By Erika Palmai Wagner
NEWFIELD, N.J. – With the inaugural season coming to an end, Eddie Wagner of Newfield, N.J. was named the 2017 Engler Machine and Tool Mid-Atlantic IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car Series champion after winning the Sept. 22 feature at Bridgeport Speedway.
This Saturday, Wagner looks to continue his streak by visiting victory lane at Grandview Speedway to claim the $500 to win payday, which was upped from the regular $300 to win by series sponsor Freiberger Excavating.
“I always wanted to win a championship title but I haven’t always had the chance to run a complete schedule. When I have focused on points, I finished second and third each time,” Wagner said. “It really hasn’t hit me yet that I’ve won because the season hasn’t ended, and we’re focusing on coming out on top in the last string of events.
“But I am proud to have won this thing with such a small team of just me, my dad and my buddy Mark, who’s stuck with me since the beginning,” he added. “It takes a lot of dedication from not just my part, but from crew guys also, which are hard to find on a weekly basis so I’m very thankful for the help that I have.”
The 27-year-old Wagner, who began his career racing quarter midgets at the age of 13, worked his way up to through the micro sprint ranks before purchasing his first full-sized sprint car in 2009, racing with the United Racing Club before joining the Tri-State RaceSaver Sprint Series in 2012.
“I learned a lot racing with URC when I first started but it just got to be too expensive,” he said. ”When the RaceSaver Sprint Car division took off in this area, it only made sense to me to start running with those guys because of how close to home we were able to run and also the cost to race a 305 was significantly cheaper than with the 360s.”
Now, five years later, Wagner owns five victories all coming from Bridgeport Speedway, a 2015 Poker Series Championship from Bridgeport and now the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series title.
The Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series heads to Grandview for the final time this year, for the Thunder On The Hill Racing Series Triple Thunder Thriller, a much-anticipated event for many teams this season.
This event is an open invitation race, allowing teams from all over the opportunity to race at the critically acclaimed Premier Sprint Car Track in the area. More information on this event will be released later this week.