Bridgeport, NJ – Defending Bridgeport Motorsports Park Track Champion, Ryan Godown defended his “kingdom” when the Short Track Super Series invaded the Kingdom of Speed on Tuesday evening for the South Jersey Shootout sponsored by Liberty Kenworth.
Godown came into Tuesday’s night event with the points lead in the Bob Hilbert Sportswear
Short Track Super Series (STSS) fueled by Sunoco. Godown went home after adding a few more points to his lead in the Hurlock Auto & Speed South Region in addition to a payday in excess of $5,000.
Godown led all but six of the fifty laps but don’t assume that this win came easy. Godown romped into the lead on lap seven of the fifty lap main event and then wrote the book on how to race Matt Shepperd on restarts when the pair of drivers lined up side by side for at least five restarts while they ran first and second.
“He’s so good at what he does,” Godown said of Shepperd following his fifth win in a row on the high banks. “The hard part was knowing what to do – if I start late, he’s good at that. If I start early, he timed that right too. There were a couple of times that he timed it just right. I kept moving around – about a half of a lane – top, bottom, middle and that seemed to work.”
Polesitter, Cale Ross led the first three laps around the 4/10th mile surface until outside polesitter, Danny Bouc moved out in front on lap four. By lap six, Bouc and Godown were racing side-by-side for the lead with Godown moving out in front on the next lap.
When Godown moved into the lead, it was Jordan Watson who was the first to close in on the leader. Godown led Watson, Ryan Krachun, Sheppard and Bouc through lap ten. Sheppard moved up to third on the lap twelve as Watson closed in on the back bumper of the Camp Out sponsored No. 26. Watson’s race ended prematurely when he drew a caution on lap thirteen with what appeared to be a flat but Watson was not able to return to action after going to the attention of his pit crew.
The lap fourteen restart was Godown’s first with Sheppard running in second. This situation came again on lap eighteen, twenty-one, twenty-eight and lap thirty. The results were always the same but Sheppard kept the pressure on and was a threat to the leader at every juncture.
With less than twenty laps to go, Krachun raced by Sheppard to take second, using the bottom of the track to make his move. “Every car I passed tonight I passed on the inside,” Krachun commented later. Krachun picked up where Sheppard left off by keeping close to the leader and challenging Godown every chance he got.
Krachun had two restarts as the runner-up to Godown. On every previous restart, Godown restarted from the inside. On the lap thirty-six restart, Godown first indicated that he would restart from the outside. “I couldn’t believe it,” Krachun said. “I thought wow, you’re really going to give me the inside?” Krachun added. But Godown rethought his decision and moved back to the pole before the restart.
Krachun was able to get a nose under Godown at one point but the leader never actually saw him even though he did hear Krachun.
Godown raced to his second STSS victory of the season with Krachun chasing him to the checkered in the Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz Modifieds. Sheppard finished third.
Defending Shootout winner, Ryan Watt finished the fifty lap distance in fourth after winning the B Main. A poor draw saw Watt start scratch in the first heat where he finished just one spot out of a qualifying position – a heat race that was won by Sheppard. Watt started in seventeenth after Anthony Perrego was forced to scratch from the main event. By lap fifteen, Watt had raced his way into the top ten where he continued to pick off positions one at a time. Watt’s efforts were worth an additional $200 for the Hard Charger award sponsored by BRD Speed.
Danny Bouc finished fifth after leading several early laps.
Alex Yankowski was able to race the Stankiewicz No. 2s into sixth after restarting in the rear twice following racing incidents. Mike Gular, like Watt, qualified through the consolation and finished seventh. Polesitter, Cale Ross finished eighth after several trips to the pits. Richie Pratt, Jr. probably passed the most cars – some several times after a multi-car incident took Pratt out of the top five contention on lap eighteen. Pratt finished ninth while Davey Sammons raced ahead of Max McLaughlin to round out the top ten.
The F&L Door heat races were won by Sheppard, Brandon Grosso and Krachun with the consolation win going to Watt.
The Precision Hydraulic & Oil 602 Sportsman competed in a twenty-five lap main event.
Tom Sherby led the field for the first lap before Brian Papiez took over on lap two. Papiez raced away from the field and looked to be on his way to a STSS victory in the twenty-five lap feature event. Papiez led the way through the crossed flags followed by Sherby, Joe Toth, Matt Ellery and Steve Davis.
As the laps counted down, Papiez caught the back of the field. As he picked his way through the lapped traffic, his competition was closing in. Papiez took the five to go sign but by now, Toth had raced by Sherby and was closing in on the leader quickly. With just two laps remaining, Toth made his move to the inside of turn three. Papiez and Toth crossed the start/finish line side-by-side. Toth had the lead on the next lap in spite of Papiez executing a cross-over move to regain his position.
Toth took the win over Papiez, Sherby, Matt Ellery and Steve Davis. Ryan Godown, Jr. finished sixth followed by Scott Hitchens, Steve Kemery, Ethan Bill and Sammy Martz, Jr.
The win was Toth’s second STSS victory of the season.
The Hoffman Discount Parts heat races were won by Martz, Toth, Tom Princiotta and 2022 Dave’s Auto Body & Repair Rookie Champion, Thomas Prychka with Dylan Swinehart and 2021 Rookie champion, Ethan Bill winning the consolation events.
SHORT TRACK SUPER SERIES MODIFIEDS 1. Ryan Godown, 2. Ryan Krachun, 3. Matt Sheppard, 4. Ryan Watt, 5. Danny Bouc, 6. Alex Yankowski, 7. Mike Gular, 8. Cale Ross, 9. Richie Pratt Jr., 10. Davey Sammons, 11. Max McLaughlin, 12. HJ Bunting, 13. Brandon Grosso, 14. Billy Osmun III, 15. Ryan Riddle, 16. Anthony Tramontana, 17. Matt Stangle, 18. Billy Pauch Jr., 19. John Willman, 20. Neal Williams, 21. W.B. James, 22. Mike Mahaney, 23. Jordan Watson, 24. Clay Butler, 25. Sam Martz Sr., 26. Michael Trautschold
DNS: Anthony Perrego
SHORT TRACK SUPER SERIES 602 SPORTSMAN: 1. Joe Toth, 2. Brian Papiez, 3. Tom Sherby, 4. Matt Ellery, 5. Steve Davis, 6. Ryan Godown Jr., 7. Scott Hitchens, 8. Steve Kemery, 9. Ethan Bill, 10. Sammy Martz Jr., 11. Sean Weiss, 12. Dylan Swinehart, 13. Stephen Yankowski, 14. Tom Princiotta, 15. Eric Kormann, 16. Will Dupree, 17. Tom Moore Jr., 18. Thomas Prychka, 19. Matt Yoder, 20. Nick Van Wickle, 21. Rick Wegner Jr., 22. Brian Rogers, 23. Ethan Young, 24. Billy Chester, 25. Greg Humlhanz, 26. Michael Ballestero, 27. Ryan Simmons