Sprint Car
Sunday, 7 July 2024


Winner Steven Drevicki (Reading, Pennsylvania) Winner Steven Drevicki (Reading, Pennsylvania) Steve Koletar Photo


By: Nick Fillman

Swedesboro, New Jersey (July 6, 2024)………Steven Drevicki of Reading, Pa. defeated the heat and the field for his first win of the 2024 Rapid Tire Services USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series Presented by Capitol Renegade season at Swedesboro, New Jersey’s Bridgeport Motorsports Park.

J.T. Ferry and Ed Aikin led the field to green with a hungry group of drivers looking for their first win of the season and first career wins.  Ferry quickly drove to the high side on the initial start and took the lead down the back straightaway with Aikin, Drevicki and Christian Bruno following around the high side of the speedway as Chris Allen Jr. rolled the bottom.

Quickly, Drevicki locked and loaded the slider on Aikin to take over second before taking the race lead away from Ferry within the first handful of laps.  Drevicki was looking for his first win of the season despite having seven top-five efforts on the season.  Ferry had slid into third with Bruno rolling around Aikin to take over third.

The two heat race winners – Bobby Butler and Kenny Miller lll – were pounding the extreme high side of the speedway, nearly beating the wall down on multiple laps as they tried to reel in the lead trio of drivers Drevicki, Ferry and Bruno.

As the top-five to six settled for positions, Drevicki began to encounter lapped traffic as the feature event neared the halfway mark.  Drevicki quickly began picking off lapped cars with Bruno working around Ferry in lapped traffic and taking over second.  Bruno was working his way through lapped cars as he tried his best to catch Drevicki who continued to put cars between himself and Bruno for the runner-up spot.

Just as the leaders were working into turns one and two, the caution flag flew for an incident in turn two that saw David Swanson and Matt Swift make contact and come to a stop at the exit of the second turn on lap 12.

The caution flag erased the lapped cars in front of Drevicki, but also eliminated the traffic in between the leaders.  The restart with 13 laps to go was executed perfectly by Drevicki as he rocketed away from the field and secured his lead by two car lengths or so as the field entered three and four.  Miller pulled a huge slide job from fourth, moving past Ferry and Bruno as he came up the track with all three making contact with each other and Bruno getting the worst end of the deal after bouncing off the wall and losing a handful of positions.

Drevicki was stretching his legs out front on the high side where he is not normally known to run, adding to his lead over Miller with Bobby Butler now moving into the third position.  The best battle on the track at the moment was for fourth through about seventh as Aikin, Bruce Buckwalter Jr. and Bruno battled for positions as Bruno was attempting to march his way back inside the top-five after the restart calamity.

As the feature event drew within five laps to go, Miller was closing in just a tad on Drevicki for the race lead as he began to encounter lapped traffic once again. With three laps to go, Miller continued to pound the high side of the speedway, trying everything he could to catch Drevicki.  On his quest, Miller made contact with the lapped car of Heidi Hedin who spun and went up the track, collecting Miller who stayed in the gas, hopped the left rear of Hedin, bounced off the wall and kept going to keep his runner-up spot.

A three-lap dash was set to decide the winner with Drevicki out front, Miller retaining second, Butler third, Ferry fourth and Bruno making it back inside the top-five.  On the restart, Drevicki got a good jump on the field, but another driver got too good of a jump as Bruno was penalized two positions for a restart violation.

The second attempt at the three-lap dash went off with no issue as Drevicki motored away from Miller who separated himself from Butler for second.  Ferry held strong in fourth with Buckwalter taking over the fifth position.

The final three laps quickly passed by with the top-five remaining the same as Drevicki collected his first win of the 2024 season over Miller with a great run for Butler in third, Ferry fourth and Buckwalter rounding out the top-five.

For Drevicki, there was also another first.  Not only for Drevicki, but for the entire field.  Up until Saturday night, no driver other than Briggs Danner or Alex Bright had ever won a USAC East Coast points paying event at Bridgeport.  Drevicki was able to change that on Saturday night and score his first Bridgeport win on the new configuration.  He had previously won on the older 3/8-mile track which was located inside of the old 5/8-mile oval.  With his win on Saturday, Drevicki picked up his eighth top five run of the season, and added to his points lead over Alex Bright who was not in attendance.

Kenny Miller lll had a wild run to the runner-up spot in the feature event, coming home one spot short in second.  Miller picked up the heat race two win and was flying through the field trying to catch Drevicki for the race lead.  Try as he might, a second-place effort was all he could muster as Miller continued his excellent run of finishes.  In his last four events, Miller has picked up a win, two fourths and now a second-place finish.  Miller and the team hope to be in action on Wednesday at Action Track USA, pending engine inspection as the No. 23m showed smoke in the closing laps of the feature.

While not the result that Butler was aiming for, a third-place effort definitely was a welcome result for the New Jersey driver.  An engine failure at Williams Grove, coupled with a DNF at Utica-Rome, the final spot on the podium at a place where Butler nearly scored his first career win was a step in the right direction for the No. 5B team.  Butler dominated heat race number one and followed along with Miller through the field as the duo pulled the seventh and eighth pills in the redraw.

J.T. Ferry led the field to green for the feature event and hung around all feature event long, running inside the top-three for the majority of the feature event.  Ferry has done a bit of wing and non-wing racing this season as the Drums, Pa. driver currently sits third in URC’s winged 360 standings, but still finds his way to the USAC East Coast Series when time allows.   Ferry made three feature events during the 2024 Eastern Storm and is always a smooth driver in the field.  Ferry picked up a strong fourth place effort on Saturday night, a great confidence boost as the youngster is more than excited to get to Action Track USA on Wednesday.

“Hey Nick, you finally get to write about me” Were the words that Bruce Buckwalter Jr. said pit side following the feature.  The Mechanicsburg, Pa. driver has been rock-solid this season with seven top-10 efforts heading into Saturday nighu, and now collected his first top-five of the 2024 campaign.  Buckwalter sits fourth in points and has been as strong as we’ve seen since joining the series.  Buckwalter spent a good part of the feature event battling with Aikin, and later, Christian Bruno at the tail end of the event with Buckwalter coming out on top of the battles.

A number of drivers made their 2024 season debut with the series on Saturday night, including former winner Chris Allen Jr., Aidan Borden, Jonathan and David Swanson as well as Patrick Chilmonik.  Look for some of those same drivers to join us once again at the series’ next event on Wednesday July 10, at the tight confines of Action Track USA.





FIRST HEAT: (8 laps, all transfer to the feature, starting positions in parentheses) 1. 5B-Bobby Butler (2). 2. 17-Christian Bruno (4). 3. 19-Steven Drevicki (6). 4. 7-Ed Aikin (7). 5. 03-Matthew Swift (3). 6. 117-David Swanson (8). 7. 3H-Heidi Hedin (5). 8. 17J-Jonathan Swanson (1). 9. 56B-Dirk Rimrott (10). NT

SECOND HEAT: (8 laps, all transfer to the feature, starting positions in parentheses) 1. 23M-Kenny Miller III (5). 2. 83-Bruce Buckwalter Jr. (4). 3. 71-Chris Allen Jr. (7). 4. 18J-J.T. Ferry (6). 5. 51-Mike Haggenbottom (1). 6. 64-Richy Carnathan (8). 7. 7B-Aidan Borden (3). 8. 71x-Bill Unglert (9). NT

FEATURE: (25 laps, starting positions in parentheses) 1. Steven Drevicki (4). 2. Kenny Miller III (8). 3. Bobby Butler (7). 4. J.T. Ferry (1). 5. Bruce Buckwalter Jr. (6). 6. Ed Aikin (2). 7. Christian Bruno (5). 8. Aidan Borden (14). 9. David Swanson (11). 10. Mike Haggenbottom (10). 11. Richy Carnathan (12). 12. Heidi Hedin (13). 13. Dirk Rimrott (17). 14. Matthew Swift (9). 15. 27-Matt Peck (19). 16. Chris Allen Jr. (3). 17. Bill Unglert (16). 18. 1-Patrick Chilmonik (18). 19. Jonathan Swanson (15). NT

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-2 J.T. Ferry, Laps 3-25 Steven Drevicki.

USAC RAPID TIRE EAST COAST SPRINT CARS PRESENTED BY CAPITOL CUSTOM TRAILERS POINTS: 1-Steven Drevicki-557, 2-Alex Bright-465, 3-Ed Aikin-453, 4-Christian Bruno-404, 5-Bobby Butler-390, 6-Briggs Danner-341, 7-Jason Cherry-310, 8-Matthew Swift-272, 9-Carmen Perigo-247, 10-Joey Amantea-208.