GODOWN IS THE KING OF THE KINGDOM OF SPEED
Bridgeport, NJ – The pits were full of invaders but when the checkered flag waved at the end of the King of the Big Blocks Super DIRTcar season opener sponsored by Liberty Kenworth of South Jersey, it was the defending Bridgeport Champion, Ryan Godown who wore the crown. With names like Friesen, Shepperd, Williamson, McLaughlin and Britten, the Bridgeport regulars made their fans proud.
Godown followed the Super DIRTcar Series for the 2019 season. A lot of miles and a lot of races but Godown got to the end of the season without a win in series events. He returned to his regular tracks the next season with a wealth of knowledge, experience and determination. In 2021, that knowledge, experience and determination had a name – R&M Motorsports as Godown and those closest to the driver -crew, family and sponsors, came together to form their own team. Godown promised his team – “I told my guys that no one would beat my heart – I don’t give up!”
That promise was clearly illustrated late in the seventy-five lap Super DIRTcar main event. First, Billy Pauch, Jr. took his shot at the leader. In the final laps. it was former DIRTcar Champion and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver, Stewart Friesen who took on the leader. Godown protected his position and raced to the checkered flag as the winner!
“Surreal” was how Godown described the win and his first Super DIRTcar Series victory.
Alex Yankowski drew the pole for the start with Dominick Buffalino to his outside. Yankowski raced out in front leading the first eleven laps before Godown succeeded to completing his pass for the lead. Yankowski continued in the runner-up spot until Billy Pauch, Jr. took the position on lap twenty-one after a three car race for position that also included Ryan Krachun. At this point of the race, the top five was dominated by Bridgeport regulars – Godown, Pauch, Yankowski, Krachun and Buffalino.
Yankowski’s efforts came to an end with a lot of steam with twenty-three laps on the books. A faulty hose clamp was the issue that ended his race prematurely.
With twenty-five laps scored, Mark Johnson joined the Bridgeport top four as he raced in fifth behind Buffalino. Mechanical issues sideline Matt Shepperd at this point in the race. Max McLaughlin broke into the top five on the restart.
Lapped traffic allowed Pauch to close in on the race leader but he wasn’t able to challenge for the lead until just before lap sixty. After several slide jobs that fell short of their mark, Pauch had to switch to defense from offense when Friesen caught the leaders and pressured Pauch for the position.
Friesen took over second for the final ten laps and set his sights on the leader. For the final two laps, Friesen threw everything he had at Godown but the defending Bridgeport Champion prevailed. Godown moved his line to block the threat of a slide job on the final lap and drove to the checkered flag. Friesen was second followed by Pauch, Matt Williamson and McLaughlin. Krachun finished sixth followed by Peter Britten, Mike Gular, Billy Decker and Jimmy Phelps. Four time Big Block Modified Champion, Ryan Watt finished twelfth while Sam Martz finished fifteenth.
While the Bridgeport regulars may have had home track advantage, they were at a disadvantage running Hoosier tires which are the tires run on the Super DIRTcar Series. Godown, Pauch, Jr. and Martz practiced on Saturday night – an off night for the Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz Modifieds.
The F&L Doors sponsored heat races for the Modifieds were won by Godown, Friesen and Krachun while Phelps won the Last Chance Race.
Godown set fast time in the first group of cars on the track at 16.205 seconds. That time stood until the third group of cars when Krachun’s mark of 16.170 displace Godown from the top of the list but the fast time of the night went to Max McLaughlin in the final group of cars. McLaughlin’s time of 16.092 was the fastest of the night but fell short of the record set by Peter Britten in 2020 with a time of 15.970.
The Speedway Entertainment All Pro SpeedSTRS were part of the double header show. Steve Buckwalter was the winner of their twenty-five lap main event sponsored by Glick Fire Equipment.
Louden Reimert jumped into the early lead. As the polesitter, Reimert had lane choice and chose to start the race from the outside. Reimert led the first six laps but it was all Steve Buckwalter on lap seven and all the way to the checkered.
Buckwalter set a blistering pace as he led Billy Pauch, Sr., Reimert, Alex Bright and Cole Stangle to the checkered flag. It was Stangle’s first ever race in the All Pro SpeedSTRS but the young driver adapted quickly and raced three and four wide for position. Rich Tobias finished sixth followed by Ryan Krachun, Jason Musser, Jack Helget and Steve Struele.
SUPER DIRTCAR SERIES MODIFIEDS (KING OF THE BIG BLOCKS) 75 LAPS: 1. Ryan Godown, 2. Stewart Friesen, 3. Billy Pauch Jr, 4. Mat Williamson, 5. Max McLaughlin, 6. Ryan Krachun, 7. Peter Britten, 8. Mike Gular, 9. Billy Decker, 10. Jimmy Phelps, 11. Jack Lehner, 12. Ryan Watt, 13. Anthony Perrego, 14. Marc Johnson, 15. Sammy Martz, 16. Gary Lindberg, 17. Darren Smith, 18. Kevin Root, 19. Dominick Buffalino, 20. Mike Mahaney, 21. Adam Pierson, 22. Joseph Watson, 23. Alex Yankowski, 24. Matt Sheppard, 25. Jimmy Horton, 26. Marcus Dinkins, 27. Jim Britt
Kevin Root and Marcus Dinkins – series Provisionals, Jimmy Horton – Bridgeport provisional
SPEEDWAY ENTERTAINMENT ALL PRO SPEEDSTRS (25 LAPS): 1. Steve Buckwalter, 2. Billy Pauch, Sr., 3. Louden Reimert, 4. Alex Bright, 5. Cole Stangle, 6. Rich Tobias, 7. Ryan Krachun, 8. Jason Musser, 9. Jack Helget, 10. Steve Stuele, 11. TJ Mayberry, 12. Mike Bednar, 13. Briggs Danner, 14. Cale Zangli, 15. Andy Ressler