2023 USAC East Coast Season Preview

2023 USAC East Coast Season Preview

Nick Fillman, USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series

With just over a week until cars hit the surface at the Bridgeport Speedway, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at the 2023 season, from the schedule, to the variety of different teams and plans that are set to play out during what will be a fantastic season.

Heading into the 2023 Rapid Tire Services, USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series, presented by Capitol Renegade season, there may not ever have been a sense of “wide open” for series events and the season long point standings than ever before. The feeling among drivers and teams ranges from a number of different factors; ride changes, bigger note books, more experience, more racer friendly schedule and plenty more have lead racers to feel as eager as ever to leave their mark on the series in 2023.

The 2023 season, while missing some tracks that have previously been on the series schedule, is modeled to be more of what our racers wanted, given what we were able to work with during the difficulty of preparing a touring series schedule. Less mid week events, and a more spread out season of events, should lead to more drivers and teams being able to attend the majority of our events, and hopefully increased car counts through out the season.

Bridgeport Speedway leads the way with four stops on the schedule, including the season opener on April 1st. Williams Grove, Winchester Speedway, Delaware International, Bedford Speedway, Action Track USA, and Port Royal Speedway all feature two events, with one event at the Lincoln Speedway and the Clinton County Speedway.

The all new configuration of the Georgetown Speedway is a highlight of the early season events on the schedule, with promoter Brett Deyo widening the surface and moving the infield in, on both ends of the speedway. Deyo has also taken over the reigns to the Delaware International Speedway, bringing in a new era to the southern Delaware oval.

The second annual “Bill Gallagher 5G Special” Kicks of the month of June on the second, before the annual “Eastern Storm” rolls into town in mid June. An “Eastern Storm” that as of now is set to feature a large amount of support from USAC East Coast Series drivers.

Kicking off the drivers to watch for 2023, without a doubt starts with the defending series champion Briggs Danner.

Briggs Danner, Hogue Racing: The 2022 series champion comes into the new season with a new team, new chassis, and a new notebook to build upon for his non-wing season. While as of now, plans for the team are to run all but about 3-5 races, Danner and Hogue will be the team with a lot of eyes on them for the 2023 season. Danner, coming off a 12 win season and championship, coupled with Hogue who has previously won with the series with Ryan Watt, and nearly collected victories with Billy Pauch Jr, and Robert Ballou, come with plenty of experience and speed.

Steven Drevicki, Drevicki Motorsports: While the 2022 season may not have been exactly what the three time champion was looking for, it was without a doubt a bounce back season, despite not getting into victory lane. Drevicki and team finished a strong third in points and had plenty of strong runs. The team also found a great deal of speed during the second half of the USAC National Series “Eastern Storm.” For 2023, the season starts with a new chassis, as Drevicki moves to an RPM Chassis from a Maxim Chassis. Look for Drevicki to compete in as many series events as possible, with spastic 410 starts with USAC National, and the BOSS Sprints.

Joey Amantea, JPA Racing: The 2022 season was one of many leaps and bounds for the JPA Racing team. Consistent top five and ten runs with new crew chief Brian Zyck, culminated with a victory in dramatic fashion at the Selinsgrove Speedway over the summer. Amantea also ventured into the 410 ranks during “Eastern Storm” and hit a few BOSS shows to end the season. For 2023, Amantea has already begun his season with making the trip to Florida and competing in all of the season opening USAC National events. The team will compete in a plethora of USAC National, and BOSS events in 2023, while competing full time for the USAC East Coast Title.

Preston Lattomus, Lattomus Racing: A rookie in 2022, a rough start to the season, with an impressive finish. Lattomus and the family team came into the season with the goal of finishing races, and gaining experience, which after a few rough outings at Port Royal and Bridgeport, paid off with what could be viewed as an “upset” win at the Lincoln Speedway in June. More solid finishes, with another near victory at the Winchester Speedway in September, Lattomus ended the 2022 season as the Rookie of the Year. For 2023, Lattomus and team intend on being title contenders, along with running some winged races here and there throughout the season.

Mike Thompson, Thompson Motorsports: It seemed like a win was always just one step away for Mike Thompson and team in 2022, yet never quite came to fruition. For 2023, it seems that there is the same feeling, this time from the very start of the season. The third generation driver is as focused as ever, with intentions on the full USAC East Coast schedule, along with select winged 360 and 410 events. Thompson lead laps, and garnered experience and plenty of attention during the 2022 season, and has full intentions on getting to victory lane in 2023.

The “New” Guys:

Bobby Butler: The New Jersey driver is no stranger to the world of dirt racing, nor the world of open wheel racing, but, the veteran driver battled through his rookie adversity and opened plenty of eyes. Starting off with Lou Cicconi, Butler then moved to his own mount, making a handful of starts at the end of the season. Butler made the biggest impression on the series at the season finale, leading 39 of 40 laps, battling with top drivers Alex Bright and Briggs Danner for the event win, before suffering a massive crash on the final lap. Butler is armed with new Triple X chassis, and Don Ott power plants, ready to get the season underway, and is immediately looking to get into victory lane.

JT Ferry: The young 600 sprint driver comes into the 2023 season primed for a full assault on the Rookie of the Year title, after making spastic starts during the 2022 season. Ferry looked Smooth and gained confidence in his starts, and will try to build even more on their efforts this season.

Steven Snyder Jr: The Maryland driver, and owner of double digit 600 sprint victories in back to back seasons, many of which being some of the biggest in the country, has joined forces with the potent Heffner Racing team for the 2023 season. Snyder Jr has already been busy in 2023, picking up the Milestone Outlaw Nationals win at the Port City Raceway, along with making the trek to the Chili Bowl Nationals. While there is sure to be some growing pains for the team, they will no doubt be ones to watch during the 2023 season.

Austin Graby: While not a “new” driver to the tour, the team is fully prepared for a full time effort on the 2023 season. Graby and the Austin Graby Racing team have help from veteran open wheel owner, crew chief, and former driver Paul Lotier Jr, with Austin showing plenty of speed in their 2022 starts, they no doubt will be trying their best to run up front this season.

The series has plenty more drivers to watch than just the ones listed above, with plenty of story lines to watch as well. University of Maryland student, and a driver who lead laps last year at Action Track USA, Aiden Borden is primed for what could be a break out season. Speaking of Action Track USA, one of last years twin feature winners, Chris Allen Jr, finally broke back into victory lane with the series. With, a smaller schedule look for Allen to possibly compete a little more frequently in 2023. Ed Aikin was another of the most consistent drivers with the series in 2022, and is still knocking on the door of his first win as well.

Christian Bruno, Kenny Miller lll, Bruce Buckwalter Jr, Billy Ney, Brett Rose, with veterans Jason Cherry, Carmen Perigo, the Fraker brothers and more point to more wide open competition on the horizon for 2023!

Up Next!

April 1st: Bridgeport Speedway, Season Opener!

April 7th: Georgtown Speedway, First event on new configuration!

April 14th: Williams Grove Speedway

Hoosier Racing Tires
Ultra Shield
KSE Racing Products
Keizer Racing Wheels
Triple X Chassis
Rod End Supply
King Racing Products
BR Motorsports
Insinger Performance
Aero Tec Lab
Vahlco Wheels
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