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WHAT TO WATCH FOR: 2022 season kicks off with battle to be king at Bridgeport

The 2022 Super DIRTcar Series championship season commences with a battle of warriors eager to be king.

For the third straight year, the Beasts of the Northeast return to Bridgeport Motorsports Park in New Jersey to contend for a $7,500 payday and the title King of the Big Blocks.

However, this year the event also serves as the opening race in championship season which boasts a new $200,000 overall points payout with $60,000 going to the champion in November.

If you can’t make it to the track, you can watch all the action live on DIRTVision – either online or by downloading the DIRTVision App.

Here are the top storylines to follow:

DRIVE FOR 9: Eight-time and reigning champion Matt Sheppard will look to start off his quest for a ninth Super DIRTcar Series title with a new crown in May. However, the Waterloo, NY driver has yet to find success at the 3/8-mile track yet. He finished 22nd in the first race and eighth in the second.

He also got off to a slow start this season at DIRTcar Nationals, finishing outside the top-10 the first couple of nights. But after wholesale changes, Sheppard found his rhythm again and became a contender each night.

HOLDING THE CROWN: 2005 Super DIRTcar Series champion Tim Fuller will return to try and defend his title of King of the Big Blocks from last year. The victory was the Watertown, NY driver’s sole Series win last year.

He made a show out of his Bridgeport victory, charging from 13th to the win in the 100-lap event, while also holding off the event’s inaugural winner Stewart Friesen. In his first trip to Bridgeport, Fuller finished seventh.

FIRST KING: Super DIRT Week champion and NASCAR Truck Series star Stewart Friesen is on a redemption mission this year. After finishing second last year, the inaugural winner of the King of the Big Blocks event will be hungry to reclaim the crown.

He’s already off to a strong start this year by winning the opening Super DIRTcar Series race during DIRTcar Nationals in February. Friesen is also coming off a career season with the Series in 2021 where he won a season-high six races.

DYNAMIC DUO: Heinke-Baldwin Racing has had the best start to the year, so far, with both its drivers Max McLaughlin and Jimmy Phelps earning wins during DIRTcar Nationals and Phelps claiming his first Big Gator championship at the event.

With the duo riding high into the 2022 season, they’ll both be poised for a strong showing at Bridgeport. They’ve already shown their potential there with both drivers yet to finish outside the top-five in their visits to the track.

And while they both won during DIRTcar Nationals, the event was not for points, so McLaughlin is still looking for his first points-paying Series win and Phelps is looking for his first points-paying Series win since 2019.

YOUNGBLOOD: Of the stout 2022 Rookie of the Year class, the youngest and least experienced from the bunch enters as one of the favorites to win. Seventeen-year-old Alex Yankowski, of Covington Township, PA, stunned the world last year by winning in only his second career Series start during World Finals.

He’s also yet to finish outside the top-10 in his three Series starts and already won a big event at Bridgeport in 2020 – the track’s Danny Serrano 100.

Bridgeport Motorsports Park
Configuration: High-banked, 3/8-mile
Big Block Track Record: 16.079 sec. set by Demetrios Drellos on May 4, 2021
# of Big Block Features: 2

AROUND THE TURN:  The Super DIRTcar Series will make its first New York stop at Can-Am Speedway for the Thunder on the 1000 Islands on Wednesday, May 18. For more information, CLICK HERE. 

1-Stewart Friesen – 1
-Peter Britten – 1
-Mat Williamson – 1
-Max McLaughlin – 1
-Jimmy Phelps – 1

1-Peter Britten – 4
-Mat Williamson – 4
2-Stewart Friesen – 2
-Max McLaughlin – 2
-Matt Sheppard – 2
-Jimmy Phelps – 2
3-Demetrios Drellos – 1
-Jack Lehner – 1
-Tim Fuller – 1
-Rick Laubach – 1

1-Peter Britten – 2
2-Jack Lehner – 1
-Max McLaughlin – 1
-Jimmy Phelps – 1

1-Jimmy Phelps – 79
2-Mat Williamson – 26
3-Stewart Friesen – 22
4-Max McLaughlin – 16
5-Peter Britten – 13

1-Peter Britten – 3
-Max McLaughlin – 3
-Jimmy Phelps
2-Stewart Friesen – 2
-Mat Williamson – 2
3-Jack Lehner
-Larry Wight

2022 Super DIRTcar Series Schedule & Winners
#/Day, Date/Track/Location/Winner (Total Wins)
1. Tuesday, Feb. 15 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Stewart Friesen (1)
2. Wednesday, Feb. 16 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Peter Britten (1)
3. Thursday, Feb. 17 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Mat Williamson (1)
4. Friday, Feb. 18 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Max McLaughlin (1)
5. Saturday, Feb. 19 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barberville, FL / Jimmy Phelps (1)