Amantea Notches Second Career Series Win at Delmar

Amantea Notches Second Career Series Win at Delmar

Delmar, DE. October, 21st, 2023, Nick Fillman, USAC ECSC

Joey Amantea of Mount Pocono, PA was able to score his second career Rapid Tire Services, USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series, presented by Capitol Renegade victory in dominating fashion in the series rescheduled event at the Delaware International Speedway.

David Swanson and Alex Bright lead the field to green on a windy night at the Delaware International Speedway, with Bright getting the drop on Swanson for the feature event lead early on. Kenny Miller, Joey Amantea and Birggs Danner were quick on the move as well moving up inside the top five from their points inversion starting positions. Amantea working around the outside of Swanson, Miller and Danner to take the runner up spot by lap two of the feature event.

The first caution flag of the event occurred after the completion of lap two as Bobby Butler slowed with issues in the fourth turn. Butler was pushed to the work area, but the team was not able to complete the repairs in time to rejoin the field.

On the ensuing restart a five car breakaway took place at the front of the field, with Amantea heavily applying the pressure to Bright for the race lead. First to the bottom side of the speedway on lap three, then the hight side on lap four, before moving to the bottom side of Bright down the back straightaway and securing the race lead on lap five. In the same move and corner that Amantea secured the race lead, Kenny Miller was able to take second away from Bright, shuffling him to third, with Danner and Drevicki locked in a hard battle for fourth and fifth.

Amantea immediately began to pull away from the field with Miller in tow. Briggs Danner quickly found himself to the inside of the speedway and around Bright for third with Drevicki eventually moving by and beginning to pull in on Danner as the field raced toward the half way point.

At the half way point of the feature event Amantea began to encounter more lapped cars as he had a sizable lead over Miller who was all by himself in second, with Drevicki all but pushing the Hogue Racing entry of Briggs Danner around the speedway working to the high and low side of the speedway lap after lap trying to get around the series points leader, and the man he is chasing in points.

The second and final caution flag of the event came on lap fifteen when Brendan Hires slowed to a stop on the outside of turn three, with David Swanson also resting against the inside wall at the exit of turn two. While under caution, Jonathan Swanson also slowed with issues at the exit of turn there as well.

Amantea nailed the restart and took off from the field and began to rebuild the sizable lead he had just had on the rest of the field. In the closing laps of the feature event, Amantea held his lead over Kenny Miller lll, Briggs Danner who remained under heavy fire from Steven Drevicki, and Preston Lattomus who had move around Alex Bright for the final spot inside the top five.

Try as they might, nobody could catch Joey Amantea for the race lead as he would go on to collect his second career victory with Kenny Miller lll, Briggs Danner, Steven Drevicki, and Preston Lattomus rounding out the top five.

The win for Amantea came a bit later in the season than the driver and team had hoped for, however it was all but inevitable that the team would score a victory with the amount of racing the JPA Racing team has undertaken. Starting with a trip to Florida, BOSS Series Races, Eastern Storm, Indiana Sprint week, and a handful of winged 410 starts, the team has really began to stretch their legs and compete nightly for victories. Perhaps what was the most telling of all in the feature event Saturday night, is the ability of Amantea to secure the win in the slick. Amantea is never afraid to hammer the high side of the speedway and blast a cushion if available, but it was a swap of roles as the patience and technique of running the car on the bottom of the speedway proved paramount for the junior year driver.

Kenny Miller lll continued his blossoming career with the series in 2023, picking up another top five finish. Miller has scored three victories on tour this season, as he is 50% on the season in top five runs, and seven of eight in top tens. Look for Miller to be a threat next week at the Bridgeport Motorsports Park where he scored a “Non Winners” race victory last season.

Briggs Danner continued his consistency with the Hogue Racing team, as they have been busy between USAC East Coast and National Series competition. With a lengthy break of 62 days between our last events, the Danner and Hogue team stayed busy with trips to the midwest at Gas City, Eldora, and the Lawrenceburg Speedway with great results. Additionally, Danner scored an ARDC Midget Victory just one week prior to the series resumption of action at the Linda’s Speedway. By virtue of holding off Drevicki for the third spot, Danner was able to add four more points to his driver points lead, and break the tie for the lead in the owners points with just one race remaining.

Steven Drevicki did everything he possibly could to get around Briggs Danner for third on Saturday night, working to the high side, the low side, and the middle trying to get the best run to complete the pass. Dreivcki was not able to secure the position, but did not let anyone else by and potentially allow the gap between himself and Danner to grow any further. Heading into the series final event, Drevicki is more than mathematically able to win both the owners and drivers championships and become the series first four time series champion.

Rounding out the top five with a solid run in his home state was Preston Lattomus. The Lewes, DE driver was another with the series that stayed busy in the long break between events thanks to the weather man, competing both near and far in National Midget action, including at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the BC39. In his return to series action Lattomus used his patience behind the wheel to advance forward and pass former series champion Alex Bright for the final spot in the top five.

While the result may not have been what the team was looking for, it was great to see Alex Bright and the Heffner Enterprises South team make their return to not only USAC East Coast action, but sprint car competition in general. Bright suffered injuries in a horrific crash at the Lawrenceburg Speedway during Indiana Sprint Week in July, and has been on the mend since then. Bright was able to finish third and make the points inversion, starting out the outside front row of the feature event. Bright was able to lead five laps of the feature event, before fading in the feature event.

The series now turns it attention to the season finale at the Brigeport Motorsports Park on Saturday, October 27th, with an unsanctioned “Non-Winners” Race on Friday night. A driver and owners champion will be crowned as Briggs Danner and Steven Drevicki are separated by 58 Points on the Drivers Points side, and only four, on the Owners points side.

USAC East Coast at Delaware International Results:

Heat 1 (8 Laps, All Transfer, 4 Invert): 1. 23M Kenny Miller lll, 2. 5B Bobby Butler, 3. 117 David Swanson, 4. 18J JT Ferry, 5. 11 Mike Thompson, 6. 17J Jonathan Swanson, 7. 2 Brendan Hires, 8. 67 Jason Cherry.

Heat 2 (8 Laps, All Transfer, 4 Invert): 1. 39 Briggs Danner, 2. 19 Steven Drevicki, 3. 27 Alex Bright, 4. 88J Joey Amantea, 5. 23B Preston Lattomus, 6. 7 Ed Aikin, 7. 45R Brett Rose.

Feature Event (25 Laps): 1. 88J Joey Amantea, 2. 23M Kenny Miller lll, 3. 39 Briggs Danner, 4. 19 Steven Drevicki, 5. 23B Preston Lattomus, 6. 27 Alex Bright, 7. 18J JT Ferry, 8. 11 Mike Thompson, 9. 7 Ed Aikin, 10. 45R Brett Rose, 11. 67 Jason Cherry, 12. 17J Jonathan Swanson, 13. 117 David Swanson, 14. 2 Brendan Hires, 15. 5B Bobby Butler.

Lap Leaders: Alex Bright (1-4), Joey Amantea, (5-25).
Hard Charger: Joey Amantea +5

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