Driver Profile

Late Race Dramatics Lead to 11th Win for Bright

10/3/2021
Late Race Dramatics Lead to 11th Win for Bright

Georgetown, DE. October 1st, 2021. Nick Fillman, USAC ECSC.

Utilizing a late race green-white-checkered finish to pass feature event leader Chris Allen, Alex Bright of Collegeville, PA was able to secure the win in round number twenty-one of Rapid Tire, USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series competition for his 11th win on the season, adding to his points lead at the head of the field with only three races to go. 

Bruce Buckwalter Jr and Ed Aikin would lead the field to green for the twenty-five lap feature event at the Georgetown Speedway on what was a very challenging and technical track not usual of the Delaware oval. As the field took the green flag and worked their way through turns one and two Damon Paul would tag the back of Bruce Buckwalter turning him almost all the way around and bringing out the caution. The caution flag however, was actually displayed for a false start on the green, which would allow Buckwalter to re-take his spot at the head of the field for the second attempt at the start. 

Take two of the feature event start went to plan as the field took the green flag and stormed into turn one and two. Ed Aikin quickly jumped into the race lead with Christopher Allen following in the tire tracks of Aikin for the race lead with Buckwalter around the bottom side of the speedway and losing positions fast. 

Aikin held the race lead early on with Allen in second, Brian Spencer and Damon Paul battled for third and fourth early with Steven Drevicki closing in on that battle from his fifth place position. Bruce Buckwalter ultimately had engine issues under the hood of the 83 machine and would head pit-side by the completion of lap three. 

Ed Aikin held off the advices of Christopher Allen as long as he could, before Allen would get a big run off the high-side of turn one and two, moving to the outside of Aikin for the lead down the back straightaway, and taking control of the feature event at the completion of lap six. Meanwhile, Drevicki had worked his way into the third place position, with Alex Bright quickly closing in on the top five early on. 

Bright continued his march through the field from the eighth place starting position after drawing the worst number of the redraw. Bright worked his way by Damon Paul, then Drevicki, and found himself into the third place position by the completion of lap ten. Kenny Miller lll was following directly in the footsteps of Bright and worked his way into the top five by lap twelve as he was charging through the field from his twelfth place starting position. 

Alex Bright made his move in lapped traffic around the outside of Ed Aikin for the second place position on lap fifteen and set his sights on the tail tank of race leader Chris Allen, who had built his lead up to a full straight away. Bright held on to second with Kenny Miller making a daring move around the outside of Drevicki and Aikin for third while working through lapped traffic. 

Outside of the top four a multi-car battle ensued with Aikin, Paul, Billy Pauch Jr, Christian Bruno, and dead last starter Briggs Danner side by side, trading positions just outside of the top five. 

As the laps wound down, Allen had a stable lead at the front of the field with Bright working hard to close the gap in second, but bringing a hard charging Kenny Miller lll along with him. Miller was closing the gap on Bright for second lap after lap, with Drevicki and Damon Paul rounding out the top five. 

It looked to be smooth sailing for Allen who had a sizable lead with only two laps to go that Bright and the rest of the field would not be able to overcome if the race remained green. As Allen took the white flag, Nash Ely who had been battling inside the top eight of the feature event blew a right rear tire and stopped on the backs stretch, setting up a green-white-checkered battle to the finish. 

Allen was the feature event leader with Bright on his heels, Kenny Miller perhaps having the fastest car at the time of the caution in the feature, with Drevicki and Paul rounding out the top five. 

As the field went green for the restart, Bright utilized a big slide job to get by Allen for the race lead and look to run away. Allen hung right with Bright for the race lead as the duo went into turn three and four. Bright was the leader as they took the white flag and raced into turn one and two. Unfortunately for Allen, he would get up and over the banking on the high side of turn one and two and fall back to sixth on the last lap. 

Bright lead the field with no issues into turn number three, and off of turn number four and collect his eleventh win of the season. Kenny Miller came home in a strong second place finish, with Steven Drevicki, Billy Pauch Jr in a late race charge, and Damon Paul rounding out the top five. 

In back to back weeks, Alex Bright and the Hummer Motorsports team have proven that if you consistently work hard, even when things may not look like your night, the right circumstances can occur to reward the effort put in. Two weeks in a row the race leader of the feature event has had an issue that left Bright with the opportunity to collect another feature win. The tire issue at the Bridgeport Speedway one week prior, and a late race opportunity on Friday at Georgetown. Bright and the Hummer Motorsports team are now on a four race winning streak, in addition to all of the other impressive feature finish stats the team has established so far. With only three races left, including two more $2,000 to win shows, the team shows no signs of slowing down. 

Kenny Miller lll made an impressive run through the field on Friday night for another top five run. Miller has not been full time on tour in 2021, but the two time winner in 2020, has been as fast as ever each time they unload in the pit area. Miller was mired deep in the field coming from twelfth on Friday night earning the nights hard charger awards. Perhaps with a starting position slightly more forward in the feature field, Miller may have had an even better shot to grab his first win of 2021. Look for Miller to be a contender at the final three events of the season. 

After missing last weeks event at the Bridgeport Speedway and taking another trip west to the Eldora Speedway, Steven Drevicki was able to collect another top five finish as well, as the team has found some of their consistency in prior years. The 2021 season has been trying for Drevicki and team, with only one feature event victory, and being sixth in points. However over the last month, Drevicki and team have re-established themselves toward the front half of the field, and are making strides toward returning to victory lane. 

After a full year of trying, with rainouts, and hauler problems, Billy Pauch Jr was finally able to make his first start of the season with the USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series, behind the wheel fo the always potent Tim Hogue 39. Pauch faded early on in the feature event, but made a late race charge working by Damon Paul, Ed Aikin and others to grab a spot inside the top five. Pauch Jr is no stranger to non-wing sprint car series action, but with a busy modified schedule, time doesn’t always allow for Pauch to run a sprint car as much as he’d like. Look for the pairing of Hogue and Pauch to attempt a similar schedule next season, focusing on trips to Delaware and New Jersey with the series. 

Collecting his second top five run in as many weeks was Stony Point, NY’s Damon Paul. Since his win at the Winchester Speedway in July, the team had been on a bad slump throughout the months of August and September. But a second place run at Bridgeport last week, and a top five Friday at Georgetown, have been more on track with the speed the team has shown through the bulk of the season. The recent speed has also put Paul back into third in the points standings with only three races remaining. Paul was fast at Bedford early on in the season, and has been fast in the slick. Look for Damon Paul to possibly grab another victory on the series trail in 2021 before its conclusion. 

Heartbreak of the night definitely belonged to two drivers: Bruce Buckwalter Jr and Chris Allen Jr. Buckwalter lead the field to green, and unfortunately was bit by engine issues early on in the feature. Post race inspection by the team left them with the assumption that they had a mag go bad during the feature, ending their shot at the win. Chris Allen lead the bulk of the laps in Friday nights feature except for the one that mattered most. Allen fell victim to the slide job from Alex Bright, and was able to keep pace with the multi time feature winner, before a mistake off of corner number two, cost him the win, and a top five run. Allen has been strong all season in his limited starts, and with limited chances to get a victory look for Allen to be as hungry as ever for a checkered flag. 

Next up for the Rapid Tire, USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series, presented by Capitol Renegade, is a pair of $2,000 to win events. Saturday, October 15th a special event at the Bedford Speedway that will be utilizing a purse structure for next year featuring a $2,000 winners share and $300 to start. Followed by a return trip to the Orange County Fair Speedway on October 23rd as a part of Eastern States weekend in what will be the series second ever start at the legendary oval. 

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

USAC East Coast At Georgetown Results:

Heat 1 (8 Laps, 4 redraw, All Qualify): 1. 19 Steven Drevicki, 2. 83 Bruce Buckwalter Jr, 3. 57 Damon Paul, 4. 62 Brian Spencer, 5. 67 Jason Cherry, 6. 10m Preston Lattomus, 7. 83s Billy Ney, 8. 5G Briggs Danner (DNS).

Heat 2 (8 Laps, 4 redraw, All Qualify): 1. 20 Alex Bright, 2. 39 Billy Pauch Jr, 3. 7 Ed Aikin, 4. 71 Chris Allen Jr, 5. 17 Christian Bruno, 6. 23m Kenny Miller lll, 7. 3BC Nash Ely, 8. M1 Mark Smith.

Feature Event (25 Laps): 1. 20 Alex Bright, 2. 23m Kenny Miller lll, 3. 19 Steven Drevicki, 4. 39 Billy Pauch Jr, 5. 57 Damon Paul, 6. 71 Chris Allen Jr, 7. 7 Ed Aikin, 8. 5G Briggs Danner, 9. 17m Christian Bruno, 10. M1 Mark Smith, 11. 62 Brian Spencer, 12. 67 Jason Cherry, 13. 10m Preston Lattomus, 14. 3BC Nash Ely, 15. 83s Billy Ney, 16. 83 Bruce Buckwalter Jr.

Lap Leaders: Ed Aikin (1-5), Chris Allen (6-23), Alex Bright (24-25).

Penske Racing $100 Award: Alex Bright
Penske Racing $50 Award: Kenny Miller lll
Penske Racing $25 Award: Steven Drevicki
Ultra Shield 4th Place: Billy Pauch Jr
Ultra Shield 8th Place: Briggs Danner
Heather A Long, Attorney at Law & Vahlco Wheels Hard Charger: Kenny Miller lll (12th to 2nd).

Article Credit: Nick Fillman
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