@BrightonSpdwy • BRIGHTON, ON – A capacity crowd at Brighton Speedway witnessed an exciting and wacky 15 school buses battle in the Workman’s OK Tire School Bus Races presented by Lange & Fetter Ford and Hotch’s Auto Parts. Sixty-one stock cars were also on hand across four divisions with a full night of racing schedule for them as well.
Dean Leclair drove his No.D3 bus to victory lane in the 15-lap feature for the Workman’s OK Tire School Bus Races. The 15 buses who started the race battled three and sometimes four wide around the 1/3-mile oval. After a couple of early cautions, Leclair emerged with the race lead and drove to a straightaway advantage over Bernie Rhebergen’s No.77 bus. A slowed bus on lap 13 brought the caution out and set up a green-white-checkered finish. Leclair and Rhebergen battled side-by-side for the final two laps with Leclair claiming the checkered flag and the bus trophy by less than a nose. Rick Sopaz and Matt Down battled to the final lap to finish third and fourth, respectively.
A tacky race track was Tyler Rand’s best friend on Saturday night as the Picton, Ont. native drove to his first career Vanderlaan Building Product Pro Late Model win in his No.84 Terry’s Taxi car. Third-starting Andy Mayhew (No.1 A&A Haulage) drove to the opening lap, but Rand wrestled it back to lead lap two. Kyle Sopaz (No.12 KD Transmissions) briefly held the second spot until Adam Turner (No.92 Village Variety) took the runner-up position and set out to track down the race leader Rand.
Rand maintained a one-second advantage throughout most of the night as Turner could not gain on the No.84. Both cars ran the top lane of a very fast racetrack. Despite the top two drivers battling on the top, Brandon Mowat (No.46 Target Fabrication) made the bottom lane work and drove to third past both Charlie Sandercock (No.57 Bellevue Fabricating) and Phil Potts (No.29 Brighton Recycling).
Rand’s lead was erased on lap 19 when Greg Belyea (No.25 Excel Tower Service) spun in turn one to bring out the only yellow of the race. Rand was flawless on the restart and Turner went in to an expertise defense mode to move back to the top lane and hold the second spot over Mowat. The final 11 laps left little doubt for Rand, who claimed his first career feature win in a Pro Late Model after switching from Sprint Car competition to start the 2015 season. The win also capped a perfect night for Rand, who also won his heat. Turner, Mowat, Sandercock and Potts completed the top-five.
Andrew Hennessy (No.87 Custom Automotive) drove from the ninth starting position to claim his second win in as many weeks in the 25-lap Bainer’s OilGARD Canadian Modified feature. Heat winner Shawn Gregory (No.1 CPS Wood Products) and Dan Inley (No.28 Ball Machine) brought the field to green, but Hennessy quickly made his way forward along with 10th-starting Dan Ferguson (No.11 Kilmarnock Enterprise) and sixth-starting Doug O’Blenis (No.32 John’s Car Care).
The first yellow came out on lap seven when Adam Whaley (No.12 John’s Equipment) spun in turn four, collecting Josh Hennessy (No.88 A&A Haulage) and Curtis King (No.07 Flowmetrix). On the ensuing restart, Hennessy drove to the lead past Gregory while Ferguson drove to second.
Andrew Hennessy led Ferguson, Gregory, O’Blenis and Josh Hennessy at the halfway point and the top-five maintained their position until a lap 18 caution for a spun Shelby Mills (No.78 ABC Taxi). The restart with seven laps to go allowed O’Blenis to power to second in the top lane past Ferguson and Gregory. Andrew Hennessy was consistent over the final seven laps on his way to the victory, holding off O’Blenis and Ferguson in the process. Kraig Handley (No.91 Tri-Canadian Energy) made a late charge to claim fourth at the checkered flag while Gregory completed the top-five.
Justin Ramsay (No.03 Empey Tire) became the first two-time winner in the Pro Stock division with his win Saturday night. After suffering a blown engine one week ago, Ramsay started fifth for the 20-lap main event. Mike Freeman (No.51 Boyer Chevrolet) took the lead over the opening four laps after starting on the pole, but Ramsay caught the top car by the time of a lap four caution for a stopped Dan Summers (No.4 Charlie Bird Band).
Ramsay claimed the lead on the restart as Doug Anderson (No.72 Hunt’s Bobcat Service) rallied to take second. Two more restarts on lap five and lap six saw Ramsay choose both the inside and outside lanes as the field came to green. In both cases, he overcame a side-by-side battle with Anderson.
The Trenton native Ramsay was never able to distance himself from the field as a battle for second unfolded behind him between Anderson and Brandon Murrell (No.19 Hannah Motors). The two drivers waged a spirited, but perfectly clean battle over a three-lap period before Murrell took the position.
Murrell did his best to track down Ramsay over the final five laps, but couldn’t get closer than a car length to the back bumper of the No.03. Anderson, meanwhile, settled for third ahead of Wade Purchase (No.53 Independent Alternator & Starter) and rookie Austin Reid (No.85 Kids R Kool).
Tyler French (No.0 Empey Tire) won his fourth Bill’s Johns Comp 4 feature of the season and the second round of the ABC Taxi Triple Crown. The 20-la pfeature started with Peter Moore (No.17) and Matthew Moore (No.14 Farl’s Auto Body) (no relation) started on the front row. Peter Moore led the opening three laps while Josh Read (No.04 Down To Earth Landscaping) and French drove second and third, respectively.
A caution on lap three for an implement tire on the track allowed Read to claim the point on the restart as French took over second. Three laps later, French took the lead from Read and began to distance himself from the field until a second yellow on lap eight.
Perth, Ont. driver Corbin Millar (No.66) made his first start and jumped in to the top-three off the restart. After the halfway point, Millar took the lead from French and began to pull away from the field. Leading by nearly half a straightaway, Millar got pinched behind a slowed car with two laps to go, allowing French to take over the lead again. A yellow flag on lap 18 setup a two-lap dash, which French refused to squander. He claimed his fourth feature win of the season over Read, his brother Matthew French, Nathan Day (No.24 Active Wealth Management) and Matthew Moore.