The fourth member to sign up for the 2017 D.A.’s Auto Body Rookie Series is 51 year-old Nazareth, Pennsylvania’s Jeff Stuart. Stuart has been involved in dirt racing for many years as a spectator and pit member for a few drivers and friends. However, this year Jeff is finally going to get behind the wheel of a Crate/Sportsman and try it himself! Stuart will be piloting last year’s rookie champion racecar of Chuck Sayres. Sayres will still be racing with the ‘regular’ Crate/Sportsman once Stuart completes his 8-lap rookie event. The shared ride is a 2014 Teo chassis that will carry No. 38.
Some of the sponsors that will be dressed on the No. 38 machine will be John & Kathy Mac/Land Image, Hamill Flooring, Williams Auto Parts/Napa, CTS Lawn Care, Pizza Villa, ERK Steering, Rodney Stevenson-State Farm, and Paul’s Auto & Diesel Repair. “I wouldn’t be able to do this without the help of a lot of people,” admitted Stuart. “From Chuck letting me use the car, some of the sponsors that are helping me, and Ryan Watt’s crew. I’m really looking forward to practice day and that first rookie race!”
The name Belmont is no stranger to dirt racing in the northeast by any means. Well, Brett Belmont will be carrying on the family name at Bridgeport Speedway in 2017 as he becomes the 5th D.A.’s Auto Body Rookie to sign up. The 19 year-old Langhorne, PA rookie is the son to well-known racer Andy Belmont. The Belmonts will be out in full force this season as Brett’s brother Andrew and uncle Kevin will be competing in the Crate/Sportsman division on a weekly basis. Father Andy has many wins at Bridgeport coming back in the 1980’s, while his brother Kevin has won a few of his own in the past couple of seasons at the 5/8 mile.
Brett will be driving the No. 63 which is a 2008 Bicknell with a 602 crate engine under the hood. Brett raced 1/4 midgets 10 years ago is looking forward to jumping behind the wheel of a ‘big car’ in March. The Belmont machine will have plenty of sponsors that Brett hopes to bring with him into victory lane: They are Woody’s Bourbon Cream, Belmont’s Garage, KB Letterin’, ISC Racer Tape, G Force Racing Gear, Mechanics Wear, Continental Fire & Safety, Phil-Mart Transportation, Mod Space Motorsports, and PWD Wholesale. Father Andy will lead the brigade back in the pit area along with brother Andrew, uncle Kevin, uncle Tom, Dan, Jim, Dave, and George. The question is which Belmont will find the winner’s circle first? Brett will have the first shot on Friday, March 24.
Rookie #6 – Jim Cheesman has decided to throw his hat in the ring to become the 2017 Bridgeport Speedway Rookie track champion. Cheesman is basically new to stock car racing but that isn’t stopping Jim from becoming heavily involved in the sport. The 36 year-old crew man turned racer hails from Bridgeton, NJ. Cheesman will be steering a 602 crate ’14 Bicknell chassis that will carry the No. 587. “The number is the month and year my wife was born, so that’s how we came up with 587,” explained Cheesman.
This rookie is still in search of sponsorship to help with his 2017 efforts. “Right now, Pete (Visconti) has been helping me and pointing me in the right direction with things. I helped him the past few years when I got introduced to dirt track racing.” Cheesman’s winter project is almost complete of having a new garage built to house is new ‘racing toy’. “I liked being in the pits and loved being at the track so I thought, it would be even better behind the wheel of one of these things. It’s going to be a family affair as my wife is pretty excited about this season as well.”