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You can run but you can’t hide on the Eve of Destruction

107 enduro cars took to the 1/3rd mile clay oval at Brighton Speedway this past Saturday in 100 laps of mud-slinging action. – Michael Brethour photo

By Nicole Kleinsteuber
Hundreds of brave race fans stared chaos in the face and screamed for more on the Eve of Destruction at Brighton Speedway.

The 52nd season ended with madness as the pits roared with more than 130 engines Saturday.

A crowded field of 107 cars buckled in, cramming the track for the 100-lap Monster Enduro. The result was a couple of red flags due to car fires (which were extinguished without incident) and when the smoke cleared, it was Cameron Pedersen who steered his No. 22C to victory lane ahead of runner-up 17J Jeff Humphrey.

“It’s really wet, really muddy, rough and violent,” Pederson said describing the frenzy to victory lane. Looking over his machine that was nowhere near in the same condition as when he started, Pederson said powering through the pandemonium left him without an alternator, power steering and front brakes.

Pederson and Humphrey along with third place finisher No. 9 Dave Small and fourth place No. 55T Tristan LeClair were the lone drivers to complete all 100 circuits. Fifth place No. 0 Tyler French turned 99 laps.

Junior Enduro
The 25-lapper, for drivers aged 18 and under, saw 18R Dylan Arnold snatch up the lead from No. 95 Shawn Gibson on lap-5. The pair waged a back-and-forth battle to checkers. Arnold took his first checkered flag with Gibson earning a much deserved second. Much to the crowd’s delight Arnold said this was the first time that he has ever raced and he will ‘definitely’ come back to Brighton. Arnold drew even more fanfare when he thanked his mom for waking him up that morning ensuring he was able to take part in the wild affair. No. 16 Alex Quenneville was third, No. 31 Sebastian Rightmeyer fourth and No. 23K Kaitlyn O’Blenis fifth.

Ladies Enduro
Female drivers competed in a 35-lap main event with 19 entries. On the 11th time by Stacey Scott took the lead and never looked back powering her No.1* to victory lane.

“I was nervous at first but once they turned that green flag, I was good to go,” the former Comp 4 driver expressed in victory lane. “It was just like the good ol’ days.”

No. 44 Rai Anne Beaudrie secured second, No. 66 was third, No. 14c Chelsea Marsolais placed fourth and No. 5x Chantel Golden placed fifth respectively.

A highlight of the day at Brighton Speedway was the 18 school buses that participated in the bus race this past Saturday. – Michael Brethour photo

School bus races
The Workman’s OK Tire School Bus race had 18 drivers entered, competing after a four-wide parade lap. From the drop of the green flag, mania ensued as the buses battled for the lead. The caution riddled affair saw three buses flip on their sides in separate crashes with all drivers jumping out uninjured. Only the strong survived the melee and with two laps to go, 5 buses raged toward to the finish line. On the re-start leaders No. 9W Frank Flieler and No. 44 Jim Perry drove hard but got too high in turn 4 allowing No. 53 Mike Workman to steal the lead and park it.

The Gauntlet
“I love it when a plan comes together.”
With fireworks exploding, the Lange and Fetter Ford Gauntlet race pitted track owner Mark Rinaldi in a replica 1983 GMC Vandura van used by the A-Team against six bandit cars. Rinaldi’s mission was to finish six laps before the bandits could stop him. The bandits were fierce and took little time flipping the iconic black van with its characteristic red stripe on its roof. Rinaldi escaped unscathed and jumped back in the van as the insanity continued. He completed two more laps before the bandits pinned him to claim the victory.

Flag pole race
The flag pole race required drivers to navigate the flag pole figure-8. No. 1* Brock Gregory held on for the victory with No. 27 Jack Hannah in second, No. 5x Chantel Golden third, No. 8881/2 Mike Tompkins in fourth and No. 29 Terry Leal fifth.

Trailer race
The trailer race featured 10 entertaining entries, including No. 48 Adam Dawber who won the Most Original Trailer Award. At the drop of the green flag drivers drove hard into each other until the trailers flew off. With a dismantled trailer that was strew all over the track Willy Bulten wheeled his No. 50 to victory lane. No. 101 Brock Gregory, Dawber and No. 29x Kenny Ohno were the only others who finished with trailers.

Long jump race
The ever-popular long jump competition saw a 15-man field whittled down to three, with Jeff Humphrey saving his best jump for last an impressive 61-footer, to claim first place.

The Brighton Recycling Demolition Derby finished off the day at Brighton Speedway’s Eve of Destruction with 13 participants thrilling the crowds who had filled the stands to watch the final event. – Michael Brethour photo

Demo Derby
The Brighton Recycling Demolition Derby concluded the day’s events and 13 cars entered the ring. In rapid fashion, that number was reduced to three, Mitchell Hill, Chantel Golden and Joseph Poole. The three cars beat on each other until Poole outlasted the bunch and was crowned the winner.

Green Grass Oasis team crowed destruction champions
In a new twist to the day’s organized chaos, participants had the opportunity to compete in the first ever Peacemaker420 Team Championship. Four teams committed to the challenge and entered a four-person team to take on multiple events for their chance to win cash prizes for the highest cumulative points. Team Green Grass Oasis that consisted of Jeff Humphrey, Tyler French, Brandon Gregory and Stacey Scott who finished first in three events along with two other top five finishes took home the championship.

All that is left now is the carnage and Speedway staff will take to the track this week to clean everything up in preparation for the long winter ahead.

The season has officially come to a close and preparations for the 2019 Celebration of Champions is then next event on the calendar. The Rinaldi family extends thanks and gratitude to all of the race teams, sponsors and fans who support the 1/3rd mile clay oval south of Brighton each season and anticipate a May 2nd, 2020 start date for the 53rd year of short track racing.

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElseSports & Recreation

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