@BrightonSpdwy •BRIGHTON, Ont. (June, 30, 2016) – Josh French has returned to the Bill’s Johns Comp 4 division with a vengeance and last week earned his second straight win in the division to claim Campbellford Chrysler Driver of the Week honours.
The 27-year-old Trenton native returned to the division in 2016 full-time after a three-year hiatus from active competition. After competing in a Honda CRX for several years, French grew tired of the car, but didn’t want to replace it with just anything. He waited patiently for his current Honda hatchback to become available.
Despite his recent success, jumping back in the racing seat has come with its challenges. While French drives a Honda Civic from day to day, it’s still no comparison to Saturday night action.
“It’s different to go from daily driving to a front-wheel drive car around a dirt track. It took me a few weeks to understand how to get in to the corner again and get comfortable driving around the top in the middle of the track,” French explained with a laugh.
French, who works as a mover for a living, is a lifelong fan of dirt racing and grew up attending races at Brighton Speedway with his father Junior French, who works to prepare the track on Saturday nights, and the rest of his family, including brothers Tyler and Matthew French, who also race in Brighton’s Comp 4 division.
“As a kid, my father always brought us all to the racetrack. We’ve been going for as long as I can remember,” French remembered with excitement. “The Comp 4 class always caught my eye because I’ve always liked Hondas.”
French cheered fondly for drivers Jeff and Shawn Waite during his youth. Now, he gets to race his own brothers under the nights each Saturday. Many would think racing against your bloodline would require a different approach, but that’s not the case, French said.
“Prior to the race, it makes you think a little differently, but when you see them on the racetrack and they’re racing against you, you understand they’re out there for the same reason you are: to have some fun and some good hard racing,” he stated.
French concluded the month of June with his second win, holding off a late charge from Josh Read to claim the victory. The win one week earlier on June 18, his first of the season, almost didn’t occur. French had to take drastic measures to make it to the finish line.
“The dash harness somehow burnt up. There were five or six wires that were open and live. It was shutting down the car. During my first win, I actually had to flip the ignition switch on and off to get it to run,” French said of the dramatic situation. “I was going in to the corner, shutting the car off, using my momentum and turning it back on to exit the corner.”
A seemingly impossible task, French steered the car with one hand while dealing with the ignition in the other. It’s an impressive feat that has made his mini winning streak seem even more special.
“It feels really good. A lot of great people have been behind me to help figure it out,” French said. “I’m happy to be back out racing again.”
French’s car is currently grey with a spray painted No.08 on the right door, but it won’t remain that way. The car will be pink before long in honour of a friend whose daughter is currently fighting leukemia. French will reveal more details when the car is complete. For now, he’s just excited to be enjoying his time at the track that double as family time.
French will return to action on Saturday, July 2 for a 20-lap feature during Brighton Speedway’s Canada Day Mid- Season Championships presented by Brighton Automotive and The Community Press featuring a Mystical Distributing fireworks show. Time trials begin at 5:00pm before racing at 7:00pm. Complete event information is available at www.brightonspeeway.ca.
WINNERS TO DATE
Vanderlaan Building Products Pro Late Models: 2 – Steve Baldwin (May 21, June 11); 2 – Adam Turner (May 14, June 18); 1 – Phil Potts (April 30); 1 – Charlie Sandercock (May 28); 1 – Tyler Rand (June 4)
Bainer’s OilGARD Canadian Modifieds: 3 – Andrew Hennessy (May 28, June 4, June 18); 2 – Dan Ferguson (April 30, June 25); 1 – Doug O’Blenis (May 14); 1 – Curtis King (June 11)
Brighton Automotive Pro Stocks: 4 – Justin Ramsay (April 30, June 4, June 18, June 25); 2 – Doug Anderson (May 21, June 11); 1 – Wade Purchase (May 14); 1 – Brandon Murrell (May 28)
Bill’s Johns Comp 4s: 4 – Tyler French (April 30, May 14, May 28, June 4), 2 – Josh French (June 18, June 25);1 – Adam Flieler (May 21); 1 – Josh Read (June 11);
Quinte Septic Super Stingers: 2 – Chris Lammle (May 28, June 11); 1 – Rick Phillips (May 14); 1 – Arthur McCauley
Quinte Septic Junior Stingers: 1 – Chantel Golden (May 14); 1 – Brittany Golden (May 28); 1 – Willy Bolton (June 11); 1 – James Turgeon (June 25)
Southern Ontario Sprints: 2 – Mitch Brown (May 21, June 18)
Go Nuclear Late Model Series: 1 – Charlie Sandercock (June 25)
About Brighton Automotive: Brighton Automotive is a high-quality auto aftermarket parts dealer serving the Northumberland and Quinte regions in Eastern Ontario. Brighton Automotive began in 1988 and has grown over the past 26 years. Its current location at 140 Prince Edward Street in Brighton offers a showroom featuring many Canadian-made parts at competitive prices. Stop in and visit their friendly and knowledgeable staff to help keep your vehicle in peak performance condition. Visit them online at www.brightonauto.ca to find out more.
About The Community Press: The Community Press is your source for local news, sports and information. The Community Press is the official local newspaper of Brighton Speedway, where you can find race night recaps each week. Visit www.communitypress.ca to read online or to subscribe.
About Mystical Distributing: Mystical Distributing is your one-stop shop for fireworks in Canada. Every year, Mystical brings the best variety of fireworks from around the world to the Canadian market. For all of your Firework needs, visit Mystical online at www.mysticaldistributing.ca or contact their Eastern office in Trenton at (613) 394-7056.
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Brighton Speedway’s 2016 season is proudly supported by the following corporate sponsors: ABC Taxi, Adecco, AeCON, Bainer’s OilGARD Anti-Rust, Battlefield Equipment Rentals, Bay Marine, Behan Construction, Belleville Boyer Nissan, Belleville Transmission & Auto, Bellevue Fabricating Ltd., Bicknell Racing Products, Bill’s Johns, BJ McColl Fams, Bonn Law, Boyer Chevrolet Napanee, Brighton Automotive, Brighton Recycling, Budweiser, Campbellford Chrysler, Canadian Energy, Canadian National Autism Foundation, CANEX, Classic Hits 95.5, Classic Rock 107.9 The Breeze, Coca-Cola, Comfort Zone Heating & Air Conditioning, The Community Press, Cool 100, CSC Products, Davis Auto Repair, Deerhaven Farm and Garden, Dibbits Excavating, Eastern Overhead Doors, Electro Cables, Excel Tower Service, First Place Trailers, Gerow Propane, Gilmour’s Meat Shop, Gord’s Water, Greig Truck & Trailer, Hellraiser Race Bodies, Hewbrook Incorporated, Hits FM 95.5, Hotch’s Auto Parts, Hoosier Racing Tire, Humber Nurseries, ImageFactor.ca Motorsport Designs, JJ Stewart Motors, John’s Equipment, Jones Automotive, KD Transmission, Kiwanis Club of Trenton, KOA Campground of Brighton, Krown Rust Control Trenton, Lange & Fetter Ford, Larry’s Towing, Leaf Racewear, Leclair Electric, Lester’s Hot Dogs, Lucas Oil, Maestro’s Painting, Mark Heating & Cooling, McDougall Insurance and Financial, Mix 97, Monacoe’s Hair Salon & Day Spa, Monster Energy, Motosports of Trenton, Muskoka Aircraft Refinishing My FM 100.9/93.3, Mystical Distributing, NecksGen Head and Neck Restraint, NOCO Fuels, Owasco RV, Part Source, Peter’s South End Garage, Qunte Mall, Quinte Septic, Rapid Rad, Read’s Accounting, REMAX (Saoirse Graham & Nicole Parks), ROCK 107, Rona Trenton, Sanderson Tire and Automotive, Stewart Electric, Stix & Stones Billiards, Stoneridge Specialty Insurance, Target Fabrication, TAS Communications, The Trentonian, Therapeutic Massage Centre, Towne and Country Liquidation, Turris Communications, UCB Radio Canada, Ultramar CST, Vanderlaan Building Products, Vandermeer Toyota, VanZuylen Tire and Alignment, The Vinyl Solution, Vito’s Restaurant, VP Racing Fuels and Workman’s OK Tire.
About Brighton Speedway: Brighton Speedway is a 1/3-mile clay stock car racing oval located on the shores of Lake Ontario in Brighton, Ont. The speedway hosts five weekly stock car divisions on Saturday nights from May to September.
Brighton Speedway mailing address: 775 County Road 64, Brighton, ON, K0K 1H0.
Media Contact: Clayton Johns Media