By Clayton Johns
BRIGHTON, Ont. – Dale Locke (No.13 Allore Haulage) was in the right place at the right time to win the season opening OilGARD Anti-rust Canadian Modified feature on Saturday night’s 47th season opener at Brighton Speedway, presented by PartSource Belleville. After starting on the pole, Locke conceded the lead early on to Doug O’Blenis (No.32 John’s Car Care) for the first 17 laps.
On the race’s third restart at lap 17, Dan Ferguson (No.11 Kilmarnock Enterprise) charged past O’Blenis to assume the point position. Ferguson grew his lead to 1.6 seconds before it was erased on lap 24 when the caution flew for a turned Jason Curlette (No.77 Quinte West Swap and Sell) in turn one.
On the final restart, Ferguson had O’Blenis to his outside with Andrew Hennessy (No.87 Custom Automotive) and Locke in the second row. The top two drivers made contact on the backstretch, sending Ferguson to the infield. Hennessy slowed to avoid, and Locke darted to the bottom groove to steal the win from O’Blenis at the exit of turn four, but not before testing the paint on the outside wall.
Locke and O’Blenis won the Deerhaven Garden and Farm Supply qualifying heats.
Sandercock opens title defense with win
Reigning Vanderlaan Building Supplies Pro Late Model champion Charlie Sandercock (No.57 Bellevue Fabricating) returned with a vengeance, leading all 30 laps for the opening night win. Sandercock chose the outside lane of the racetrack early on and stuck with it all race long while most of the field was glued to the inside berm.
Several cautions early in the race forced Sandercock to battle with polesitter Steve Baldwin (No.5 cigarchief.com) for the top spot. The best restart of the night came on lap 13 when Baldwin was able to gain enough momentum on the bottom of the track to keep within a car length of the No.57.
Baldwin’s final chance at the lead came on a lap 20 restart, but Sandercock proved too strong on opening night and earned the victory. The battle for the third spot was an intense three-way battle between Greg Belyea (No.25 Excel Tower Service), David McDonald (No.97 McDonald Homes), and Phil Potts (No.29 Vanderlaan Building Supplies). McDonald drove a flawless final 10 laps in the top groove to hold off his two challengers.
Baldwin and Sandercock were the Motosports of Trenton qualifying heat winners.
Ramsay holds of Anderson for Pro Stock victory
Justin Ramsay (No. 03 Empey Tire) started on the pole for the 20-lap Brighton Automotive Pro Stock feature and never looked back. The Trenton, Ont. native held off a hard-charging Doug Anderson (No.72 Hunt’s Bobcat Services) for the victory.
The race saw just one yellow flag on lap five when Dayna Sallans (No.71 Stevenson’s Marina) got turned around on the backstretch. Ramsay held the preferred bottom line despite Anderson knocking right on his back bumper. The two ran nose-to-tail for the final 15 laps, but the defending champion wasn’t quick enough on opening night to get to victory lane. Leslie Mowat (No.2) had a strong outing, quietly finishing third.
Ramsay and Mowat were the Brighton Automotive Pro Stock, presented by PartSource Belleville, qualifying heat winners.
Brady Greer (No.94 Greer Excavating) had a perfect opening night, winning both his qualifying heat and leading all 20 laps of the opening round of the ABC Taxi Triple Crown to find victory lane.The race was an impressive three-way battle for the lead between Greer, Terry Hough (No.32), and Rich Sanders (No.29 Frank’s Auto Repair).
Hough tried the outside lane all race long, but could not get farther than the door of Greer’s No. 94. After some slight contact between Greer and Sanders early on, the battle was otherwise clean. Greer broke away by a couple of car lengths in the closing laps as Hough held off Sanders for second. Rookie Bella Cosstick (No.24 Active Wealth Management) finished fourth.
Greer and Sanders won the Bill’s Johns Comp 4 heat races, presented by PartSource Belleville.
MacGregor dominates for Stinger victory
The pole was once again the place to be in the Qunte Sepctic Stinger feature as Del MacGregor (No.19 R. Ward Construction) started inside the front row and led from start to finish to take the first checkered flag of the season. Gary Taylor (No.89) and Jordan Pickell (No.93 Sowerby Signs) completed the podium.
MacGregor and Geoff York (No.3 Patterson Auto Parts) were the Quinte Septic Singer, presented by PartSource Belleville, qualifying heat winners.
A scary crash in turn four caused a red flag during the second Stinger heat. Rookie driver Alix Woods (No.38) drifted up in to the marbles in turn three and couldn’t regain control before hitting the tire barrier at the end of the turn four wall at full speed. The car rolled and came to a stop on its roof. Woods was okay, but was taken to hospital for precautionary evaluation.
APEX Best Appearing Awards
The season opener meant voting for the Apex Best Appearing car awards. Drivers in each class had two chances to win, as drivers voted for the Driver’s Choice and the top five selections were presented to the fans. The fans picked the Fans’ Choice winners by applause.
In the Vanderlaan Building Supplies Pro Late Model division, Brandon Mowat (No.46) picked up the Driver’s Choice, and Greg Belyea (No.25) won the Fans’ Choice.
Andrew Hennessy (No.87) won both the Driver’s and Fans’ Choice in the OilGARD Anti-Rust Canadian Modified division.
Meanwhile, Justin Ramsay (No.03) won everything there was to be won on opening night, as he took both the Fans’ and Driver’s choice awards in the Brighton Automotive Pro Stock division.
Courtney Mastin (No.97) was the driver’s pick for best appearing Bill’s Johns Comp 4, and Shelby Mill’s No. 78 was the Fans’ Choice.
The fans voted Lexi Fletcher’s No. 41 as best appearing Quinte Septic Stinger, and feature winner Del MacGregor (No.19) won the Driver’s Choice.
Next Week – May 17 NOCO Fuels and ROCK 107 present the first visit of the year from Sanderson Tire and Automotive Southern Ontario Sprints. Their first race of the 2014 season will be accompanied by the Vanderlaan Building Supplies Pro Late Models, Bill’s Johns Comp 4s, and round one of the Larry’s Towing Brighton Automotive Pro Stock Triple Crown.
The fourth annual ‘Chili Cook-off’ will take place before the race. The quest to dethrone Del ‘Chili’ MacGregor from his throne will be a tough one. ROCK 107 representatives will judge the contest.
Admission is $20 for this special event. Regular start time of 7:00pm.
Complete Results – May 10 presented by PartSource Belleville
Vanderlaan Building Supplies Pro Late Models A-Main (30 Laps): 1. 57 Charlie Sandercock, 2. 5 Steve Baldwin, 3. 97 David McDonald, 4. 29 Phil Potts, 5. 25 Greg Belyea, 6. 92 Adam Turner, 7. 09 Matt Vanderlinden, 8. 60 Norm Mayhew, 9. 46 Brandon Mowat, 10. 77 Caley Weese, 11. 11 Corey Earl, 12. 12 Kyle Sopaz, 13. 9 Greg Peake, 14. 89 Austin King, 15. 20 Terry Hunt.
OilGARD Anti-Rust Canadian Modifieds A-Main (25 Laps): 1. 13 Dale Locke, 2. 87 Andrew Hennessy, 3. 32 Doug O’Blenis, 4. 12 Adam Whaley, 5. 33 Ryan Scott, 6. 8 Zac McBride, 7. 23 Paul Milligan, 8. 74 Mike Lucas, 9. 2 Leslie Mowat, 10. 11 Dan Ferguson, 11. 48 Derrick Greig, 12. 07 Curtis King, 13. 77 Jason Curlette, 14. 36 Mitch Rosborough, 15. 08 Brian Cross.
Brighton Automotive Pro Stock A-Main (20 Laps): 1. 03 Justin Ramsay, 2. 72 Doug Anderson, 3. Leslie Mowat, 4. 43 Devon Kippen, 5. 49 Jason McCrory; 6. 19 Brandon Murrell, 7. 3 Paul Read, 8. 33 Tim Thompson, 9. 83 Jay O’Hara, 10. 55 Jamie Marshall, 11. 77 Rob Disher, 12. 53 Wade Purchase, 13. 71 Dayna Sallans, 14. 08 Angie Kirby.
Bill’s Johns Comp 4 A-Main (20 Laps): 1. 94 Brady Greer, 2. 32 Terry Hough, 3. 29 Rich Sanders, 4. 24 Bella Cosstick, 5. 97 Courtney Mastin, 6. 78 Shelby Mills, 7. 87 Emily Weedman, 8. 27 Nathan Day, 9. 85 Austin Reid.
Quinted Septic Stingers A-Main Top-5 (12 Laps): 1. 19 Del MacGregor, 2. 89 Gary Taylor, 3. 93 Jordan Pickell, 4. 42 Andy Fletcher, 5. 11 Lynn Inia.
Brighton Speedway’s 2014 season is proudly supported by the following corporate sponsors: Lucas Oil, Vanderlaan Building Supplies, Quinte Septic, OilGARD Anti-Rust (a division of Bainer’s), Brighton Automotive, Bill’s Johns, Sanderson’s Tire & Automotive Centre, Mystical Distributing Company Ltd., ROCK 107, T.R.S. Communication, Campbellford Chrysler, Cool 100.1, Hotch’s Auto Parts, Dibbits Excavating, ImageFactor.ca, Workman’s OK Tire Quinte West, Star 93.3, VP Racing Fuels, Hoosier Racing Tires, Ultramar CST, Benson Auto Parts, Brighton Recycling and Excel Tower Services.
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. The weekly Pro Late Model division competes under UMP DIRTcar sanctioning. The track’s flagship Applefest Shootout Weekend attracts drivers, fans, and sponsors from across the NorthEast every September.
Media Contact: Clayton Johns
Photo Credits: Rod Henderson