Wednesday December 11, 2013
CHAMPIONS CROWNED AT BRIDGEPORT SPEEDWAY’S 2013 AWARDS BANQUETSwedesboro, NJ (December 7, 2013) – At a packed Bridgeport Fire Hall in Logan Township, NJ, Bridgeport Speedway crowned champions for the 2013 season this past Saturday evening. The Bridgeport management team (led by Brian Ramey, Keith Hoffman, Dave Adams, and Danny Serrano) hosted a well-attended champion’s banquet to close out the 2013 racing campaign. Champions and top finishers from Friday and Saturday night racing divisions were honored in front of a substantial crowd.
Ryan Watt of Boyertown, PA was the ‘man of the hour’ and was all smiles while collecting his first ever Big Block Modified track championship. Driving the Ron Robert’s owned number 14w, Watt was impressive right from the start, as he drove to his first checkered of the year on the regular point’s season opener. Richie Pratt Jr. had a rollercoaster season, but in the end he was able to salvage a runner-up spot in the year-long points battle. Rounding out the top five was all-time feature winner Jimmy Horton, 2012 track champ Rick Laubach, and a very solid effort by Matt Harrell. Mike Iles, Sam Martz, Eric Kormann, Wade Hendrickson, and Bob Sarkisian completed the top 10 in this year’s standings.
Early on, Laubach received his trophy and point fund money for winning the 2012 Big Block Modified title. Richie Pratt, Jr. finished second in the championship chase with veteran Jimmy Horton winding up in third. Eric Kormann and Ryan Watt rounded out the top five. Mike Barone, Matt Harrell, Ron Roberts, Mike Franz, and Jesse Hill completed the top ten. For having the best hand of three Kings (three second place finishes) in the Big Block Modified Poker Series, Laubach returned to receive an additional $2500 for his effort. 12 different drivers graced Bridgeport’s victory lane in 2013, with Watt leading the way with five.
The 2013 Crate/Sportsman title went down to the wire during the final point night in September. Mike Cogdill of Pennsville, NJ was able to fend off Matt Budd to win his first ever championship. Cogdill, who hails from a large racing family, was sincere in thanking his entire family for giving him the opportunity to race for the title. Matt Budd finished runner-up in the final point standings for the second consecutive season. Rounding out the top 5 behind Budd, was Brad Roberts, Marc Herman, and Ricky DiEva. Steve Searock, Bob Lilick, Dave Damiano, Ryan Wozunk, and Jesse Bonaduce completed the top 10. Eight of those ten were able to find victory lane at some point during the season. An additional seven drivers graced Bridgeport’s winner’s circle in 2013 for a total of fifteen different winners.
In his very first year of competition at Bridgeport Speedway, Ron Frees of Brick, NJ claimed his first Outlaw Stock Car championship. Frees was certainly the man to beat on most nights but his competition was extremely tough throughout the year. Tom Wills Jr., Brian Ludwig, Tom Wills Sr., and Jimmy Avery completed the top fibe in the final point tabulations. Rounding out the top ten was Terry Griffin, Art Avery, Ed Tinsman, David Kramer, and Jimmy Hughes. Ten different drivers made visits to the winner’s circle while Frees led the way with ten total victories.
It was high school senior Ian Humphreys that drove to his first ever championship in the D.A.’s Auto Body Rookie Series. Humphrey’s was victorious in half of the twelve rookie races during his march to the title. Finishing in second and third were Jesse Bonaduce and Kris Lilick, each with three victories in the series. All three drivers were impressive after graduation. Humphreys and Bonaduce were able to take down wins racing with the regular crate/sportsman division, while Lilick missed a win by one spot finishing second. Dave Adams was presented with a beautiful plaque for his sponsorship to the 2013 rookie series.
It was Rusty Smith who shocked everyone this season, with his three ‘deuces’ as he drove to the Poker Series Championship in the Modified division on Wildcard Weekend. Smith was able to bring home $2,500 for his efforts in this unique, yet well-received series. ‘Showtime’ Jimmy Blewett continued to impress the ‘dirt clan’ as he was able to nail down two victories at Bridgeport Speedway this past season. This allowed him to finish runner-up to Smith in the final Poker Series. Blewett took home an ample $1,500 for the five race series. The third best hand went to Duane Howard ($1,000), while the worst hand went to speedway regular Richie Pratt ($750.)
In the Crate/Sportsman Poker Series it was all Mike Lyons. He won the $1,500 Series with three ‘queens’. Kyle Borror was tough to beat with two wins in the series, as he left the banquet with $1,000 for his efforts. Finishing third was Mike Cogdill ($500), and the worst hand went to Steve Davis ($500).
All eyes were on Bill Liedtka in the Black Flagged Racing Shoot Out Series in 2013. The Outlaw Stock division grew leaps and bounds this past season and the Shoot Out Series was certainly part of that growth. Liedtka was able to outpoint Ron Frees and Brian Ludwig on his way to the championship.
Tom Wolf became the first Friday night 8 cylinder Enduro champion at Bridgeport. Wolf drove to two victories in the five-race series as he won a tight point battle of Lee Allen (1 win) and the ‘Animal’ Mike Baldwin. The Enduro Series provided some very entertaining racing this past season and will remain on the schedule in 2014.
In the 600cc Micro-Sprint division, Bill Thomas took his second consecutive championship trophy. Thomas was winless until the very end of the season when he won his first race in the final point show and then again in the Bill Thomas Memorial. Second place was awarded to Lee Nardelli, with Richie Keller taking third, and Sam Locuson, and Tim Iulg rounding out the top 5. Jon Keller, Stephen Kemery, Chris Locuson, Andrew Locuson, and Steve Bracall completed the top ten in points. Twelve different drivers drove to checkered flags this past season, with Chris Locuson leading the way with three wins.
In just his second season of competition and first full season, young Tyler Reinhardt was honored with the 270cc Micro-Sprint crown over an extremely competitive Joe Dopke. John Blanda, Richie Keller, and Jonathan John completed the top 5 in points. The rest of the top ten to be recognized were Justin Stillwaggon, Billy Gray, RJ Magyari, Steve Coslop, and Dave Nelson. Nine different drivers drove to winning efforts this past season, with Dopke leading with way with five victories.
In the 4-Cylinder class, the 2012 title was awarded to Warren Stradley with Art Knapp receiving second place honors followed by John Gray, Scott Dunn, and Todd Francis. Stradley led the way with ten trips to victory lane while three others were able to reach the winner’s circle.
Specialty awards were handed out to key and important faces that helped make the 2013 Bridgeport year come to fruition. Fred Hitchings, Buddy Ramey, Jaclynne Oldt, Bob Brown, Deb Smith, Dave Gehman, Clint Harrell, Joe & Cheri LaClaire of Black Flagged Racing, Paul & Gloria Rutherford, Brian Ramey, the (Bill) Thomas Family, and the (Jesse & Travis) Hill Family all received special recognition awards for their fine services and dedication to the speedway.
Championship jackets were provided by Lias Tire and American Racer as well as Insinger Performance and Sunoco Racing Fuels. Entertainment was provided by Erik Santana of Right on Cue Productions. Luxury Limousine provided Big Block Modified champion Ryan Watt and his entire crew a ‘limousine bus’ to and from their hotel and the banquet hall.
Speedway owner Brian Ramey and promoter Keith Hoffman addressed the large crowd of drivers, owners, crews, fans, and officials at the conclusion of the awards ceremony. The 2013 season was deemed a successful one with many more planned to follow. The management team will now turn its focus to the upcoming Motorsports Expo in January 2014, and wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season.
Bridgeport Speedway provides a safe and secure family atmosphere, free parking, giveaways, and fan participation games. As a premier racing complex, Bridgeport Speedway is a banked 5/8th mile dirt oval, featuring a dirt 1/4 mile oval embedded in the center, and is located in Southern New Jersey -- just minutes from Pennsylvania and Delaware at exit 14 off of I-295.
‘Star of Tomorrow Award’
Crate/Sportsman – Jesse Bonaduce
Outlaw Stock – Tom Wills Jr.
‘Best Newcomer Award’
Modified – Sammy Martz
Crate/Sportsman – Marc Herman
Outlaw Stock – Ron Frees
270 Micro – Billy Gray
Modified – Bob Sarkisian
Crate/Sportsman – Steve Searock
Outlaw Stock – Jimmy Avery
600 Micro – Dave Carlberg
4-Cylinder – Art Knap
‘Best Appearing Car Award’
Modified – Eric Kormann
Crate/Sportsman – Matt Budd
Outlaw Stock – Jack Beaumont
600 Micro – Lee Nardelli
270 Micro – Joe Dopke
‘Most Improved Award’
600 Micro – Ed Barber