by Deb Smith

The racing action was unbelievable!  After heavy rain and wind, Doug Rose and the track crew had the Bridgeport Motorsports Park track ready and waiting for Saturday action and what action there was!   Five feature events and all five winners captured their first wins of the 2024 season on a night of racing sponsored by Ross Racing-CAR Tools.  For Paul Mancini and Michael Beckett the wins marked career firsts.  For Ethan Bill, Nick Sandone and Lee Allen the wins were first of the season.  For Buddy Schweibinz, after back-to-back championships with the Mid Atlantic Sprint Series, it was a first Bridgeport victory for the No. 35 team.

Nineteen year old, Paul Mancini, completely turned his 2024 season around in just one race!

After an unfortunate incident on the first lap of the season opener, Mancini returned to the High Banks to try again.  After leading every lap of his heat race and then the feature, Mancini raced to the first win of his career in the Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz thirty lap Modified feature event.  

Stan Frankenfield, Jr. sat on the pole with Mancini to his outside.  The two drivers raced side-by-side into turn one but Mancini was able to roll off of turn two and take the lead.  And he never looked back.

It was probably a good thing that he couldn’t see behind him because the battle for second on back was hot and heavy as Frankenfield dueled with Jim Gallagher, Jr., Danny Bouc and Dillon Steuer in the early part of the race.  A lap fourteen restart saw Frankenfield edge out in front briefly before Mancini regained the lead as Bouc and Gallagher made it a four car race for the lead.  At the crossed flags, Mancini led the way over Frankenfield, Bouc, Gallagher and Steuer.  

A few laps later, Steuer found himself in a battle for fifth with Jojo Watson, Billy Pauch, Jr. and then opening day winner, Matt Stangle threw his hat into the ring.  

Gallagher brought out the caution with ten laps to go.  The restart that followed saw Bouc get by Frankenfield for second but Frankenfield was not going to go away without a fight as he battled back to reclaim the position.  

Three No. 6s battled it out behind Mancini in the final laps as Stangle made a late race charge to take over second.   Mancini had built quite a lead and time ran out before Stangle could close in on the leader.  Mancini raced to the checkered for the win over Stangle, Frankenfield, Steuer and Bouc.  Jojo Watson finished sixth followed by Billy Osmun, III, Pauch, Jr., Rick Laubach and Ryan Krachun.

CAR Tool heat races were won by Frankenfield, Mancini and Gallagher with Mike Franz taking the consolation.

Ethan Bill raced to an upset victory, taking the lead from Matt Peck just two laps before the checkered after a heated battle among the top five throughout the twenty-five lap Ice Less LLC 602 Sportsman feature.  

Shane Kassekert led the first two laps before Peck took command on lap three.  Peck led the way over the Hill-Bill & Hill show as James Hill, Ethan Bill and Travis Hill battled for position with Brian Papiez wrestling his way into the mix.  

After battling a tight race car early in the race, Bill got better as the race went on.  With a move to the inside of Peck in turn three, Bill slid his way by Peck in turn four, taking the lead as the pair raced down the homestretch.  Bill countered another slide by Peck and moved ahead as he exited turn two on lap twenty-four.  

Bill took the win over Peck, Papiez, James Hill and Travis Hill.  Adam White finished sixth followed by Stephen Yankowski, Jax Yohn, Howie Finch and Thomas Prychka.

Hoffman Discount Parts heat races were won by Kassekert (his first heat win), Billy Chester and Brian Papiez.

After securing two championships and numerous wins at several tracks in the DCB Plumbing & Heating Mid Atlantic Sprint Series, Buddy Schweibinz started the 2024, still looking for his first win at his home track – Bridgeport.  After a bad pill draw for his heat race, Schweibinz came up with the outside pole for the feature, starting alongside of opening day winner, Kevin Nagy.

Nagy led the first four laps before Schweibinz took the lead on a lap five restart as he and Nagy raced out of turn two.  Bob DeVault took over third from Tim Tanner.  Dave Brown made a late race charge to challenge Tanner, taking over fourth on the final lap.

It was Schweibinz for the win over Nagy, DeVault, Brown and Tim Tanner.  Kenny Laureno finished sixth followed by Larry McVay, Troy Betts, Eddie Wagner and Aidan Borden.

McVay and Laureno were the winners of the All Star Auto Glass heat races.

Nick Sandone raced to the win in the held-over Street Stock feature event, taking the lead with three laps to go when Lee Allen was involved in an incident with a lapped car.  Brian Ludwig finished second with Allen rebounding to third at the checkered over Terry Chaney and Matt Malachatka.

Allen came back to win the regular feature event over Gary Klimeczak and Chris Allen.  Spider Ensinger, Jr. finished fourth with Sandone rounding out the top five.

Michael Beckett raced to the win in the first race of the season in the DA’s Auto Body & Repair Rookie feature.  Beckett raced from his third place start to take the lead on the first lap.  Ashley Therien finished second followed by Nathan Austin and RJ Witcraft.


Paul Mancini, 2. Matt Stangle, 3. Stan Franenfield, Jr., 4. Dillon Steuer, 5. Danny Bouc, 6. Joseph Watson, 7. Billy Osmun, 8. Billy Pauch, Jr., 9. Rick Laubach, 10. Ryan Krachun, 11. Sammy Martz, Jr., 12. Sam Martz, Sr., 13. Neal Williams, 14. H. J. Bunting, 15. Cale Ross, 16. Jordan Watson, 17. Roger Manning, 18. Jim Gallagher, Jr., 19. Cole Stangle, 20. Mike Franz, 21. Brandon Grosso, 22. Justin Grosso, 23. Mike Barone, 24. Brad Roberts, DNQ – Greg Nailor, J. R. Fulper


Ethan Bill, 2. Matt Peck, 3. Brian Papiez, 4. James Hill, 5. Travis Hill, 6. Adam White, 7. Stephen Yankowski, 8. Jax Yohn, 9. Howie Finch, 10. Thomas Prychka, 11. Billy Chester, 12. Michael Beckett, 13. Ethan Young, 14. Craig Pellegrini, 15. Bryan Olsen, 16. Dave Damiano, 17. Scott Hulmes, 18. Nathan Austin, 19. Shane Kassekert, 20. Pete Serra, 21. Brian Rogers, 22. Ashley Therien, 23. Robert Tete, 24. Erik Mattson, 25. Tom Sherby, DNQ – R.J. Witcraft, Ed Owens, Luke Bunting


Michael Beckett, 2. Ashley Therien, 3. Nathan Austin, 4. R.J. Witcraft, DNS – Kenny Ott


Buddy Schweibinz, 2. Kevin Nagy, 3. Bob Devault, 4. Dave Brown, 6. Kenny Laureno, 7. Larry McVay, 8. Troy Betts, 9. Eddie Wagner, 10. Aidan Borden, 11. D. J. Tanner, Jr., 12. Dan Leaper, 13. Jeff Paulson, 14. Jared Kreider, 15. Jon Brennfleck, 16. Dirk Rimrott, 17. Cory Cornell, 18. Rick Stief, DNS – Tim Iulg, Len Vermerlen


Nick Sandone, III, 2. Brian Ludwig, 3. Lee Allen, 4. Terry Chaney, 5. Matt Malachatka, DNS – Gary Bozowski


Lee Allen, 2. Gary Klimeczak, 3. Christopher Allen, Sr., 4. Spider Ensinger, Jr., 5. Nick Sandone, III, 6. Brian Ludwig, 7. Darren Cox, 8. Matt Malachatka, 9. Tracey Appleby, DNS – Terry Chaney, Gray Bozowski, Mike Hughes