At Brighton Speedway with the sun setting on the kart racing season track officials prepared the little clay oval for the final night of the 2021 kart season this past Thursday night.  A look back on the season shows us nights full of excitement with kids from the ages of 5 to 15 competing regularly in 8 classes of karts.  Many valuable lessons have been learned by every kid in the pit area – from working on their machines to kart control while on the track and respecting others.  Racing is a great sport!

Up first as usual the Box Stock class rolled off the grid with #21 Mason Petherick and #07 Conner Vancott leading the way.  Some early passing had the leaderboard changing quickly as #87 Weston Mitts and #42 Liam Pakenham charged their way from the rear of the field, and tracked down Vancott before the half way mark of the 10 lap event.  As the laps counted down it was Pakenham that was able to get through lapped traffic the easiest as Mitts tried to keep within striking distance.  Checkers out – Pakenham with the win, Mitts finished 2nd over Vancott, #09g Grayson McColman and Petherick in the top 5.

Rookie 1 was next to come down the front stretch and get a green flag, #01 Blake Gregory and #27 Reilly Day swapped spots in the first couple of laps until finally Gregory found his line and pulled out front.  Coming from 3rd #0 Kolton French made his move for 2nd and set his sights on the back of the #01 kart, Gregory kept the line tight as they pulled to a 4 kart length advantage over the 6 kart field.  A hard battle lap after lap kept the fans entertained as French waited for his chance to finally get the inside of the Gregory Racing #01 and he made it stick – French added another 1st place plaque, Gregory 2nd, #19 Bentley Davidson 3rd, #16s Sophie Deline 4th and #27 Day 5th.

Junior Sportsman 1 division to the track – #09 Charley Smith-Wilson, #9 Rhys Massey and #99 Bryce Massey made the call.  A tacky racetrack and the sun setting behind the grandstand – green flag in the air – Wooler’s #09 Smith-Wilson wasted little time securing the top spot over the Massey team as Charley figured out the fastest way around the clay oval.  Over before it started – A determined Smith-Wilson took it green to checkers for the win, #9 Rhys and #99 Bryce Massey rolled across in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

6 Box Stock 2 racers tuned up and ready for their final feature event on the season – #48j Knoxin Wells and #23 Albert Hodkinson cranked it up outta corner 4.  Hodkinson had a good run off the cushion to take the lead with a hard charging #101 Jase Patterson moving to 2nd place.  A heavy weight bout had the pair dicing it up lap after lap as #2 Liam McPeak threw his hat in the ring and wanted in on the action.  Patterson moved to the top spot with McPeak chasing after – one last lap slide job sealed the deal as McPeak jumped to the top of the podium – Patterson 2nd, Wells back for 3rd, Hodkinson 4th and 08 Lily Ray a top 5.

The thunder of 9 Rookie 2 karts could be heard in downtown Brighton – #44x Tyler Green and #70 Finley Mahoney hard on the go pedal out of corner 4 with Green using the inside line to get the lead.  Clean air was the name of the game for Tyler Green – Action all over the track kept officals busy and spectators entertained – as drivers used up every inch of clay to gain spots.  Green untouched and unfazed by the crazy race behind him picked up his first win on the season – #10r Riley Deline battled up for 2nd, 3rd went to #19 Audrey Toms, 4th – #20 AJ Peeters, and 5th #70 Mahoney.

Trenton residents – #8 Raiden Steane and #1 Coleson Gregory led the field of 7 Junior Sportsman 2 karts to GO.  Gregory had the run down the frontstretch as he put the #1 in the 1 spot with #35d Dylan Moore trying to keep within striking distance. A freight train of karts for 15 laps,  Gregory drove a tight clean line on the track and with a green to checkers race all they could do was watch from behind.  At the line it was Gregory with the win, Moore 2nd, #71 Trevyn McCrillis 3rd, #9s Cooper McKeown charging to a 4th on the night and the #22 of Nolan Chatten making it to 5th before time ran out.

A field of 6 Junior Restricted racers pulled on the track – #21 James Markland and #93 Grace Hodkinson had eyes on the flagstand as they rounded turn 4.  Early on it was the #21 of Markland and #899 Cam Bristow with the top spots pulling hard off the inside line, with a determined #01 Tyson Gregory moving to 3rd and eventually to the lead before halfway.  A mid race restart reset the field and any spot was up for grabs with some great 2 and 3 wide racing mid pack.  When the dust finally settled it was Gregory winning, a great run by #99b Jonelle Burke ended up 2nd, after that it was #93 Hodkinson, #21 Markland and #28 Ashton Sanderson in the 5th spot.

High powered Stock Lite racers took to the track next.  #14 Holden Paul and #48 Ryan Grieg holding back #11 Cole McKeown and #74 Lexi Lucas 20 laps of action on the table.  Hard on the loud pedal the #48 of Greig squeezed up the inside and made it stick as he got the top spot as 3rd place starter McKeown drafted through on the low line.  Greig’s lead was short lived as an onlooking #11 of McKeown saw light to the inside of the #48 and ran hard down the inside line as the leaderboard changed – with #11 at the top.  Smooth and fast from there on the McDonald Homes #11 of McKeown sealed the deal with the final win of the season, Lucas for the 2nd spot, Paul #14 and Greig #48 rounded the running order.

Many Thanks to the drivers, pit crews, families,  Brighton Speedway staff and track prep crew for another successful kart racing season. Annual awards banquet to be held Thursday September 9th.  Please contact the Speedway office for info.  Checkout www.brightonspeedway.com or the Go Kart Racing Facebook page for final point standings and results.

StoryTime – by Zeke McKeown