Down Brothers, Rinaldi, O’Blenis, O’Hara, Greig and Cooper Are Opening Night Kart Klub Winners

Tyson Cooper holds the checkered flag alongside his step-dad, Andrew Hennessy, following his opening night Box Stock 1 win. (Clayton Johns photo).

By Clayton Johns

BRIGHTON – The Kiwanis Club of Trenton Brighton Speedway Kart Klub returned to action for it’s third season of competition on Thursday night at Brighton Speedway. A total 35 karters from ages 5 to 15 signed in to race in seven divisions on an exciting night of action.

Junior Restricted

Nathan Rinaldi won the Junior Restricted race. (Clayton Johns photo).

Nathan Rinaldi won the Junior Restricted race. (Clayton Johns photo).

The Kart Klub’s fastest division concluded the opening night festivities with an exciting dash to the finish. Anthony Rinaldi drove his No.77 kart to an early lead after starting outside the front row. Four laps in to the race, Anthony’s older brother Nathan challenged him for the lead. The two swapped the position momentarily before Nathan claimed the point. A caution on lap 10 bunched the field back up and allowed Kyle Anderson’s No.17 to move in to the second spot. Kyle was glued right to Nathan’s back bumper over the final five laps, but couldn’t gain enough momentum by the time the checkered flag waved to capture the lead position.

Junior Restricted Results (15 Laps): 1. 3 Nathan Rinaldi, 2. 17 Kyle Anderson, 3. 77 Anthony Rinaldi, 4. 57 Jacob Perry, 5. 16 Jordan Burrows.

Junior Sportsman 2

Kaitlyn O'Blenis won her heat and the Junior Sportsman 2 feature. (Clayton Johns photo).

Kaitlyn O’Blenis won her heat and the Junior Sportsman 2 feature. (Clayton Johns photo).

The drivers in the Junior Sportsman 2 division produced an exciting race as well as six karts took the green flag for the 15-lap feature. Raiah Lough led early in her No.07 after starting on the pole, but she pressured early on by Holly Denard in kart No.02. On lap nine, Kaitlyn O’Blenis and Cole McKeown leap frogged Lough for second and third. A couple of laps later, O’Blenis took over the top spot and held off a hard-charging Cole McKeown for the victory.

Junior Sportsman 2 Results (15 Laps): 1. 23k Kaitlyn O’Blenis, 2. 11 Cole McKeown, 3. 02 Holly Denard, 4. 48 Chandler Leclair, 5. 17e Emily Peterson, 6. 07 Raiah Lough.

Carson Down won the Junior Sportsman 1 race. (Clayton Johns photo).

Carson Down won the Junior Sportsman 1 race. (Clayton Johns photo).

Junior Sportsman 1

Keira Turner started on the pole in her No.92, but it was fourth-place starter Carson Down who was the driver to watch in the Junior Sportsman feature. Down started in last, but didn’t waste much time driving to the race lead. James Markland tried feverishly to take away the lead late in the race, but settled for an exciting second-place finish at the checkered flag.

Junior Sportsman 1 Results (15 Laps): 1. 55 Carson Down, 2. 21 James Markland, 3. 99 Cameron Bristow, 4. 92 Keira Turner.

Rookie 2

In his first ever race, Koen O'Hara won the Rookie 2 race. (Clayton Johns photo).

In his first ever race, Koen O’Hara won the Rookie 2 race. (Clayton Johns photo).

In his first ever race, Koen O’Hara started on the pole in his No.12 kart and used the track position to his advantage. After surrendering the lead briefly, Koen found himself out in front of the field again. The dying laps produced the most exciting race of the night as Carson Lemanis did everything possible to make a pass for the lead in his No.C1 kart. Coming to the checkered flag, Koen drifted high, Carson took the bottom lane. The drag race had both fans and officials on the edge of their seat as Koen took the victory by less than a bumper length.

Rookie 2 Results (10 Laps): 1. 12 Koen O’Hara, 2. C1 Carson Lemanis, 3. 22 Emma Terpstra, 4. 20 Nathan Shorts, 5. 76 Ashton Leclair.

Ryan Greig was on a mission as he won the Rookie 1 feature. (Clayton Johns photo).

Ryan Greig was on a mission as he won the Rookie 1 feature. (Clayton Johns photo).

Rookie 1

The Rookie 1 race was also full of excitement. Brooklyn Bowers took the early lead after starting on the pole, but it was fifth-starting Ryan Greig who came charging through the field to lead the opening lap. On lap four, Jace James drove his No.99J past Ryan for the lead, but got in to some slick dirt in turn four on lap six and spun out. Ryan retook the lead on the restart and never looked back to claim the victory.

Rookie 1 Results (10 Laps): 1. 48 Ryan Greig, 2. 99J Jace James, 3. 03 Brooklyn Bowers, 4. 74 Lexi Lucas, 5. 52 Asher Heard, 6. 66 Carson McKee.

Jacob Down claimed the Box Stock 2 season opener. (Clayton Johns photo).

Jacob Down claimed the Box Stock 2 season opener. (Clayton Johns photo).

Box Stock 2

Cooper McKeown brought the field to the green flag for the Box Stock 2 feature and led the opening lap before Jacob Down charged through the pack to take over the lead. Jacob never looked back over the final nine laps and cruised to victory in the caution-free race.

Box Stock 2 Results (10 Laps): 1. Jacob Down, 2. 9 Cooper McKeown, 3. 22 Mac McDonald, 4. 71 Trevyn McCrillis.

Box Stock 1

For many drivers in the Box Stock 1 division, the track’s youngest class, Thursday’s race was their first ever. Kolby Ellis started on the pole in his No.89 but the fifth starter Tyson Cooper’s No.87jr was a rocketship and quickly jumped out to the lead. Tyson’s kart was smooth and fast around the mini oval as he won his first ever race ahead of Gordon Miller in kart No.15.

Box Stock 1 Results (10 Laps): 1. 87jr Tyson Cooper, 2. 15 Gordon Miller, 3. 51 Gabe Miller, 4. 1 Coleson Gregory, 5. 89 Kolby Ellis.

Winners To Date

Box Stock 1: 1 – Tyson Cooper (May 26)

Box Stock 2: 1 – Jacob Down (May 26)

Rookie 1: 1 – Ryan Greig (May 26)

Rookie 2: 1 – Koen O’Hara (May 26)

Jr. Sportsman 1: 1 – Carson Down (May 26)

Jr. Sportsman 2: 1 – Kaitlyn O’Blenis (May 26)

Jr. Restricted: 1 – Nathan Rinaldi (May 26)

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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 RUSH Late Model Weekly Series sanctioning.

Brighton Speedway mailing address: 775 County Road 64, Brighton, ON, K0K 1H0.

Media Contact: Clayton Johns Media