Bright Dominates For First Career Bedford Victory

Bright Dominates For First Career Bedford Victory

Bedford, PA, August 21st, 2021. Nick Fillman, USAC ECSC

Alex Bright collected his seventh feature event of the 2021 Rapid Tire, USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series, presented by Capitol Renegade on Friday night, in dominating fashion to continue to add to his point lead, and draw even in the wins column with closest competitor Briggs Danner.

The field was led to the green flag on the 25 lap feature event by Tommy Kunsman and Billy Ney by way of the redraw following heat race competition. On the opening lap of the feature event, Damon Paul dove to the inside of the speedway from his third place starting spot, but made contact with the tail tank of Tommy Kunsman. From there, a parking lot style crash ensued, with over half of the field being collected in the middle of turns one and two. The biggest sufferers of the incident were Paul, Kunsman, and Steven Drevicki who unfortunately went for another flip aboard the family owned 19 car that was making its return to USAC East Coast competition.

The ensuing restart saw quite a shake up at the front of the field as: Kenny Miler lll would now be the pole sitter over: Bright, Ely, Amantea, Allen, Fraker, and Aidan Borden. As the green flag flew, Miller took control of the race lead for the opening circuit, before Alex Bright would move by Miller for the race lead on lap two. Briggs Danner had moved his way into the third place position by the completion of lap two from his now ninth place starting spot before the second incident of the feature event. On lap two, Chris Allen who was also making his return to the series, made heavy contact with the guardrail of the speedway in turns one and two. Following the nights action, it was discovered that a bolt had come loose and fallen out of the steering box causing the incident to occur.

When the field went back green on lap three, Bright established himself firmly in the race lead with Miller in second, Ely third, Danner fourth and Amantea rounding out the top five. At the conclusion of lap four, following a slider into turns three and four, Danner moved by Ely for the third spot and began his hunt of second place runner Kenny Miller.

The field remained relatively unchanged for the remaining cars on the speedway with Bright out front, Miller in second holding off Danner, Ely fourth, and Amantea rounding out the top five, until the lap ten mark of the feature. Danner would move by Miller for the runner up spot, with Amantea also moving up a position into fourth getting passed Ely.

The field would run another handful of laps in that same order, but around the lap fourteen mark, Bright nearly threw the race away as he overshot the corner a bit and slid over the cushion in turns one and two nearly hitting the wall. Luckily, Bright maintained the car and never made contact with the wall.
Bright continued to immensely stretch his race lead with Danner in second, Miller third, and Amantea holding onto fourth with Ely quickly gaining and rounding out the top five. As the field neared the five to go mark, Ely made his move entering turns three and four, and moved by Amantea to retake the fourth place position in the feature event.

While the laps continued to tick away, and Bright began to lap into the top five of the feature event, Danner was trying his best to keep some kind of pace with the leader Bright who had over a straight away lead. Danner made a mistake entering turn one with a couple of laps to go, and made significant contact with sixth place running Bruce Buckwalter, sending the car airborne, grazing the wall, and luckily coming back down on all fours.

The final two laps clicked away in a blur as Bright continued his incredible pace and went on his way to collect his seventh feature event win of the season, and his first career at the Bedford Speedway. Despite the contact with Buckwalter, Danner came home second, with Miller, Ely, and Amantea rounding out the top five.

Alex Bright and the Hummer Motorsports team have now gone back to back in the last two events of the season collecting victories at the half miles of Selinsgrove and Bedford. Despite the apparent primary engine issues last week at Selinsgrove, Bright explained that the engine is more or less fine and will return between the frame rails soon. The spare engine however, proved to be nothing less than the primary as it helped elevate Bright to his seventh win of the season drawing him into a tie with Briggs Danner. The feature win for Bright also added to his points lead, heading into the Port Royal Speedway where Bright is a two time winner in two starts.

Following a violent crash at the Selinsgrove Speedway two weeks ago, Briggs Danner and the Gallagher Racing team rebounded with a solid finish on Friday night at Beford. The team was in their back up car and faced a new set of challenges to try and get this car to run the same as the primary had all season long. Things appeared to be fine as Danner looked up to his usual self pounding the cushion and trying to reel in Bright for a shot at the feature event win. Despite coming up short, the return to action, and knowing the car has speed, will certainly help the rookie driver as he continues his quest to become the 2021 points champion.

Third place went to two time feature winner in 2020 Kenny Miller lll who looked strong in his return to the series after last competing at the Bloomsburg Speedway. Miller has been hit and miss so far in 2021 as he was busy completing his internship for college during the bulk of the summer months. Miller has completed his tasks, and we should see more of the talented Morgantown, PA driver as the season winds down. Miller picked up a heat race win, and ran solidly inside the top three keeping pace with Bright and Danner. Look for Miller to have a great chance of finding victory lane again in series action before the conclusion of the season.

Nash Ely continued his success on the half miles of the East Coast picking up another solid run inside the top five. Ely and Amantea were really the show of the top five as they battled hard for fourth and fifth. Ely ultimately came out on top of the battle and nabbed his fifth top five of the season. Of those five top fives, only one of them has come at a track that is not a half mile in length. Ely has certainly adapted well to the series, and the big tracks in his budding career.

Joey Amantea rounded out the top five grabbing his third top five of the season. Amantea and team decided to bring what is more or less a brand new car to the track on Friday night, utilizing the teams normal winged 360 car for competition at Bedford. Amantea must’ve found something he liked in the car as he was fast all night and wound up with the hard charge of the feature event. A welcome finish for the team as they have had some struggles in recent weeks.

Next up for the Rapid Tire, USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series, presented by Capitol Renegade is the fourth ever trip of the series, and second of 2021 to the “Speed Palace” of the Port Royal Speedway. The series will be involved in a sprint car dominated program alongside the 410 sprint cars and the 305 sprint cars on Saturday August, 21st.

As always, stay up to date with the lates news, results, photos, points, and much more by following along with the series social media pages! On Facebook at: USAC East Coast Sprint Cars, or on Twitter at: @USACecsc.

USAC East Coast at Bedford Feature Results:

Heat 1 (8 laps, 4 Redraw): 1. 23m Kenny Miller, 2. 3bc Nash Ely, 3. 19 Steven Drevicki, 4. 83s Billy Ney, 5. 11 Mike Thompson, 6. 88J Joey Amantea, 7. 12w Troy Fraker, 8. 7B Aidan Borden.

Heat 2 (8 Laps, 4 Redraw): 1. 20 Alex Bright, 2. 5G Briggs Danner, 3. 21K Tommy Kunsman, 4. 57 Damon Paul, 5. 83 Bruce Buckwalter, 6. 2 Chris Allen Jr, 7. 17m Christian Bruno.

Feature Event (25 Laps): 1. 20 Alex Bright, 2. 5G Briggs Danner, 3. 23m Kenny Miller lll, 4. 3BC Nash Ely, 5. 88J Joey Amantea, 6. 83 Bruce Buckwalter Jr, 7. 11 Mike Thompson, 8. 12w Troy Fraker, 9. 7B Aidan Borden, 10. 2 Chris Allen Jr, 11. 83s Billy Ney, 12. 17m Christian Bruno. 13. 21k Tommy Kunsman, 14. 57 Damon Paul, 15. 19 Steven Drevicki.

Feature Lap leaders: Kenny Miller (1), Alex Bright (2-25).

Penske Shocks $100 Award: Alex Bright
Penske Shocks $50 Award: Briggs Danner
Penske Shocks $25 Award: Kenny Miller lll
Ultra Shield 3rd Place: Kenny Miller lll
Ultra Shield 6th Place: Bruce Buckwalter Jr
Vahlcho Wheels Hard Charger: Joey Amantea

USAC East Coast Points Standings:
20 Alex Bright 1157
5G Briggs Danner -33
3BC Nash Ely -292
57 Damon Paul -301
21K Tommy Kunsman -394
19 Steven Drevicki -412
83 Bruce Buckwalter -428
88J Joey Amantea -429
11 Mike Thompson - 462
23m Kenny Miller lll -559

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