NAPANEE, ON (May 29, 2018)- Towing your equipment through the pit gate at your hometown speedway is something special for any driver. Being able to ply your craft to an audience comprised of your family, friends and neighbours can mean so much more. Doug O’Blenis – a second generation racer from Napanee, Ontario – has been around Brighton Speedway since the early days of his youth. His formative years were spent in the pit area while his father raced in the Super Stock and Canadian Modified divisions. In 1999, the then 16-year-old took his first laps on the track in a car that carried #32, the reversal of his dad’s traditional #23.
In 2009, O’Blenis elected to break away from the comfort zone of weekly racing about an hour from his front door in favour of competing in a DIRTcar Sportsman Modified machine at Brockville Speedway and following selected special events at other venues on the circuit. Just as Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, “there’s no place like home” and at the start of the 2014 campaign, the father of 2 returned to the familiar turf of Brighton and the track’s Canadian Modified division.
“I had a lot of fun and met some great people during my time with the Sportsman car but coming back to Brighton allowed me to spend more time with my wife Amanda and our daughters,” Doug O’Blenis said. “Its also easier to find crew members who are willing to help out at the track and through the week in the shop when you’re not racing a few hours away from home every weekend.”
Even though he’s yet to pick-up a main event checkered flag, O’Blenis has logged some solid finishes during the first couple of weeks of the 2018 schedule. He finished 4th and had a qualifying win on opening night and despite a hard crash during the season’s second show, was credited with an 8th place effort. His ride was also named best appearing car in the Canadian Modified division. Brighton Speedway teams have endured a trio of rainouts so far.
The 35 year-old driver says he’s thankful to have the support and encouragement of his parents Don and Donna O’Blenis, his wife Amanda and their daughters Kaitlyn and Ashley at the track and behind the scenes. The #32 machine is prepared and maintained by crew members Ryan and Carson McKee, along with Rob P. throughout the year. This season’s marketing partners are Castlerock Crane, Drain All, Kawartha Metals, Weese Landscaping, Bob’s Portable Toilets, Switzer Towing, Lee’s Starter & Alternator, Maxx Powdercoating, Mayhew Graphics and O’Blenis Racing Products. Doug O’Blenis also acknowledges the support of his #1 fan Adam Bryant for their contribution to the team’s success.
“So many terrific people have been involved with my program and my father’s career over the years, it would be impossible to list them all. We’re thankful for their time and the commitment they’ve made to our racing efforts.”
Follow the team throughout the 2018 season, by joining the O’Blenis Racing group at www.facebook.com.
Prepared by: Jim Clarke, Clarke Motorsports Communications/First Draft Media