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April 6, 2022

1

PGRL S1 R8 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

06 Apr 2022
Pretty Good Racing League | Season 1 | Round 8
Premier Series | Martinsville Speedway

Thomas George with Steel Horse Racing took his first win of the season tonight in the Hide the Pain & Celebrate the Joy of Driving 250 at Martinsville Speedway with the Pretty Good Racing League ahead of Adam Jurski and Norm Pelletier. “We were working on the restarts and trying to get Steel Horse a one-two finish here tonight and those cautions played out just perfectly for us tonight.”, Thomas George told us, “I didn’t have the best car but with the track position we had, it was right place right time.”

Adam Jurski started out on the pole tonight after being away for several weeks for shoulder surgery. “Passing usually is difficult here so I think track position is going to be really key.”, Jurski shared before the event, “Hopefully we can get into our groove and get some green flag racing in and be there in the end.” As the PGRL took the first green of the night and the drivers all scrambled to get single filed out quickly with Jurski having a strong launch out front.

Cold tires and tight corners caught several drivers out early on in the event. Brian Yaczik made his way up to 2nd place coming to lap 15 and started pressuring Jurski for the lead. Thomas George and Scott Eckrich continued to move up through the field both getting into the top 6 with the first 50 laps of the night completed and several cautions keeping the field tightly stacked. Two drivers had their races ended early out of the 28-car field to that point with Jurski still leading over Yaczik in the front.

Yaczik took advantage of a restart on lap 62 diving down below Jurski and overtaking for the lead. Jurski tried a cross over taking the inside line back but wasn’t able to match Yaczik’s pace on corner exit and conceded back in 2nd place ahead of an intense battle between Woody Mahan and Thomas George over 3rd. George had the position as the caution flag was thrown out with Eckrich and Jeff Ward moving up into the top 5 and Mahan taking the opportunity for his first pit stop of the night.

Drew Carroll made a hard charge to the front quickly clearing past Ward and George into 4th behind Jurski. The battle over the lead between Yaczik and Eckrich was heating up with Eckrich pressuring hard going through the corners. Most lead lap drivers choose to pit when the caution came out on lap 87 shuffling the running order. Norm Pelletier stayed out and led the field as the green came back out with Yaczik and Eckrich rejoining the field in 6th and 7th respectively with fresh tires. Ward had to drop to the rear of the field for a pit road violation restarting back in 21st.

Yaczik cleared for the lead again on lap 103 with Eckrich following close behind. George had made his way back into the top 5 as the drivers that choose to stay out fell off the pace quickly. An unfortunate restart on lap 110 saw Pelletier dive to the inside when Yaczik had to check up forcing a three wide situation with the leaders that sent Eckrich and Yaczik around on track and hard into the outside wall collecting several other drivers coming up from behind and giving the lead back over to Pelletier.

As the drivers crossed the halfway point in the race, George was in the lead followed by Pelletier, Ricky Hardin, Danny Gutierrez, and Marc Cohn rounding out the top 5. 23 of the 28-car field were still in competition with 5 drivers having to call it a night early. Eckrich and Yaczik were quickly charging back to the front both back in the top 5 by lap 150 showing their paces to be dominate in the field. Frequent cautions limited the chances for drivers to advance through the field with George able to hold off any attempts on the lead through the short green flag runs.

Eckrich was pressuring George hard for the lead on one of the longer green flag runs when Eckrich’s front end snapped loose on lap 162 sending him hard into the outside wall and collected several other drivers including Yaczik who was still fighting his way through the field further back. Yaczik was able to stay on track dropping back to 16th, but Eckrich needed substantial repair to his car sending him down several laps from the pits as the race resumed back under green.

Jurski had been quietly moving back up through the field throughout the second half of the race after some bad luck early on and was back up to 4th with 75 laps to go. George and Yaczik made slight contact sending George around, but he was able to recover clean and continue on from the middle of the field in 11th place between Mahan and Pelletier. Yaczik, who was having a rough night, was back up to 7th still showing a strong pace on lap 182. Drew Carroll was leading the field with Isaiah Dupre and Jurski following close behind.

More unfortunate situations for drivers benefited Yaczik and George letting each of them jump several positions at a time with drivers ahead getting loose in the corners and sliding high and out of their way. With 60 laps remaining, George caught up to Yaczik and the drivers battled hard over 5th with Jurski joining the fight. Yaczik had more bad luck spinning around in the midst of the battle and resulted in serious damage to his car as he joined the growing list of drivers who had ended their night early.

Carroll continued to lead ahead of Dupre with teammates Jurski and George in 3rd and 4th going into the final 50 laps of the event. George was able to leap past both Jurski and Dupre into 2nd place with Jurski keeping 3rd. George then inherited the lead from Carroll who chose to take his final pit stop during the resulting caution moving Jurski up to 2nd followed by Mahan, Pelletier, and Cohn rounding out the top 5. The remainder of the race was plagued by short green flag runs giving George a strong advantage over the Jurski and Pelletier behind him as he held the lead to the checkered flag.

Scott Eckrich holds onto the lead in the point standings with a total of 300 points as the most winning driver of the season thus far. Thomas George moved up two spots up into 2nd place now 27 points behind the leader. Mike Rasimas dropped back another spot from last week now sitting in 3rd with Jeff Ward and Michael Chrobok close behind rounding out the top 5 drivers. The PGRL drivers now set their sights to Bristol Motor Speedway for the Laps for Muscular Dystrophy 125 on April 12th. They’ll be running around on the dirt configuration, and you can catch all of the dirt slinging action broadcast live at 8:50PM EDT only on the Virtual Grip Network!

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