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June 7, 2022

1

PGRL S2 R3 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

07 June 2022
Pretty Good Racing League | Season 2 | Round 3
Premier Series | World Wide Technology Raceway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Scott Eckrich with Graafix LC Motorsports took his first checkered flag of the season tonight in the Muscular Dystrophy Association Fundraiser 200 at the World Wide Technology Raceway presented by Patriot Media & Marketing Services with the Pretty Good Racing League ahead of Drew Carroll and Danny Gutierrez. “Just wasn’t very confident with the car so I figured I would go with a three stop strategy you know just to kind of keep the fresher tires on it”, Eckrich shared with us after claiming his win, “Somewhere in that second run it just kind of clicked for me and I was able to kind of figure out what I needed to do to start saving the rear grip and that last run I felt like we were as good as we were ever going to be.”

Isaiah Dupre led the 26-car field to the green flag to start off the evening with Adam Jurski to his outside on the front row. Jeff Ward, the points leader and last week’s winner started back in 19th place. Jurski quickly crossed over and dove below Dupre taking the lead away on the first lap. On lap 3, several drivers were caught in an incident going into turn one including Scott Eckrich, Thomas George, and Norm Pellitier bringing out the first caution. With no fast repairs allowed for the season, that could potentially have very serious repercussions for the race.

Jurski took the green flag as racing resumed still running alongside Dupre. Woody Mahan challenged Dupre for 2nd as Jurski was able to pull away from the field off the start. Dupre continued to fall back as he found himself stranded on the outside line around the first lap back under green. Greg O’Berry moved up into 3rd place ahead of Grant Brown and Rick Thompson and Dupre fell out of the top 10 being overtaken by drivers such as Brian Yaczik and Michael Chrobok with 10 laps completed.

O’Berry was able to get around Mahan for 2nd place while Jurski continued to run over 0.8 ahead of the rest of the field but O’Berry was running a faster lap and reeled the leader in over several laps. Drew Carroll and Vincent Crow were running tight behind Mahan in 3rd keeping the pressure up and Marc Cohn rounded out the top 10 running behind Chrobok with 20 laps behind them. Eckrich, who started last in the field and was involved in the early incident, had made his way up to 13th and was making a hard charge toward the top 10.

Carroll and O’Berry battled hard over 2nd place with O’Berry fighting back from the outside but eventually conceding and falling back in line to 3rd place. Jeff Ward was up to 8th place and closing the gap to Thompson as Eckrich closed up on Chrobok to challenge for 9th. Carroll took the lead away from Jurski who fell back in the field similar to Dupre by getting stuck on the outside. Ward jumped several more positions up into 3rd and was running close behind Yaczik in 2nd. Only 30 laps into the race and many expected names were quickly shuffling to the front of the running order.

On lap 30, Ward took the lead away from Carroll with Eckrich up to 7th. Yaczik followed Ward pushing Carroll back to 3rd as Eckrich got around Chrobok and Crow for 5th place. Ward had stretched his lead out running over 2 seconds ahead of Yaczik and Eckrich had caught and cleared ahead of Carroll for 4th running 10 seconds behind Ward as the first few drivers began their first pit cycle under green flag conditions including Brown and Eckrich. Ward was one of the final drivers to pull off to take his pit stop on lap 52.

Eckrich had been back on track for several laps and was up to 5th as Ward rejoined the track in 15th. Eckrich inherited the lead as the last drivers pulled off the track with Ward running almost 30 seconds behind him on track. By lap 60 Ward had made up several positions and was running in 8th with 10 less laps on his tires compared to Eckrich in the lead. With the field spread out around the track, the drivers settled in to put some laps behind them.

Ward had gotten into 2nd place and closed the gap to Eckrich in the lead to under 5 seconds on lap 78 as the caution flag came out restacking the field. Practically every driver opted to take their second pit stop during the caution resetting the field on even footing. Eckrich maintained the lead as he rejoined the track with Ward, Yaczik, Carroll, and Chrobok rounding out the top 5. Eckrich took the green flag going into lap 83 with 23 cars still running on track. Ward was able to get below Eckrich and overtook for the lead with Yaczik challenging for 2nd.

Eckrich was able to pinch Ward down to the inside and retook the lead going into lap 90 but wasn’t able to pull away with Ward staying right on his rear bumper for several lap. Ward and Eckrich again battled side by side over the lead going past lap 100 almost making contact several times before Ward dropped back in line behind the leader. Yaczik was continuing to hold 3rd place ahead of Carroll followed by Shane Parish rounding out the top 5. After the previous battle, Ward had fallen off Eckrich’s pace running 2 seconds behind him on lap 110.

Several drivers such as Thompson opted to pit shortly thereafter but Eckrich stayed out further extending his gap over Ward to 3 seconds. Ward and Carroll both pulled down pit road with 40 laps remaining with Eckrich coming in on the following lap. Yaczik stayed out on track taking the lead ahead of Chrobok. Eckrich rejoined the track in 6th still several seconds ahead of Ward in 9th place. Eckrich retook the lead on lap 130 with over a 5 second lead over Ward who was up to 5th.

With 25 laps remaining, Ward had moved up into 2nd place ahead of Carroll but was still losing ground to Eckrich ahead of him. A caution came out with 7 laps remaining bringing everyone back together. Eckrich maintained the lead after taking a final pit stop, but Ward rejoined the track in 9th place after losing a lot of time on pit road. The green flag was thrown again over the field with 3 laps remaining and Carroll tried for the lead over Eckrich but couldn’t get to the inside line. Ward was trying to push through traffic to recover what positions he could but wasn’t able to make up any ground before Eckrich took the checkered flag.

Jeff Ward still sits in the lead in the point standings with 123 points. Danny Gutierrez closed the gap to the lead now trailing by 7 points. Brian Yaczik is tied for 3rd place with Shane Parish both drivers with 112 points. James Krahula rounds out the top 5 drivers of the season thus far with 95 points. The drivers with the Pretty Good Racing League now head down to California for the 4th round of the season on June 14th in The Joy of Driving without Drinking Sonoma 45 at Sonoma Raceway with all of the action broadcast live at 8:50PM ET only on the Virtual Grip Network!

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