Niagara Gazette — RANSOMVILLE — Friday night lights aren't just for high school football. They're also a longtime fixture for racing fans in Niagara County.
Tonight those lights will switch on again while the sounds of motors thunder to bring in a new season of racing at Ransomville Speedway. The season opener, the Martin's Fantasy Island Lid Lifter, begins with the first race at 7:15 p.m.
While stock car racing, specifically NASCAR, gets the lion's share of attention in auto racing, Ransomville's 2012 season proved there is a lot of drama on the dirt track as well. Take, for instance, the ultra close finish at the top of the standings in its Mighty Taco Modified division. Only two points separated the season's champ, Pete Bicknell, and Chad Brachmann. The pair finished with 892 and 890 points, respectively.
"Who could have scripted it any better?" Ransomville Speedway marketing and public relations director Tana Robinson said. "Pete Bicknell and Chad Brachmann came into the final points night tied. Bicknell was an 11-time champion - looking for number 12. Brachmann was the defending champion and running better than he ever has in his career. It was a race within a race as the pair worked their way through the field running together most of the night. In the end, Bicknell finished just ahead of Brachmann giving him his 12th title."
Ironically, Brachmann won more races than Bicknell, four to one, respectively. Robinson says the two are obvious favorites to win again this season but there certainly are other contenders.
"Todd Burley has multiple wins here and will also be a favorite to take the title," she said. "Scott Kerwin has three titles to date in three different classes. If he were to win one in the Modifieds he would be in the record books as the only driver to ever win four titles in four different classes at Ransomville. He has a very strong team and could challenge for the champions trophy."