Racing from commencement to victory lane

UIU graduate Eric Bridger raced his way through commencement at Fayette Campus before taking a victory lap at Knoxville Raceway Saturday evening.

Upper Iowa University financial management major and sprint car driver Eric Bridger had an exciting day on Saturday. First, the defending track champion graduated from UIU, and then he led start to finish in the 15-lap 305 feature at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa.

After earning his bachelor’s degree at UIU’s commencement ceremonies, it was all Bridger in the 305 class. Another non-stop event saw him lead all 15 laps utilizing the bottom of the racing surface. It was the third career Knoxville win for the college grad.

“It was a great Saturday with commencement and picking up the win Saturday at Knoxville,” Bridger said. “It was a little rough out there (on the track). Today has been good. It was a busy day.”

UIU graduate Eric Bridger is pictured (from left) with his father Dwight, mother Deb, and brother Alex after receiving his bachelor’s degree in financial management at the May 5 commencement ceremonies at Fayette Campus. A Des Moines center student, Eric later won the 305 class feature at Knoxville Raceway Saturday evening.

Bridger started in Karts at the age of 10. He raced at Jamaica Raceway, Newton Speedway and all over the Midwest, winning several major events. He was track champion at Jamaica in 2009.

In 2011, Bridger moved to a Micro-Sprint. His first season culminated in Rookie of the Year honors as he finished seventh in points. In 2012, he finished 4th in points and followed that up with three straight years as Iowa Micro-Sprints Point Champion.

In 2016, Bridger moved into 305 sprint cars racing at the Iowa State Fair Speedway in Des Moines, placing 7th in points. He later stormed into the Knoxville Raceway as a rookie in the 305 class in 2017, and not only won Rookie of the Year honors, but posted two wins, and 11 top fives in 14 main events, while claiming the track championship.

(Editor’s note: This article was republished with the permission of Knoxville Raceway. Eric’s success on the track this summer can be followed at

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