What is the difference between a driver and a racer? Some people may try to tell you there isn’t one, but just take a casual survey at your favourite speedway. You don’t need to be part of the action on the track to be a racer. It’s more about having an undying passion for the sport. You eat, sleep and dream motorsports. It’s an infatuation that consumes you and you can’t wait to get to the track.
Dwight Brown is a racer. A regular in the NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model division at Kawartha Speedway, the 43 year old father of two from Beeton, ON knows there’s more to the sport than just getting behind the wheel, fastening the seatbelts and driving as fast as he can for as long as he can. Brown is always thinking, always looking for a break that will help him gain an advantage on the competition and a position on the racetrack. To get the most out of his equipment in every race, Brown knows where he’s running and where he needs to finish
“We have the chance to pick up a maximum of 100 points during every show,” said Brown. “A heat race win is worth ten points. The semi feature pays another 15 and winning the 25 lap main event earns 75. Every position is worth points toward the annual track championship and even though I can’t always give you an exact amount, but I’ve usually got a good idea of who’s running where and how I’ll need to finish.”
While many would look back at a season with a pair of feature race wins, the soft spoken speedster, who works as a forklift mechanic through the week, thinks of what could’ve should’ve would’ve been if he had been just a little more aggressive while marching toward the front. A well placed nudge or bump at the right moment may have closed the six point gap that stood between Brown and a second place 2011 point finish or eliminated the 17 deficit to eventual track champion Dan McHattie.
“I finished in the top five eight times last year, but running 13th in the Summer Sizzler and ninth on August 5 made a big difference in the outcome of the final standings,” admitted Brown. “One night, I followed another driver, I can’t remember who it was, for a number of laps and watched the leaders get further and further away. I gave him a tap in the bumper and managed to get the spot, but it also caused the right front fender to start rubbing on the tire. From there, I tried to chase down the pack, but also worried about cutting down the tire.”
Brown, driver of the Bourque Transmission/RB Graffix #20 machine, is a 24 year veteran of weekly short track racing who has advanced through almost every division. Brown admits he still loves the competition that comes with battling the best on Kawartha’s 3/8 mile layout, but confesses he’s becoming a little concerned about the increasing costs and a timid economy that seem to be affecting car counts and spectator turnouts.
“The action is great in all three classes, but there isn’t a speedway in the land that wouldn’t love to have extra drivers in each division and more people there to see the show,” said Brown. “Hopefully 2012 will be the year that happens for Kawartha. My goal is to run well enough to earn the Late Model track championship.”
KAWARTHA KLIPS: 2012 race action gets started with an open test session Friday, May 25, 2012. Fans can see the complete schedule and the latest offseason news anytime at www.kawarthaspeedway.com.
By Jim Clarke, Kawartha Speedway PR/Clarke Motorsports Communications