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March 23, 2023

PGRL S4 R5 Recap

by Ryan Senneker

21 March 2023
Pretty Good Racing League | Season 4 | Round 5
Premier Series | Atlanta Motor Speedway

Scott Eckrich with Loud Pedal Motorsports claimed his first win of the season tonight in the Everything Gets Better with Age 250 presented by GamingGuyL with the Pretty Good Racing League at Atlanta Motor Speedway ahead of Jeff Ward and Adam Jurski “This is one of those tracks where you can definitely undercut but with the aero the way it is if you get stuck behind somebody if you try to over cut it you just you don’t really get a lot of gains so you gotta get kind of luck on that front”, Eckrich shared with us regarding his pitting strategy “It’s a super fine line you gotta run to not blow the right rear off and also, you know, maintain the lead for those guys ripping the lip on the restarts and stuff”

Creighton Carter started off on the pole to take the green flag with Kevin Bartelt to his outside. Alex Graetz didn’t waste any time jumping out ahead to take the lead away from Carter going into the 2nd lap. Cody Dempster was aggressively pushing up through the field on his way to the front up 2 spots from his 6th place starting position and closing on Cosmin Ioanesiu. Graetz had extended his lead out to almost 2 seconds with the first 10 laps completed when he lost his car in the corner and went sliding across the infield handing the lead of the race over to Ioanesiu.

Saif Faires was making a hard charge through the field battling Bartelt for 3rd from his starting position back in 13th. Dempster continued his strong pace and had slowly reeled the leader in 30 laps into the run and was able to clear around Ioanesiu after several intense laps. The first driver to come down pit road was Thomas George on lap 40 trying to undercut the field as the rest of the field came down for their stops a few cars at a time over the next 10 laps as differing strategies split the field up.

George inherited the lead up 32 spots from his 33rd place starting position when the pit cycle was complete with Michael Chrobok in 2nd place almost 2 seconds behind him. Eckrich had cleared around Chrobok and was quickly closing on George with the fresher tires between the two drivers taking the lead away fairly effortlessly on lap 58. Eckrich was pushing his equipment trying to break away from Chrobok behind him building up a large gap between them to secure the bonus stage points going into the 2nd half of the night.

Chrobok and Jeff Ward battled over 2nd place as George was again the first to come down pit road looking to undercut the field again. The first caution of the night came out as Dempster lost control of his car going 90 laps into the run giving Eckrich, and many other drivers, an opportune chance to come down pit road while holding onto the lead for the restart. Racing resumed with 64 laps remaining with Eckrich jumping out to a strong lead ahead of Ward.

Ward was pressuring Eckrich for the lead with Ioanesiu close behind as the top 3 broke away from the rest of the field. Ward got to the inside of Eckrich but couldn’t complete the move with the laps quickly counting down. Going into the last 30 laps, the drivers started working through their last pit cycle. Eckrich was again one of the last cars to come down pit road rejoining the track in 12th. George’s early stop strategy that he’s been running all night put him up into 7th for the last stretch.

Eckrich was making quick work of traffic on his way back up to the front. Eckrich cleared around Adam Jurski into 2nd place and was closing on the rear bumper of Ward for the lead. Going into lap 151, Eckrich dove low to get under Ward to take away the lead and started pulling away from Ward. Coming out of the final corner, Scott Eckrich took the checkered flag 1.9 seconds ahead of Jeff Ward. Adam Jurski, Michael Chrobok, and Will Farmer Jr round out the top 5 tonight at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Vincent Crow holds onto the lead in the point standings with 312 points with Michael Chrobok in 2nd place trailing 17 points behind. Scott Eckrich moves up 2 spots into 3rd with 294 points, Thomas George sits in 4th with 278, and Adam Jusrki rounds out the top 5 with 276 points. The Pretty Good Racing League next heads to Circuit of the Americas for the “It’ll Be Something Grand Prix presented by Brian Yaczik” on March 28th with all the action broadcast live at 8:50PM ET exclusively on the Virtual Grip Network!

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