Matt Stangle showed why he is known as “Matty Ice” has he led every lap of the forty lap Doug Hoffman Memorial Race at the Bridgeport Motorsports Park sponsored by All Star Auto Glass.  Stangle held off the challenges of some stout competition to claim his first win of the 2024 season.  Unlike many in the starting line-up, Stangle came to stock car racing after Hoffman’s reign but his father and former competitor, John Stangle, remembers Hoffman well – “He was the best!”

The six division show, rescheduled after a very wet and cold previous weekend, got underway in spite of a shower just as the cars were beginning to take to the track for warm-ups.  Doug Rose met with the drivers and the mutual decision was made to race and hope that another shower wouldn’t interrupt the show.  This event was ultimately cancelled last season after three attempts fell to weather conditions.  

Rose, with the cooperation of all involved, kept the show moving and the Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz Modifieds took to the High Banks for the forty lap feature event.  

By luck of the draw,  Frank Cozze started on the pole with Stangle on the outside of the front row as the field lined up for the green flag.  Stangle rolled by Cozze on the outside as the pair exited turn two on the first lap.  The early laps were interrupted my numerous cautions.  Mike Gular wend end-for-end in turns three and four, drawing a red.  Gular was not injured but his race on this night ended early.  On the next lap, a incident that started in turn four as Roger Manning got airborne, landing in the infield of turn four, end on the homestretch with Ryan Krachun on top of Danny Bouc.  Krachun’s damage was minimal but he just missed returning to the field before the green flag waved on the restart.  Bouc’s damage was more extensive, ending his race in the early going.

Stangle led the way over Cozze, Neal Williams, Alex Yankowski and Billy Pauch, Jr. on lap ten with Pauch advancing from his ninteenth place start.  Cozze pitted with a flat moving Williams to the runner-up spot and allowing HJ Bunting to break into the top five.

There was some great racing just outside the top five as 2023 Bridgeport Champion, Jordan Watson, Billy Osmun, JR Fulper, Dominick Buffalino, Ryan Watt and Cale Ross battled three and four wide for position.  Positions went back and forth for many laps.  

Williams saw a chance to grab the lead on a lap thirty-four restart but Yankowski was the ultimate benefactor as he moved into second over Pauch, Buffalino and Jordan Watson.  Ryan Watt took over fifth in the final laps.  Stangle took the win over Yankowski, Pauch, Buffalino and Watt who raced from 22nd to finish fifth in a strong effort in his Ron Roberts Racing No. 14w.

Jordan Watson finished sixth (from 17th) followed by Cale Ross (7th from 23rd), Williams, Osmun and Fulper.

Stangle celebrated the win in Victory Lane with the Ace Materials No. 6, family, crew members and friends.  

F&L Door heat races were won by Paul Mancini, Rick Laubach and Billy Osmun III.

The DCB Plumbing Mid Atlantic Sprint Series (MASS) opened their 2024 season with a twenty lap feature event.

Polesitter, Joe Kay had the early race lead but was quickly challenged by 2023 Bridgeport MASS Champion, Kevin Nagy.  Nagy quickly closed in on Kay and raced into the lead on lap three.  On lap four, Bob DeVault took a ride between turns one and two.  The driver escaped injury but the No. 4 was not as lucky.  It was DeVault’s family business – All Star Auto Glass – who sponsored Saturday night’s event and it sure wasn’t part of DeVault’s plan to end the night on the back of a tow truck.

Back-to-back MASS Champion, Buddy Schweibinz closed in on Kay but raced behind Nagy and Kay through lap ten.  Dave Brown and Ryan Stillwaggon rounded out the top five at this point.  

As the field headed to the crossed flags, Kay got high in turn four, allowing Schweibinz to move into second.  Kay pulled in two laps later.  Larry McVay and Troy Betts raced in the top five as the laps began to countdown in the second half of the race.  

Even though Schweibinz was able to cut in to Nagy’s lead as the leaders raced through lapped traffic, he was never able to get within striking distance.  Nagy was able to search the track for the best line to run and the No. 45 was good no matter where he drove on the High Banks.  

It was Nagy for the win over Schweibinz, Brown, McVay and Betts who was making his first 305 start.  Tim Iulg finished sixth in the Ale No. 19A followed by Thomas Radivoy, DJ Tanner, Darren Cox and Eddie Wagner.  

Brown found a lot of success by racing the bottom of the track while most of the other competitors raced higher on the track.

Schweibinz, Nagy and Kay were the winners of the three qualifying heat races.  Ryan Stillwaggon set fast time in hot laps, turning the High Banks in just 15.05 seconds.

The Victory Fuel 602 Wingless Sprints were the first feature of the night.  2023 Bridgeport Champion, Brian Spencer, looked to be in winning form as he led the way in the fifteen lap feature event.  

Spencer led the way on the lap fourteen restart but the leader got high in turns one and two, allowing Rich Mellor to drive into the lead.  Mellor led the final two laps for the win over Spencer, Shea Wills, Zak Brown and Matt Peck who was making his first start in the wingless sprints.

David Swanson finished sixth followed by Walt Fletcher, Stan Ploski III, Dan Leaper who was also making his first start in the wingless sprints, with Tim Hannen rounding out the top ten.

Spencer and Ploski were the Victory Fuel heat winners.

The Ice Less LLC 602 Sportsman, Street Stocks and Four Cylinder feature events will be made up on dates to be announced.

SPECIAL THANK YOU – Doug and Brittany Rose want to thank all of the race teams for their cooperation and efforts that enabled them to complete as much of the Doug Hoffman Memorial show as possible.  The support of the competitors and fans is very much appreciated!

1. Matt Stangle, 2. Alex Yankowski, 3. Billy Pauch, Jr., 4. Dominick Buffalino, 5. Ryan Watt, 6. Jordan Watson, 7. Cale Ross, 8. Neal Williams, 9. Billy Osmun, 10. J.R. Fulper, 11. Frank Cozze, 12. Joseph Watson, 13. Sam Martz, Sr., 14. Sammy Martz, Jr., 15. Mike Franz, 16. Rick Laubach, 17. H. J. Bunting, 18. Brad Roberts, 19. Mike Barone, 20. Cole Stangle, 21. Ryan Krachun, 22. Danny Bouc, 23. Roger Manning, 24. Mike Gular, 25. Bryan Kuhl, 26. Jim Gallagher, Jr., 27. Paul Mancini, DNS – Stan Frankenfield

1. Kevin Nagy, 2. Buddy Schweibinz, 3. Dave Brown, 4. Larry McVay, 5. Troy Betts, 6. Tim Iulg, 7. Thomas Radivoy, 8. D.J. Tanner, Jr., 9. Darren Cox, 10. Eddie Wagner, 11. Jon Brennfleck, 12. Tim Tanner, 13. Rick Stief, 14. Jeff Paulson, 15. Dan Leaper, 16. Aidan Borden, 17. Joe Kay, 18. Ryan Stillwaggon, 19. John Walp, 20. Justin Nowlen, 21. Josh Bricker, 22. Bobby DeVault, DNS – Christian Rumsey, Jared Kreider

1. Rich Mellor, 2. Brian Spencer, 3. Shea Wills, 4. Zak Brown, 5. Matt Peck, 6. David Swanson, 7. Walt Fletcher, 8. Stan Ploski, III, 9. Dan Leaper, 10. Tim Hannen, 11. Heidi Hedin, 12. Isiah Masker, 13. Jonathan Swanson, 14. Joe Byer, 15. Wesley Gomez, 16. Brenden Hires