2022 Eastern Storm USAC Sprints at Bridgeport Motorsports Park

Jersey Boys: Bridgeport Marks Spot For Round 2 Of USAC Eastern Storm

Jersey Boys: Bridgeport Marks Spot For Round 2 Of USAC Eastern Storm

The USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship brings the Eastern Storm tour to Bridgeport's 4/10-mile dirt oval in Swedesboro, New Jersey, on Wednesday.

Jun 14, 2022 by FloRacing Staff
Jersey Boys: Bridgeport Marks Spot For Round 2 Of USAC Eastern Storm

Robert Ballou's first career victory in the state of New Jersey during the 2015 USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car season led him to an Eastern Storm title and, ultimately, a USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National title later that year.

In the 2021 edition of Eastern Storm, Ballou's triumph at New Jersey's Bridgeport Motorsports Park just so happened to propel the Rocklin, California, driver to a second Eastern Storm title. There seems to be a theme for Ballou.

He'd like to achieve the same when the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship brings the Eastern Storm tour to Bridgeport's 4/10-mile dirt oval in Swedesboro, New Jersey, on Wednesday night.

Three starts and three top-10 results have been the name of the game for Ballou at Bridgeport, where he also has finished sixth (2018) and 10th (2019), winning his heat races in all three of those years to boot. His 2021 victory was in non-stop fashion, with him turning 30 laps in a track-record time of 8:47.620.

Shane Cottle (Kansas, Illinois), a 2013 Eastern Storm winner at BAPS, returns to Eastern Storm full-time once again in the Hogue No. 39. He led a race-high 16 laps and finished as the runner-up a year ago at Bridgeport.

Eastern Storm's 2014 champ, Brady Bacon (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma), has, amazingly, earned hard charger honors in all three of his Bridgeport USAC National Sprint Car starts, going 13th to fourth in 2018, 12th to seventh in 2019 and 14th to fourth in 2021.

Briggs Danner (Allentown, Pennsylvania) has won more USAC Rapid Tire East Coast Sprint Car features at Bridgeport than any other driver, winning five times since 2020, including twice this season. His 2020 victory came in the first sprint car start of his career. The current East Coast point leader turned in his best career USAC National Sprint Car finish at Bridgeport a year ago with a fifth-place effort.

Reigning USAC East Coast champ Alex Bright (Collegeville, Pennsylvania) finished 17th in last year's Eastern Storm run at Bridgeport. In East Coast competition there, he has been stellar, winning twice in 2021. He led 16 laps in this year's season opener and also ran second there in late April.

Steven Drevicki (Reading, Pennsylvania), the three-time USAC East Coast Sprint Car champion in 2018, 2019 and 2020 and has won in a USAC SpeedSTR feature on the new Bridgeport layout, doing so in 2020. He traveled 19th to ninth there during Eastern Storm in 2021 and ran second with the East Coast series in this year's opener.

Justin Grant (Ione, California) has scored three top-10s in each of his Bridgeport Eastern Storm goes, with a third in 2019, sixth in 2021 and eighth in 2018 as his best. The 2020 USAC Silver Crown champion holds Bridgeport's USAC one-lap track record of 15.799, set in 2021.

C.J. Leary (Greenfield, Indiana), the 2019 Eastern Storm and USAC National Sprint Car champion, has recorded top-7 finishes in his last two Bridgeport appearances, taking fifth in 2019 and a seventh in 2021.

East Coaster Timmy Buckwalter (Douglassville, Pennsylvania) is a numerous-time modified victor at Bridgeport and was an eighth-place finisher in Bridgeport's Eastern Storm feature in 2021. His eight-lap heat race victory that same night established the USAC National Sprint Car track record for the distance at Bridgeport with a time of 2:11.630.

Thomas Meseraull (San Jose, California), a two-time Eastern Storm feature winner in his career, made his lone Bridgeport Eastern Storm appearance in 2018 where he finished ninth on the former 3/8-mile configuration that was located inside the bygone 5/8-mile.

The list of those returning to Bridgeport for Eastern Storm on Wednesday includes Anaheim, California's Jake Swanson, the 2017 USAC West Coast Sprint Car titlist (11th in 2021); Sutter, California's Logan Seavey, the 2018 USAC National Midget champ (13th in 2021); Buckeye, Arizona's Charles Davis Jr., the 2018 USAC Southwest Sprint Car champion (14th in 2021); Terre Haute, Indiana's Brandon Mattox, the 2020 USAC National Most Improved Driver (19th in 2021); and Pleasant Hill, Ohio's Matt Westfall (16th in 2018), who has been a champion of NAMARS Midgets, Eldora Speedway Late Models and Modifieds, as well as the Buckeye Outlaw Sprint Series.

The group of newcomers to Bridgeport is led by USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship point leader Emerson Axsom (Franklin, Indiana), whose Clauson Marshall Newman Racing team finished third and sixth with driver Tyler Courtney at Bridgeport in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

Axsom is joined by fellow first-time Eastern Storm competitors at Bridgeport, 2020 USAC National Most Improved Driver Jadon Rogers (Worthington, Indiana), USAC National Sprint Car Rookie Alex Banales (Lafayette, Indiana) and Korbyn Hayslett (Troy, Ohio), plus USAC East Coast regulars Kenny Miller III (Morgantown, Pennsylvania) and Joey Amantea (Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania). Miller has finished third and sixth in two Bridgeport appearances this year, while Amantea has scored fourth- and seventh-place finishes.

Only 11 previous USAC National Sprint Car races have been held in the state of New Jersey, and just three at Bridgeport (2018, 2019 and 2021). 

Johnny Thomson captured the first USAC Sprint Car feature victory held in the state of New Jersey during USAC's inaugural season of 1956. Thomson's Eastern Sprint Car triumph came aboard Sam Traylor's No. 9 in a 20-lapper at Trenton's New Jersey State Fairgrounds.

Round 2 of Eastern Storm at Bridgeport features the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship and the 602 Sportsman. Pits open at 3 p.m. Eastern, the grandstands open at 5 p.m., the drivers' meeting will take place at 5:45 p.m. and cars will hit the track at 6:15 p.m.

General admission tickets are $30, children 10-15 are $15 and children 9 and under will be admitted free. Pit passes are $35 for members and $40 for non-members.

All Eastern Storm events will be streamed here, live on FloRacing.