Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Saturday Night Excitement!

For the first time in a very long time, we headed out to Brighton Speedway for the excitement of Saturday night racing at the oval. We were not disappointed in the slightest with the action on the track.

We went prepared, for the most part. Insect repellent, long pants, ear plugs. I had forgotten that the benches might be a little unkind to the backside. I also recommend a blanket or a cushion to soften the blow.

Be prepared for a little dust as well. The track was in very good shape, for the most part. But by the end of the night, there was a cloud of dust as the cars swept by the grandstand, especially in the 50 lap feature.

To this uninitiated observer, it was truly a grand evening. Although there were several potentially serious-looking accidents, there were no serious injuries. In one case, the car rolled on its roof, landed back on its wheels, and burst into flames. The track crew quickly responded with extinguishers, and the driver was able to get out unscathed. A little upset, mind you, but unhurt. He had a few choice words for one of his fellow competitors, and did a little finger pointing.

On another occasion in front of the grandstand, a couple of cars were incapacitated in the traffic. They relied on the ever-present tow truck crew to lift and separate the vehicles so they could return to pit row.

For the most part, the drivers are well known by the fans. After one race, the track announcer spoke about all of the sponsors who contributed to the victory of a particular driver. The woman in front of us mumbled, “You could have mentioned his wife!”

Some victories were well received by the crowd. Others received polite applause. There are definite favourites. Many of the drivers are from the Brighton area, a few from Prince Edward County.

Time trials began at 5:00pm. As best as I could figure, there were four main racing divisions that evening. The Pro Stock Division was led by # 8 Gary Vandertoorn from Brighton. He had the fastest lap in the time trials, and the best starting position. They paraded two by two around the track, under the white flag. The started pulled the green flag from the bucket, waved it at the drivers as they passed the grandstand, and they were off and running.

After all was said and done, the Brighton Automotive Pro Stock Championship went to Doug Anderson from Trenton. Picton’s Kraig Handley finished second, Vandertoorn wound up in fourth place.

Tim Burke from Carrying Place won the Canadian Modified Division. He was followed by Ed Snyder from Tweed, Adam Nayler from Quinte West, and Dan Ferguson from Bloomfield.

The Pro Late Model cars provided plenty of excitement in their 50 lap final. One of the competitors was Corey Earl, listed in the program as the driver of car # 11 from Picton, Ontario. I spoke with Corey after the race. He was somewhat disappointed with the result. There had been some jostling for position, some yellow flags that demanded restarts, and some unnecessary bumping along the way. He finished fourth.

Corey races in Brighton, but often packs his gear and heads across the border to race in several locations in Upper New York State. He told me that he had recently raced in Lafargeville, N. Y., began in 20th position, and finished seventh. There is a predominant “Hotch’s Auto Parts” logo on his car, with a tip of the hat to his father, Hotch Earl. He also includes G and R Solar, Bullet Autographics, and Royal Bank Securities-Lisa Thompson, as his main sponsors.

In the final race of the night, the smaller vehicles in the “Comp 4 Division” raced for twenty laps. On the first lap, one car ended up on its roof, and another, # 95 Rob Brooks on top of car # 04 driven by Rob Brooks. Brandon Gregory fought off the charges from # 12 Kyle Sopaz from Carrying Place to take the checked flag.

This coming Saturday night, there will be more thrills and spills at the Brighton Speedway. A fine night of family entertainment!

James Hurst

I like the car behind. The design is nice.
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