Monday August 12, 2013
FIRST OFFICIAL ENTRIES ARRIVE FOR BRIDGEPORT’S 8TH ANNUAL FRIENDS OF MIKE RACEBridgeport, NJ (August 12, 2013) - In less than three weeks, the Bridgeport Speedway will be hosting one of the track’s most meaningful events in the track’s 42-year history. On Thursday, August 29 ‘The Port’ will be honoring race fan Mike Rogie in the 8th Annual Friends of Mike races. In conjunction with the 51-lap main event the ‘Rogie Rumble IV’ will be back by popular demand. The Crate/Sportsman will also be in competition on this evening as they race for a minimum of $1,500.
Last year, Danny Johnson of Rochester, NY invaded NJ to take home a $10,000 top prize. He was able to conquer the 100-lap event in grand style as he led a star-studded field across the finish line which included former winner Tim McCreadie, Ryan Godown, Jimmy Horton, and Rick Laubach. Event organizer and Bridgeport Speedway track manager Danny Serrano has listened to the driver’s suggestions over the past few years and decided it was time to act on those suggestions in 2012. “Paying 20 grand to win a race is phenomenal, it really is. But, only one guy gets to see all that money. This year we wanted to make it much more attractive to the drivers yet still pay generously to the winner. I think this year more than ever that it’s more important to make 30 guys a little more happier rather than a select few,” explained Serrano.
Mike Iles of Medford, NJ became the first official F.O.M. VIII entry last week. Iles, also known as the ‘Medford Mad Dog’ currently sits 5th in the Bridgeport modified point standings. Iles is also coming off of his first big block victory of the season this past Saturday. Last year, Iles finished in the 24th position, while in 2011 he finished 27th. Needless to say, The ‘Mad Dog’ is looking to shake his bad F.O.M. luck as of late. The Speed Zone-Active Environmental No. 711 will certainly be a contender for F.O.M. VIII as Mike Iles is heating up at the perfect time to take home the $7,500 first-place prize.
The next three Big Block entries all hail from the same racing stable yet have three different drivers from three different states. Delaware’s Ron Roberts, Pennsylvania’s Ryan Watt, and New York’s Jeff Heotzler will all be sporting a No. 14 of some sort come August 29 in New Jersey. The 63-year-old Roberts is celebrating his 40th year of racing this season. There couldn’t be a much better way for this long-time Bridgeport loyalist to remember his anniversary season, than to get a win in this year’s Friends of Mike event. Ryan Watt has been swapping the point lead back in forth in 2013 with all-time Bridgeport Speedway winner Jimmy Horton. Watt leads the way this year in the modified division with a total of four victories. Ryan also recorded a popular victory back in June during the Clash of the Can at the Penn Can Speedway. The 2011 Bridgeport track champion finished 25th in last year’s F.O.M. feature. The 33-year-old Boyertown, PA resident is looking to become yet another first-time Friends of Mike winner in just a couple of weeks. Multi Orange County and Accord track champion driver Jeff Heotzler will be wheeling a third No. 14 on August 29. The “Jeffer” has 10 track championships as well as a Mr. Dirt 358 Series title. Heotzler possesses over 150 career wins including the Orange County Eastern States 200, (2) Lebanon Valley Mr. Dirt Track U.S.A., Atlantic City Indoor TQ Midget Race, and the Syracuse Small Block victor. He’s won races at Accord, Woodhull, Rolling Wheels, Five Mile Point, and most importantly Bridgeport. Heotzler still remains a threat to win at whatever venue he races at.
The most recent F.O.M. entry is National Park, NJ’s Mike Franz. The Franz Garage, Southwood Bar, Ciconte’s Pizza No. z28 has been a fixture at the 5/8th mile oval for more than a decade. Although Franz has had his share of bad luck in 2013, a good finish in the 8th annual F.O.M. event could turn around his season in a hurry. Franz was unable to qualify through last year’s talented field but rest assured ‘Big Mike’ is seeking full redemption come August 29th.
This coming Saturday will see the mighty Big Blocks compete in popular Twin 20 feature events. The driver with the ‘overall’ best finish (tie goes to highest finish in first 20) will not only be a guaranteed starter for the 51-lap F.O.M. race but will also lock himself into a ‘redraw’ position for the $7,500 to win feature event.
The two-division program on August 29 has a starting time of 7:00 p.m. The grandstand and pit gates will both open at 3:00 p.m. The pavilion area will host the fan-favorite ‘Chinese Auction/Tricky Tray’. The auction starts at 3:00 p.m. with the winner’s prizes being drawn during intermission.
Lap Sponsors still remain open. If you are interested in sponsoring laps, you can call the track office at 856-467-4407 or Danny at 609-433-4487. You may sponsor a lap in the Modified or Sportsman.
Adult admission for the August 29 spectacle is $30, Students 10-15 are $15, and children 9 and under are FREE. Pit Admission is $40 and no track license is required. For more information regarding times, prices, the auction, rules, entries, lap sponsors, and other important paper work you can visit www.bpspeedway.com or call the track office.
Bridgeport Speedway provides a safe and secure family atmosphere, free parking, giveaways and fan participation games. Billed ‘The Fastest Dirt Track in the East’, 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.