Briggs Danner began racing at Action Track USA at the age of 14, competing just a short drive from his home in Allentown.
Six years later, Danner scored one of the biggest wins of his career at the track, scoring his first career victory in the winged sprint car 410 in “The ImPOSSEible” Sunday night at Action Track USA at the Kutztown Fairgrounds.
“It’s cool to go back to the tracks you grew up on and have been at for a while, to come back with a bigger car and show everybody what it’s all about,” Danner said. “It was very wonderful.”
Danner started the race on the outside of the front row and took the lead from striper Dave Brown on the first lap. Danner never looked back, leading all 35 laps to earn the win and the $6,000 prize.
“I was lucky enough to jump there early,” Danner said. “Getting ahead early helped. We had the best car when we left.”
Danner was able to maintain his lead through three restarts that came after three cautions. While two of the yellow flags were for single-car exits, the biggest crash of the night was a three-car pileup on lap 20 involving Steve Kisamore, Devin Adams and Larry McVeigh.
During the green flag races, Danner was able to handle traffic on the tight one-fifth mile dirt track and maintain the lead. The 20-year-old held off a late surge by second-placed Brown and third-placed Todd Gracie.
“Tracking the position helped,” Danner said. “The transition, I can only imagine, was difficult. Keeping your nose clean and not trying to slide into someone (was important).
Danner is no stranger to Action Track USA, competing regularly in the United States SpeedSTR Auto Club and in the 600cc Micro Sprint divisions. He is sixth in SpeedSTR points and fifth in 600 micro points.
“Running here every week helps a lot,” Danner said. “It makes a lot of difference, just to feel comfortable on the track with this car.”
Danner also had success in the pair of USAC East Coast Wingless Sprint Car races held at Action Track USA earlier this season, finishing second on July 13th before winning on August 3rd. Although officially a 410 sprint car race, Danner relied on his smaller 360-cubic-inch engine to win Sunday night because of the bullring-style track and the lower speeds it creates a level playing field between sprint cars with different engine sizes.
“I think the couple of non-fender races we had here just a couple of weeks ago helped a lot,” Danner said. “It’s always great, even winning races without fenders (earlier in the season), just going back to the home tracks where you started.”
Sunday night also featured the 600cc wingless micro sprints, with Christian Bruno taking the checkered flag after starting seventh over the 25-lap race. Steven Snyder finished second, Colin White third.
“It’s a big win,” Bruno said. “I have a lot of confidence now.”
Bruno, who turns 18 on Tuesday and is Action Track USA’s points leader in the 600 micro sprints, said he finds success in the special races that come after the winged 410 or wingless 360 sprints because those cars influence the races at shake surface. Coincidentally, it happened again on Sunday, August 3rd, when Bruno won the 600 point race right after Danner won the wingless sprint car race.
“It really makes the track very bumpy for the small cars,” Bruno said of following the big sprint cars. “It was a good race (tonight).”