BRIGHTON, Ont. (July 22, 2016) – Bill’s Johns Comp 4 driver Luke Toms barely won his first career feature event last Saturday night and earned the Campbellford Chrysler Driver of the Week for the accomplishment. But it almost didn’t happen for the Port Hope, Ont. native. Instead of the win, Toms’ season almost hit another low.
His car was lightning quick from the drop of the green flag as he stormed from the third starting spot to the lead with a gutsy three-wide pass down the back straightaway on the opening lap. From there Toms checked out in front of the field and went on to lead all 15 laps. He revealed after the race he was battling his own car as well as the other drivers on the track.
“When I came off for my heat, my (water temperature) was sitting at 260F degrees. When I went out for the feature, I figured I had to get it done quick because I wasn’t gong to last much more than eight laps,” Toms explained. “That night it cooled right off and it benefitted me a lot. When they waved the white flag at me, the heat gauge was right off the end. I just said ‘I’m going for it’.”
The move paid off as Toms won the caution-free race and steam poured from the car while he received congratulations in victory lane. A win was an excellent dose of medicine for the driver of the Diamond Detailing/Gardenhill Towing No.19 Comp 4. Just two months prior, his season looked like it could be over after he rolled his car in to the turn two creek on May 14.
“It felt really good to finally win one. I’ve had a really tough year. I couldn’t catch a break before, so I was extremely happy,” Toms said with a sigh of relief. “All the late nights in the shop finally paid off. I can’t thank my family enough for getting me out there and getting the win.”
The 30-year-old auto body worker is in just his second year of racing at the track, but the family bloodlines have a racing history. His father, Wayne Toms, and uncle, Jim Toms, previously raced at Brighton. Last season, Luke and his brother Darrell, who drives in the Canadian Modified division, decided to revive the family pastime.
“My brother got the idea he wanted to race so he picked up a modified. Then I wanted to do the same thing, so I bought the first car I could,” Toms explained.
The first car was a well-used Acura Integra he purchased for $800. He now drives a Honda hatchback and enjoys the racing as much as ever.
“I love the adrenaline and putting on a show for the fans at Brighton. I like seeing the excitement of my family, my kids and my friends who come down to watch,” Toms said, adding he would like to move up to the Pro Stock class for 2017 if he’s comfortable making the change.
Gaining that comfort has been a long process, Toms said. He found out quickly that racing on the clay at Brighton is a lot more complicated than turning the steering wheel four times every lap.
“It took me a long time to find the line on the track. I was pretty reckless going all over the track,” Toms said of his first season. “I calmed myself down and always look in front and stopped trying to look beside or behind. I just keep going forward.”
Toms is now a threat to win on a weekly basis – a fact he proved last week. He hopes to make a habit of running at the front in order to reach his goal of finishing in the top-five in points at season’s end. Last Saturday was the first step in achieving the goal. It may have been his first win, but it likely won’t be his last.
Vanderlaan Building Products Pro Late Models: 3 – Phil Potts (April 30, July 2, July 16); 2 – Steve Baldwin (May 21, June 11); 2 – Adam Turner (May 14, June 18); 2 – Charlie Sandercock (May 28, July 9); 1 – Tyler Rand (June 4)
Bainer’s OilGARD Canadian Modifieds: 4 – Andrew Hennessy (May 28, June 4, June 18, July 2); 3 – Dan Ferguson (April 30, June 25, July 16); 1 – Doug O’Blenis (May 14); 1 – Curtis King (June 11); 1 – Josh Hennessy (July 9)
Brighton Automotive Pro Stocks: 5 – Justin Ramsay (April 30, June 4, June 18, June 25, July 2); 2 – Wade Purchase (May 14, July 16); 2 – Doug Anderson (May 21, June 11); 1 – Brandon Murrell (May 28); 1 – Jonah Mutton (July 9)
Bill’s Johns Comp 4s: 4 – Tyler French (April 30, May 14, May 28, June 4); 2 – Josh Read (June 11, July 2); 2 – Josh French (June 18, June 25); 1 – Adam Flieler (May 21); 1 – Luke Toms (July 16)
Quinte Septic Super Stingers: 2 – Chris Lammle (May 28, June 11); 1 – Rick Phillips (May 14); 1 – Arthur McCauley; 1 – Del MacGregor (July 9)
Quinte Septic Junior Stingers: 1 – Chantel Golden (May 14); 1 – Brittany Golden (May 28); 1 – Willy Bolton (June 11); 1 – James Turgeon (June 25); 1 – Dylan Lobb (July 9)
Southern Ontario Sprints: 2 – Mitch Brown (May 21, June 18)
Go Nuclear Late Model Series: 1 – Charlie Sandercock (June 25)
Eastern Ontario Vintage Stock Car Club: 1 – Shawn Gregory (July 16)
About Campbellford Chrysler/JJ Stewart Motors: Campbellford Chrysler and JJ Stewart Motors have a strong and committed sales staff with many years of experience satisfying their customer’s needs. JJ Stewart Motors, located in Norwood, and Campbellford Chrysler, located on Hwy.30 just south of Campbellford, are among the top dealers for Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep in the area. The Brighton Speedway Dodge Ram pace truck is provided by Campbellford Chrysler. Receive a FREE family pass to regular Saturday night racing at Brighton Speedway when you test drive at Campbellford Chrysler. Visit them online at www.campbellfordchrysler.ca and www.jjstewart.ca.
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Brighton Speedway’s 2016 season is proudly supported by the following corporate sponsors: ABC Taxi, Adecco, AeCON, Bainer’s OilGARD Anti-Rust, Battlefield Equipment Rentals, Bay Marine, Behan Construction, Belleville Boyer Nissan, Belleville Transmission & Auto, Bellevue Fabricating Ltd., Bicknell Racing Products, Bill’s Johns, BJ McColl Fams, Bonn Law, Boyer Chevrolet Napanee, Brighton Automotive, Brighton Recycling, Budweiser, Campbellford Chrysler, Canadian Energy, Canadian National Autism Foundation, CANEX, Classic Hits 95.5, Classic Rock 107.9 The Breeze, Coca-Cola, Comfort Zone Heating & Air Conditioning, The Community Press, Cool 100, CSC Products, Davis Auto Repair, Deerhaven Farm and Garden, Dibbits Excavating, Eastern Overhead Doors, Electro Cables, Excel Tower Service, First Place Trailers, Gerow Propane, Gilmour’s Meat Shop, Gord’s Water, Greig Truck & Trailer, Hellraiser Race Bodies, Hewbrook Incorporated, Hits FM 95.5, Hotch’s Auto Parts, Hoosier Racing Tire, Humber Nurseries, ImageFactor.ca Motorsport Designs, JJ Stewart Motors, John’s Equipment, Jones Automotive, KD Transmission, Kiwanis Club of Trenton, KOA Campground of Brighton, Krown Rust Control Trenton, Lange & Fetter Ford, Larry’s Towing, Leaf Racewear, Leclair Electric, Lester’s Hot Dogs, Lucas Oil, Maestro’s Painting, Mark Heating & Cooling, McDougall Insurance and Financial, Mix 97, Monacoe’s Hair Salon & Day Spa, Monster Energy, Motosports of Trenton, Muskoka Aircraft Refinishing My FM 100.9/93.3, Mystical Distributing, NecksGen Head and Neck Restraint, NOCO Fuels, Owasco RV, Part Source, Peter’s South End Garage, Qunte Mall, Quinte Septic, Rapid Rad, Read’s Accounting, REMAX (Saoirse Graham & Nicole Parks), ROCK 107, Rona Trenton, Sanderson Tire and Automotive, Stewart Electric, Stix & Stones Billiards, Stoneridge Specialty Insurance, Target Fabrication, TAS Communications, The Trentonian, Therapeutic Massage Centre, Towne and Country Liquidation, Turris Communications, UCB Radio Canada, Ultramar CST, Vanderlaan Building Products, Vandermeer Toyota, VanZuylen Tire and Alignment, The Vinyl Solution, Vito’s Restaurant, VP Racing Fuels and Workman’s OK Tire.
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 divisionson Saturday nights from May to September.
Brighton Speedway mailing address: 775 County Road 64, Brighton, ON, K0K 1H0.
Media Contact: Clayton Johns Media
Photo Credit: Rod Henderson
Photo Attachment 1: Luke Toms drivers his Diamond Detailing/Gardenhill Towing No.19 off turn four at Brighton Speedway. (Rod Henderson photo).