Winston Handley, Yvonne Gibson and Bob Prud’Homme Inducted To Brighton Speedway Wall of Fame

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The Ninth Class of Brighton Speedway Wall of Fame Inductees, (from left to right): Winston Handley, Yvonne Gibson, and Bob Prud’homme. 

By Clayton Johns, with files from Huck Flindall

BRIGHTON (August 8, 2015) – Brighton Speedway welcomed three new members to its Wall of Fame on August 1. It was the ninth class of inductees since the Wall was created in 2007.

Winston Handley

Winston Handley is the first inductee to the Wall of Fame as a fan and track ambassador. Handley was born with Cerebral palsy, but that didn’t prevent he and his brother Melvin from becoming huge stock car fans.

In 1972, the brothers were given a ride in the No.11 car of Barry Jones, a regular driver at Brighton Speedway who stored his car on the family farm. The two boys asked their father to take them to Brighton Speedway the following Saturday and the rest is history. They were hooked.

For the next 43 years, Winston sat in the same seat – seat number one, just below the announcer’s booth – every Saturday night, except if he attended a special event at another racetrack. Even on his wedding day, Winston was clear the ceremony needed to be finished by 4:00pm in order to make it to Brighton Speedway in time for the night’s racing.

“He could not play sports like his brothers, but he loved stock car racing,” said Melvin of his brother. “I’m sure if he could, he would have loved to attempt to drive a stock car.”

He also helped to sponsor the No.08 of Bill Minne and currently supports his nephew, Kraig Handley, in the Canadian Modified division.

Winston Handley is a fantastic resource for knowledge and stats concerning Brighton Speedway. His induction to the Brighton Speedway Wall of Fame is certainly well-deserved.

Yvonne Gibson

At the young age of 12, Yvonne Gibson worked her first shift at Brighton Speedway in the track’s canteen. A few years later, Gibson began scoring races with her sister.

It’s one of the most difficult tasks at the speedway which requires exceptional concentration and multi-tasking. On any given Saturday night, Gibson is responsible for scoring cars by hand, communicating with the flagman and reporting the results to the pits.

As the track’s longest serving employee – period – Gibson has maintained a fantastic relationship with drivers, staff and fans over her 38 years at the speedway. Her dedication is explained in one simple stat: she has missed just two nights of racing over her 38 years at the speedway. Brighton Speedway is proud to recognize Yvonne Gibson as the newest member of the Wall of Fame.

Bob Prud’homme

Bob Prud’homme is one of the leading innovators, mentors, builders and drivers in Brighton Speedway history. His career began in Timmins, Ont. where he first raced a 1940 Plymouth Coupe before moving to Southern Ontario.

In 1970, Prud’homme was the eight-cylinder track champion at Brighton alongside crew member Bill Leeman.

Following the championships came a partnership with Delman Breadman Motors, Donnie Little and Jim Davis Jr. The 10-year partnership led to endless races, wins and laughs for the group.

During the same period, Bob built two cars: one to race and another to help promote the track he loved. He also showed his ability to be an innovator when he brought the first professional roll cage to the area and started to build cars for other drivers as well as offering advice.

In the 1980s, Prud’homme joined forces with George Reid to resurrect a 1972 Chevelle from the backyard. The plan was to restore the car to racing condition and have some fun. The pair had plenty of fun as Prud’homme drove to the 1989 Late Model track championship.

Following his endeavor with Chevelle, he built a winged warrior, a sort of six-cylinder late model with a wing, and drove it until his retirement from racing in 1996. It did not mean the end of his involvement in racing. He continues to build cars at his Belleville Shop and supports his grandson, Carson Lemanis, who races every Thursday in the Brighton Speedway Kart Klub.

Through all of Prud’homme’s adventures at Brighton Speedway, one thing remained constant: his sponsorship. Prud’homme remains proud of his 20-year racing partnership with Snap-On Tools. This sponsorship embodies Bob’s commitment to racing and building stock car racing at Brighton Speedway, making him a well-deserved inductee to the track’s Wall of Fame.

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, ImageFactor.ca 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

claytonjohns@hotmail.com