AMSOIL Sprints
Sunday, 1 August 2021


Winner Damon Paul (Stony Point, New York) Winner Damon Paul (Stony Point, New York) Steve Koletar Photo


By: Nick Fillman

Winchester, Virginia (July 31, 2021)………Damon Paul of Stony Point, New York capitalized on a late race restart to move by race leader Carmen Perigo, coupled with his ever growing confidence and speed, to collect his first ever Rapid Tire USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series Presented by Capitol Renegade victory Saturday night at Virginia’s Winchester Speedway.

The 25-lap feature event was lead to the green for the first time ever by rookie driver Colin White, with veteran Carmen Perigo to his outside as the field began the feature event. Perigo quickly established himself in front of the field as the cars began to battle for position, fighting for all the grip they could on the extremely slick and unique surface of the Winchester Speedway.

Quickly, eighth place starter Alex Bright moved by a handful of cars early on and found himself on the rear bumper of Briggs Danner, battling for position inside the top five of the feature event. One other driver quickly on the move was Steven Drevicki who had battled his way inside the top eight by lap four of the feature from his tenth place starting spot.

The battle for position throughout the field was intense as the preferred line of the speedway was right around the bottom of the track hugging the inside wall. The margin for error was extremely small as one small miss of a corner could allow as many as three drivers to get by a driver at any given time early on in the feature event.

Carmen Perigo held a steady lead as the field approached the half way point of the feature with Damon Paul all over Bruce Buckwalter for second. Rounding out the top five was Briggs Danner in fourth under heavy fire from Alex Bright in fifth as both had recently passed Mike Thompson who was still right on the rear bumpers of both Bright and Danner as they battled for position.

Damon Paul utilized an extremely low line of the speedway to get underneath Bruce Buckwalter for the runner up spot on lap twelve and begin to set his sights on the rear tail tank of race leader Carmen Perigo. Briggs Danner, feeling the pressure of Bright inside the top five, made contact with the left rear of Bruce Buckwalter while trying to pass for third on lap fifteen, leaving the Gallagher Racing entry spinning to a stop in turn three and four. The ensuing restart had Perigo remaining the race leader, however the lead that he had built over the rest of the field was now gone, drawing Damon Paul to the rear of the leader Perigo. The rest of the top five following the spin by Danner would be: Buckwalter, Bright, Thompson, and in sixth, Steven Drevicki.

As the field went green with ten laps to go in the race, Damon Paul quickly dove to the bottom running an extremely low and straight line off of the corners to sneak by Carmen Perigo for the race lead on lap sixteen. Paul set sail on the rest of the field as Perigo began to search around the bottom side of the speedway trying to find anything to catch up to leader Paul who was beginning to run out to a sizable lead.

While Paul stretched his legs at the front of the pack, Alex Bright drew closer and closer to the rear bumper of the 21 entry of Perigo with only a handful of laps to go. Positions inside the top five remained relatively uncontested as Buckwalter had settled into fourth, and Thompson running a solid fifth. Just outside the top five, an intense duel between Steven Drevicki and Lou Cicconi began with Cicconi utilizing a higher groove to work to the outside of Drevicki on more than one occasion. Bright had moved by Perigo for the runner up spot on lap twenty-two of the feature, just before the caution flag flew on lap twenty-three for a slowing Colin White with issues.

The restart order left Bright with a prime opportunity to pass Paul for the race lead with: Perigo, Buckwalter, Thompson, and a battle between Drevicki and Cicconi rounding out the top six of the feature event. Paul nailed the restart and put a comfortable in place over Bright and the rest of the field, with positions inside the top five again remaining mostly uncontested. As the final two laps clicked away, Paul held his lead with Bright peddling as hard as he could trying to catch the rookie driver for the race lead. Meanwhile, Cicconi had moved passed Drevicki in the battle for sixth, but the two were still a sizable distance behind race leader Damon Paul and the rest of the podium.

The final two laps were nothing but smooth sailing for the twenty year-old driver from New York, as “The Demon” Damon Paul went on to collect his first career USAC East Coast Feature event win. Bright, Perigo, Buckwalter, and Thompson would round out the top five in what was a very diverse night of racing for the bulk of the field.

The first win for Damon Paul was something that the team was clearly on the verge of accomplishing over the last handful of events with Paul running consistently up front in heat race action, and always working inside the top five of the feature event in recent weeks. For whatever reason, the team had not been able to put a complete night together and wound up with results that were not exactly conducive to how fast they had been. Saturday night was a different story, as the team nailed the nights set up finishing second in their heat and having an extremely well handling car for the feature event. The win on Saturday night in northern Virginia, was more than worth the over six hour drive Paul and team put in on Saturday to compete, and nearly every week are among our longest haul drivers. Saturday’s win was more than deserved, and established Paul as front runner and pick to win for the remainder of the season.

Coming home in second with yet another consistent run, was Collegeville, PA’s Alex Bright. Bright advanced the most positions in the feature event of redraw cars, as Bright unfortunately drew the eight pill on a track where starting position is paramount. Bright methodically worked his way to the front of the pack aboard his Hummer Motorsports entry and capitalized on the misfortune of Briggs Danner to retake the series points lead heading into our next event. As mentioned before, the points championship is far from over, and it is surely not the last time the two drivers will switch positions at the top of the points standings.

The third place effort for Stoystown, PA driver Carmen Perigo was a bit bittersweet as the veteran driver started from the pole of the feature event, lead the first fifteen laps, and unfortunately faded a bit late in the running. Post feature in his extremely jovial way, Perigo stated he was sick of leading races at Winchester without having the victories, as last season Perigo lost the lead late in the race to Steven Drevicki and came home second. Luckily for Perigo, third time could be the charm as the series makes a return visit to the Winchester Speedway in September where Perigo again will have another shot at the win.

An up and down weekend at Georgetown and Bridgeport last week for Bruce Buckwalter was backed up with yet another solid run for the sophomore campaigner as he collected his second fourth place finish in three races. Bruce has found his stride as of late, and despite engine issues, and an unfortunate accident while running inside the top ten at Bridgeport, continues to make gains toward winning a feature event with the USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series.


Rounding out the top five with an impressive run was third generation driver Mike Thompson. Mike has been splitting his time between wingless 360 racing with the USAC East Coast Sprint cars and running winged with the URC 360 sprint cars. Thompson admittedly has a bit more affection for the wingless side of sprint car racing, and like many other drivers on tour this season, has continually improved as the year has progressed. Thompson battled early on for the heat race victory in heat two before relinquishing the lead and second to Briggs Danner and Damon Paul, but the young driver had one of his best runs of the season in the feature event and came home with a very respectable fifth place run.


While not finishing inside the top five, the efforts of three driver were more than worth noting on Saturday night. Lou Cicconi, Steven Drevicki, and Kenny Miller lll all had their own unique story line on Saturday night, in what was a very competitive and diverse top ten run down. Finishing sixth was longtime open wheel veteran Lou Cicconi who won the battle for the position after multiple laps side by side with Steven Drevicki. The start on Saturday for Lou was his first since the series made a stop at the Bedford Speedway in May. Saturday night was also the debut of a brand new X-1 Chassis for Cicconi. The new combo appeared to have worked as Cicconi came away with a season high sixth, in addition to being the winning car owner with Damon Paul. A great night for the Cicconi Racing team.


Seventh place belonged to three time champion Steven Drevicki. While the result may not be a stellar one, or what we're accustomed to seeing from the Reading, PA driver, it was a step in the right direction for Drevicki in what has been a challenging season. Drevicki has suffered bad luck, flips, and freak accidents all throughout the 2021 season. While Drevicki’s primary car is still away getting worked on, 410 Car owner Greg Fitzpatrick allowed Drevicki to take their car to Winchester with Drevicki’s 360 engine on Saturday. Drevicki and team made progress in the feature event and came away with a respectable top ten run.

Finally in eighth and collecting the Vahlco Wheels Hard Charger Award coming from sixteenth to eight, was Kenny Miller lll. Miller who is not a full time series regular in 2021 due to Internship commitments, has poked around here and there throughout the season attending races when they can. Miller was battling for a redraw spot in his heat race before suffering a flat tire, rendering him with a DNF in the heat. Miller started deep and passed cars on a very difficult track. A sign of the talent and speed that Miller is capable of producing whenever their entry rolls through the pit gates.

Next up for the USAC East Coast Sprint Car Series is a double header weekend alongside two different USAC National Touring series. Friday August 6th at the Bloomsburg Fair Grounds the series will make its first ever stop, alongside the NOS Energy, USAC National Midget Series. From there, the tour rolls on to the third and final stop of the year to the Selinsgrove Speedway on August 8th alongside the stars and cars of the USAC Silver Crown Series in a very unique pairing for the second season in a row.

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





FIRST HEAT: (10 laps, starting positions in brackets) 1. 20-Alex Bright [2], 2. 83-Bruce Buckwalter Jr. [1], 3. 32-Colin White [6], 4. 10m-Mike Meyers [3], 5. 67-Jason Cherry [4], 6. 75-Lou Cicconi Jr. [8], 7. 7-Ed Aikin [5], 8. 3BC-Nash Ely [7], 9. 38s-Tom Savage [9]. NT

SECOND HEAT: (10 laps, starting positions in brackets) 1. 5G-Briggs Danner [4], 2. 57-Damon Paul [3], 3. 11-Mike Thompson [2], 4. 21-Carmen Perigo [7], 5. 19-Steven Drevicki [5], 6. 88J-Joey Amantea [1], 7. 12w-Troy Fraker [8], 8. 23m-Kenny Miller III [6]. NT

FEATURE: (25 laps, starting positions in brackets) 1. Damon Paul [6], 2. Alex Bright [8], 3. Carmen Perigo [2], 4. Bruce Buckwalter Jr. [4], 5. Mike Thompson [3], 6. Lou Cicconi Jr. [11], 7. Steven Drevicki [10], 8. Kenny Miller III [16], 9. Briggs Danner [5], 10. Joey Amantea [12], 11. Mike Meyers [7], 12. Ed Aikin [13], 13. Jason Cherry [9], 14. Tom Savage [17], 15. Troy Fraker [14], 16. Colin White [1], 17. Nash Ely [15].

FEATURE LAP LEADERS: Laps 1-15 Carmen Perigo, Laps 16-25 Damon Paul.

USAC RAPID TIRE EAST COAST SPRINT CAR PRESENTED BY CAPITOL RENEGADE POINTS: 1-Alex Bright-934, 2-Briggs Danner-925, 3-Nash Ely-685, 4-Damon Paul-672, 5-Tommy Kunsman-595, 6-Joey Amantea-585, 7-Bruce Buckwalter Jr.-581, 8-Steven Drevicki-579, 9-Mike Thompson-561, 10-Chris Allen Jr.-543.

NEXT USAC RAPID TIRE EAST COAST SPRINT CAR PRESENTED BY CAPITOL RENEGADE RACE: August 6, 2021 – Bloomsburg Fair Raceway – Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania



Penske Shocks $100 Winner: Damon Paul

Penske Shocks $50 Winner: Alex Bright

Penske Shocks $25 Winner: Carmen Perigo

Ultra Shield 3rd Place: Carmen Perigo

Ultra Shield 6th Place: Lou Cicconi Jr.

Vahlco Wheels Hard Charger: Kenny Miller lll (16th to 8th)