PGRL S2 R5 Recap
28 June 2022
Pretty Good Racing League | Season 2 | Round 5
Premier Series | Nashville Superspeedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing
Tommy Rhyne with Unacceptable Racing claimed his first victory of the season tonight in the BeefJurski’s Cheesecake Emporium & Banana Breadery 200 with the Pretty Good Racing League at Nashville Superspeedway ahead of Jeff Ward and Scott Eckrich. “I just gave it everything I had from there and in the end probably as soon as I got around [Eckrich] I was full on”, Rhyne commented on running the last stretch of the race after pulling off a risky pit strategy by stretching his fuel as far as it would go, “I don’t know if we were going to win otherwise so we took the gamble and hey, here we are!”
Cody Erdmann led the 30-car field to the green flag alongside Michael Chrobok on the front row. Chrobok stayed to the outside of Erdmann off the start for a lap before conceding to drop back single file ahead of Woody Mahan in 3rd. Brian Yaczik moved up into the top 10 early on with Jeff Ward up to 13th and Thomas George running in 16th. Mike Rasimas and Joe Hassert were battling hard over 12th place going into the 10th lap while the field started to spread out with drivers settling in to put some laps behind them.
Erdmann, Chrobok, and Mahan continued to run single file in the front and had built a gap of around 2 seconds between them and Danny Gutierrez in 4th place. Ward had jumped several positions running in 6th making a strong charge to the front as Rasimas climbed into the top 10. Scott Eckrich was up to 18th from his 30th place starting position and was consistently moving up through the field. Ward overtook for 4th place going into lap 18 and went to work reeling the leaders in.
Chrobok had control of the lead ahead of Mahan with Erdmann dropping back to 3rd with 20 laps completed. Chrobok started to stretch out his lead pulling away from Mahan while Ward was closing up on Erdmann’s rear bumper and moving up into 3rd on lap 27. Eckrich using the outside line to complete passes through the field trying to get into the top 10 while Ward caught and overtook Mahan for 2nd place now up 17 positions from where he started the night. Chrobok had over a 1 second lead ahead of Ward over 30 laps into the night.
Lap 34 saw Eckrich getting into 10th place and diving beneath Adam Jurski to quickly move up to 9th behind George and Yaczik. Lap 38 saw a lead change as Ward forced Chrobok to the outside and quickly put distance between them. George and Gutierrez were battling side by side for 6th place with Eckrich closing in quickly as Drew Carroll came down the track to take his first pit stop of the night. George was forced to check up and almost drove up into Gutierrez in an attempt to avoid Carroll. This caused a chain reaction sending Eckrich hard into the outside wall as the drivers coming up from behind scattered to avoid and sending Yaczik sliding into the infield bringing out the caution flag.
As racing resumed on lap 46, Ward still controlled the field and Eckrich had fallen back to 20th place. Yaczik was working his way back up through the field running in 23rd after the incident. George was up to 4th and running close behind Chrobok and Mahan who were battling for 2nd place 1.5 seconds behind the leader. Eckrich had gotten back into the top 10 running behind Rasimas and Ward had stretched his lead ahead of Chrobok to over 2.5 seconds as the drivers approached the halfway point of the race.
Shane Parish was making a strong charge through the field and was able to close the gap to George on lap 78 and cleared for 2nd place running strong pace and gradually closing the 3.5 second gap to Ward. Coming up to lap 90, the drivers began sporadically pulling off track to begin their pit cycles shuffling the running order. Eckrich stayed out until lap 95 trying to stretch out his next stint as fall as he could in an attempt to reach the checkered flag without another stop.
With 50 laps remaining, Ward had reclaimed the lead ahead of Chrobok and Parish. Eckrich was back up to 8th place with Mark Hertzog rounding out the top 10. Ward had over a 6 second lead over Chrobok as the pit cycle spread the field out around the track and the top 19 drivers were still running on the lead lap. Eckrich was up to 4th and advancing quickly out pacing Ward lap for lap going into the last 40 laps. Parish moved up into 2nd place as Eckrich reached the rear of Chrobok and started pressuring for 3rd.
Ward, Parish, and Chrobok chose to make another fuel stop on lap 117 putting Eckrich in the lead of the race for the first time of the night. Ward rejoined the track in 15th with a 28 second gap between himself and the leader. Chrobok was in 17th and 1 lap off the leader with Parish falling back 2 laps after a pit road violation. Ward was running a strong pace and closing on the leader at a rate of 1.5 seconds per lap putting him near Eckrich before the end if he could maintain as they went into the final 25 laps.
Tommy Rhyne, who was running in 2nd place, was closing on the leader which was making it more difficult for Eckrich to try to save fuel in the final stretch. With 15 laps to go, Ward was still closing on the leader already up to 7th place with a strong pace. Thomas George was still battling in the front clearing Ricky Hardin for 4th place and gaining on Mahan in 3rd. Ward was close behind as he also overtook Hardin and George jumping up to 4th and 4.5 seconds behind Eckrich and still closing.
With 10 laps remaining, Rhyne overtook Eckrich for the lead as Ward moved up into 3rd with 3 seconds to make up. Ward got within 1 second of Eckrich going into the last 5 laps as Rhyne ran away with the lead. Ward was pressuring Eckrich as the white flag came out. Rhyne crossed the line 2.6 seconds ahead of Ward and Eckrich and took the checkered flag while coming out of the final corner Eckrich ran out of fuel allowing Ward to taking 2nd place in the final moments. Eckrich was able to cross the line in 3rd with Mahan and Hardin rounding out the top 5 finishers tonight at Nashville Superspeedway.
Jeff Ward continues to lead in the points standings with 204 points overall. Danny Gutierrez moved up to 2nd place with 172 points, now 1 point ahead of Brian Yaczik. Shane Parish maintains his 4th place with 167 points and Thomas George moved up into 5th place with 165 points. The drivers of the Pretty Good Racing League now head over to Wisconsin for the Grand Brie of Road ‘Merica presented by PGRL’s Big Cheese on July 5th with all of the racing action broadcast live at 8:55PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!