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August 23, 2022

PGRL S3 R1 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

23 August 2022
Pretty Good Racing League | Season 3 | Round 1
Premier Series | Watkins Glen International
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Scott Eckrich with GRAAFix LC Motorsports started the new season off strong taking the checkered flag in the My Name Isn’t Glen 110 presented by The Joy of Driving with the Pretty Good Racing League at Watkins Glen International ahead of Mike Rasimas and Thomas George. “It was an exciting race. There was lots of action to have right off my nose, but we were able to keep it clean and bring it home”, Eckrich commented as the night came to a close, “The temperature was dropping. The tires were getting better. It kept going faster and faster and we just kept pushing it and I was just hoping we wouldn’t mess up.”

Cody Dempster with Total Advantage Academy was in control of the 29-car field as the green flag came out and the drivers sped into the first corner with a few drivers to include Harley Moss starting the night off on the wrong foot overshooting the corner entry and making hard contact with the wall. Scott Eckrich was quickly pushing through the field up 16 positions going into the second lap with Jeff Ward only a few places behind him. Mike Rasimas was up 2 spots to 2nd place and was closing in on Dempster in the lead with 4 laps completed.

Going into lap 6, Eckrich broken into the top 10 ahead of Brian Yaczik. Adam Jurski was holding onto 3rd place running around 1 second behind Rasimas and matching pace with the leaders as the top 6 drivers were building a gap ahead of the rest of the field with Chance Manning running in the back of the lead pack. Eckrich was in 7th and slowly reeled the leaders in lap after lap with 10 laps completed. Yaczik was leading the next large group of drivers 8 seconds behind Eckrich as Ward still struggled to get himself into the top 10, running in 12th place behind Saif Faries.

Going into lap 15, the field seemed to settle into a groove with Eckrich overtaking Jurski for 6th after Jurski fell off the back of the leading pack. Dempster continued to control the field ahead of Rasimas and Carroll. Ward climbed up to 10th and was running over 18 seconds behind the leader. Eckrich cleared ahead of Thomas George into 4th and was within 2 seconds of Dempster with 25 laps remaining and quickly approaching the fuel window. Manning was the first driver to go down pit road with 23 laps to go in an attempt to undercut the rest of the field. Dempster led the majority of the field down pit road on the following lap while Rasimas stayed out in the lead with Eckrich in 2nd.

Going into the second half of the night, Rasimas and Eckrich both came down pit road while an incident coming out of the pits caught several drivers sideways in turn one including Ward taking a hard hit from Chris Lanini who wasn’t expecting to find a parking lot as he rejoined the track and ending Ward’s night early. Rasimas held onto the lead ahead of Dempster as the pit cycle completed with Eckrich running in 3rd. Dempster got loose going through turns two and three getting sent around and collecting Manning as Eckrich moved up into 2nd with 16 laps left. Dempster and Manning were able to recover soon thereafter and continue racing in 6th and 7th respectively.

Eckrich closed up tight on Rasimas’s bumper keeping the pressure high as the laps counted down. Thomas George was running in 3rd 7 seconds behind the battle for the lead. Eckrich quickly overtook for the lead and slowly started to pull away from Rasimas with 14 laps remaining. Scott Eckrich continued to stretch his lead out further going into the final moments of the night taking the checkered flag 8.28 seconds ahead of Mike Rasimas. Thomas George, Brian Yaczik, and Adam Jurski rounded out the top 5 finishers tonight at Watkins Glen International.

Scott Eckrich starts the new off strong in the point standings taking home the first win while Jeff Ward ended his night early and finished in 22nd place putting a lot of distance between the two prior season champions. The Pretty Good Racing League now heads over to the iconic Daytona International Speedway for the “The J Stands for Junked 200 presented by TJG for Clown HQ 2023” on August 30th with all of the intense action broadcast live at 8:50PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!

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