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December 14, 2022

Endeavor Derby Recap

by Ryan Senneker

09 December 2022
Endurance League Events | Endeavor Derby
Super Late Models | Iowa Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Mathew Thunhorst with Forge Racing representing the Bootleg Racing League took the checkered flag tonight in the Endeavor Derby at Iowa Speedway presented by Endurance League Events ahead of David Krikorian and Jacob Fyfe. “That was the hardest I’ve ever raced on the service ever”, Thunhorst commented as the night came to a close, “I got lucky with getting out in front of David there and getting the lead and at that point I just left it all on the track and you saw the result.”

David Krikorian with Rookie eSports secured the pole and lead the 30-car field around to take the green flag with Justin Morton to his outside. Krikorian and Morton quickly went single file out front as much of the field scrambled for position gains early on. Michael Strohl and Michael Chrobok were both quietly moving up through the field climbing up to 4th and 7th respectively in the first 10 laps. Mathew Thunhorst started dead last in the field and was up 11 spots to 19th quickly negotiating through traffic.

As the laps counted down early in the evening, the drivers started to spread out around the track into smaller battles. Thunhorst was inside of the top 10 and showed no signs of slowing his advance as Krikorian continued to lead ahead of Morton with Strohl in 3rd running 2 seconds behind the leaders. With 45 laps completed, a caution came out after an incident in the middle of the field involving Braxton DeWeese, Carl Henderson, and Blake Trawick giving the field an opportunity to come down pit road for the first pit cycle and unfortunately ending DeWeese’s night early.

Stephen Moore was in control of the field as the green flag came back out with Krikorian directly behind him. Morton was holding onto 3rd place with Blake Gordon and Thunhorst rounding out the top 5 with 50 laps behind them. Morton cleared around the outside of Krikorian for 2nd and continued the push getting to the outside of Moore to take away the lead. Thunhorst followed Morton’s line moving up into 3rd and closed in on the rear bumper of Krikorian as Moore was shuffled back to 4th. Krikorian slid his tires just enough for Thunhorst to easily secure 2nd place going into lap 60.

The field quickly settled into a groove to put more laps behind them spreading out around the track as Thunhorst saw his chance and dove low to challenge Morton for the lead. Going into lap 65, Thunhorst cleared for the lead and held it as they were reaching the first signs of lap traffic. Strohl moved up to 3rd and was closing in on Morton ahead with Krikorian directly behind him pressuring him for the position. As the laps counted down, Thunhorst was able to pull away from Morton by over 1.6 seconds and Morton found himself again under pressure from Krikorian and Strohl.

With 100 laps completed, Morton had fallen back to 6th behind Stephen Moore and Jacob Fyfe with Thunhorst still holding the lead with a 2 second gap between himself and Krikorian. A caution shortly thereafter allowed the entire field to come down pit road for their 2nd stop of the night with Thunhorst holding the lead for the restart ahead of Krikorian and Blake Gordan. Thunhorst had a strong jump off the green flag and was able to clear out ahead of Krikorian as the top 5 drivers quickly single filed out.

There were very few battles throughout the field as drivers settled into their grooves to check off some laps with a long night still ahead of them. An incident on lap 152 with Chad Mikosz, Michael Strohl, and Blake Gordan all going for 4th place while negotiating around lap traffic resulted in Gordan falling back to 15th as the caution flag came out allowing the field another safe pit cycle. Michael Chrobok won the race off pit road ahead of Thunhorst but restarted from 2nd behind Kyle Cooper who stayed out on track while the rest of the field pitted. Cooper was quickly overtaken by Thunhorst as racing resumed with a little more than half of the night behind them.

Going into the final 100 lap stretch, Thunhorst continued to hold the lead with over a 2 second gap ahead of Krikorian and Mikosz. Another caution from a spin in the middle of the field shuffled the running order as the drivers came back down pit road with Thunhorst running 3rd behind Jeffrey Stanton and Krikorian for the restart going into lap 207. Thunhorst stayed alongside Krikorian trying to take away 2nd place but made contact with Stanton sending Stanton around across the infield and Krikorian claimed the race lead as the caution came back out.

As racing resumed going into lap 214, Krikorian quickly cleared out front with Cody Smith getting to the inside of Thunhorst, but Thunhorst was able to defend 2nd place and started reeling the leader back in as drivers throughout the field were getting more aggressive going after positions with the end of the night in sight. Thunhorst matched the pace of Krikorian but wasn’t actively going after the lead as the 2 drivers started to pull away from the rest of the field with less than 80 laps remaining.

With drivers taking more risks, a series of cautions came out one after another ending the night early for several drivers and shuffling the running order around as leaders tried to outmaneuver each other with varying pit strategies. Going into the last 50 laps of the night, Krikorian was in control of the field as Thunhorst was climbing back up through traffic after opting to take fresh tires later in the run. More cautions helped Thunhorst to get back up within reach of the lead as the laps quickly counted down.

Thunhorst reclaimed the lead from Blake Trawick off another restart with 28 laps to go. Krikorian followed Thunhorst around into 2nd but wasn’t close enough to challenge for the lead. Going into the final laps, Krikorian got to the inside of Thunhorst, but Thunhorst fought back from the outside lane and was able to hold the lead clearing Krikorian’s front bumper. Kirkorian continued to pressure Thunhorst, but just wasn’t able to take the lead back as Mathew Thunhorst took the checkered flag ahead of David Krikorian with Jacob Fyfe, Michael Chrobok, and Blake Trawick rounding out the top 5 tonight at Iowa Speedway.

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