September is here, and with it the racing is astounding. Track championships throughout the province are coming to a head and on Saturday night at Brighton Speedway champions were dubbed. QBT Excavating and John’s Equipment hosted the action-packed night. With additional laps in each class including the 50 Lap Danny Reid Memorial Canadian Modified race. Special attraction on the night was the OSCAAR Hot Rods. Traditionally a pavement series, the Hot Rods visit Brighton Speedway once a year to show off for the fans and experience dirt racing.
The first feature of the night saw 16 Quinte Septic Stingers take the green for the 15-lap feature. These six-cylinder machines had a rough start with cautions in the first three laps. The melee allowed the 2022 Champion, No 93 Jorden Pickell to make his way to the front of the field from a last place starting place. He would come to second and battle with No 03 Dillon Barker until mechanical issues impaired Barker’s position and he left the field with two laps to go. The points gap between these two going into the feature event was only 25 points. The finish saw No 29 Cody Easton also come from the back of the pack to follow Pickell across the line, with No 47 Josh Sparks, No 7 Josh Toon and No 31. Pickell was crowned the 2023 Points Champion right in victory lane.
The Bill’s Johns Comp 4 feature event took to the track after an intermission break to honour past legend Danny Reid. Twelve 4-cylinder missiles started the race with the No 42 Aidan Fletcher and No 44 Tommy Bailey fighting for the lead early on. By lap 7 of the 20-lap event, Fletcher had the lead and late race yellow put Bailey once again closer to overtaking him. The last four laps of Fletcher was able to keep Bailey at bay, taking the win, followed by Bailey who was awarded the 2023 Points Championship. No 24 Travis Fox-Connor crossed in 3rd but was disqualified for a technical infraction, putting No 19x Adam Davidson in the next podium spot. No 01 Scott Simpson was awarded fourth and No 15 T.J Douglas subbing for Josh Bogaard in fifth. Bailey now holds the title of Champion for the second year running.
Racing on dirt is not their usual surface but 15 OSCAAR Hot Rods tried it out for a 20-lap feature event. The No 2 of Tyler Hawn in a 1966 Pontiac Beaumont took the lead early in the race and was challenged by the No 88 Brandom Crumbie in a 1968 Chevelle. The two would finish in that order ahead of No 48 Connor Ellis in another ’68 Chevelle, the No 47 Steve Book in a 1960 Studebaker Hawk and the No 13 Ryan Cowan in a 1959 Pontiac Bonneville.
The next feature was the much-heralded John’s Equipment 50 Lap Danny Reid Memorial event. This race honours past racer No K5 Danny Reid and the Bainer’s OilGARD Anti Rush Canadian Modifieds have run this race for 17 years. This race began with 14 competitors and rough start in the first few laps, drivers anxious during the race caused a few too many cautions for the 50-lap affair. Current points leader No 40 Ron Wadforth started outside poll and held the lead for 30 laps until a yellow reset the field and No 07 Curtis King and No 32 Doug O’Blenis got ahead of him on the restart. O’Blenis took the lead with 13 laps to go, with Wadforth coming back to 2nd, No 1 Kraig Handley seated in 3rd, No 33 Adam Turner in fourth and No 2 Leslie Mowat rounded out the top 5. Wadforth was named the 2023 Points Champion in victory lane as O’Blenis was awarded the coveted Piston Cup.
In the Vanderlaan Building Products Late Model Division, it was No 3 Nate Rinaldi that took the lead from his 8th starting position and held off past Champion No 5 Steve Baldwin for the 35-lap feature event. The only yellow of the night on lap 23 tightened the field back up, and Rinaldi opted for the outside on the restart, determined to take his second win on the season. His choice was consistent, and he and Baldwin would battle for the remaining 12 laps. Behind them No 77 Caley Weese and No 0 Adam Turner would swap third and fourth back and forth with the feature finish ending in Rinaldi, Baldwin, Weese, Turner and No 46 Brandon Mowat as the top five. Baldwin secured the 2023 points championship for the second year in a row.
The final feature event of the night was the Bill’s Johns Mini Stock 20-lap race. With the top four competitors in points within 75 points of the top spot it was a battle to the end. No 96 Cole Abrams started on the poll with rookie No 2 Trevyn McCrillis on the outside. No 22 Tyson Gregory started in third and No 17r Alex Riley beside him. No 18 Carter Rhodes with his 9th place starting position would quickly head to the front to battle it out with Abrams, Riley and Gregory, taking the lead from Gregory on the 10th lap and holding on until the finish. A restart in lap 15 brought the field tight together and No 12 Caleb Severin was challenging both Rhodes and Abrams. The finish had Rhodes over the line .384 milliseconds ahead of Abrams, with Severin in front of No 4 Chris Tufford and Riley so close behind him with a .003 millisecond difference. A new 2023 Champion was crowned with Tufford securing the title only 15 points ahead of Abrams.
With the Brighton Automotive Thunder Stocks travelling for a Duel on the Dirt race, their champion was named a week earlier. No 03 Justin Ramsay is the 2023 Thunder Stock Champion and will be back for the last weekend of racing September 22nd and 23rd for the Applefest Shootout. This two-day affair brings racers from all over Ontario and upper New York to race over the weekend. DIRTcar Sportsman, DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, Late Models, Thunder Stocks and 4 Cylinders will gather to put on one of the greatest exhibitions of racing on the shores of Lake Ontario. Camping is full and pits will be bursting as Brighton Speedway takes the weekend off to prepare for the event. Be sure to visit brightonspeedway.ca/applefest for event details.