SWANESBORO, NJ-The High Banks Classic Weekend was the final event on the 2022 schedule for the Bridgeport Motorsports Park. The Danny Serrano 100 was the headline event for the Danny’s Pizza Pizazz Modifieds while the Precision Hydraulic & Oil 602 Sportsman were featured in the All American 40 on Sunday. The High Banks Classic weekend was sponsored by Izzy Trucking & Rigging and John Blewett, Inc.
This year’s event was the third running of the Danny Serrano 100 and all three races have been won by different drivers. Alex Yankowski won the inaugural event in 2000, taking the checkered flag and then flipping on the cool down lap when he tangled with a lapped car. Last year’s event was won by Dominick Buffalino with the Big Spring Car Wash No. 126. And now, in 2022, Ryan Godown has added his name to the list of winners of this event.
Serrano was an integral part of Doug & Brittany Rose’s first season at the helm of the newly constructed Bridgeport Motorsports Park. Unfortunately, Danny never got to see the results of the fruits of their labor but there is no doubt, that he would be well pleased with the end result. Serrano’s family was in attendance. Danny’s mother expressed her appreciation for this event that carries Danny’s name and is run in his honor each season.
After a dismal week at the World Finals in Charlotte, NC, Ryan Godown was only too happy to come home and return to the Weaknecht Archery Victory Lane at the end of the 100 lap Danny Serrano 100. This victory was Godown’s fourteenth Bridgeport win of the season, tying the record set by Billy Pauch for the most wins in a season.
Danny Serrano made his living in race track management but he was also the biggest fan of the sport. It was that love of racing that propelled him to work so hard to promote racing events for both the drivers and the fans. A win in the Danny Serrano 100 has special meaning to the race winner. Coming from the same general area, Godown had a relationship with Danny both on and off the track. “We would get together away from racing,” Godown explained.
Sam Martz won the pole for the start of the 100 laps by virtue of his win in the Dash held on the original race date in September. It was Martz and Wade Hendrickson who led the field to the start but it was third place starter, Matt Stangle who grabbed the lead on the first lap and then led the through lap forty when mechanical failure sidelined Stangle from the event. Godown had been pressuring Stangle for the lead and had just completed the pass for the lead when the Ace Materials No. 6 slowed, bringing out the caution. Godown took the lead over Martz, Danny Bouc, Hendrickson and Mike Gular who was working on his best Bridgeport effort to date.
Godown drove away to a healthy lead while Gular picked his way through the top five, taking over second on lap fifty-five. Martz, Hendrickson, Bouc and Ryan Krachun raced in and around the top five throughout the distance.
Dave Hunt had just reached the top five when his day came to an end with a lot of smoke with thirty-laps to go. Hunt, like Ryan Watt, started at the rear of the line-up. With twenty-five laps to go, Watt caught the top five with the Roberts Racing No. Z14. Watt broke into the top five with just fifteen laps to go and then raced Ryan Krachun for third, finally securing the position with five laps to go.
Godown led the way to the checkered flag and the $10,000 Winner’s purse followed by Gular in second. Gular’s performance did a one hundred & eighty degree turn from qualifying day when he struggled to qualify. The addition to Gular’s team of Ron Seltman doing the set-ups was certainly a huge part of Gular’s improvement. Watt finished third, driving Ronnie Roberts car to the finish. It was the second year in a row that Watt raced the No. Z14 in the final race of the season. Both times, Watt turned in a podium finish. “It’s even the same car and motor as last year,” Watt added. Krachun finished fourth after his late battle with Watt while Sam Martz, Sr. rounded out the top five.
A late race move saw Dillon Steuer cross the line in sixth over Bouc, Buffalino, Hendrickson and Sammy Martz, Jr.
There was little time for celebration for Godown and his team since a 5:30am flight would carry them South where they would compete in the Cajun Swing starting on Saturday. “If it wasn’t for guys like my brother, Butchie and Mike (Collucci), I wouldn’t be able to do what I do,” Godown explained. It may have been the last Bridgeport race of the season but Godown still took the time to discuss handling and getting through the corners with Ryan Krachun after the race. Krachun came with questions and he and Godown discussed what he could do to get his Amwell Auto Body No. 29 through the corners better.
The Modifieds competed in One on One Match races sponsored by Amwell Auto Body. Sam Martz started the competition by calling up Ryan Godown. Godown picked up the win and then won two more matches against Jim Gallagher and Jeff Strunk. Wade Hendrickson then defeated Godown in the fourth match and won four more times against Frank Cozze, Brandon Grosso, Danny Bouc and Ryan Krachun. Dominick Buffalino defeated Hendrickson and was then beaten by Matt Stangle. Stangle took on Cale Ross for the final match with Ross taking the win. Hendrickson was the big winner with five match wins.
The Precision Hydraulic & Oil 602 Sportsman lined up for the All American 40 sponsored by Dejana Truck & Utility Equipment, Ice Less and Ellery’s Pub & Grill.
Scott Hulmes and Ethan Bill led the field to the start with Bill grabbing the lead at the wave of the green. By lap four, Brian Papiez was chasing the race leader and looking to make a clean sweep of the weekend after his topless win on Saturday.
By lap nine, Bill had caught up to the back of the field. The traffic in front of him along with a caution, allowed Papiez to close in on the leader.
Papiez was able to challenge Bill for the lead, using a slide job to put the No. 37 out in front on the restart. The slide job was a little short and Papiez was unable to clear the leader. The race for Papiez came to and end.
Just before halfway, the red flag was needed after Scott Hulmes found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hulmes went for a big ride over John Micek’s No. 21A. Scott’s son, Danny Hulmes, was racing a second car and got airborne after making contact with the disabled cars on the track. No driver injuries were reported but several cars were heavily damaged.
Bryan Brobst raced into second and trailed Bill all the way to the checkered. Dylan Swinehart was behind the wheel of the Carol’s Tree Service No. 74 and he pressured Brobst throughout the second half of the race. Swinehart also had a battle with Steve Kemery while Bill raced away from the competition.
Bill took the win – the fourth win of the season for the 2021 DA’s Auto Body & Repair Rookie of the Year. With sponsorship from Izzy Trucking & Rigging and All County Garage Door, Bill’s father, Johnny prepared the No. 14. “I just had to do my part,” the feature winner stated. Brobst, a one time feature winner this season, finished second followed by Steve Kemery, Swinehart and Tom Sherby. Tom Moore, Jr. finished 6th followed by Ryan Simmons, Steven Yankowski, Ryan Grim and David Miloczar.
This was Bill’s biggest victory to date. After losing a motor at the end of the season, Bill was afraid that he would miss the last race of the season but Paul Hartwig and son came to Bill’s rescue with a loaned power plant. It certainly got the job done!
Hoffman Discount Parts heat races were won by Papiez, Travis Hill and Steven Yankowski. The top seven in each heat were awarded pay-offs courtesy of Bicknell, Jones Racing Products, Penske Shocks, Vahlco Wheels, Thorton Gulf, Fresh Carb and Lineman Racing.
The EZ Finance Truck Four Cylinders competed in their last event of the season with Justin Dunn racing to the win. Ian Ashford finished second in spite of pressure from Eric Degler in third. Bobby Johnson finished fourth followed by 2022 Champion, Ed Ford.
Premio Sausage Four Cylinder heats were won by Ian Ashford and Robbie Dunn.
DANNY’S PIZZA PIZZAZZ MODIFIEDS DANNY SERRANO 100 FEATURE:
1. Ryan Godown, 2. Mike Gular, 3. Ryan Watt, 4. Ryan Krachun, 5. Sam Martz Sr., 6. Dillon Steuer, 7. Danny Bouc, 8. Dominick Buffalino, 9. Wade Hendrickson, 10. Sam Martz Jr., 11. Tommy Beamer, 12. Kevin Vaclavieck, 13. Richie Pratt Jr., 14. W.B. James, 15. Brandon Grosso, 16. David Hunt, 17. DJ Hunt, 18. Matt Stangle, 19. Jim Gallagher Jr., 20. Jeff Strunk, 21. Frank Cozze, 22. Stan Frankenfield, 23. Cale Ross
DNS: Neal Williams
PRECISION HYDRAULIC & OIL 602 SPORTSMAN ALL AMERICAN 40 FEATURE:
1. Ethan Bill, 2. Bryan Brobst, 3. Steve Kemery, 4. Dylan Swinehart, 5. Tom Sherby, 6. Tom Moore Jr., 7. Ryan Simmons, 8. Steven Yankowski, 9. Ryan Grim, 10. David Miloszar, 11. Ryan McKinney, 12. Thomas Prychka, 13. Skylar Sheriff, 14. Brian Rogers, 15. Matt Ellery, 16. Nick Giardini, 17. Will Protinick, 18. Trent Willey, 19. Kasey Hufcut, 20. Billy Chester, 21. Tyler James, 22. Pete Serra, 23. Johnny Bangs, 24. John Micek, 25. Danny Hulmes, 26. Scott Hulmes, 27. Brian Papiez, 28. Travis Hill, 29. John Scarpati, 30. Shane Kassekert, DNS – Sara Napora
EZ FINANCE TRUCK FOUR CYLINDERS FEATURE (20 LAPS)
1. Justin Dunn, 2. Ian Ashford, 3. Eric Degler, 4. Bobby Johnson, 5. Ed Ford, 6. Brianna Hicks, 7. Mark Stein Sr., 8. Chris Gall, 9. Joe Garey Sr., 10. Scott Dunn, 11. Joe Garey Jr., 12. Kyle Hurley, 13. Dan Stein, 14. Robby Dunn
DNS – Dominic Antonelli, Shawn Teal, Chris Carroll