The Bridgeport Motorsports Park is ready to throw open the gates and drop the first green flag on the 2024 season as Doug and Brittany Rose begin their fifth season on the High Banks.

The Roses took over the helm for the 2020 season – the year of Covid.  Not the way anyone wants to start a new business but Doug and Brittany showed what they were made of as they weathered the storm of Covid as well as the loss of Danny Serrano before the start of the season.  Doug continues to implement many of the plans that he and Danny had for the speedway.  Always a huge race fan, Danny looked forward to honoring Doug Hoffman every year.

After multiple rainouts last season, Bridgeport Motorsports Park will open the 2024 season with the Doug Hoffmann Memorial weekend.  Racing will begin on Friday, March 22 with Mid Atlantic Sprint Series (MASS), Street Stocks and Four Cylinders in a full show of qualifying events and features.  The Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz Modifieds and Ice Less LLC 602 Sportsman will run practice sessions with three spots locked into Saturday’s main events in each division.  

Pit gates open on Friday at 3pm, Grandstands at 5 and racing at 6:15.

On Saturday, the Modifieds will compete in a sixty lap Doug Hoffman Memorial with the winner’s share paying $6,060.  The 602 Sportsman will run their feature event with $1,500 going to the race winner.  There will also be sprint car action with the Victory Fuel Wingless Sprints, Street Stocks and Four Cylinders.

There will be plenty of action on the High Banks in 2024 as Jordan Watson and the Danny Sommerling No. 51 team defend their championship title.  Neal Williams and Cale Ross were the leaders in the win column last season with both drivers capturing three victories each.  Ross would like to pick up where he left off last season where he ended the season with an impressive win in the Danny Serrano Memorial race.

Matt Stangle and Ryan Krachun were strong contenders during the 2023 season and both will be Saturday night regulars on the High Banks this season.  Billy Pauch, Jr. returns to Bridgeport this season as he competes for the first time in his own Modified program.  With Billy Pauch, Sr. retiring from active competition, the Kid’s Kid were be racing the No. 1, moving the No. 15 duties over to Billy Pauch, III who will continue to compete in Junior Slingshot competition.

In addition to Cale Ross, Roger Manning, Mike Franz, JR Fulper, Billy Osmun, Blaine Bracelin, Tommy Sheetz, Mike Barone and Brad Roberts took advantage of Bridgeport’s open practice on Saturday.  Dillon Steuer, who has been very competitive on the High Banks in special events, looks to call Bridgeport his Saturday night home this season.  Joeseph Watson who finished second in points last season, Rick Laubach, HJ Bunting, Sam Martz, Sammy Martz, Jr.. Stan Frankenfield and others will be in competition.  

The 602 Sportsman Championship came right down to the final lap of the final race of the season for Travis Hill to claim a one point advantage over Ethan Bill.  You can bet that the single point has been on Ethan Bill’s mind all winter as he prepares to improve his performance by one position in 2024.  Brian Papiez was the big winner in the feature event in 2023 three but early mechanical issues kept Papiez out of the hunt for the title.  Papiez and his team have worked hard all winter to put themselves in a better position for this year’s title.  Papiez will also have a small block Modified for some special shows this season.  

Matt Peck will pilot the Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz 602 Sportsman in Bridgeport competition this season and will look to improve on his strong performance of 2023.  Steven Yankowski, Brian Rogers, Tom Sherby, Howard Hueple, Wayne Weaver, Dave Damiano took part in Bridgeport’s Saturday practice as did Rookie driver, Michael Beckett in the Ed Weeks No. 22.  After back-to-back titles in Spirit Auto Center All Star Slingshots, Beckett moves up to the Sportsman for the 2024 season.  He took full advantage of the practice laps as well.  

Other 602 competitors include former Rookie Champion, Thomas Prychka, Pete Serra, Billy Chester, Howie Finch, Jax Yohn. Shane Kassekart, Ethan Young and Robert Tete.  

Wayne Weaver shared an interesting thought on practice days.  In his 44th year of competition, Weaver was asked if he really needed to practice.  The question came from a fellow competitor and the two drivers shared a laugh.  Weaver’s response?  “The truth of the matter and the answer to the question is NO.  I always looked at practice as an opportunity for me to reconnect with my race car after a long winter.”  There was plenty of “reconnecting” going on this weekend!

The Bridgeport Street Stocks are known for their close competition and there’s no reason to expect anything less from these competitors this season.  2023 Champion, Tom Wills, Jr. does not plan to chase the points this season so we could see a first time champion as Mike Hughes, Jeramy Doerr, Drew Brocklebank, Nick Sandone, Kevin Heckman and TJ Henry can be considered contenders as the season gets underway.

The MASS sprints were well represented during Saturday’s practice.  Leading the way was defending champion, Buddy Schweibinz who was preparing for the first race of the season coming up on Friday.  Schweibinz welcomes two new sponsors this season – South Jersey Mobile Repair and Gentilini Motors.  In spite of all of his success, Schweibinz is still searching for his first Bridgeport victory!

Tim Iulg had the Wade Ale No. 19 in mid-season form as he turned laps around the high banks.  Iulg is certainly one of the contenders among this season’s roster.  2023 MASS Rookie, Jared Kreider carries on the Haggenbottom family tradition with the No. 24.  He also took to the track with the Kelly No. 51 wingless sporting a 360 cubic inch motor.  Shelby Kelly watched from the pits as she nurses a torn ACL before she can return to the cockpit.  Jeff Paulson and Danny Buccafusca were also on hand for practice.  Dan Leaper had his family owned No. 24L looking good in practice and the driver said it was feeling good too.  Leaper will also compete with the NEWS sprinters this season but was plagued with issues during Saturday’s practice but he expects to have those issues resolved by next weekend.  

The Victory Fuel Wingless Sprints were well represented as they prepare for a full season of competition in 2024.  A lot of work has gone on during the off-season with this group and the benefits appear to be in an expanded field of cars.  2023 Bridgeport Champion, Brian Spencer was on hand in addition to Shea Wills and Stan Ploski who return to NEWS action this season.  There were many new faces taking practice.  In addition to Dan Leaper, there are some other Bridgeport competitors that will be competing with the wingless sprints this season.  Matt Peck turned his first laps in a sharp No. 27 sponsored by Linedecker Engines.  Former Hyper Racing 600 Micro Sprint Champion, Connor Gross was also behind the wheel of a wingless sprint for the first time.  

The Four Cylinder competitors also return to Bridgeport this season, led by defending champion, Tim Jones.  These competitors have found the High Banks very much to their liking and have found ways to use every inch of the race track.  Like the Street Stocks, these drivers are stiff competitors on the track but work as a team to prepare their cars and encourage other competitors when help is needed.  Lee Allen found these cars to be quite enjoyable after years as a Street Stock competitor and has been joined by his brother, Chris.  Joe Garey, Senior and Junior, John Parker, 2022 Champion, Ed Ford, Eric Degler and Bobby Johnson and more will be featured on the High Banks on both Friday and Saturday of the Hoffman Memorial Weekend.  

There will be no rest for the weary as Bridgeport gets right into Point racing on Saturday, March 23rd with Modifieds, 602 Sportsman, Street Stocks, MASS, NEWS and 4 cylinders will get the 2024 season title competition underway.

Another three day weekend follows for the first weekend of April as the Spirit Auto Center quarter mile opens for the Dakota Steiner Memorial Race for the 600 Micro Sprints.  The 270 Micro Sprints, All Star and Junior Slingshots will get their season started in addition to Winners Classics for both the 270s and 600s.

Saturday night action on the High Banks will feature the 2024 season opener for the USAC East Coast Wingless Sprints, 602 Sportsman, NEWS, Street Stocks and Vintage.  The DA’s Auto Body & Repair Rookies will compete for the first time on this night as well.

The Modified action moves to Sunday, joining the PA Posse Invasion for a fulls show of Modifieds and Sprint Cars.  The 410 will race for a $7500 winner’s share of the purse.

The 2024 season is just days away!  Make sure to add the Bridgeport Motorsports Park to your 2024 schedule where there’s something for every race fan!