Another Saturday night was eliminated by Mother Nature.  An early call to cancel the Knights of Thunder 360 Sprint teams that were travelling from up to 5 hours away left speedway officials staring at the radar and a province anticipating inclement weather.  Rain fell on the speedway in the afternoon, forcing a complete cancellation on the nights events.  The 360 Sprints will return on Saturday, August 21st and tickets purchased will be honoured at that time.

The only action we’ve seen lately has been on the kart track!

A hot Thursday evening, the middle of July in southeastern Ontario, where else would you rather be than at the Brighton Speedway to see the stars of tomorrow get their chops on the little dirt oval, running side by side and battling it out for a checkered flag.  Racers ranging from 5 year-old to 14 year-old separated into 8 classes of racing karts ready for action as the Brighton Speedway Kart Klub welcomed back families and fans to watch the show on a beautiful evening.

First up on the lineup board for features – the Box Stock 1 class features the newest and youngest drivers, with #21 Mason Petherick and #87 Weston Mitts on the front row.  After an exciting opening lap, 3rd place starter Liam Pakenham wasted little time to find a lane through in his #42 and overtook the pair charging hard for the lead – Mitts caught the draft and followed through for 2nd.  Mitts tried hard to find grip on the outside line but was unsuccessful, 10 laps of nice driving put the #42 of Pakenham in victory lane,  Mitts 2nd, Hayden Ferguson in the Colebrook Auto Service #82 finished 3rd, #09g Grayson McColman 4th and Petherick was forced to retire early, putting his #21 behind the wall.
A great field of 9 Rookie 1 karts put their helmet visors down and took to the track lined up nice and clean – A pair of young drivers #01 Blake Gregory and #16s Sophie Deline both out of Trenton were first to the green flag.  3 wide action down the front stretch and through the first corner made a 401 trip through Oshawa seem like a walk in the park, as things shook out down the back it was the JB Painting ride #7 Tate Black up front.  Black and Gregory were able to distance themselves from the action behind as 7 karts fought for the 3rd spot with multiple karts getting their chance to be on the podium.  As the dust settled after 10 laps it was Black, Gregory, #16s Deline made it back to 3rd, using the cushion #19 Bentley Davidson got 4th and #97 Max Taylor squeezed into 5th.
Junior Sportsman 1 up next – #9 Rhys and #93 Bryce Massey, nothing like a sibling rivalry on the front row.  #9 Rhys made it to the gas pedal first and got the jump as Bryce filed in line with #09 Charley Smith-Wilson hot on the bumper of the #93.  #9 Rhys kept it low and smooth and as Bryce tried to find some grip up on the cushion and around the outside line until he slipped up into the marbles and allowed the #09 of Smith-Wilson through the open door and into the 2nd spot.  As the checkers fell it was #9 Rhys Massey, #09 Smith-Wilson, #93 Bryce Massey and last week’s feature winner #80 Brock Beattie posting a DNF as an early mechanical issue ended his night.
6 Box Stock 2 karts focused on a smooth slick track and rolled down the back straight – Albert Hodkinson in his Sticker Revival #23 and Jase Patterson in the Pro Advantage Sports #101 paced the pack.  Patterson had the early advantage on the outside as #48 Knoxin Wells snuck through on the low line and overtook the lead onto the backside of the track with #2 Liam McPeak charging hard from his 5th place starting position.  Wells stuck to the bottom as McPeak flirted with disaster and found the cushion as he made his way momentarily to the top of the leaderboard.  The lead was short-lived as McPeak jumped the cushion and spun out of corner 4 bringing caution to the track, this setting up a run to the checkers and a new race leader #10 Cole Cousineau.  This was the break Cousineau needed after climbing from his 4th place starting spot as he held off all challenges and #PARKEDIT in victory lane, #101 Patterson came back for a runner up spot, #2 McPeak salvaged a 3rd, #48 Wells and #23 Hodkinson rounded the top 5.
Rookie 2 division – with 7 karts ready and firing all on 1 cylinders – #20 AJ Peeters and #07 Mason Richter at the top of the scoring tower. A wild start led to another wild restart, but track officials gave it the Green, Green, Green as they shuffled into position.  Audrey Toms pulled from 4th to first early with many karts using the top side of corner 2 for a good run down the backstraight and into corner 4, the action was tight with many karts on the edge and past the edge of losing traction including the #19 Toms.  A late-race restart gave Riley Deline the point and no mistake was made to put his #10r in the winner’s circle, a hard charge back up the running order for Toms to 2nd, followed by #70 Finley Mahoney, #08 Chase Cousineau, and #07 Mason Richter.
Jr. Sportsman 2 – #1 Coleson Gregory and #57 Jacob Down fired first,  Gregory shot to the front and #9s Cooper McKeown hooked through on the bottom as the pack, 1 through 6, lined up like a train.  Gregory used the clean air and put a little distance on the pack as the Lawns We Do sponsored #71 of Trevyn McCrillis made his way past the 9s of McKeown. The green flag waved as McCrillis tried to track down the #1 out of the Gregory Racing stable, but as they rounded for the last lap he realized he was all out of horseys and could only watch Gregory get the win.  McCrillis 2nd, McKeown 3rd, Down 4th.  Kolby Ellis and Ethan Dobb both ended up with mechanical issues.
The Lynval Contracting #99b Jonelle Burke and #28 Ashton Sanderson had a fast group of 7 Jr. Restricted karts lined up and ready to go.  The pair up front had just a short time in the spotlight as the 2nd-row starters charged hard through with #55 of Carson Down and #899 Cam Bristow to the top of the scoresheet, a smooth track starting to gain bite with the humidity in the air made track position everything as the drivers all ran very consistent fast laps.  Exactly what the #55 Image Landscaping kart of Down was looking for as his kart was untouchable for the balance of the race, he put the cruise control on and drove it to the scales in the number 1 spot, Bristow 2nd, #93 Grace Hodkinson a strong 3rd, #21 James Markland and #01 Tyson Gregory rounded the top 5.
Last up the Stock Lite feature as the sun set behind the grandstands – Holden Paul in his Canifton Garage #14 and Cole McKeown in the Bellevue Fabricating #11 kept them tight to the start line as Paul hooked the inside and #74 Lexi Lucas drafted through.  A fast track had the race see only 1 caution flag as 2nd generation driver #48 Ryan Greig took his ride pit side.  A trio of Paul, Lucas, McKeown bumper to bumper to bumper as McKeown was able to work his way past Lucas in the #74 and then Paul in the #14 to post a 2nd victory on the shortened season in his McKeown Racing ride.  Lexi Lucas 2nd and Holden Paul rounded the running order in a very competitive class.
Next week Thursday, karting will take a break for families to enjoy the long weekend.  August 5th the Brighton Speedway Kart Klub will continue the season with another exciting night of racing on the little track.  Spectators and families are now welcome to attend with racing action starting at 6:30 pm.  Please check www.brightonspeedway.com and the Go Kart Racing Facebook page for updates.
StoryTime – By Zeke McKeown