Next Generation Racer Cole McKeown Makes Thunder Stock Debut At Brighton Speedway

Story By: JIM CLARKE / COLE MCKEOWN RACING – CAMPBELLFORD, ONT – Shake a tree on the grounds of any hometown speedway and chances are good that a talented young racer might fall from its branches.

After turning heads with his main event wins and class championships at the local and regional go kart level, Cole McKeown is taking his first laps in the Thunder Stock class at Brighton Speedway. The 14-year-old from Campbellford, Ontario knows he faces a steep learning curve but feels he’s ready for the challenge.

“My parents, family and friends have always been huge supporters of my racing efforts through the years,” admitted the young speedster, who currently maintains a 95% average in his grade 9 classes at Campbellford High School. “In addition to racing at the Brighton and Can Am Speedway kart tracks from the age of 5, we often travelled as a family and ran the New York Dirt Kart Series for a couple seasons, which took us to tracks across the state to the Vermont and Pennsylvania borders.”

Even at his youthful age, Cole McKeown comes from a rich racing heritage. His father Zeke McKeown campaigned Street Stock, Canadian Modified and Late Model equipment at Brighton and other tracks across New York State, as well as DIRTcar Sportsman-Modifieds at Can Am and Brockville Speedways. His Grandpa Bob McKeown raced a No. Z28 Street Stock and Late Model at Brighton during the 80’s and 90’s. Cole McKeown is paying tribute to his grandfather’s racing career by using the same number on his Thunder Stock car.

While he was used to travelling during previous seasons, the COVID-19 Pandemic kept McKeown close to home following his career-best 2019 Octoberfest special event karting victory at Weedsport Speedway. Even with his road trips curtailed, he kept accumulating checkered flags and closed out his karting career with the 2021 Stock Lite Championship in the Brighton Speedway Kart Klub. The youngster – who plays Rep hockey and High School Football, along with guitar – has his sights set on improving his weekly finishes as he begins this new stage of his racing development.

“I like the speed and the feel of being on the edge of racing at this level,” said Cole McKeown, who does some part-time landscaping work during the summer months. “Learning about the car, how to work on it and make it faster and handle better will help make me a better racer.”

 
 
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