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Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series

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2017 MID-ATLANTIC SPRINT SERIES CHAMPION EDDIE WAGNER LOOKING FORWARD TO GRANDVIEW AFTER COMING OFF VICTORY AT BRIDGEPORT

NEWFIELD, NJ.. With the first inaugural season coming to an end, Eddie Wagner of Newfield, NJ was named the 2017 Engler Machine and Tool Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series point champion on September 22nd at Bridgeport Speedway after also winning the twenty-lap feature event. This Saturday, Wagner is looking to continue his streak by visiting victory lane at Grandview Speedway Inc. to claim the $500 to win pay day, which was upped from the regular $300 to win by series sponsor Freiberger Excavating.

“I always wanted to win a championship title, but I haven’t always had the chance to run a complete schedule, and when I have focused on points, I finished second and third each time,” Wagner said. “It really hasn’t hit me yet that I’ve won because the season hasn’t ended, and we’re focusing on coming out on top in the last string of events. But I am proud to have won this thing with such a small team of just me, my dad, and my buddy Mark, who’s stuck with me since the beginning. It takes a lot of dedication from not just my part, but from crew guys also, which are hard to find on a weekly basis, so I’m very thankful for the help that I have”.

Eddie Wagner of Newfield, NJ was named the 2017 Engler Machine and Tool Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series point champion on September 22nd at Bridgeport Speedway after also winning the twenty-lap feature event.(SDS Photo)

Twenty-seven-year-old Wagner, who began his career racing quarter midgets at the age of thirteen, worked his way up to through the Micro Sprint ranks before purchasing his first full-sized Sprint Car in 2009, racing with the well-known and historic United Racing Club before joining the Tri-State Racesaver Sprint Series in 2012.

“I learned a lot racing with URC when I first started, but it just got to be too expensive, and when the Racesaver 305 Sprint Car division took off in this area, it only made sense to me to start running with those guys because of how close to home we were able to run, and also the cost to race a 305 was significantly cheaper then with the 360’s,” Wagner recalled.

Now, five years later, Wagner owns five victories all coming from Bridgeport Speedway, a 2015 Poker Series Championship from Bridgeport and now the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series Championship title. With the demise of the Tri-State Racesaver Sprint Series (TSRS) at the end of 2016, Eddie and his wife Erika along with fellow competitor Jeff Geiges and his wife Lindsey all took on a new role of managing the new series (MASS) to ensure that the Racesaver concept would be restored and continue to grow in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware regions for years to come.

“I haven’t had as much time to stress about my feature set-ups like I’ve had in the past because of the other obligations that Jeff and I took on this season, so everything has been pretty much basic and simple, which has probably benefited me this year to be honest,” Wagner said of his race day involvement as Regional Director over the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series. “We all work so well together, and Jeff and I have some good people behind us this year that have chosen to stick with us and support the series, so I think this year has been successful to say the least”.

With over fifty different competitors competing with MASS within the 2017 season, Wagner explained who he thought was his toughest competition this year, saying "Tommy Carberry is usually a force to reckon with at Grandview. He has a line around the top of the race track that not many people can run, but when he’s up there, he’s always super-fast. At Bridgeport this year, Rick Stief was always quick and you could always find him finishing within the top three there this year, and with that being one of my stronger tracks, I could always count on seeing Rick up there racing hard for the win. We have such a talented field, with guys who are very consistent like Tim Tanner Jr., Dave Brown and Mark Bitner, that it’s hard to just pick just one driver to list as my toughest competitor”.

Eddie looks forward to bringing out a new car for Grandview that he recently purchased and put together for the end of the year races.

“I’m busting out a completely different car for Grandview, a Mach 1, so I’m not really sure what to expect, but if I get a top ten, I will be more than happy with that result,” he said.

Sponsoring the points champion this year with a FULL and FREE custom helmet paint job is Trenton, NJ based JLD Graphics. Jason Dunn of JLD Graphics, specializes in all forms of custom paint lettering and hand painted graphic jobs that range from as small as a race helmet to as large as a whole race car! Dunn, offered an astonshing $1,015 worth of work to the top three in points, providing second place standing Tim Tanner Jr. a $250 gift certificate towards a helmet paint job and third place finisher Jeff Geiges a $150 gift certificate to JLD graphics.

The Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series heads to Grandview for the final time this year, for the Thunder On The Hill Racing Series “Triple Thunder Thriller” Special Event, a much-anticipated event for many teams this season. This event is an open invitation race, allowing teams from all over the opportunity to race at the critically acclaimed “Premier Sprint Car track” in the area. More information on this event will be released later this week. For more info on the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series, visit our website at www.masprintseries.com and check out our Facebook page to receive the latest news and details!

Thunder on the Hill



FREIBERGER EXCAVATING BRINGS EXTRA RUMBLE FOR OPEN INVITATION MID-ATLANTIC SPRINT SERIES THUNDER ON THE HILL FINALE
ALLENTOWN, NJ
By ERIKA PALMAI WAGNER
This Saturday, October 14th, the Engler Machine and Tool Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series will be making their way for the final time this season to the high-banked Bechtelsville, PA famed Grandview Speedway. The Racesaver/IMCA sanctioned 305 Sprints will be one of three divisions competing during the Thunder On The Hill Racing Series “Triple Thunder Thriller”, along with the Big Block/Small Block Modifieds and Sportsman Modifieds.
Unlike past years, where this event was known to be “invitation only” to drivers who sat in the top twenty-five in points standings, this year, all teams who are members and non-members wanting to compete are invited to join without being subjected to handicapping and are eligible for all additional contingencies advertised.
Freiberger Excavating , who sponsors heat race number two has upped the purse an extra $750, making it $500 to win and $165 to start. Second through fifth place will be awarded with $325, $280, $250, and $220, with an increase in payout throughout the rest of the field will be seen as well.
Pat Freiberger, owner/operator of Freiberger Excavating is no stranger to the 305 Sprint Car scene, as he was a former competitor and team owner himself, and currently sponsors Stefanie Palmai Carberry, who drives the Palmco Motorsports #99.
“I love racing, everything about it I love,” Freiberger expressed. “I have been a part of racing since I was fifteen years old, and even though I am not behind the wheel anymore, I still have to be a part of it in some way, because I love this sport and I want to support a series that has a great concept of keeping Sprint Car racing affordable and fun for the little guys”.
Freiberger Excavating specializes in installing septic tanks, fiberglass pools and hydro seeding. Keeping busy with the pool installations, Freiberger recently began selling fiberglass pools, making it a “one stop shop” experience.
“I’m really happy to be a part of this new series as a sponsor. It's has been a fresh start for these guys, and I know how expensive racing can get, so any bit helps,” Freiberger said. “I think paid heat races is a great idea. It makes the drivers race a little harder in those short eight laps, making it more exciting for not only the fans, but for the competitors as well. I also love Grandview Speedway, and I believe that it's the perfect Sprint Car track. The shows that the 305 division have put on in the past have always put the fans on their feet, so I am thrilled with being able to be a part of not only the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series, but a Thunder on the Hill event is pretty cool also”.
Several drivers looking forward to pocketing the $500 prize this Saturday are last year’s “Spooktacular” Thunder on the Hill winner Tommy Carberry, the newly crowned 2017 Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series Champion Eddie Wagner, “Downtown” Dave Brown, “TNT” Tim Tanner Jr.., Jeff Geigess, IMCA “Rookie Sensation” Austin Bishop, Brendon Poff, Stefanie Palmai Carberry, Samantha Lieberman,, and hometown defenders Dave David Graber and David Bonner will all be in attendance.
For more information on this Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series event, visit our website at www.masprintseries.com and check out our Facebook page to receive the latest news and details!

Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series

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RICK STIEF LEADS ENGLER MACHINE & TOOL MID-ATLANTIC SPRINT SERIES POINT CHASE WITH TWO RACES REMAINING

BECHTELSVILLE, PA
(September 12th, 2017)

By ERIKA PALMAI WAGNER

Garnett Valley, PA’s Rick Stief inches closer to his first career Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series Championship title with two races remaining on the 2017 points championship schedule. Stief, a two-time feature winner this season so far, is the current point leader as MASS heads to Grandview Speedway this Friday, September 15th. The Racesaver/IMCA sanctioned 305 sprint series will join the Sportsman Modifieds the night before the annual Freedom 76’er, which is the following night, Saturday September 16th.

“My goal for the next two races is to not think about the championship and just focus on the races,” Stief said. “I never liked points racing, and I just happened to be lucky enough to miss a week that rained out, so I am proud and excited to be in this position, but I’m not fond of the pressure that comes with it. I just want to race, and hopefully our luck at Grandview will change enough for us to get our first win at that track. We’ve been close, but not close enough”.

Ringoes, NJ resident Tommy Carberry continues to trail Stief by just two points, along with third place standing Eddie Wagner who is just three points out of first. Tim Tanner Jr. and Jeff Geiges, who each own their own a championship title with the former Tri-State Racesaver Sprint Series, also are in contention for the points championship, with just seven and fourteen points separating them from Stief.

Carberry, who is a strong force going into this weekend’s event at Grandview has never had the opportunity to race for a championship, but by putting himself in the position to make it possible this season, he said that it would mean a lot to him to come out on top at the end of the year.

“I’m always confident when we go to Grandview because that track just fits my driving style,” Carberry said. “Each time we visit, we have consistently been a top three finishing car, with the exception of our last race there when I parked it on the backstretch attempting to go for the lead on the last lap. Friday, I’m hoping that this time, we can park it on the front stretch”.

After this weekend, the series will head back to New Jersey’s Bridgeport Speedway next Friday Night, September 22nd, where at the nights end, a champion will be crowned. Four non-point open races will finish out the inaugural season for the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series, in three different states in the Mid-Atlantic region. These four events, which will take place at Port Royal (October 7th), Grandview (October 14th), Georgetown (October 28th) and Bridgeport (November 4th), will all offer extra contingencies, an open handicapping policy for non-members, and higher paying purses, which will be announce in the weeks to come.

Racing on Friday night at Grandview Speedway starts at 7:00pm, and admission for this event is $12 for adults, $5 for children 6 through 11 and kids under 6 are admitted free.

For more information on upcoming events, race day LIVE coverage, and exclusive interviews with drivers, visit our Facebook page and our website at www.masprintseries.com.

Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series

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SCOTT ELLERMAN TOPS THE CHARTS IN CO-SANTIONED MASS/PASS RACESAVER SPRINT FEATURE AT WILLIAMS GROVE MECHANICSBURG, PA

By ERIKA PALMAI WAGNER

Scott Ellerman took home quite a bit of hardware Friday night after winning the co-sanctioned Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series/PA Sprint Series Racesaver/IMCA twenty lap feature event at Williams Grove Speedway, as well as the Beer Hill Cup Summer Series championship which was sponsored by the famous Beer Hill Gang. Austin Bishop, Bobby Butler, Jaremi Hanson and Zach Newlin completed the top five.

An astounding forty-five cars came together at the historic Central PA half mile oval, with heat race victories going to Stephanie Dodson, Bobby Butler, Dave Brown and Jaremi Hanson, and two consolation wins going to Colby Dice and Jon Haegele.

The third place starting PA Sprint Series regular took the lead from Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series young gun Bobby Butler on lap five after an exciting battle for the top spot ensued between Ellerman and the two pole sitters Dave Brown and Butler. After taking over command of the top spot, the fight for the lead continued throughout the entire duration of the race with Butler staying within a car length away from Ellerman for the remaining fifteen laps.

“I knew we were going to have to be good on the top in order to be fast tonight, so we worked on the car in the pits after the heat race, and we kind of just threw something at it, and I’ll tell you what, if my front nose didn’t break, I think we could have had that race,” Butler said post-race.

“I heard him behind me, but I just kept on hitting my marks, and holding on to make sure he wouldn’t get by,” Ellerman explained. “We’ve won here before last year, and then one earlier this year at Susquehanna, so it’s a great feeling to be able to win tonight, and on top of that, the Beer Hill Cup! I just want to thank Matt Miller and the Beerhill Gang for sponsoring PASS and for allowing us to have the opportunity to be able to earn a little extra on top of what we already do. It’s great to have the support they give us.”

In the final circuits, fifth place starter Austin Bishop, who was steady running in third, began to catch ground on the top two running cars, looking more and more like another possible contender for the win as the laps counted down. Bishop, who has been a “bridesmaid” more times than one in his rookie season has been persistently eyeing his first career Racesaver/IMCA Sprint Car win, with just recently finishing in second the week before.

“Those first few laps, we had a hard time getting heat in the tire with those cautions, so once we were finally able to run some green flag laps, I started to figure out the line on the top,” Bishop stated. “I saw Bobby and Ellerman fighting up ahead, so I kind of took advantage of that, ran them down, and I took second from Bobby on the bottom, and by the time I looked up, the race was over. I’m defiantly looking for a win here real soon, so we are going to take this finish and what we learned tonight, and bring it to Bridgeport next weekend!”

With a three-race weekend on tap for the PA Sprint Series, many MASS drivers and teams like Dave Brown, Eddie Wagner, Tom Carberry, David Bonner, Scott Frack and Austin Bishop will continue onto Selinsgrove Speedway tonight, and then ending the extended race weekend tomorrow night at Susquehanna Speedway. Next Saturday, the Engler Machine and Tool Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series will return back to New Jersey, at Bridgeport Speedway, for the Mach 1 sponsored event. Teams will have the opportunity to compete for the advertised purse, as well as a bare front axle and nerf bar kit provided to the series by Mach 1 chassis.

For more information on upcoming events, race day LIVE coverage, and exclusive interviews with drivers, visit our Facebook page and our website at www.masprintseries.com.

PASS/MASS RACESAVER/IMCA SPRINT FEATURE (20 LAPS): Scott Ellerman, Austin Bishop, Bobby Butler, Jaremi Hanson, Zachary Newlin, Dave Brown, Tyler Reeser, Eddie Wagner, Colby Dice, Darren Miller, Cale Reigle, Tommy Carberry, Rick Stief, Jeff Geiges, Jon Haegele, Scott R Frack, Jay Krout, Tom Carberry, Kyle Ganoe, Ian Cumens, Stephanie Dodson, Dave Grube, Tim Tanner Jr., Ken Duke Jr., George Gege Riden, Fred Arnold
DNQ: David Bonner, Teddy Thomas, Mike Allman, Brendon Poff, Erin Stattler, Kyle Smith, Kassidy Kreitz, John Walp, Kristen Hess, Keith C Andersen, Josh Fox, Andrew Hake, Kurt Krepper, John Scarborough, Rod Ort, Sydney Prince, John C Webster, Vance Berry, Jared Zionkowski

Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series

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BRYANT DAVIS AND RICK STIEF SPLIT MID-ATLANTIC SPRINT SERIES DOUBLE FEATURES AT BRIDGEPORT SPEEDWAY

BRIDGPORT, NJ

By ERIKA PALMAI WAGNER

After a wild night of double-features at South Jersey’s Bridgeport Speedway, the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series had a first-time feature winner and a first repeat victor of the 2017 season in victory lane this past Friday night.

Twenty-nine-year-old Bryant Davis of Norwood, PA scored his first career 305 Sprint Car win in the June 17th make-up feature, while Rick Stief of Garnet Valley, PA, who finished second to Davis in the first event, visited victory lane for the second time this season for his efforts in the nightcap A-Main event, making him the first repeat winner of 2017.

Davis, who started on the pole next to Jeff Geiges, was rightfully thrilled while celebrating with his father, Bruce, in victory lane after his win saying post-race “we were so frustrated with this car before this feature, my dad almost stuck a ‘for sale’ sign to her with a $500 price tag on it. This couldn’t have come at a better time for us, and I’m just so happy that we finally got this win!”

Shooting out to the lead when the initial green flag dropped, Davis kept his Bruce’s Auto Body #15B out front for the entire race, even after multiple caution flags came out, menacing his first attempt to victory lane. Third place starter Rick Stief, who always poses as a threat especially at Bridgeport Speedway, quickly moved into the runner up spot and was continuing his trek to the front, utilizing all areas of the speedway.

Bryant Davis after winning the first feature... Photo by Erika Palmai Wagner

“I was nervous on those restarts because I knew Rick was there the whole time, and we set the car up for a dry track, hoping it was going to be that way, and it’s was, so that worked out to our advantage. I just had to make sure I hit my marks, kept the car straight, and focused on what I needed to do to be fast enough so Rick couldn’t catch us,” Davis explained.

At one point, after a restart, Davis and Stief ran side by side for a nail-biting two laps, battling hard for the lead, but it was Davis who would come out on top using the bottom line after Stief was running on his usually preferred high side.

“I knew he was there, and I was just hoping that he didn’t have enough with him being on the outside, and he didn’t! We had a little bit more tonight, and I was able to keep the car nice and low and it worked out good,” Bryant said.

“It was a good race. I’m so happy to see those guys finally get a win, they put their heart and soul into this. I know earlier tonight, Bruce was pretty disappointed, but now they got themselves a win so this is pretty awesome!” runner up Rick Stief said.

Crossing the finish line behind Davis and Stief was Dave Brown, Eddie Wagner and Tim Tanner Jr.

The second 20 lap event saw Tim Tanner Jr. and Rick Stief square off at the start, each with intentions of earning their second win of the season. Tanner would hold on the top spot heading into the first turn, with Stief, last week’s feature winner Mark Bitner, rookie Austin Bishop and Tom Carberry maintaining positions in the top five.

After a lap two restart, there was a handful of battles brewing all throughout the top six running cars, with the battle for the lead between Tanner and Stief heating up and being the one most kept their eyes on. Stief once again tried working the outside groove to get around the leader, but Tanner held onto the top spot, sliding up and stealing the 9s’ momentum each time they exited the wide corners of the 5/8-mile superspeedway.

“We had the car dialed in really good, I kept trying to stick it up there on the outside, but I think Tim might have realized we were there, and if I didn’t take my time, then we both would have ended up crashing,” Stief explained. “So I just kept abiding my time, and I had a few really good runs there and finally, I just didn’t let off and we were able to take the lead”.

It wasn’t until lap seven when Stief finally completed the pass for first place, gaining over a straightaway gap between him and the rest of the cars. Lap traffic didn’t pose a threat to the lightning fast K&S Seal Coating Sprinter and with a 5.482 seconds lead on the rest of the field, the checkered flags waved and it would be Stief, Tanner, Bishop, Bitner, and Wagner completing the top five.

Rick Stief after winner feature #2... Photo by Erika Palmai Wagner

“I have to thank my crew man, Chas. Without him, instead of standing here in victory lane tonight, I would be sitting at home looking at this car in the garage. I also want to thank Bruce Davis #2, he comes over and helps me out at the shop to get everything ready, my buddy Greg and his nephew from K&S Seal Coating, all of my sponsors, Bridgeport Speedway for having us tonight, and for the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series for doing a great job with this program this year. I think they have all done a very good job with running this great series”.

Twenty-two cars took part in Friday’s event, with Middletown, New York’s Tyler Jashembowski making the three-and-a-half-hour tow to run at Bridgeport Speedway with the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series. Jashembowski started eleventh in the second feature and brought home a tenth place finish. Three heat races were completed, with Austin Bishop, Rick Stief, and Tim Tanner Jr. taking the victories as well as $50 cash courtesy of heat race sponsors Competition Suspension Inc, Freiberger Excavating and Professional Design Services.

Samantha Lieberman and Eddie Wagner collected the $25 Bruce's Auto Body award for advancing the most positions in the first and second features, and and Stefanie Carberry took home $25 for the worst pill draw, courtesy of Professional Design Services. Eddie Wagner also took home the Thayer Performance “Burning Rubber” Hard Charger award which is a brand new Hoosier Racing Tire. Mark Bitner and Rick Steif were the recipients of the $25 Bitner Automotive “Lightning Fast Time of the Night” award in the first and second features. Other contingencies handed out on Friday were a $25 gift certificate to John Webster courtesy of Todd's Performance, a $25 DMI gift certificate to Craig Pellegrini and 5 gallons of FREE fuel to the feature winners Bryant Davis and Rick Stief provided by Kelly Racing Fuels.

The Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series returns on Saturday, July 29st at Bridgeport Speedway for a Engler Machine and Tool sponsored night. For more information on MASS, visit www.masprintseries.com and be sure to follow us on Facebook at Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series.

6/17/2017 Make-up Feature Finish- Bryant Davis, Rick Stief, Dave Brown, Eddie Wagner, Tim Tanner Jr., Jeff Geiges, Mark Bitner, Tommy Carberry, Austin Bishop, Samantha Lieberman, Bobby Butler, Zack Burd, Tom Carberry, Dean Conk Jr., JC Webster DNF:Jamie Kostic, Joe Kay, Stefanie Palmai Carberry, Craig Pellegrini Jr., David Bonner

7/21/2017 Feature Finish- Rick Stief, Tim Tanner, Austin Bishop, Mark Bitner, Eddie Wagner, Jeff Geiges, Tommy Carberry, Dave Brown, Tom Carberry, Tyler Jashembowski, Samantha Lieberman, Bryant Davis, Zack Burd, Joe Kay, Bobby Butler, David Bonner, Keith C Andersen, Dean Conk Jr. DNF: Jamie Kostic, JC Webster DNS: Craig Pellegrini Jr., Stefanie Carberry

Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series

$500 BONUS CASH UP FOR GRABS TO DRIVER WHO CAN SWEEP MID-ATLANTIC SPRINT SERIES DOUBLE-HEADER FRIDAY NIGHT AT BRIDGEPORT

By ERIKA PALMAI WAGNER

BRIDGEPORT, NJ .....July 19, 2017 - Returning back to the “fastest dirt track in the east” after a sensational feature finish two weeks ago, the Engler Machine and Tool Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series prepares for a double-feature event this Friday night at Bridgeport Speedway. The Racesaver/IMCA 305 division will make-up a rained-out A-Main event which was postponed from its original June 17th date, as well as a fully scheduled night of racing. Pit gates are scheduled to open at 5:30 with heat races set to hit the track at 8:00.

Ken Jones from Thayer Performance and an anonymous donor have raised the bar for MASS drivers competing in both features scheduled Friday night by offering $500 CASH to a driver that can sweep both events, allowing the possibility for someone to take home $1,100! Drivers who are eligible for this bonus must have already been qualified into the make-up feature’s line up on June 17th in order to receive this added gratuity. Along with providing season long services trackside with their fully stocked parts trailer, Thayer Performance once again will sponsor their “Burning Rubber Bonus” to the hard charger in the first feature with a brand-new Hoosier Racesaver spec right rear tire.

Additional contingencies that will be disbursed will include $50 cash to the winner of each heat race event presented by CSI Shocks, Freiberger Excavating LLC, and Professional Design Services, a hard charger award of $25 cash courtesy of Bruce's Auto Body, the $25 Bitner Automotive 'Lightning Fast Time of the Night' bonus, 5 gallons of fuel to the winner of the A-Main, courtesy of Kelly Fuels, $25 dollars cash to the worst pill draw from Professional Design Services, and a $25 Todd's Performance gift certificate will conclude the list of extras up for grabs.

Set to start on the front row for the June 17th make-up feature is Bryant Davis and Jeff Geiges, with Rick Stief and Eddie Wagner occupying the row behind them. Stief will be a force to reckon with, after proving to many that he is an ace at Bridgeport, after winning the April 30th opener and coming within a .003 of a second of visiting victory lane two weeks ago against Mark Bitner. Point leader Tim Tanner Jr. will be in attendance as well as Tommy Carberry, Mark Bitner, Jamie Kostic, Stefanie Palmai Carberry, Samantha Lieberman, Bobby Butler, Dave Brown, Joe Kay, Dean Conk, and Zack Burd to name a few.

Also on the card Friday night will be the 270 & 600 Micro Sprints and the 12M 4 Cylinders, who will be running on the smaller inner oval otherwise known as Spirit Auto Center Speedway. Adult general admission is $15. For more information on the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series, please visit our website at www.masprintseries.com or our Facebook page to catch up on the latest news on what’s happening!

Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series

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BITNER WINS MID-ATLANTIC SPRINT SERIES EVENT AT BRIDGEPORT BY 0.003 OF A SECOND OVER STIEF

BRIDGEPORT, NJ
By ERIKA PALMAI WAGNER

Mark Bitner, of Columbus, NJ, took home his first win of the 2017 season on Saturday at Bridgeport Speedway by only 0.003 of a second over fifth place starting Rick Stief. Bitner led wire to wire without any challenge, until a late race caution bunched the field back together, allowing Stief to work his magic in the final five laps, creating another exhilarating and crowd-pleasing occasion for the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series.

Victory Lane Photo Courtesy of Sean Case Graphics

“When we took the green back again, my car prior to that started hanging a little bit in the corners, so I figured I’d just go down to the bottom where the car is driving off straight, and just do the best that I could do,” Bitner said post-race. “I just want to thank my guys Mr. Mo, Roger, Ricky, especially my car owner Brian Nixon, and everyone thats involved in this for giving me a great car that lasted all the way until the end of race”.

With Bitner and Tim Tanner Jr. starting two by two on the pole for the twenty-lap feature event, it would be the Nixon Motorsports #202 winning the drag race into turn one with Tanner, Jeff Geiges, Scott Frack and Stefanie Carberry falling in line behind him. For the first five laps, most of the field was running single file, but it was Eddie Wagner making moves early in the race, advancing to eighth place from his thirteenth starting spot.

By the seventh circuit, Bitner had caught up to lapped traffic, while maintaining a straight away lead over Tim Tanner Jr., who began tracking Bitner down while the leader struggled a bit maneuvering through the slower cars.

“You have to pick and choose a little bit, or you’re going to end up getting wrecked”, Bitner commented about his battle with lapped traffic. “The track was in really good shape though. In the beginning I think there was a little too much water, but once we ran it in, it was really fast and racy where I was able to run where ever, so it was great all around”.

Meanwhile, Rick Stief, who had just swapped positions with Scott Frack, taking fourth, was looking pretty strong in the second half of the race.

“We had a really good hold of the track the entire time, there was just a whole lot of cars just blocking the momentum we had that you need to run fast here at Bridgeport,” Stief recalled. “They weren’t doing it on purpose, not at all, it’s just the nature of the beast when racing with lapped traffic”.

The first and only caution occurred on lap fifteen due to rookie Bobby Scherff coming to a stop after suffering from engine failure.

On the restart, it was Bitner, Tanner, Stief, Geiges and Frack, with Stefanie Carberry and Eddie Wagner looking to crack into the top five. Bitner would once again resume the lead after the green flag was displayed, and Stief quickly inherited second place from Tanner the next time around.

“When we had the restart with five to go, we were driving into the sun, and the cars behind me must have gotten really low and threw water on the track in turns three and four, and when I went in there, hitting the same marks that I’ve been hitting all race long, there was nothing but water in that lane, and my car broke free and I was just sliding sideways,” Tanner recollected. “Rick has something figured out here, I’m not sure what it is, but it’s something good, so he’s been pretty fast so far this year”.

Rick Stief # 9S and Mark Bitner # 202 Photo Courtesy of Sean Case Graphics

With two laps remaining Stief began working the outside lane, edging closer to Bitner in the final moments. As they exited turns three and four, Stief and Bitner gave it all they had running inches away from each other side by side to cross the finish line first. In the end, officials referred back to photographs to name “Mr. Twister” Mark Bitner the victor, with Rick Stief coming home a very close second.

Jeff Geiges #77J and Stefanie Palmai Carberry # 99 Photo by Mike Calla

“I’ll take it,” Stief said after the race. “We had a third going at Grandview before we got took out of that deal, and we ended up finishing thirteenth, so a second here, almost winning, is good considering we pulled aforty-two out of fifty pills earlier tonight, which set us back in qualifying. I just have to thank my crew, Chas and my buddies that come by and help me during the week, Bruce Davis and Bruce Davis (no relation, just happen to have the same name!)”.

Twenty-three cars made the ticket for the Diversified Machine, Inc. / DMI / BullDog Rears (DMI) sponsored event, with three $25 DMI gift certificates going to Mark Bitner, Keith Andersen, and Bryant Davis. Ten raffle tickets for the DMI and Engler Machine and Tool end of the year giveaways were distributed to the top five feature finishers and five randomly chosen drivers, and the three heat race wins, sponsored by Competition Suspension Inc., Freiberger Excavating and Professional Design Services went to Mark Bitner, Tim Tanner Jr, and Brendon Poff.

Eddie Wagner collected the $25 Bruce's Auto Body award for advancing nine positions (13th-4th) and well as $25 for the worst pill draw, courtesy of Professional Design Services. Jeff Geiges took home the $25 Bitner Automotive “Lightning Fast Time of the Night” award for turning a 19.464 second lap time during his heat race. Other contingencies handed out on Saturday were $50 to Bobby Bulter for being the last car on the lead lap, a $25 gift certificate to Tom Carberry courtesy of Todd's Performance and 5 gallons of FREE fuel to the feature winner Mark Bitner provided by Kelly Racing Fuels.

The Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series returns on Friday, July 21st at Bridgeport Speedway for a double feature event. The Sprints will be completing their make-up feature from June 17th, and also a full night’s program. For more information on MASS, visit www.masprintseries.com and be sure to follow us on Facebook at Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series.

Feature (20 LAPS):
Mark Bitner, Rick Stief, Tim Tanner Jr., Eddie Wagner, Jeff Geiges, Tommy Carberry, Scott Frack, Brendon Poff, Jamie Kostic, Samantha Lieberman, Bryant Davis, Zack Burd, Bobby Butler, David Bonner, Tom Carberry, Dean Conk Jr., Larry McVay, Craig Pellegrini Jr. DNF: Stefanie Palmai Carberry, Bobby Scherff, Austin Bishop, John C Webster, Keith C Andersen

*Photos courtesy of Sean N. Case and Mike Calla*
www.wheelsofspeed.com
Sean Case Graphics

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