Sopaz, Ferguson, Arbuthnot, Ramsay, Mills, Flieler, Golden Win on Salute to the Forces Race Night

By Clayton Johns

BRIGHTON (July 18, 2015) – An impressive field of 94 cars signed in for a busy night of action on Saturday’s ABC Taxi and Hotch’s Auto Parts Salute to the Forces race night at Brighton Speedway. The RUSH Pro Late Model and Canadian Modified races were arguably two of the best this season, with both winners earning the top spot on the final corner.

12SopazVL2Twice As Nice For Sopaz

Kyle Sopaz (No.12 Lots and Lines) started third in the 30-lap main event for the Vanderlaan Building Products RUSH Pro Late Models, but didn’t waste much time making his presence felt. After passing David McDonald (No.97 McDonald Homes) for second on lap five, Sopaz then used a lap 22 restart to pass Corey Earl (No.11 Hotch’s Auto Parts) on the outside and rode the cushion to victory in a nail biter that came down to the final lap.

“I had to go where nobody else was. That’s all I was thinking when I finally committed to the high side,” said Sopaz following the race.

McDonald and Adam Nayler (No.42 Excel Tower Service) led the field to the green flag. Nayler jumped out to the early lead and pulled away from Sopaz. The top two cars broke away from the rest of the field until the halfway point when Earl slid underneath Sopaz for second.

Nayler’s lead of 1.5 seconds was erased by the first caution on lap 19 when Andy Mayhew (No.1 A&A Haulage) spun in turn four, collecting Adam Turner (No.92 Village Variety) and Tim Kerr (No.57 Bellevue Fabricating).

Earl used the restart to retake the lead and Sopaz shuffled Nayler back to third before another caution on lap 22. Sopaz got the better of the ensuing restart to take the lead, but had to do it again following a third yellow at lap 27.

Sopaz and Earl ran side-by-side for the final three laps, but Sopaz carried just enough momentum off turn four to earn the victory in the top lane. The margin of victory was 0.215 seconds.

“I had a blast racing with Corey tonight. Side-by-side, we never touched and that’s what it’s all about,” said Sopaz following the feature. “The class has come a long way. There’s a lot of respect among drivers and it’s just a lot of good two-way racing.”

Steve Baldwin (No.5 Smokin’ Speedway), Mark Rayner (No. 55 Sam’s Auto Repair) and Nayler completed the top-five.

11FergusonVL3Ferguson Barely Tops Hennessy

In a battle for the ages between the top two drivers in the division’s point standings, Dan Ferguson (No.11 Kilmarnock Enterprise) narrowly edged Andrew Hennessy (No.87 Custom Automotive) by 0.077 seconds to win his third Bainer’s OilGARD Canadian Modified feature of the season.

“I was just hammer down thinking “don’t hit the wall and don’t run in to the side of him.” I was more or less just looking straight ahead,” said Ferguson following the race.

Doug O’Blenis (No.32 John’s Car Care) and Dan Insley (No.28 Greer Excavating) brought the 16-car field to green for the 25-lap main event. Four cautions in the first nine laps kept the field tight and allowed Hennessy and Ferguson to race to the front from their ninth- and 10th-place starting positions, respectively.

Hennessy took the lead following a lap nine restart after lining up to O’Blenis’ outside. Two laps later, Ferguson and O’Blenis battled for the second spot until the No.11 took the position on lap 12. Hennessy held a slim advantage over Ferguson, rarely more than a pair of car lengths, over the next nine laps.

A lap 21 caution set the stage for a dramatic finish. Hennessy stuck to the bottom while Ferguson preferred the top line, right at the edge of the track’s cushion. Hennessy got the better run exiting turn two each lap, but Ferguson carried more momentum off of turn four. The advantage was just enough to propel Ferguson’s No.11 to victory by less than one-tenth of a second.

“It was just one of those nights where the track is better in one end. I was making all of my ground up in three and four and that was enough for the win tonight,” said Ferguson.

Josh Hennessy (No.88 A&A Haulage) narrowly edged O’Blenis for the third spot while Shawn Gregory (No.1 CPS Wood Products) claimed fifth.

70ArbuthnotVintageArbuthnot Tops Vintage Field

The Eastern Ontario Vintage Stock Car Club made its first appearance at the speedway in 2015, offering fans a blast from the past. Brian Comeau (No.73) and Harm Vanderweide (No.69) brought the field to green for the 15-lap feature.

A lap two restart ended Comeau’s night, however, after he hit the outside retaining wall, heavily damaging the right side of the car. Steve Billings (No.B2) led on the ensuing restart, but Steve Arbuthnot (No.R70) wasn’t going to settle for the runner-up spot.

Arbuthnot drove to the race lead on the bottom of the racetrack. Peter Stapper (No.28) used the opening to slid in to second. He set his sights on Arbuthnot to battle for the race lead, but couldn’t close the gap on the No.R70 before the checkered flag fell. Billings, Ryan Comeau (No.17) and Vanderweide completed the top-five. The series will return to Brighton as part of the Applefest Shootout Weekend.

03RamsayVL6A Half-Dozen For Ramsay

Justin Ramsay (No.03 Empey Tire) was as dominant as ever in Brighton Automotive Pro Stock action on Saturday night, claiming his sixth win of the season. After starting 10th for the 20-lap feature, Ramsay passed Brian Cross (No.08 Sobey’s) for the lead on lap eight and never stuttered over the final 12 laps to claim the victory.

Angie Kirby (No.23 Mr. Runningboard) and Leslie Mowat (No.2 Tri-County Plastics) brought the field to green, but the fourth-place starter Cross jumped out to the early lead. Cross, who was particularly strong on the swelteringly humid night, led until Ramsay used the top-side to pull even with the No.08 on lap six.

The two drivers raced for the lead in lapped traffic, splitting lapped cars on a pair of occasions. Ramsay proved stronger with greater momentum and bite on the top side of the racetrack. Despite Cross’ best attempts to fight back on the bottom during the two-lap side-by-side battle, Ramsay walked away the victor.

Cross finished second, his best finish of the season, over Jamie Marshall (No.55 C&L Upholstery), Wade Purchase (No.53 Performance Auto Sales) and Doug Anderson (No.72 Hunt’s Bobcat Service).

78MillsVL2Mills Triumphs For Second Win

Bella Cosstick (No.24 Active Wealth Management) and Adam Chapman (No.07 Int’l Truckload Services) brought the field to the green flag for the final 20-lap ABC Taxi Triple Crown race of the season.

Chapman jumped out to the early lead as Austin Reid (No.85 Young Drivers) jumped to second ahead of Shelby Mills (No.78 ABC Taxi). A three-car battle for the lead developed with Mills taking over the point on lap seven after sliding underneath Reid and Chapman in turn four.

Mills ran away with the victory over the final 13 laps. Reid was forced to settle for second yet again ahead of Tyler French (No.0 ABC Taxi), Josh Read (No.29 Frank’s Auto Repair) and Chapman.

11FlielerVLFlieler Wins Super Stinger Feature

The Quinte Septic Stingers were divided in to two divisions for the first time ever this week. Drivers with more than two years experience were classified as Super Stingers for the remainder of the season.

Lawrence Evenden (No.25 TJ Fries) and Adam Flieler (No.11 On Target Dog Training) brought the Super Stinger division to the green flag for the 12-lap main event. Evenden led the opening lap, but Flieler used the outside to take the lead on lap two.

Flieler opened a big lead as the rest of the field fought for spots inside the top-five. Chris Lammle (No.95 Sowerby Signs) broke free from the rest of the pack just past the halfway mark and slowly closed the gap. Flieler, however, remained consistent and drove to the victory while Lammle settled for second over Andy Fletcher (No.42 Like-Nu Driveway Sealing), Rick Phillips (No.7 Ontario Duct Cleaning) and Arthur McCauley (No.99 East Side Tire and Auto).

5GoldenVLJunior Stingers

Chantel Golden (No.5 Cannifton Garage) and Ken Evans (No.00 Cannifton Garage) started up front and Golden wasted little time building a lead over the rest of the field.

Following a lap three caution for Kenny Johnson (No.65), who was collected by the turn four wall, Brant Leggett (No.40) pushed for the race lead. Leggett ran out of laps to challenge Golden for the victory as she marched to the first ever Junior Stinger victory.

Complete Results – July 18

ABC Taxi and Hotch’s Auto Parts Salute to the Forces Race Night

Vanderlaan Building Products RUSH Pro Late Models A-Main (30 Laps – 19 Entries): 1. 12 Kyle Sopaz, 2. 11 Corey Earl, 3. 5 Steve Baldwin, 4. 55 Mark Rayner, 5. 42 Adam Nayler, 6. 46 Brandon Mowat, 7. 29 Phil Potts, 8. 92 Adam Turner, 9. 84 Tyler Rand, 10. 77 Caley Weese, 11. 97 David McDonald, 12. 25 Greg Belyea, 13. 01 Eli Mayhew, 14. 20 Terry Hunt, 15. 8 Brian Down, 16. 57 Tim Kerr, 17. 79 Nathan Bosma, 18. 27 Jason Curlette, 19. 1 Andy Mayhew (DQ). Time: 18:35.654.

Vanderlaan Building Products RUSH Pro Late Models Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 84 Tyler Rand, 2. 55 Mark Rayner, 3. 77 Caley Weese, 4. 25 Greg Belyea, 5. 92 Adam Turner, 6. 29 Phil Potts. Time: 1:58.739.

Vanderlaan Building Products RUSH Pro Late Models Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 57 Tim Kerr, 2. 5 Steve Baldwin, 3. 97 David McDonald, 4. 01 Eli Mayhew, 5. 46 Brandon Mowat, 6. 27 Jason Curlette. Time: 6:24.379.

Vanderlaan Building Products RUSH Pro Late Models Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 12 Kyle Sopaz, 2. 42 Adam Nayler, 3. 11 Corey Earl, 4. 20 Terry Hunt, 5. 1 Andy Mayhew, 6. 79 Nathan Bosma, 7. 8 Brian Down. Time: 7:27.029.

Bainer’s OilGARD Canadian Modifieds A-Main (25 Laps – 16 Entries): 1. 11 Dan Ferguson, 2. 87 Andrew Hennessy, 3. 88 Josh Hennessy, 4. 32 Doug O’Blenis, 5. 1 Shawn Gregory, 6. 07 Curtis King, 7. 00 Darrell Toms, 8. 09 Robbie Wilson, 9. 12 Adam Whaley, 10. 46 Warren Mowat, 11. 72 Adam Switzer, 12. 48 Derrick Greig, 13. 28 Dan Insley, 14. 74 Mike Lucas, 15. 03 Derek Bowers, 16. 91 Kraig Handley. Time: 25:20.027.

Bainer’s OilGARD Canadian Modifieds Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 46 Warren Mowat, 2. 11 Dan Ferguson, 3. 74 Mike Lucas, 4. 32 Doug O’Blenis, 5. 91 Kraig Handley, 6. 03 Derek Bowers, 7. 48 Derrick Greig,, 8. 00 Darrell Toms. Time: 3:04.730.

Bainer’s OilGARD Canadian Modifieds Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 07 Curtis King, 2. 87 Andrew Hennessy, 3. 28 Dan Insley, 4. 88 Josh Hennessy, 5. 1 Shawn Gregory, 6. 09 Robbie Wilson, 7. 12 Adam Whaley, 8. 72 Adam Switzer. Time: 2:13.033.

Brighton Automotive Pro Stocks (25 Laps – 15 Entries): 1. 03 Justin Ramsay, 2. 08 Brian Cross, 3. 55 Jamie Marshall, 4. 53 Wade Purchase, 5. 72 Doug Anderson, 6. 19 Brandon Murrell, 7. 29 Rich Sanders, 8. 28 Grant Fitzpatrick, 9. 51 Mike Freeman, 10. 2 Leslie Mowat, 11. 30 Rob Dier, 12. 39 Jonah Mutton, 13. 23 Angie Kirby, 14. 13 Ryan Connor, 15. 17 Rob Archer. No Time.

Brighton Automotive Pro Stocks Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 72 Doug Anderson, 2. 55 Jamie Marshall, 3. 29 Rich Sanders, 4. 28 Grant Fitzpatrick, 5. 19 Brandon Murrell, 6. 13 Ryan Connor, 7. 17 Rob Archer, 8. 39 Jonah Mutton. No Time.

Brighton Automotive Pro Stocks Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 03 Justin Ramsay, 2. 08 Brian Cross, 3. 2 Leslie Mowat, 4. 51 Mike Freeman, 5. 53 Wade Purchase, 6. 23 Angie Kirby, 7. 30 Rob Dier. No Time.

Bill’s Johns Comp 4s A-Main (20 Laps – ABC Taxi Triple Crown Race 3 – 8 Entries): 1. 78 Shelby Mills, 2. 85 Austin Reid, 3. 0 Tyler French, 4. 29 Rich Sanders, 5. 07 Adam Chapman, 6. 87 Emily Weedman, 7. 24 Bella Cosstick, 8. 19 Luke Toms. No Time.

Bill’s Johns Comp 4s Heat: 1. 85 Austin Reid, 2. 29 Rich Sanders, 3. 24 Bella Cosstick, 4. 0 Tyler French, 5. 07 Adam Chapman, 6. 78 Shelby Mills, 7. 19 Luke Toms, 8. 87 Emily Weedman. No Time.

Quinte Septic Super Stingers A-Main (12 Laps – 17 Entries): 1. 11 Adam Flieler, 2. 95 Chris Lammle, 3. 42 Andy Fletcher, 4. 7 Rick Phillips, 5. 99 Arthur McCauley, 6. 19 Del MacGregor, 7. 64 Christian Johnson, 8. 89 Gary Taylor, 9. 27 David Lemon, 10. 41 Matt French, 11. 28 Mark McDonald, 12. 19x Shawn MacGregor, 13. 33 Geoff York, 14. 25 Lawrence Evenden, 15. 93 Jorden Pickell, 16. 21 Brittany Markolefas, 17. 6 Tom Cole. No Time.

Quinte Septic Super Stingers Heat 1 (6 Laps): 1. 95 Chris Lammle, 2. 25 Lawrence Evenden, 3. 99 Arthur McCauley, 4. 64 Christian Johnson, 5. 28 Mark McDonald, 6. 11 Adam Flieler, 7. 19x Shawn MacGregor, 8. 33 Geoff York, 9. 93 Jorden Pickell. No Time.

Quinte Septic Super Stingers Heat 2 (6 Laps): 1. 19 Del MacGregor, 2. 7 Rick Phillips, 3. 27 David Lemon, 4. 89 Gary Taylor, 5. 41 Matt French, 6. 42 Andy Fletcher, 7. 6 Tom Cole, 8. 21 Brittany Markolefas. No Time.

Quinte Septic Junior Stingers A-Main (12 Laps): 1. 5 Chantel Golden, 2. 40 Brant Leggett, 3. 07 Megan Golden, 4. 15 Nathan Buckey, 5. 00 Ken Evans, 6. 38 Alix Woods, 7. 73 Tabitha Weese, 8. 65 Kenny Johnson, 9. 01 Dawson Evans. No Time.

Quinte Septic Junior Stingers Heat 1 (6 Laps): 1. 5 Chantel Golden, 2. 15 Nathan Buckey, 3. 65 Kenny Johnson, 4. 00 Ken Evans, 5. 07 Megan Golden. No Time.

Quinte Septic Junior Stingers Heat 2 (6 Laps): 1. 01 Dawson Evans, 2. 40 Brant Leggett, 3. 38 Alix Woods, 4. 73 Tabitha Weese. No Time.

Eastern Ontario Vintage Stock Car Club A-Main (15 Laps – 9 Entries): 1. R70 Steve Arbuthnot, 2. 28 Peter Stapper, 3. B2 Paul Billings, 4. 17 Ryan Comeau, 5. 69 Harm Vanderweide, 6. 73 Brian Comeau, 7. 99 Joel McNalty, 8. X22 Denzil Billings Jr., 9. 62 Al Harju. No Time.

Eastern Ontario Vintage Stock Car Club Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 73 Brian Comeau, 2. R70 Steve Arbuthnot, 3. B2 Paul Billings, 4. 28 Peter Stapper, 5. 17 Ryan Comeau. No Time.

Eastern Ontario Vintage Stock Car Club Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 69 Harm Vanderweide, 2. X22 Denzil Billings Jr., 3. 62 Al Harju, 4. 99 Joel McNalty. No Time.

Winners to Date

Vanderlaan Building Products RUSH Pro Late Models: 5 – Charlie Sandercock (July 11, July 4, June 6, May 16, May 9); 2 – Kyle Sopaz (July 18, May 23);  1 – Adam Turner (June 13); 1 – Corey Earl (May 3)

OilGARD Anti-Rust Canadian Modifieds:3 – Dan Ferguson (July 18, July 4, June 13); 2 – Curtis King (July 11, May 9);  2 – Andrew Hennessy (June 20, May 3); 1- Mike Lucas (June 6); 1 – Doug O’Blenis (May 23)

Brighton Automotive Pro Stocks: 6 – Justin Ramsay (July 18, July 4, June 13, June 6, May 16, May 3); 2 – Doug Anderson (July 11, May 23); 1 – 53 Wade Purchase (May 9)

Bill’s Johns Comp 4s: 5 – Tyler French (July 4, June 13, May 16, May 9, May 3);2 – Shelby Mills (July 18, May 23); 1 – Brady Greer (June 6).

Quinte Septic Super Stingers: 2 – Del MacGregor (July 4, May 9); 1 – Adam Flieler (July 18); 1 – Chris Lammle (June 6), 1- Gary Taylor (May 23);

Quinte Septic Junior Stingers: 1 – Chantel Golden (July 18).

About ABC Taxi: ABC Taxi is a locally owned and operated taxi company that has served the Quinte region for over 20 years. To arrange your safe ride home after a night at the track, call ABC Taxi at (613) 392-3535 or visit them online at 

About Hotch’s Auto Parts: With two locations in Eastern Ontario, Hotch’s Auto Parts specializes in high-quality recycled auto parts. The locations in both Ameliasburgh and Bowmanville offer only the best levels of service. All parts from Hotch’s are automatically covered under a 101 day warranty. Hotch’s Auto Parts also offers a daily delivery service to Belleville, Trenton, Napanee, Kingston, and Prince Edward County. Find out more at 

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About RUSH Late Model Racing: The RUSH Dirt Late Model Series sanctions weekly crate late model racing at 14 dirt tracks in five U.S. states (Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) and one Canadian province (Ontario). The weekly series boasts a points fund of over $27,000. The Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC RUSH Late Model Touring Series boasts two separate tours, north and south, that compete from April to October. The two touring series will combine for 24 events across the Northeast in 2015 with an annual points fund in excess of $30,000. 

RUSH Late Model marketing partners include: Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC, Pace Performance, Hoosier Tire, Bilstein Shocks, Sunoco Race Fuels, Insinger Performance, Bazell Race Fuels, MSD Ignition, Maxima Racing Oil, Jones Racing Products, Alternative Power Sources, Precise Racing Products, ARbodies, The Brake Man, K&N Filters, Lincoln Electric, TurboStart, Beyea Headers, FK Rod Ends, Bobby Lake Motorsports, Crate Innovations Inc., Velocita-USA, High Gear Speed Shop,, B.R.A.K.E.S.,, and Valley Fashions.

Brighton Speedway’s 2015 season is proudly supported by the following corporate sponsors: ABC Taxi, Adecco, AeCON, Bay Marine, Belleville Bulls, Bellevue Fabricating Ltd., Benson Auto Parts, Bill’s Johns, Breeze 107.9, Brighton Automotive, Brighton Recycling, Campbellford Chrysler, Canadian National Autism Foundation, Coca-Cola, Comfort Zone Heating & Air Conditioning, Cool 100, Deerhaven Farm and Garden, Dibbits Excavating, Electro Cables, Excel Tower Service, Extreme Rush Adventures, Gord’s Water, Greig Truck & Trailer, Humber Nurseries, Hotch’s Auto Parts, Hoosier Racing Tire, Motorsport Designs, Investor’s Group, John’s Equipment, JJ Stewart Motors, Kellogg Belleville, Lange & Fetter Ford, Lucas Oil, McDougall Insurance and Financial, Monster Energy, Mystical Distributing, NOCO Fuels, OilGARD Anti-Rust, Owasco RV, Part Source, Quinte Septic, Rapid Rad, Rock 107, Rona Trenton, Sanderson Tire and Automotive, Small Engine Fuels, Star 93.3, Stoneridge Specialty Insurance, Town and Country Liquidation, TRS Communications, 95.5 Hits FM, UCB Radio Canada, Ultramar CST, Workman’s OK Tire, Vanderlaan Building Products. VanZuylen Tire, and VP Racing Fuels. 

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 Series sanctioning.  

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

Media Contact: Clayton Johns

Photo Credit: Rod Henderson