|Date: 12/10/2019 10:11:42 PM|
Billy Pauch celebrated what was his fourth Bridgeport Speedway Championship and will go down in history as the final Spirit Auto Center Big Block Modified Champion on the 5/8th miles as racing shifts in a new direction at the Bridgeport Speedway in 2020.
Pauch collected fourteen top fives during the season and was the feature winner on six different occasions.
Pauch talked about his memory of the first time that he raced at Bridgeport. He thought they were headed to their regular Friday night track until his father, Roy Pauch turned him in a new direction. After starting in the rear of his heat, Billy Pauch drove to a qualifying spot and then won the feature. That was where it all began.
Another four time champion, Ryan Watt finished second to Pauch followed by Richie Pratt, Jr., Neal Williams and Matt Stangle. There were seven different Big Block Modified feature winners during the 2020 season.
Pauch was also the Poker Series Champion for the Big Blocks. “I don’t play cards,” Pauch admitted, “so I really didn’t understand the whole thing. I wasn’t going to race that last weekend – it was going to be cold. And then Doug Rose called and said that I was leading in the Poker Series and Mandee explained all that to me.” Pauch ended up winning the Poker Series title with a pair of queens, an Ace and a ten. Jimmy Horton and Wade Hendrickson finished second and third with Richie Pratt, Jr. winning the worst hand award. Pratt won a playing in card in all but one of the events but the cards didn’t work together for a poker hand.
It all came down to the final race of the season but Matt Peck’s sixteen top five finishes earned him his first track title as he was crowned the Champion in the South Jersey Overhead Door 602 Crate Sportsman division. It was a banner year for Peck who also scored his first heat and feature win in this division. Peck is a former Rookie Champion at the Bridgeport Speedway.
Eric Kormann finished second in points followed by Wayne Weaver, Jim Gallagher, Jr. and Rick Wegner, Jr.
Another Rookie graduate, Jim Gallagher, Jr. took home top honors in the Poker Series for the 602 Crate Sportsman with a hand of three queens. Eric Kormann finished second with Wayne Weaver taking third. Matt Peck was the recipient of the Worst Poker Series Hand award.
Justin Moench was crowned as the 2019 DA’s Auto Body & Repair Rookie Champion over Kathy Buzby and Scott Maher, Jr.
Moench and Maher were the two feature winners in this division.
For the second time in the last three seasons, Tom Wills, Jr. led the Sunbelt Rental Outlaw Stocks for his second Championship. The second generation driver had five wins during the season. Brian Ludwig finished second in points followed by Rich Stinson, Jr. who had the most feature wins, Lee Allen and Ken Moren.
In the 2019 Poker Series for the Outlaws, Rich Stinson was dominant, winning four of the five events to win with a hand of four Aces. Brian Ludwig’s three Queens beat out Lee Allen’s three Jacks to finish second and third.
Drivers finishing from eleventh to fifteenth in season points were eligible for a drawing offered by Aaron Lambert of Penske Shocks. A set of four shocks, valued at $1,000 were won by Ron Roberts for the Big Block Modifieds and Pete Serra for the 602 Crate Sportsman.
Spirit Auto Center awarded two drivers for the acts of Sportsmanship. The Spirit Speedway award went to 270 Micro Sprint owner, John Blanda who was nominated by Steve Coslop. Coslop nominated Blanda because “he is the first one to come over to my trailer to offer assistance when something goes wrong” Blanda had also loaned parts to Coslop when needed.
The Bridgeport Speedway 2019 Good Sportsmanship Award went to driver, David Hartman, who was nominated by several different individuals. Late in the season, Hartman turned his car over to Wayne Weaver who was pursuing a possible championship. Hartman sacrificed his own point finish to give Weaver his ride.
The Ace Overhead Door Company 600 Micro Sprints averaged thirty cars during their regular Friday night events. Eleven different drivers reached Victory Lane but it was Matt Smith who picked up his second title in this division. Smith finished out the season in the Ryan Greth owned Driven No. 4 after a late season accident took Smith’s No. 33 out of commission.
2018 Champion, Mike Rutherford finished second followed by Gary Bozowski, Jon Keller and Kyle Spence.
Mike Rutherford took the honors in the 2019 Poker Series for the 600 Micro Sprints followed by Tommy Kunsman and Kyle Spence.
The Mongoose Chassis sponsored 270 Micro Sprints saw several Rookie Drivers contend in the Rookie division with Shea Wills capturing top honors over RJ Witcraft and Connor Sheffield.
Alex Swift drove John Blanda’s No. 15 to the Championship Title in the Mongoose Chassis 270 Micro Sprints where he finished first or second in all but three races this season on the Spirit quarter mile. Kyle Weiss finished second to Swift followed by John Wagner, Jr., rookie, Shea Wills and Tom Landwher.
Both Matt Smith and Alex Swift received extra incentives from Joe Infante and Precision Hydraulics and Oil for using Precision products throughout the 2019 season.
Jason Swavely took top honors in the Poker Series for the 270 Micro Sprints with Alex Swift finishing second and Kyle Weiss taking third.
For the second consecutive season, Dave McCullough was crowned as the Spirit Speedway Slingshot Champion. McCullough won for the first time during the 2018 season and then went on to claim his first championship at season end.
Ryan Davey finished second in points with seven wins followed by Dave Morrell, Tomas Mowery and Ashley Therien.
Rookie, Amanda Angstadt took home the top honors in the Championship Energy Action Track USA 2019 Poker Series title for the Slingshots.
Lee Allen was crowned as the 2019 Eight Cylinder Enduro Champion. In the past, this division competed on the Spirit quarter mile but this year, their events were run on the Design for Vision/Sunglass Central 3/8th mile surface.
Most Popular Driver Awards were presented to Lee Allen – Eight Cylinder Enduro, Jonathan John – 270s, Kristy Hicks – 600s, Nick Sandone III – Outlaw Stocks, Wayne Weaver – 602 Crate Sportsman and Ron Roberts – Big Block Modifieds. These awards were presented by D & D Media, publishers of the official program of the Bridgeport Speedway, the Bridgeport Bullet.
Danny Serrano distributed several special recognition awards during Saturday night’s festivities. Recognized were Ken Andreas for his Skyscraper Trophies, Ron Roberts and Sal DeBruno for the loyal support of the Bridgeport Speedway over the years, Tony Bozowski and Karen Eddinger for the help and support throughout the season, Jeff Dirkes and Lee Allen for their photo finish in Outlaw Stock competition and track owner, Brian Ramey.
Saturday night marked the end of an era and the start of a new one as the Bridgeport Speedway under the leadership of Brian Ramey came to a close and the era of Doug and Brittany Rose begins.
Ramey opened the night of celebration by thanking those who played a part in his “adventure” at Bridgeport. “The owners, drivers and race teams, I thank you because if it were not for you, there would be no need for a Bridgeport Speedway.” The second group that Ramey thanked were the employees of the Bridgeport Speedway. “I didn’t know anything about racing,” Ramey stated. “But I learned to like the people and I did enjoy it.” Ramey had all of the Bridgeport employees stand and then he continued, “If it weren’t for all of you, I would never have stuck it out.”
“If you are going to do something, then do it well, ” Ramey added. “Do it so well that you will be remembered for what you did.”
Doug Rose addressed the crowd as well, stating that the work at the track is going well and is actually, ahead of schedule. “About three quarter of the track is already shaped in, ” Rose told those in attendance. He also listed some of the upcoming special shows for 2020 including the World of Outlaws, both the USAC Sprint Cars and Midgets, a Super DIRT series event as well as a Short Track Super Series race.
There is a lot of excitement surrounding the changes coming to Bridgeport for the 2020 season. Stay tuned for upcoming developments!
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