BLOOMSBURG, Penn. — It was Fan Appreciation Night at the Bloomsburg Fair Raceway when the crowd roared for Briggs Danner as he captured the nonstop USAC East Coast Sprint Series main.
With a general admission price of $5, patrons were treated to a great four division program of both open cockpit and stock car action at the three-eighths-mile dirt oval.
Austin Reed also took top honors with the IMCA Pennsylvania Sprint Series (PASS). For both he and Danner, it was their second Bloomsburg wins of the season.
The American Racing Driver Club (ARDC) Midgets and FWD 4-Cylinder Stocks competed for the first time. Kevin Woody and Matt Christopher took respective wins in their classes.
In the 25-lap USAC event, past Bloomsburg URC winner Mark Smith jumped out to the early lead while Steven Drevicki, Joey Amantea, Danner and Alex Bright ran in tight formation. Danner wasted little time in making quick moves to get by his competition, picking them off one-by-one. He passed Amantea then Drevicki within the first five laps.
Once he got to second, he was looking both low and high for an opening as Smith was doing his best to protect his lead. However, Danner would not let up and made his race winning pass with an inside drive coming out of the second corner on lap seven.
Afterwards, he went into cruise control and gradually pulled ahead of the field on each passing circuit and drove away to a full straightaway margin of victory over Bright.
For the current point leader, it was his eighth victory of the season and his third at Bloomsburg.
“The track was definitely different with the new clay and it was a technical surface, but the car felt good all night. Most of the guys were kind of around the middle and you could use the top to diamond off and I think starting up on the top helped too,” Danner said.
“We’re just super consistent right now and have our program down pat and I’m really happy where we are right now and happy to get another win.”
Bright’s runner-up also keeps him second in the standings to Danner.
Amantea, Smith and Drevicki completed the top five.
In the 25-lap PASS feature, Reed started on the pole and wasted no time in showing that he would be the car to beat as he led right from the outset and never looked back.
Although Reed was able to stay at the helm the whole distance, there was some exciting position swapping going on throughout the race — including some thrilling spot exchanges within the top five.
A number of cautions would slow the action, but not Reed as he was solid throughout the event.
Timmy Bitner did a great job of avoiding several incidents ahead of him and was closing in on Reed until time ran out. Matt Tebbs, Scott Frack and Ken Duke rounded out the top five.
After several rainouts the past two seasons, ARDC finally got to race at Bloomsburg.
Taking advantage of his pole starting spot was Woody who dashed to the lead at the drop of the green and then stayed the course the rest of the way.
Hometown favorite and four-time Bloomsburg winner John Heydenreich tried to get by Woody on the opening lap but went to high in turns one and two which cost him positions. Nonetheless, Heydenreich hustled back and moved to second.
He was never able to mount a challenge on Woody, who collected the win by a half-second margin.
The FWD 4-Cylinder Stocks debut was an exciting one to say the least. The compact front wheel drive cars put on a fan pleasing race that saw some terrific lead battles and as well as passing all through the field.
In a hard fought and well-earned effort Chronister, who had been fighting for the lead the entire race, was able to hold off Tim Campbell and Chris Anderson in becoming the first class winner at Bloomsburg.
USAC EC Feature (25 Laps): 1. Briggs Danner, 2. Alex Bright, 3. Joey Amantea, 4. Mark Smith, 5. Steven Drevicki, 6. Aiden Borden, 7. Mike Thompson, 8. Eric Jennings, 9. JT Ferry, 10. Austin Graby, 11. Troy Fraker, 12. Jason Cherry, 13. Lee Kaufman, 14. Tylor Cochran, 15. John Fraker, 16. Billy Ney, 17. Bobby Butler
PASS Feature (25 Laps): 1. Austin Reed, 2. Timmy Bitner, 3. Matt Tebbs, 4. Scott Frack, 5. Ken Duke, 6. Kruz Kepner, 7. Jeff Weaver, 8. Logan Jones, 9. Levi Brungard, 10. Ryan Kissinger, 11. Mike Melair, 12. Dustin Young, 13. Owen Dimm, 14. Erick Knopp, 15. Paul Moyer, 16. Matthew Swift, 17. Tyler Snook
ARDC Feature (15 Laps): 1. Kevin Woody, 2. John Heydenreich, 3. Mike Markey, 4. JR Booth, 5. Mike Bittinger, 6. Shannon Mausteller, 7. RF Heydenreich, 8. Mark Sokol, 9. Mike Geffken
FWD Feature (15 Laps): 1. Matt Chronister, 2. Tim Campbell, 3. Chris Anderson, 4. Luke Hoffner, 5. Tim Raup, 6. Jeff Foster, 7. Blake Snyder, 8. Rusty Garlock, 9. Shawn Stahl, 10. Travis Semple, 11. Larry Spencer, 12. Larry Bearhel Jr., 13. Adam Campbell, 14. Robbie Carroll, 15. Sam Creveling, 16. Chris Small, 17. Latavin Spriggs, 18. Chloe Smith, 19. Harry O’Neill