PGRL S1 R10 Recap
19 Apr 2022
Pretty Good Racing League | Season 1 | Round 10
Premier Series | Talladega Superspeedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
Thomas George with Steel Horse Racing claimed his second win of the season tonight with the Pretty Good Racing League in the ‘Chuckles‘ I’m in Danger 250 presented by MC2 Editing Services at Talladega Superspeedway beating Ricky Hardin and Kevin Bartelt to the line in a photo finish. “It’s Dega so, I mean, anything can happen.”, George commented after his win tonight, “That caution just came out perfectly… When that came out, I knew it’s like, alright, I just want to survive. Let me get to the end here.”
Joe Hassert started the night off leading the field to the green flag with Jason Galvin to his outside as the field doubled up quickly running side by side. Scott Eckrich was one of a few drivers that decided to drop out of the main pack playing a safer strategy for the long run in an attempt to avoid the “big one”. Mike Rasimas opted to stay up near the front tucked in a few rows back on the inside line keeping the leaders within sight. As the drivers put 10 laps behind them the field had already split into two separate packs.
20 laps into the race, the leading pack tried to go three wide, but the outside line fell apart leaving the field two wide with Brian Yaczik leading the inside line and Paul Pepper leading the outside swapping the race lead back and forth between them. The first round of pit cycles began on lap 29 in small 8 to 12 car groups spreading the 38 car field out around all ends of the track in several smaller packs. A single car incident brought the caution out as the last group’s pit cycle was underway stacking the field back together once again.
The field again divided back up into two smaller packs going into the second half of the evening as the competition in the front pack started to pick up. The drivers continued to try to get a third line working to the outside but weren’t able to maintain for long before merging back into a two wide race. Eckrich led the second pack, in 17th place, from around one second behind the lead pack, holding a safe distance anticipating the chaos that Talladega is known for as the laps counted down.
Drivers started to feel the pressure to move toward the front to get into a good position for the end and bump drafting became more frequent which caused some trouble approaching lap 50 as the caution was thrown out for a bad bump that sent Jason Galvin around on track. Adam Jurski pushed Rich Jette out front around Jeff Ward off the restart taking away the lead. Much more of the field stayed in the lead pack off the restart as they aggressively positioned themselves.
With 40 laps remaining a large group of drivers were caught up in a massive wreck coming out of turn four ending the night early for Adam Blattell and stacking the field back together. Woody Mahan and Eckrich were on the front row as the green flag came back out over the field. Mahan had a very early launch off the restart which spread the field out into three separate groups on the first lap with only the top 14 drivers in the leading pack. The second pack followed four seconds behind with the third pack 2 seconds behind them.
Chris Lanini found himself taking the lead while controlling the inside line with Mahan battling back from the outside. The outside line had a strong run and cleared five cars past Lanini and choose to stay up high and continue pushing further out front as the inside line began to look less organized and not able to match pace. The leading pack shrunk down to the top 12 drivers and the third pack contained the majority of the field with 25 laps to go. The second pack of drivers were only three cars, consisting of Rick Thompson, Pepper, and Rasimas, and were slowly catching up to the leading pack almost ten seconds ahead of the rear pack.
Mahan held the lead as the entire front pack went single file along the outside wall knowing there would be one more required pit cycle for fuel going into the last 20 laps. Mahan and Eckrich were among the first drivers to pit only taking fuel and rejoining the track in 20th through 23rd place running together and quickly cycling back to the front as the rest of the drivers had to make their stops during the following laps. With 10 laps remaining, the final group of drivers made their pit stop.
Eckrich was set to overtake Rasimas who was exiting the pits but was spun around with Yaczik from aggressive pushing with Mahan bringing out the caution and allowing Rasimas to hold the lead for the restart with Jurski to his outside. Eckrich and Yaczik were far back in the field as the green flag came out taking them out of contention for the win. Thomas George had a great run on the outside and jumped out to the front as the “Big One” struck a few rows back involving the majority of the field with only 5 laps to go.
The Pretty Good Racing League does not have GWC finishes which left the drivers tonight with a one lap shootout to finish off the race at Talladega as the green and white flags came out together. George and Ricky Hardin battled over the lead coming out of tour four and down the front stretch with George taking the win by 0.037 in a photo finish across the line. Scott Eckrich climbed back up to 7th place in the end after all of the chaos.
Scott Eckrich continues to lead in the point standings after his strong recovery tonight with 360 points ahead of Thomas George by only 1 point. Jeff Ward still sits in 3rd place with 324 points with Mike Rasimas and Rich Jette each moving up one spot and rounding out the top 5 drivers with two rounds remaining in the season. The Pretty Good Racing League now heads over to Dover International Speedway for the “I Hate Octane93 on Twitch.tv” Dover 200 for the next round on April 26th with all of the action broadcast live at 8:50PM ET only on the Virtual Grip Network!