Bridgeport Speedway, The New
Monday, July 2, 2012
Celebrate Independence Day at Bridgeport Speedway
by Brett Deyo
BRIDGEPORT, N.J. -- Make plans now to celebrate Independence Day at Bridgeport Speedway on Wednesday, July 4.
The South Jersey five-eighths-mile oval hosts 'Hand Three' of the five-race 'Poker Series' with a twist. The event will honor the memory of Modified legend Tom Hager, who passed away on June 7 at 62 years of age. In Hager's memory, the race has been extended to 43 laps with $4,300 reserved for the winner. Hager's trademark number on his Modifieds, of course, was 43.
It will be a fun-filled day at Bridgeport. From 2-5 p.m., the speedway hosts a 'Picnic Under the Pavilion' in the grandstand area. For $5, there will be a choice of a hamburger or two hot dogs, macaroni salad, potato salad, baked beans, pretzels, potato chips and a drink.
Joining the Modifieds on the program are Crate Sportsman and Outlaw Stocks. Gates officially open at 4 p.m. with hot laps planned for 6:30 p.m. and racing at 7 p.m.
Grandstand admission is $25 for Adults and $23 for Seniors (65 and over) and Students (with ID). Kids 12 and under are admitted FREE. Pit admission is $30 for Bridgeport members and $35 for non-members.
Bridgeport promoters Doug and Gena Hoffman wanted to honor Hager's storied career at speedways across the Northeast. He was a seven-time Bridgeport winner, with his last coming in Sept. 2004. On the track, Hoffman and Hager were rivals. Off the track, there was a deep respect.
"I did a lot of hard racing with Tom over the years," said Bridgeport promoter and former driver Doug Hoffman. "I remember one night Tom wanted to pull me out of the car at Nazareth (Pa.). It was one of those heat-of-the-moment things. He got over it and I always enjoyed listening to his stories in the pits.
"Tom was really a one-of-a-kind guy and a hard racer. He had some great runs at Bridgeport over the years. We wanted to take this opportunity to honor him."
The 'Poker Series' event will pay a complete Race of Champions purse: $4,300 to win, $1,000 for fifth, $500 for 10th and $300 for 10th. Heat-race lineups will be determined via a draw for position with a redraw of top qualifiers for the main event.
Modified weight rules are as follows for the event: PA-legal (Big Diamond/Grandview) 358 engines: 2,350 lbs.; all other small-blocks under 361 cubic inches: 2,400 lbs.; all engines above 361 cubic inches: 2,500 lbs. The tire rule is as follows: right-rear 48 or Bridgeport hard (56); left-rear 44; 33 or harder across the front.
Ryan Godown of Ringoes, N.J., won the first 'Poker Series' event of the season run on March 31 driving the Rick Clay-owned No. 88c. The second hand of the 'Poker Series' fell to Jamie Mills of Milford, Del., on May 27. Rick Laubach of Quakertown, Pa., finished second in both events and hopes to earn a victory for the Bridgeport regulars.
At each 'Poker Series' event, the winner receives an Ace (A), second a King (K), third a Queen (Q) and so on down to the 13th-place finisher receiving a Deuce (2). Following the completion of the five-race series, the driver with the best poker hand earns $2,500, second $1,500 and third $1,000. The driver with the worst hand receives $1,000. Drivers must participate in all five events to be eligible for a points fund.
The remaining 'Poker Series' events are Monday, Sept. 3 (Labor Day) and Saturday, Nov. 10.
For further information on Bridgeport Speedway, visit www.bpspeedway.com. Bridgeport Speedway, located just minutes from Pennsylvania and Delaware off I-295 Exit 14, is a state-of-the-art auto racing facility with a five-eighths-mile clay oval and a quarter-mile clay oval embedded in the center.
POKER SERIES RECORD (after Hand 1 March 31 and Hand 2 May 27)
Name - March 31 -- May 27
Barone, Mike - 2 -- XX
Friesen, Stewart - 3 -- XX
Godown, Ryan - ACE -- 9
Hearn, Brett - 8 -- XX
Hendrickson, Wade - 4 -- QUEEN
Horton, Jimmy - 10 -- 10
Howard, Duane - 9 -- JACK
Kormann, Eric - 7 -- 3
Kressley, Brian - XX -- 7
Laubach, Rick - KING -- KING
Manmiller, Doug - 5 -- XX
Miller, Jarrad - XX -- 4
Mills, Jamie - XX -- ACE
Swain, Jack - XX -- 2
Von Dohren, Craig - JACK -- 5
Watt, Ryan - QUEEN -- 8
Wight, Larry - 6 -- XX
Williams, Neal - XX -- 6