BRIGHTON, ON (July 19, 2021)- Saturday night racing at Brighton Speedway succumbed to precipitation once again.
The constant rain throughout the morning created conditions that were not conducive to racing. Ground saturation and wet boards make it difficult to host an outdoor event. Promoters Mark and Angie Rinaldi were disappointed as over 100 racers had pre-registered for the Saturday night event. “Between the pandemic and the weather, we are hoping for a break. Racers and fans alike are as anxious for dirt track racing as much as we are and it is frustrating to disappoint them” states Angie Rinaldi.
The only action last week was Thursday night on the infield oval. Pending thunderstorms across southern Ontario threatened another race night at the Brighton Speedway – but this time lady luck was on their side. 54 race karts rolled through the gate and teams prepped for a fast night of action on the little oval.
First up in the feature races the Box Stock 1 division lined up with #14 Wesley Hoard and #87 Weston Mitts ready for 10 laps of battle.
Mitts took the green first as he got the jump on the high line coming out of corner four, with #42 Liam Pakenham moving himself through karts from his fourth place starting spot and into second, he set his eyes on the leader. Mitts running the high line made it look as if he had things under control until a mid race spin put him to the tail of the field. Pakenham inherited the lead and cruised to victory lane in his #42 machine, Mitts fought his way back up to second place, #21 Mason Petherick, Welsey Hoard and #09G Grayson McColman finished up the running order.
Seven Rookie 1 karts met the call to a tacky race track with the #0 Kolton French and #27 Reilly Day pacing the field.
The Empey Tire #0 got away clean as #7 Tate Black and #01 Blake Gregory followed through close. An eventful 10 laps tested the drivers strength, emotions and rubrails as they battled for position – in the closing laps #31 Brody Davidson had charged his way through and sat atop the leaderboard with checkers in sight he held on for the win. #19 Bentley Davidson made a late race effort to pick up the second spot, #0 Kolton French third, #27 Reilly Day fourth, and #7 Tate Black a disappointing fifth after a great run.
Jr. Sportsman 1 – Wooler’s Charley Smith-Wilson and Port Hope’s Rhys Massey wound them up – and roared down the frontstretch. #09 Smith-Wilson used the tacky inside line and pulled out to a five-kart advantage with the rest of the pack filing in line, clicking off laps one by one she had them covered until disaster struck and left the leader stuck on the inside berm – bringing out the yellow flag. On the restart it was Rhys Massey back up front and ready with a hard charging Brock Beattie coming fast, the #80 challenged to the inside and made it stick as he pulled into the number one spot for the remainder of the race. It was #9 Rhys Massey second, #93 Bryce Massey third and Charley Smith-Wilson in fourth.
Up next Box Stock 2 and on the front row #2 Liam McPeak and #10 Cole Cousineau paced the field. The Bay Marine sponsored #2 was on a mission with McPeak hard on the loud pedal and #48j Knoxin Wells chasing behind. 10 laps with one minor off-track adventure, the #2 of McPeak went green to checkers for the win, Wells in the #48j ran a nice smooth second, #101 Jace Patterson, #10 Cole Cousineau and #23 Albert Hodkinson rounded the top five.
#11 Carson Cousineau and #70 Finley Mahoney cranked up out of turn four with the advantage going to the outside line as Mahoney shot to the lead in the Rookie 2 feature event. The bright green #70 machine was on a rail as Mahoney pulled away from the hornets nest of karts battling it out for the runner up spot. #10R Riley Deline climbed his way up the scoresheet from his fifth place starting spot and set his sights on the leader – but as the laps counted down all he could do was watch the #70 of Mahoney pick up the win, Deline settled for second, #19 Audrey Toms got to third, Carson Cousineau fourth and #44x Tyler Green in the fifth spot.
The rumble of 11 Jr. Sportsman 2 karts could be heard from the shores of Lake Ontario – #89 Kolby Ellis and #99 Ethan Dobb were first out of the gate. As the field entered corner one it looked like dollar night on the Bumper Cars at the County Fair – as the karts raced through at speed. Ellis made it through cleanest and got the lead in his Apex Graphics #89 – followed closely by #9s Cooper McKeown and #71 Trevyn McCrillis. McCrillis found the low line as he made his way past the pair and into the lead by the halfway flags as McKeown chased after, keeping the #71 in sight. That’s all she wrote as McCrillis cruised to a win – McKeown second, #35d Dylan Moore went from the back up to cross the line third with #89 Ellis and #9 Summer Vallier in the top five.
Six Jr. Restricted karts took the green and charged down the back straight led by #99b Jonelle Burke and #899 Cam Bristow. With the track still holding moisture the grip was good and allowed for some side by side action with #01 Tyson Gregory using it to his advantage and picking his way to the top spot midrace. Using the clean air ahead Gregory moved away from the action behind as the rest of the pack battled two wide. As the checkers fell it was Gregory with the win, #899 Bristow edged out #55 Carson Down for the second spot, #28 Ashton Sanderson and #93 Grace Hodkinson in fourth and fifth.
Stock Lite last on the night as the dark clouds rolled in, #48 Ryan Greig was ready with #74 Lexi Lucas on the outside. Greig used the run off the bottom and took sole possession of the lead as #11 Cole McKeown threw out a rope and got pulled through, #74 Lucas filed in 3rd. Greig ran a nice line as the train of three karts behind him tried to reel him in, McKeown had one shot and tried for the lead but got checked up as Lexi Lucas slid threw to second with the opportunity open. Greig held on for the W with Lucas second, McKeown third, and Holden Paul in fourth spot.
Racing resumes next Thursday night July 22nd on the little oval, action on the track starts at 6:30 pm sharp. Fans and families can now rejoin the action as we move into the next phase of opening Ontario. Check www.brightonspeedway.com and the Go Kart Racing Facebook page for updates.
StoryTime – by Zeke McKeown