.87 battled back from early incidents that hampered his drive to the front of the field.
“We raced with bent shocks and had some flat tires and were able to just be lucky enough that it happened early enough in the race or other guys have wrecked where we’ve been able to get the top-five,” Hennessy explained.
Hennessy’s level of consistency has not been matched by another competitor so far this season. However, he hasn’t been able to run away with the points lead. After seven events, Hennessy’s advantage is just 25 points over fellow contender Curtis King. The slim gap is extra motivation for Hennessy as he rolls into the second half of the season.
“I think I have to get better in the second half because Curtis has stepped up his stuff,” Hennessy said. “On Saturday, we had to get by Curtis. It was coming to the white flag when I got by him for the win. He made one little mistake off a restart. There was a hole and I took it. We’ll try to build off of that next week.”
While Hennessy is aware of the points situation, he isn’t the type of driver to follow the standings religiously. Instead, he’s typically wrenching on the car trying to find ways to make it faster and ensure he continues to finish up front.
“The person that bugs me about points the most is my dad. He’s always asking ‘where are you in points?’ I tell him, I don’t know and I don’t care,” Hennessy said with a laugh. “As long as you win or finish in the top-three every night, the points just take car of themselves. I try not to get too caught up in it. You just have to go out and race.”
As Hennessy continues to chase his fourth Canadian Modified championship this year, and fifth overall title at Brighton including when his 2005 Pure Stock title, he still has a couple of dates circled on his calendar. He was happy to win the track’s 50th season opener on April 29, which also honoured the passing of his late uncle Jim ‘Jimmers’ Hennessy.
Now, he has his sights set on this weekend’s 50th anniversary nostalgia night and the Danny Reid Memorial in September. Hennessy will debut a special retro paint scheme for the July 15 race that is a tribute to Bill Munro’s 1982 Late Model. Munro, who raced at Brighton Speedway until 1989, and has been Hennessy’s crew chief mentor to since 2011.
“I’m going to have a black Modified with a number 08 and it’s going to have his sponsors on it from back in 1982,” Hennessy said. “I’m really looking forward to Saturday. It’s a 50-lap race and I really like long races. I seem to do pretty well in extended lap races. I want to win this one more than anything.”
And Hennessy hopes another win this week will propel him one step closer to the championship he wants to win more than any other in his past.
“It’s a milestone for the speedway and I think it would be pretty cool to win,” Hennessy said. “I won the 50th season opener and that’s something I’m going to remember. I’d like to win the championship as well in the 50th season.”
He’s well on his way.
Hennessy will be back in action for Brighton Speedway’s 50th anniversary Nostalgia Night on July 15. Fans receive $5 off the $15 grandstand admission if they wear a retro Brighton Speedway t-shirt to the race. For event information on any of Brighton Speedway’s 2017 season event, including Nostalgia Night, visit www.brightonspeedway.com.
Andrew Hennessy – 7 Starts: 3 Wins, 7 Top-5s, 7 Top-10s
ANDREW HENNESSY MEDIA
Andrew Hennessy is proud to partner with several dedicated marketing partners for the 2017 race season, including Cobourg Development Services, Bay Marine, RJ Equipment Rentals, Drew Harrison Haulage, Ontario Trucking News, Custom Automotive, Needle In A Haystack, KD Transmission, Mohawk Wholesale, Benson Auto Parts, Vanzuylen Tire Picton, Main Stop Gas Bar, Rapid Rad, and Bill and Jim Broad.