Mike Freeman’s First Career Pro Stock Win Earn Driver of the Week

Mike Freeman drives his No.51 Pro Stock at Brighton Speedway earlier this season. (Rod Henderson photo).

By Clayton Johns

Mike Freeman poses for a photo in victory lane after his Pro Stock win on Satuday, August 27. (Rod Henderson photo).

Mike Freeman poses for a photo in victory lane after his Pro Stock win on Satuday, August 27. (Rod Henderson photo).

BRIGHTON, Ont. – September 2, 2016 – Mike Freeman finally conquered the Brighton Automotive Pro Stock division and earned his first career win last Saturday night. He started on the outside of the front row and maintained the lead to earn the victory and Campbellford Chrysler Driver of the Week honours.

“It was really nice. We started up front and I was able to get the lead and stay on the bottom,” an excited Freeman explained. “The car worked really well, the engine worked really well and we were able to stay out of trouble.”

Freeman has now earned one win, three top-5s and 12 top-10s in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock class. A handful of mechanical problems hinder that record and have likely kept him from a few more top-10 results. Freeman thought the same mechanical demons were going to resurface last Saturday.

“We’ve been struggling all year. It’s either been the suspension failing or mechanical failures and breakdowns or overheating,” he said. “On Saturday night, I didn’t think we were going to make it through the feature because we thought the engine was hurt, but we got through it.”

The 52-year-old Freeman is a sophomore Pro Stock drive, but has plenty more experience. He raced in the street stock class from the early 1980’s until 1986 before reviving his racing career in 2010 when the Stinger division was created.

“Back when I was about five year-olds, my dad took me to Brighton Speedway when it was the old paved track. I got hooked on it,” Freeman reflected. “I raced about six years full-time and then retired from it in 1986. I guess you never really seem to get it out of your system.”

Freeman raced three years in the Stinger division, winning a couple of features. In his free time he had begun piecing together a Pro Stock car. It took until the 2015 season for him to make it to the track. Freeman has tinkered with the car and learned each week with his Boyer Chevrolet/Hidden Gold Mine Bakery/BD Freeman Construction/Freeman Bus Lines/K-D Transmissions No.51 Camaro.

This year, most of his attention has been focused on perfecting the setup. It’s a long process that typically involves adjusting springs, shocks and weight placement, among other things.

“The car’s more predictable now than it was at the beginning of the year. It was hard to get a feel for what the car wanted to do,” Freeman said. “We’ve working on it all summer and making one change at a time so we can have an understanding of what each change is doing.”

Freeman currently sits seventh in the championship standings. He is now among a short list of seven drivers who have earned a win this season, an accomplishment he certainly takes pride in with the high level of competition.

“It’s a very competitive class and the speeds are up a lot from what they used to be. The competition is really close. It just seems like you could throw a blanket over the top six or seven cars,” Freeman explained.

The Trenton, Ont. native attributes a lot of his success to the help he receives behind the scenes. Like most drivers, Freeman is quick to shift the praise to his crew. Mike’s father, Don Freeman, is an instrumental part of the team as well as close friend and fabricator Dennis Walker, who helped build the car.

“He’s in the shop putting a lot of hours in keeping the car cleaned up. He tidies up the shop and gets everything organized. He’s a really huge supporter with my mom,” Freeman said of his father. “I’m happy he’s able to be there with me.”

Freeman’s daughter, Jaden, helps keep family and fans up to date through the team’s social media while his girlfriend Karen Gingirch and step-daughters Paige and Leah are also big supporters.

After a week to enjoy his victory, Freeman is back in to work mode. He had to make repairs to the motor this week after he found a damaged cam sprocket on Monday night. The car is back together and the driver of the No.51 is riding the high from last week’s win in to the Pro Stock doubleheader over the Labour Day Classic Weekend.

“A couple of weeks ago we won a qualifier and that seemed huge for us. Then to get a feature just put us right over the top. Everybody is so excited,” Freeman said. ““I’m really focusing on having a good weekend.”

A repeat performance would certainly make that easy to do.

About Campbellford Chrysler/JJ Stewart Motors: Campbellford Chrysler and JJ Stewart Motors have a strong and committed sales staff with many years of experience satisfying their customer’s needs. JJ Stewart Motors, located in Norwood, and Campbellford Chrysler, located on Hwy.30 just south of Campbellford, are among the top dealers for Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep in the area. The Brighton Speedway Dodge Ram pace truck is provided by Campbellford Chrysler. Receive a FREE family pass to regular Saturday night racing at Brighton Speedway when you test drive at Campbellford Chrysler. Visit them online at www.campbellfordchrysler.ca and www.jjstewart.ca.

Brighton Speedway Newsletter: Sign-up for the Brighton Speedway newsletter and get all speedway information delivered straight to your email inbox! Get track news, information, and updates directly to your email twice a week. It takes just two minutes to sign-up. Click here to get started!

Brighton Speedway Social Media: Follow Brighton Speedway’s Official Social Media Accounts.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BrightonSpdwy

Twitter: @BrightonSpdwy

Instagram: @BrightonSpdwy

Brighton Speedway’s 2016 season is proudly supported by the following corporate sponsors: ABC Taxi, Adecco, AeCON, Bainer’s OilGARD Anti-Rust, Battlefield Equipment Rentals, Bay Marine, Behan Construction, Belleville Boyer Nissan, Belleville Transmission & Auto, Bellevue Fabricating Ltd., Bicknell Racing Products, Bill’s Johns, BJ McColl Fams, Bonn Law, Boyer Chevrolet Napanee, Brighton Automotive, Brighton Recycling, Budweiser, Campbellford Chrysler, Canadian Energy, Canadian National Autism Foundation, CANEX, Classic Hits 95.5, Classic Rock 107.9 The Breeze, Coca-Cola, Comfort Zone Heating & Air Conditioning, The Community Press, Cool 100, CSC Products, Davis Auto Repair, Deerhaven Farm and Garden, Dibbits Excavating, Eastern Overhead Doors, Electro Cables, Excel Tower Service, First Place Trailers, Gerow Propane, Gilmour’s Meat Shop, Gord’s Water, Greig Truck & Trailer, Hellraiser Race Bodies, Hewbrook Incorporated, Hits FM 95.5, Hotch’s Auto Parts, Hoosier Racing Tire, Humber Nurseries, ImageFactor.ca Motorsport Designs, JJ Stewart Motors, John’s Equipment, Jones Automotive, KD Transmission, Kiwanis Club of Trenton, KOA Campground of Brighton, Krown Rust Control Trenton, Lange & Fetter Ford, Larry’s Towing, Leaf Racewear, Leclair Electric, Lester’s Hot Dogs, Lucas Oil, Maestro’s Painting, Mark Heating & Cooling, McDougall Insurance and Financial, Mix 97, Monacoe’s Hair Salon & Day Spa, Monster Energy, Motosports of Trenton, Muskoka Aircraft Refinishing My FM 100.9/93.3, Mystical Distributing, NecksGen Head and Neck Restraint, NOCO Fuels, Owasco RV, Part Source, Peter’s South End Garage, Qunte Mall, Quinte Septic, Rapid Rad, Read’s Accounting, REMAX (Saoirse Graham & Nicole Parks), ROCK 107, Rona Trenton, Sanderson Tire and Automotive, Stewart Electric, Stix & Stones Billiards, Stoneridge Specialty Insurance, Target Fabrication, TAS Communications, The Trentonian, Therapeutic Massage Centre, Towne and Country Liquidation, Turris Communications, UCB Radio Canada, Ultramar CST, Vanderlaan Building Products, Vandermeer Toyota, VanZuylen Tire and Alignment, The Vinyl Solution, Vito’s Restaurant, VP Racing Fuels and Workman’s OK Tire.

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.

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

Media Contact: Clayton Johns Media

Photo Credit: Rod Henderson