Father and son living the dream
It was a whirlwind off-season for the father-and-son duo of Tony and Daniel Bridge, as it has resulted in Tony making a Sprintcar racing comeback after nearly 20 years away, while Daniel went from moving into Wingless Sprints to stepping into Sprintcars within the space of a month.
However, despite the hectic events of the off season, the Brisbane, Queensland-based pair is relishing the chance to live a few of their Sprintcar dreams.
You see, with Tony, his Sprintcar comeback only came about after Daniel had announced he was following in his dad’s tyre tracks and moving into Sprintcars, but the two couldn’t be happier to be able to race together in their independently-owned Sprintcars.
With five competitive seasons in Production Sedans of experience to fall back on, Daniel’s move into Sprintcars came about during what was a busy off-season.
Initially, he was making plans to step into Wingless Sprints, but a rolling chassis soon turned into a full-blown Sprintcar following an opportunity to purchase a 410 engine at a good price. From there, Daniel’s Sprintcar dreams were off and running and it made a busy off-season even busier.
“Having grown up around Sprintcars, I’ve always wanted to go Sprintcar racing, and even though it was a huge off season, it’s a great feeling being able to realise a Sprintcar dream,” explained the 26-year-old, who drives the Qld # 41 Adventure Caravans backed JEI car.
“During the off-season, I have built up a Sprintcar, and so far, I have had a couple of practice nights and one race meeting and I’m really enjoying the whole experience.
“The goals for my first season are to get as much track time as possible and gain more experience as I go and hopefully improve as the season goes on.”
Following Daniel’s move into Sprintcars, it prompted his dad, Tony, to make a return to the driver’s seat of a Sprintcar at the age of 61 after being on the sideline for 18 years. From 1992 through to 2003, Tony was one of Queensland’s leading Sprintcar racers, and the highlight of his career during that period was his Queensland Title victory in the year 2000 at Toowoomba Speedway.
“I couldn’t help myself when I found out Daniel was going to go Sprintcar racing, so I thought, it would be pretty cool to get back out there myself and race together,” enthused the pilot of the Qld # 24 Adventure Caravans supported Triple X car, who prior to Sprintcar came from a solid Super Sedan racing background during the 1980s and into the early 1990s.
“A lot has changed technology-wise since I last raced a Sprintcar, but at the same time, the fundamentals of one are pretty much the same. However, there is quite a lot for me to take in as I attempt to get back into the swing of things, but my main goal is to have some fun with my son.”
The plans ahead for Tony and Daniel are to base their 2022-23 season racing schedule around Archerfield Speedway and Toowoomba Speedway tracks, as well as selected runs at Lismore Speedway in northern NSW.
“With both our race cars based in Brisbane and since it is our first season as a team of two, we are basing our season schedule around the local tracks, and whatever happens during the rest of the season, I’m just really happy to be living my Sprintcar dream and go racing with dad,” added Daniel.