By ERIKA PALMAI-WAGNER
Rick Stief of Garnet Valley, PA scored his second career Racesaver 305 Sprint Car victory on Sunday night at Bridgeport Speedway. Stief started fourth and took the lead on lap fourteen after early race leader Ryan Stillwaggon had an engine expire while maintaining over a straightaway gap on Stief and the rest of the field. Stief then won the twenty lap feature event over Tim Tanner, Tommy Carberry, Mark Bitner, and Dave Brown Jr who rounded out the top five.
“I honestly had no idea that I was leading the race until I took the checkered flag and looked over at the scoreboard,” Rick admitted post race. “I knew I was catching Ryan, but I was pretty focused on maneuvering the lapped traffic I had in front of me, so I had no idea. But I’m glad that I was finally able to win one this way, instead of losing one this way”.
Nineteen MASS 305 Sprint Cars signed in at the back gate on Sunday for their first ever event as a newly sanctioned series. Two heat races, which were sponsored by Competition Suspension Inc. (CSI Shocks) and Freiberger Excavating, were won by Mark Bitner and Dave Brown Jr. Both received $50 cash for their victories.
At the start of the twenty lap Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series feature, Tim Tanner and Ryan Stillwaggon started on the pole, with Stillwaggon claiming the top spot after a lap long side-by-side battle with Tanner. After an early race caution displayed for rookie Doug Snow who spun in turn 2, the green flag waved once again with Stillwaggon resuming the commanding position, followed by Tanner, Carberry who gained a spot on the restart, Stief and Jamie Kostic.
“When we got out front, I just wanted to stay smooth and keep the car straight,” Stillwaggon said. “We tried some new stuff on the car this week and it just worked!”
At the halfway mark, Stillwaggon, who was maintaining a blistering pace over Stief who was gaining positions himself, reached heavy lapped traffic. On lap fourteen, Stillwaggon’s campaign for the win came to a halt when engine failure seized his Quality Auto Body number 11.
“As I got to lapped traffic, I could really just go wherever the lapped cars didn’t because the car felt that good,” said Stillwaggon. “The motor started to lose oil pressure and soon enough that was the end of the night for us. I hope we caught it early though, but I’m not really sure.”
Inheriting the front running position unknowingly due to no caution being brought out, Stief continued to master lapped traffic for six more circuits while holding almost more than a half a track distance between his lightning fast Churches Speed #9s and the second place car of Tim Tanner.
“I raced three times this past weekend, and I finished in the top five all three nights, so this win ended my weekend on a great note I’d have to say,” mentioned Stief. “I’m going to be racing with both the PA Sprint Series as well as with MASS when my schedule allows but I just enjoy being able to travel around to different tracks and racing with these great group of people. The new management of the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series are a passionate group of people who enjoy our sport, and I think I can speak for most people when I say that their efforts are appreciated and I look forward to what this season has to bring”.
Stief, who has been running full-sized Sprint Cars since 2012 credits his top finishes this weekend to the support he has from his sponsors which are Churches Speed & Auto Parts, K&S Seal Coating, All Seasons Glass Tinting, SEK Telcom and his dedicated crew member, Chas Vitable.
Next up on the Engler Machine & Tool Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series schedule is a co-sanctioned points event with the PA Sprint Series at Susquehanna Speedway Park on May 20th. For more info on what’s going on with the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series, please visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/midatlanticsprintseries/ or visit our website at www.masprintseries.com.
Ryan Stillwaggon collected the “Lightning Fast Time of the Night” award, collecting $25 courtesy of Bitner Automotive. Stillwaggon ran a 19.487 lap time in warm-ups.
Heat race victors Mark Bitner and Dave Brown each collected $50 cash courtesy of Competition Suspension Inc. and Freiberger Excavating LLC.
Eddie Wagner was the recipient of the Professional Design Inc. (PDS) “Luck of the Draw” award of $50 cash for drawing the highest pill number at the start of the night. Wagner drew a 50 out of 50 which started him last in the first heat.
Rookie Bobby Scherff was the Bruce’s Auto Body “Hard Charger” in the feature after advancing six positions from his 18th starting spot. Scherff also received a brand new Hoosier Racing Racesaver right rear tire courtesy of Thayer Performance and Parts.
The Pellegrini Family sponsored Sunday night’s race in honor of their family patriarch Albert A. Pellegrini. The top four received additional money, with fifth place receiving a brand new Hoosier Racesaver right rear.
Jamie Kostic received a $25 gift certificate to Todd’s Performance for finishing in 9th place, and feature winner Rick Stief received 5 gallons of fuel courtesy of Kelly Fuels.
COMPETITION SUSPENSION INC. HEAT 1 RESULTS (8 LAPS): Mark Bitner, Rick Stief, Ryan Stillwaggon, Jamie Kostic, Joe Kay, Gabe Fox, Eddie Wagner, Sam Lieberman, Douglas Snow, Harris Kohen
FREIBERGER EXCAVATING HEAT 2 (8 LAPS): Dave Brown, Tommy Carberry, Tim Tanner Jr., Stef Carberry, Jeff Geiges, Bryant Davis, Bobby Scherff, Craig Pellegrini, Keith Anderson
FEATURE RESULTS (20 LAPS): Rick Stief, Tim Tanner, Tommy Carberry, Mark Bitner, Dave Brown, Joe Kay, Stef Carberry, Eddie Wagner, Jamie Kostic, Jeff Geiges, Bryant Davis, Bobby Scherff, Keith Anderson, Doug Snow, Craig Pellegrini, Harris Kohen DNF: Gabe Fox, Ryan Stillwaggon, Sam Lieberman