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October 18, 2022

Vice City 400 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

14 October 2022
Endurance League Events | Vice City 400
ARCA Stock Cars | Homestead-Miami Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Jacob Fyfe of the Integrity Racing League claimed a hard-fought victory tonight in the Vice City 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway put on by Endurance League Events ahead of Mathew Thunhorst of the Bootleg Racing League and Blake Gordon of the FUEL Racing League. “The big thing tonight was really managing your tires and just trying to go just fast enough to stay ahead of Blake and Matt there and everybody who up there for the front for the majority of the race which was the real challenge of the night”, Fyfe commented after claiming his $100 prize winnings.

Michael Chrobok took the green flag to start off the night leading the 41-car field into turn one. Brian Young stayed side by side with Chrobok as they complete the first lap taking the lead away with Chrobok falling back to 3rd behind Jalen Battle. After the first 10 laps were behind him, Chrobok seemed to settle in and was able to run Young back down before reclaiming the lead. Young conceded the battle and slotted in line behind Chrobok going forward in the early stages of the night.

Mathew Thunhorst started in the rear of the field and had climbed through the traffic up over 20 positions into 16th making a consistent charge to the front along with Chad Mikosz up 23 positions in 12th. Katlyn Heydt was running in 17th clearing around Sam Nieto as she was showing her speed around the track. Chrobok continued to hold the lead ahead of Blake Trawick running closely behind him as Young fell back to 4th behind Battle. The vast majority of the field was still running close together with 25 laps behind them.

Going into lap 47, Chrobok was the first to come down pit road under green flag conditions as Trawick took control of the field ahead of Battle. Thunhorst had climbed up into 3rd with Heydt directly behind him. On lap 53, Chrobok was able to catch and clear around Battle in the lead getting back on the lead lap after his stop as much of the field had yet to make their pit stops. The caution flag came out on lap 56 caused by confusion between multiple drivers merging on and off the track giving the leaders an opportune time to come down pit roads without sacrificing positions.

Battle won the race off pit road ahead of Heydt and Thunhorst as the drivers stacked back together to take the green going into lap 61. Jacob Fyfe pushed up into 2nd place behind Battle as the drivers settled back in for a long run with Mikosz directly behind him as Thunhorst, Blake Gordon, and Heydt battled over 4th. With the first 100 laps completed, Fyfe was still out front of the field with Thunhorst running in 2nd. Heydt and Battle had a fierce battle over 5th resulting in Battle getting loose and making hard contact with the outside wall forcing him to pit for suspension repairs. Mikosz and Nieto were running 3rd and 4th respectively.

Chrobok again was the first car down pit road on lap 104 for the 2nd green flag pit cycle. Fyfe and Thunhorst in the lead pulled away from Mikosz and Heydt battling over 3rd by more than 1 second. Lap 114 brought a change for the lead as Thunhorst was able to clear around the inside of Fyfe. Fyfe was the first of the leading pack to come down pit road soon afterwards on lap 116 with Thunhorst coming down on the following lap. Heydt who had yet to make her pit stop inherited the race lead going forward. Fyfe and Thunhorst were both able to pass Heydt as they rejoined the lead lap in 12th and 13th place with Heydt pushing the limits of her fuel window. Heydt made her stop on lap 123 falling back outside of the top 10.

As the pit cycle completed through the field on lap 125, Chrobok was the leading car ahead of Nieto by over 3 seconds with Fyfe and Thunhorst running together in 3rd and 4th. Heydt was again pushing up through the field closing the gap to John Quinn in 8th. A caution came out on lap 129 as Battle and Heydt came together taking both drivers out of contention for the night. As drivers cycled through pit road under the caution and gridded back up, Davis Grantham and Brandon Wengerd were on the front row to take the green flag going into lap 134.

Off the jump, Wengerd, Chrobok, and Thunhorst went 3-wide over 4th place as Fyfe and Nieto pushed ahead into 2nd and 3rd behind Grantham. Fyfe wasted no time going after the lead taking control of the field going into lap 137 with Thunhorst securing 4th and pressuring Nieto for 3rd. Gordan closed the gap to Fyfe quickly after taking the 2nd position and was working over the leader trying to find an opening to take advantage of going into the last 100 laps of the night as the sun had completely set in the distance and the track lights had come on.

Thunhorst was running conservatively giving up a few spots falling back to 8th behind Mikosz. Chrobok was back into the top 10 and was continuing a hard charge back to the front of the field battling with Michael Strohl. Long green flag runs and different pit strategies had the field spread out around the track as the laps continued to count down into the night with Fyfe still holding the lead ahead of Trawick. DJ Stagner moved up into 3rd with Gordon and Nieto close behind him rounding out the top 5. Fyfe came down pit road to start off a 2-stop strategy to the end on lap 190, 1 lap after Nieto made his stop. The following lap saw another caution as Neito made contact with Samuel Fontaine by misjudging his closing speed on fresh tires.

Racing resumed with 67 laps remaining as Fyfe cleared out into the lead off the jump. Thunhorst was back inside of the top 5 and Stagner got incredibly loose shooting to the infield. Stagner was able to recover the car without contact and continued racing from 18th. The leading drivers were all running nose to tail as the top 6 drivers started to pull away from the rest of the field with Chrobok in the back of the group tight on the rear bumper of Strohl.

Gordon went for the lead on lap 210 diving deep beneath Fyfe who was able to battle back from the outside and hold the position. Fyfe continue to lead the field as the majority of drivers seemed content to follow the car ahead of them and check off laps for the time being knowing that there would be one more required fuel stop before the end. Going into lap 231, several drivers started coming down pit road with many of them losing control of the car trying to get slowed down.

Fyfe rejoined the track in 16th, but still the leader when the pit cycle came to completion throughout the field, ahead of Thunhorst and Trawick. The field was spread out all around the track with the laps counting down. The closest battle in the closing laps was between Fyfe and Thunhorst for the lead. Thunhorst was able to stay close to a car length away from Fyfe for several laps keeping the pressure up but not able to close the gap completely. Going into the final stretch, Jacob Fyfe was able to pull away from Mathew Thunhorst by over 1 second to take the checkered flag with Blake Gordon, Blake Trawick, and Chad Mikosz rounding out the top 5 tonight at Homestead!

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