For Immediate Release: Brighton Speedway
The Applefest Shootout Weekend was a tremendous success at Brighton Speedway. Coca Cola and Cool 100 hosted over 300 cars in the two-day event, with racers travelling from all over Ontario, Quebec and Upper New York State for the annual shootout weekend. In its 18th year, the Applefest Shootout presents DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, DIRTcar Sportsman, Late Models, Canadian Modifieds, Thunder Stocks and 4 Cylinders in an epic weekend of dirt track racing.
With sunny skies and a clear forecast, Friday night racing kicked off with 33 Thunder Stocks being widdled down to 25 cars for a 20-lap feature event. No 1j Jason Fontaine with No 86 Brock Gregory from 4th chasing him down. It was lap 18 that Fountaine would suffer a mechanical issue and Gregory took the lead. Gregory would survive the late race restart and hold on to win the event. No 0 Tyler French, No 03 Justin Ramsay, No 9 Josh Black and No 28 Jim Lampman rounded out the top 5.
The highlighted feature of the Friday night was the field of 31 DIRTcar Sportsman who took the green flag on a 35-lap event. No 17c Jordan Cosco led the field with No 88z Bobby Herrington taking the lead by lap 12. The two would be challenged by No 777 Cody McPherson who on lap 21 McPherson would pass Herrington for the lead for the final time taking home the apples on night one. Herrington, No 35r William Racine, Cosco and No 0 Xavier Andrews rounded out the top five in this prestigious event.
The ODCC Insta Panels Mini Stock Duel on the Dirt combined feature event saw 29 competitors in total and 28 take the start. No 1 Jason Tolton led the first 20 laps with No 18 Carter Rhodes and No 12 Caleb Severin challenging for the lead. Rhodes made a pass to take the lead on lap 21 and finished the race ahead of Severin, Tolton, No 96 Cole Abrams and 21H Ryan Hillar.
The Vanderlaan Building Products Northeast Late Model Alliance field saw 24 participants complete their Heat Races and a 10-lap Dash For Cash on Friday night. No 11 Kyle Sopaz took home the purse for the Dash, followed by No 46 Brandon Mowat and No 5 Steve Baldwin.
The Bainer’s OilGARD Anti Rust Canadian Modified / UMP Dash for Cash put No 40 Ron Wadforth, No 1 Adam Turner and No 32 Doug O’Blenis.
A field of 24 DIRTcar 358 Modifieds joined the race card for hot laps and a Dash for Cash. The 10 ten fastest 358’s raced for the pay day and No 44 Jonathan Ferguson took the checkers. No 37s Gary Lindberg and No 66 Kyle Dingwall followed him across the line.
Day two of this popular event would see sunny skies and packed house for competitors, campers and spectators looking forward to a great day of racing in anticipation of the main event 75 Lap Applefest Shootout!
The first feature of the night was and annual Comp 4 / Mini Stock challenge where we pit the best drivers from our two 4 Cylinder divisions. With 34 cars signing in, the drivers would have to race there way into the show through heats and a B-Main to make the 24-car starting field. No 12 Caleb Severin would start on the Pole with Friday nights winner No 18 Carter Rhodes on the outside. Severin would get the early lead until Rhodes took the position on lap 3, third place starter No 44 Tom Bailey would take second on lap 8 and then put the pressure on Rhodes passing him on lap 18 of the 20-lap race for the win. Rhodes would finish second followed by No 46 Terry McClelland, No 93M Travis Lamarche and #42 Aidan Fletcher.
The DIRTCar Sportsman would take to the track for night two of their double header. Youngster No 35 Brennan Moore would start on the pole position and drive the race of his life as he held of seasoned veterans such as No 88 Bobby Herrington, No 94 Gabriel Cyr and Friday nights winner No 777 Cody McPherson. Moore did an outstanding job on an incredibly racey track and on the last lap when being pressured hard by McPherson, Moore slipped up just enough to give McPherson the bottom allowing the St. Catherines native to sweep the weekend and his sixth overall Applefest Weekend win. Moore would finish a very good second place followed by Cyr, Herrington and No 22s Shane Steams.
The Bainers OilGARD Anti Rust Canadian Modifieds would be up next and it was the 2023 season champion No 40 Ronnie Wadforth that would pick up the 25 lap feature event. Ron would be followed across the line by No 2 Leslie Mowat and UMP driver No 40 of Joe Brosseau.
The main event of the night was the 75 Lap DIRTcar 358 Modified Applefest Shoot Out! With a record high event car count of 33 cars the field would have to race through time trials, heats and a B-Main to make the show. After all the qualifying was done the field of 30 cars was set for the feature event and it was No 44 Jonathan Ferguson on the pole position along with 2018 winner No 37s Gary Linberg starting outside the front row. Ferguson would set a torrid pace from the drop of the green flag and would lead the first 48 laps of the race. However, through those first 48 laps it was No 01 Chris Raabe and No 25 Eric Rudolph that were making moves toward the front. Between the two of them they have a total of five Shootout wins with Rudolph hold the advantage as all-time leader with three wins. Raabe would make the pass for the lead on lap 49 and Rudolph would chase him into second past Ferguson two laps later on lap 50. Rudolph could get to Raabe’s back bumper but could not get around the Napanee, ON native as Raabe would hold off the field for his third ever Applefest Shootout $5000 to win feature event. Raabe now sits tied with Rudolph on the all-time win list. Rudolph would fall just short of his bid for a fourth Shootout win and settle for second, and Linberg that fell as far back as seventh place would race his way back into the top 3 for podium finish. No 66 Kyle Dingwall would drive from ninth to fourth place and Ferguson would round out the top 5.
The Vanderlaan Building Supplies Northeast Late Model Alliance Great Crate Race was up next with 24 cars starting the main event vying for the $4000 to win top prize. No 3 Nathan Rinaldi and No 41 Ryan Lambert would start on the front row with Rinaldi jumping to the early lead. No 57 Charlie Sandercock, the 2022 GCR champion quickly moved from his fourth starting spot to second by lap 4 and started to apply pressure to Rinaldi. On Lap 13 well Rinaldi and Sandercock were maneuvering through lapped traffic a tangle up in corner three saw the No 77 Caley Weese spinning right in front of Rinaldi the leader and catching the right side of the car causing heavy body damage however, because Rinaldi did not stop, he was awarded the spot back. On the ensuing restart Sandercock would continue to apply pressure to Rinaldi and take the lead on lap 17 of the 40-lap event. Two laps later, on a restart Lambert would also make his way past Rinaldi to take second place while Sopaz and Rinaldi would dice it out for third and forth until lap 23. Although it looked like Lambert was closing in on Sandercock in the last ten laps the all-time Late Model feature winner leader was not to be denied and would dice through the lapped traffic to hold on for the victory. Lambert would finish second, Sopaz third. Rinaldi would limp his damaged car to a fourth-place finish and No 55 Bradley Rayner would have an impressive run from a 14th place starting spot to round out the top five.
The last feature of the weekend was the Insta Panels Duel in the Dirt 40 lap feature event. The father-son duo of No 72 Doug Anderson and No 18 Kyle Anderson would lead the field to green. The two would battle side by side four times in the first ten laps. Doug would take the lead on lap 9 however was then challenged on the high side by 2023 Brighton Speedway Champion No 03 Justin Ramsay. Ramsay would take the lead on Lap 11 and continue to hold off Anderson until lap 15 when No 1j Jason Fontaine entered the battle for the lead. The three drivers would slice and dice for the lead when Fontaine would take the lead on lap 26. The battle was still tight, and the three drivers raced three wide for a number of laps in lap 31 and when fourteenth place starter Peter Reid entered the mix with the top three. With Reid right around the bottom, Ramsay running the middle and Fontaine around the top the three wide battles continued right into the last lap with anyone’s guess who was going to win. coming out of four it was a still three wide with no contact and it was Fontaine edging out Reid and Ramsay at the line. seventeenth place start No 0 Tyler French drove to 4th and No 17 Jeff Humphry had a great drive from his twentieth starting position to fifth!
For a complete listing of the finishes for the weekend, head to brightonspeedway.ca. Next up is the Eve of Destruction, this Saturday, September 30th. This sold-out event features the Workman’s OK Tire School Bus Races, the Brighton Recycling Demo Derby and the Hotch’s Auto Parts Juniors Enduro, Ladies Enduro and Monster Enduro. As well as the Northshore RV Park Trailer Race, the long jump and flagpole race. This event begins at 1:00 pm, Front Gates open at 11:00 am and Pit Gates will open at 7:30 am. Registrations are still being accepted for the event and participant entrants fee for the restricted pit area is $35.00.
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
Photos by Rod Henderson, CanadianRacer.com