Story By: BRIDGEPORT MOTORSPORTS PARK – SWEDESBORO, NJ – The Bridgeport Speedway heads into its 50th Anniversary with the start of the 2022 season.
It hasn’t always been clear sailing for the Logan Township speed plant but Doug and Brittany Rose have brought new life to Bridgeport with the construction of the high banked, 4/10th mile speedway and have planned an extraordinary schedule for this very special milestone!
It all started with the Paz Brothers and Leon Manchester. Construction was completed and the first races run during the 1972 season with Manchester as promoter.
Over the years, ownership of the Bridgeport Speedway has changed hands numerous times. The promoter position has changed even more frequently.
In spite of the numerous transitions, the Modifieds, Sportsman and Street Stocks (Outlaw Stocks) made up the weekly race card throughout most of the track’s history. Ed Kelly introduced the Jasper Sprints – open wheel cars that were all powered by Jasper engines. The division proved to be successful during Kelly’s tenure.
Jay James and his business partner, Brian Ramey came to Bridgeport in 2004. James had the racing experience as a successful Modified team owner so the track was his primary responsibility. James introduced the Crate Divisions to Bridgeport’s Sportsmen. James dropped the Big Block Modifieds from his racing program for the 2010 season, substituting Crate Modifieds for the former headliners. The plan was not successful.
Doug Hoffman was hired to promote the speedway for the 2011 season and the first thing he did was bring back the Modifieds. Hoffman also introduced his Poker Series to Bridgeport as well as bringing the feature line’-up behind the grandstands.
Hoffman breathed new life into the Bridgeport Speedway that year but his death left Ramey back at square one as he faced the 2012 season.
As a non-racer, Ramey formed a management team of experienced racers to run the track. Dave Adams, Keith Hoffman and Danny Serrano brought their racing backgrounds to Bridgeport and continued the work that Hoffman had started. Later, Ramey’s son, Kolby and daughter, Haili joined the team to work with marketing and finance.
The World of Outlaws, Super DIRTcar and USAC came back to race at the Bridgeport Speedway. Kolby also brought in the Monster Trucks to attract a whole new audience to the track as well as off road events.
It had always been Brian Ramey’s plan to prove that Bridgeport was a viable speedway and then sell the track. He succeeded but his plan took several more years than he had planned.
Enter Doug and Brittany Rose. The Roses worked with Ramey and his team for the 2019 season and then took full control for the 2020 season.
Rose wasted no time as he began construction of the new high banked, 4/10th mile track to replace the 5/8th mile track that had been Bridgeport for all those years. The timing couldn’t have been worse when the start of the 2020 season had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Then the untimely death of Danny Serrano came as another blow to Rose. The two had worked side by side for months, working to create the vision they had for the new Bridgeport Motorsports Park. Now Rose was left without his right-hand man but he trudged ahead and continued the work that they had started.
Finally, the 2020 opener came and the racing was outstanding! The high banks produced three and four wide racing in all divisions. Slide jobs and crossover moves became the new normal. Racing was exciting again!
Two weekends of racing – one on the 4/10th and one on the quarter mile -, were dedicated to Serrano’s memory. The support of the competitors and fans was overwhelming.
The 2021 season produced more of the same with special shows like the World of Outlaws, USAC Wingless Sprints and Midgets and the SuperDirt Car Series. Rose and Frank Cozze partnered to bring the first Street Stock Nationals to the Bridgeport Motorsports Park.
” I could not be more proud of Doug and his family and their commitment to the legacy of Bridgeport Speedway,” Brian Ramey stated. “Many lives were changed, and several literally ended in the struggle that has made Our speedway what it is today. I do not know a better Ambassador than Doug to carry the torch and fully make it what we have always known it to be. We (ALL) Are Bridgeport, and we are proud.”
“It’s awesome to see Doug adding to the legacy of the track,” added Kolby Ramey. “You have a track that had an uncertain future not too long ago, was then given a new life, and was then entrusted to Doug and he has really worked to take it to the next level. I’m super pumped for him and all of the Bridgeport speedway fans, race teams, and employees.”
And the excitement is building for the 2022 season! The Bridgeport Motorsports Park has everyone talking!! Many competitors and fans alike have marked their calendars for the exciting events on this year’s schedule.
More than twenty events will feature sprint cars this season – 410s, 360s, 305s, winged and wingless. Bridgeport will welcome the All Star Circuit of Champions for their first appearance in New Jersey! The IMCA Modifieds will make their first Bridgeport appearance this season.