PGRL S4 R8 Recap
11 April 2023
Pretty Good Racing League | Season 4 | Round 8
Premier Series | Bristol Motor Speedway
Scott Eckrich with Loud Pedal Motorsports won his 4th race in a row at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Get Dirty at Bristol, Get Clean with Mane ‘n Tail 125 beating Jake Silvia to the line by 0.205. It was a hard-fought win for Eckrich, who had to battle his way through the field from his 10th place starting position. The race was filled with intense battles and high-speed action, and the fans were treated to an unforgettable night of racing.
The race got off to a thrilling start, with Jeff Ward starting on the pole after winning his heat race earlier in the evening with rookie Shane Davis to his outside. Silvia started 3rd, rookie Brandon Beyke started in 7th, and Eckrich started in 10th. In the opening laps, it was clear which drivers had more dirt racing experience as the field quickly started to get spread out. Davis was keeping the pressure high on Ward out front allowing Siliva to close the gap and make it a 3-wide fight for the lead. Lap traffic complicated matters as Silvia and Davis were forced to lift to avoid contact and Ward jumped out to a 1.5 second lead ahead.
Despite the early dominance of Ward, it was clear that the race was far from over. Eckrich was quickly moving up through the field into 5th with the first 10 laps completed. Many drivers were struggling to wrestle the NASCAR Cup Series cars around the dirt track. On lap 14, Daivs had reeled Ward back in and was fighting for the lead when a lap down driver lost control of his car in front of the leaders collecting Ward and essentially taking away his chances of winning the race. With no cautions thrown for the event, multiple drivers were forced down pit road with damage going several laps down with only 20 laps completed. Davis was one of those drivers that had to get damage fixed before he could continue running, giving the lead of the race to Eckrich.
The entire field was spread out around the track with several seconds between each driver, making the remainder of the night more of an endurance event with the overall goal to just make it to the end in one piece. The one and only competition caution was thrown on lap 65 dividing the race in half and allowing the drivers to get a splash of fuel. Only 5 drivers were still on the lead lap as the green flag came back out and racing resumed with Eckrich still in control of the field.
Silvia took advantage of the restart and stayed close to Eckrich using the outside wall to try to get a run on the leader. Eckrich was able to hold the lead but not able to pull away from Silvia as he had in the first half of the night. Silvia was letting his car contact the outside wall as he continued to try to build up runs on Eckrich and was able to take the lead away on lap 77. Patience paid off for Eckrich as he slowly set Silvia up for a pass and overtook for the lead on lap 92.
Silvia showed his displeasure with the pass giving several taps to Eckrich’s bumper and taking the lead back on lap 98. Eckrich tried to get under Silvia going into the corner, but Silvia cut down hard, and the two slammed doors with tempers starting to flare as the battle for the lead continued. Silvia was running much more aggressively wall riding through the corners trying to get a strong run out to take the lead back from Eckrich but unable to complete the move with 15 laps remaining. Silvia made hard contact into the rear of Eckrich almost sending the leader around, but Eckrich continued to hold onto the lead with the laps quickly counting down.
But Eckrich, showing his veteran experience, held on and continued to defend his lead, even when the track was blocked by Vincent Crow, who was three laps down. Silvia tried to make a move on the inside, but Eckrich was able to defend his line and cross the finish line just 0.205 seconds ahead of Silvia.
After the race, Eckrich spoke about the intensity of the battle for the lead. “I worked my butt off tonight,” he said. “It was a hell of a battle at the end. It was definitely really fun here, it’s hard with these next-gen cars just to get the cars to take any sort of line that you want them to.”
The win extended Eckrich’s lead in the point standings, with Michael Chrobok now 50 points behind in second place. The Pretty Good Racing League will now move on to Martinsville Speedway for the Wallriders Rejoice 200 presented by Octane93 on April 18th, which will be broadcast live at 8:50 PM ET only on the Virtual Grip Network.
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