SPRINTS: Bridgeport Open Sprint Series Bridgeport, NJ July 16, 1996 Greetings Sprint Car Fans! Although this is a little slow in getting out I thought I would share it with you since there was some great action. This was the first of the ...
SPRINTS: Bridgeport Open Sprint Series Bridgeport, NJ July 16, 1996
Greetings Sprint Car Fans!
Although this is a little slow in getting out I thought I would share it with you since there was some great action. This was the first of the BOSS (Bridgeport Open Sprint Series) shows with the other two scheduled for Monday, August 26, 1996, and Sunday, October 20, 1996.
Bridgeport is a 5/8 mile clay oval located just off Rt. 295 from exit 13 (south bound) or exit 11B (north bound) until the regular construction is completed at the normal exit of 14. Grandstand seating is all outside but it does have boards in place to prevent your cooler from falling to the ground.
The show was set up with time trials and eight lap heats with the top six getting their time back. The top six finishers in the consi got their time. Quick time for the night got to pull a pill for inversion purposes and for this show it resulted in the top eight getting inverted. $5,000 to the winner.
Signed into the pits were 31 sprint cars. During hot laps the #85 of Glenn Clarke took a nasty ride out over the turn one wall. Glenn climbed from his car but was examined by the medical crew and had a "bad bump on the leg."
Top Ten In Time Trials 1.) #1 Billy Pauch 17.23 2.) #19 Steve Smith Sr. 17.39 17.65 3.) #77 Fred Rahmer 17.53 17.58 4.) #461 Lance Dewease 17.57 17.58 5.) #12 Keith Kauffman 17.63 17.78 6.) #92 Kevin Gobrecht 17.91 17.91 7.) #88 Todd Shaffer 18.33 18.12 8.) #59 Todd Gracey 18.01 18.23 9.) #29 Dave Calaman 18.37 18.25 10.) #16C Cliff Brian 18.39 18.39
Information for the heat races list the qualifying position, car number, driver, and starting position in brackets.
HEAT ONE 1.) #16 Bill Brian Jr.  2.) #77 Fred Rahmer  3.) #1 Billy Pauch  4.) #59 Todd Gracey  5.) #555 Mike Wells  6.) #53 Tom Caby  Bill Brian Jr. and Fred Rahmer swapped the lead a few times on the last lap with Brian taking it back in turn three.
HEAT TWO 1.) #10 Len Thompson  2.) #19 Steve Smith Sr.  3.) #12 Fred Rahmer  4.) #88 Todd Shaffer  5.) #2C Will Cramer  6.) #3 Bob Bennett The #88 of Shawn Weaver and the #08 of Jason Clauss scratched from the event.
HEAT THREE 1.) #49 Bob Howard  2.) #461 Lance Dewease  3.) #92 Kevin Gobrecht  4.) #16C Cliff Brian  5.) #29 Scottie Ausherman  6.) #4H Robin Johnston 
CONSI 1.) #11A Tim Kuhn  2.) #85 Scott Cahill  3.) #65 1/2 Cristine Cairns  4.) #17T ?  5.) #3 Troy Snell  6.) #40 Mike Kostic 
Three cars scratched: #121 Judi Bates, #08 Jason Clauss, and the #88 Shawn Michael. The #17T (this was either a KARS or ESS entry since it had the small top wing) hit the wall hard in turn one after taking the checkered flag in a qualifying spot. The driver was removed from the scene via an ambulance. Reportedly the steering was going on the car during the consi and finally let go at the checkered so the car drove straight into the wall.
25 LAP FEATURE Bridgeport showed that they are angered by the loss of their WoO date by running a four wide parade lap. It did take a while for the cars to get lined up prior to that parade lap since the line up had been incorrect and the officials had to adjust it as the cars circled under caution.
With the top eight inverted the #59 of Todd Gracey took the lead and lead for the first five laps until the red was brought out by a hard flip in turn one by the #4H of Robin Johnston. The wing on his car actual bent back up while entering turn one after running full throttle down the front stretch. The wing came off and the car hit the wall and flipped hard landing on all four wheels extremely hard. Top five at this point were: #59, #12, #77, #88, #19.
On the restart the #77 of Rahmer challenged the #12 of Kauffman for second and in the process of trying to defend his position Kauffman rubbed his right rear tire on the wall by the start finish line as Rahmer completed the pass. However, on the back stretch Kauffman took the position back from Rahmer.
The two cars on the move were the #19 of Steve Smith Sr. and the #1 of Billy Pauch who were making their way towards the front. At this stage of the race it appeared that Smith had the better handling car and that Pauch was having trouble staying with Smith. On lap eight the #3 of Troy Snell spun and brought out the caution. Top five at this point were: #59, #12, #77, #19, #1. Just prior to the restart the #40 of Kostic catches the cone used for restarts and had to stop on the back stretch and have it removed by track officials.
On the restart Kauffman pressured the leader Gracey however Rahmer soon was pressuring Kauffman and in turn three Rahmer dove low and took over the second position. A few laps latter, lap ten, Cristine Cairns spun and brought out yet another caution. The top five at this point were: #59, #77, #12, #19, #1.
On the restart Rahmer went low and passed Gracey for the lead and the #19 Of Smith passed Kauffman on the inside going down the back stretch. By lap twelve Smith was closing on second place Gracey and on the next lap Smith went low in turn one and took the second position. while the #1 of Pauch passed Gracey going down the back stretch. Pauch began to close on Smith and on lap fifteen with Smith protecting the low side Pauch swung to the outside in turns one and two and came away with second position. Pauch then started to ever so slowly reel in Rahmer and on lap twenty-one Pauch passed Rahmer on the back stretch to take the lead.
TOP THREE FINISHERS 1.) #1 Billy Pauch 2.) #77 Fred Rahmer 3.) #19 Steve Smith Sr.