By: Nicole Kleinsteuber
After a long off-season, fans eagerly packed the stands at Brighton Speedway for the 56th season opener on Saturday night.
Following days of rain, mother nature was in it to win it, providing sunny skies for 74 cars to dial in for the Deerhaven Powersports NLMA Lid Lifter, Canadian Modified, Thunder Stock, Mini Stock and Comp 4 events.
Sandercock scores 150th career feature win
With his 150th career victory only 40-laps away, polesitter No. 57 Charlie Sandercock was determined to start his 23rd season at Brighton Speedway on a winning note.
After picking up a heat win, the Trenton native stomped on the gas and was uncatchable for his 18 competitors as he rode like the wind to the winner’s circle in the Vanderlaan Building Products Northeast Late Model Alliance main event.
“It’s definitely been a long journey and it feels great,” Sandercock said in victory lane. “I can’t thank my supporters, my sponsors and my crew enough. If it wasn’t for those guys this wouldn’t happen.”
2022 season champ No. 5 Steve Baldwin was runner up, No. 46 Brandon Mowat placed third, No. 89 Austin King fourth and No. 0 Adam Turner fifth.
Turcotte-Mowat captures 1st Canadian Modified career victory
No. 2 Leslie Turcotte-Mowat led the field of 10 Bainer’s OilGARD AntiRust Canadian Modified to green in the 25-lap feature.
Following up on a heat win, she was flawless from start to finish as No. 1 Shawn Gregory and No. 40 Ron Wadforth hunted her down in the rearview.
Turcotte-Mowat rode to her first Canadian Modified feature forcing Gregory to settle for second and Wadforth third respectively.
“We have a lot of new sponsors this year,” she said in victory lane. “We worked really hard on this. This feels really good. This feels fantastic…We are going to be here more often.”
No. 32 Doug O’Blenis was fourth and No. 51 Mike Freeman fifth.
Ramsay rides to victory lane
After winning his heat, No. 03 Justin Ramsay wasted no time snapping up the top spot from No. 17 Jeff Humphry on the lead lap in the Brighton Automotive Thunder Stocks 20 lap main.
Ramsay took off as Humphry tried to catch him but the 17 was no match as the 03 sailed through each turn effortlessly.
Ramsay scored his second straight opening night victory with Humphry in runner up and No. 11 Cole McKeown was third. Father-son duo No. 18 Kyle Anderson and No. 72 Doug Anderson thrilled fans with a never seen before back-and-forth chase. The pair exhilarated fans as they jockeyed for position. Kyle took home fourth with the Big Smooth in fifth.
Gregory gains opening night win
No. 22 Tyson Gregory was quick to clinch the lead in the Bill’s Johns Mini Stock 15-lap race.
It only took Gregory five laps to muscle his way from fifth into the lead and straight to the finish line first. No. 18 Carter Rhodes was Gregory’s biggest contender on the night and placed second. No. 96 Cole Abrams was third, No. 4 Chris Tufford fourth and No. 25 Lawrence Evenden fifth.
Checkers fly for Fletcher
At the drop of the green flag No. 42 Aidan Fletcher jumped on the lead and never relinquished the point.
Throughout the entire Bill’s Johns Comp 4 15-lap feature Fletcher and defending season champion No. 44 Tommy Bailey treated race fans to a thrilling back and forth affair.
Fletcher never lost his cool as a caution slowed the pace with five laps to go. Fletcher drove hard to checkers with Bailey still hot on his heels making every attempt to pass him.
Bailey was second, No. 15 Josh Bogaard finished third, No. 19 Shannon White fourth and No. 20 Cody Sager fifth.
Racing this weekend, Vanderlaan Building Products presents a full race card including the Late Models, Canadian Modifieds, Thunder Stocks, Mini Stocks and Stingers. Gates open each Saturday at 5:00 pm and admission for this event can be purchased both online and at the gate.
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