Drevicki Nabs First of 2024 at Bridgeport


USAC East Coast Sprint Cars

Drevicki Nabs First of 2024 at Bridgeport

Swedesboro, NJ, July 6th, 2024. Nick Fillman, USAC ECSC

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 the Bridgeport Motorsports Park.

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

Quickly, Steven 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 2024 season despite having seven top five efforts on the season. Ferry had slid into third with Christian Bruno rolling around Ed 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, Steven Drevicki began to encounter lapped traffic as the feature event neared the half way 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 trying 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 on the exit of the second turn on lap twelve.

The caution flag erased the lapped cars in front of Drevicki, but also eliminated the traffic in between the leaders. The restart with thirteen 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. Kenny Miller lll pulled a huge slide job from fourth, moving passed Ferry and Bruno, coming up the track, with all three making contact with each other and Bruno getting the worst end of the deal 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 Kenny Miller lll and now Bobby Butler 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 Christian 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 was continuing to pound the high side of the speedway, trying everything he could to catch Drevicki. Miller on his quest, 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 first feature event of the season with Drevicki out front, Kenny Miller lll retaining second, Bobby Butler third, JT Ferry fourth, and Christian 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 Christian 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 lll, who separated himself from Bobby Butler for second. JT Ferry held strong in fourth, with Bruce Buckwalter Jr taking over the fifth place position.

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

Steven Drevicki collected his first win of the 2024 season on Saturday night, but it 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 the Bridgeport Motorsports Park. 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 3/8ths mile track, inside of the old 5/8ths mile. 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 continues 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 team hope to be in action on Wednesday at Action Track USA, pending engine inspection as the 23m showed smoke in the closing laps of the feature.

While not the result that Bobby 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 that Butler nearly scored his first career win, was a step in the right direction for the 5B team. Butler dominated heat race number one, and followed along with Miller through the field as the duo pulled the 7th and 8th pills in the redraw.

JT Ferry lead 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 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 pitside following Saturdays feature event. The Mechanicsburg, PA driver has been rock solid this season with seven top ten efforts heading into Saturday night, and now collecting 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 Ed 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, and Patrick Chilmonik. Look for some of those same drivers to join us once again at our next event, Wednesday July 10th at tight confines of Action Track USA!

USAC East Coast at Bridgeport Results:

Heat 1 (8 Laps, All Transfer, 4 Redraw): 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]; 10. (DNS) 27-Matt Peck

Heat 2 (8 Laps, All Transfer, 4 Redraw): 1. 23M-Kenny Miller III[5]; 2. 83-Bruce Buckwalter Jr[4]; 3. 71-Chris Allen Jr[7]; 4. 18J-JT Ferry[6]; 5. 51-Mike Haggenbottom[1]; 6. 64-Rich Carnathan[8]; 7. 7B-Aidan Borden[3]; 8. 71X-Bill Unglert[9]; 9. (DNS) 1-Patrick Chilmonik

Feature Event (25 Laps): 1. 19-Steven Drevicki[4]; 2. 23M-Kenny Miller III[8]; 3. 5B-Bobby Butler[7]; 4. 18J-JT Ferry[1]; 5. 83-Bruce Buckwalter Jr[6]; 6. 7-Ed Aikin[2]; 7. 17-Christian Bruno[5]; 8. 7B-Aidan Borden[14]; 9. 117-David Swanson[11]; 10. 51-Mike Haggenbottom[10]; 11. 64-Rich Carnathan[12]; 12. 3H-Heidi Hedin[13]; 13. 56B-Dirk Rimrott[17]; 14. 03-Matthew Swift[9]; 15. 27-Matt Peck[19]; 16. 71-Chris Allen Jr[3]; 17. 71X-Bill Unglert[16]; 18. 1-Patrick Chilmonik[18]; 19. 17J-Jonathan Swanson[15]

Lap Leaders: JT Ferry: 1&2, Steven Drevicki: 3-25

Article Credit: Nick Fillman

Submitted By: Nick Fillman

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