After 16-months Brighton Speedway welcomed the fans back to racing on Saturday, July 10, 2021.
“We’re excited, we’re happy and the drivers are excited,” said a beaming Mark Rinaldi who owns Brighton Speedway.
Last Saturday was supposed to be the opener, but rain cancelled the racing for that evening.
But this Saturday was nothing but sunny skies as the stands were sold-out at the 25% capacity allowed by the province due to COVID-19.
“It’s weird to have opening night jitters in the middle of July, but here we are and everyone’s looking forward to it,” said Rinaldi.
“It’s great to finally get the weather to cooperate and fans back in the stands.”
Fans haven’t been in the stands since October 2019, “so it’s great to see people back here.”
With well over 100 race cars competing it also made for an eventful evening of racing.
“We’re happy that everything is finally coming together.”
From fans to car owners it’s been a long haul due to the pandemic.
“Our drivers spend a lot of time and money into their race cars and they hardly get to use them. People wanted to get back to the track and its been a struggle for everybody. It’s been a struggle for all the tracks across Ontario.”
Rinaldi said he’s extremely happy about racing getting started with fans, but also has an appreciation that some businesses still aren’t allowed to open.
“Hopefully with the announcement yesterday and Stage 3 coming those businesses can get open. A lot of those businesses are people who support us too.”
Brighton Speedway has been around since 1967.
This is the 40th anniversary of the Rinaldi family owning it and, “it’s full family affair.”
Mark’s takes car of everyone on the track during race night, his wife Angie, “works her tail off,” both their children race and Mark’s father Lou, works at the track also.