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Posts from the ‘Endurance and Special Event Series’ Category


Endeavor Derby Recap

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.


Hollywood 500 Recap

05 August 2022
Endurance League Events | Hollywood 500
NASCAR Pro Trucks | Auto Club Speedway
Sim Racing Software: iRacing

Brian Young with Firelight eSports took the checkered flag tonight in the Endurance League Events Hollywood 500 at Auto Club Speedway ahead of Blake Trawick and James McKee. Young joined us after his victory tonight commenting, “It was just really lucky timing right there and the pit stop on that caution before the GWC was just as good as I could possibly ask for and it just put me in a really good position to try and go for the win.” Young came out of the night with $115 in prize winnings.

Justin Anderson was in control of the field as the green flag came out over the Auto Club Speedway and had a good launch off the start clearing ahead of Brian Young. Anderson was under immediate pressure as Young and Dillon Poteet went three wide with Anderson for the lead only a few laps into the night. Anderson maintained the lead as the drivers put the first 10 laps behind them but had spent most of the race to that point with Poteet looking to get alongside him.

Blake Gordon took advantage of the situation and overtook Anderson for the lead shortly thereafter but wasn’t able to run away with it as Anderson stayed close to Gordon’s rear bumper. The lead was handed back and forth between Gordon and Anderson with Katlyn Heydt closing up on the battle with 20 laps completed with Gordon in the lead. Heydt was running in 3rd place already up 6 spots from the start. Heydt and Gordon came together sending both drivers around resulting in severe damage to Heydt’s Toyota and giving the lead back to Anderson going into lap 30.

Much of the field started to single file out while the drivers settled in, biding their time while the laps counted down. Poteet closed back in on the leader and was pushing Anderson trying to separate from the rest of the field as the two drivers started to pull away from Cody Smith in 3rd. As they passed the 50 laps mark, Anderson and Poteet had built almost a 1 second gap over the rest of the field with Brian Young running in 3rd ahead of Jacob Fyfe and Todd Thomas. The 33 cars on track were still showing a lot of patience and made only fairly calculated moves throughout the field.

The field closed back in on the leaders and Poteet was overtaken by Young who set his sights to Anderson as he actively looked for a way around for the lead. Fyfe continued his forward progression battling over 3rd place side by side with Poteet for several laps. The battle allowed Anderson and Young to again break away from the pack before Fyfe cleared into the position. During lap 65 Poteet pulled down pit road ahead of the rest of the field under green flag conditions setting up to overtake the leaders through pit strategy.

Unfortunately for Poteet, the caution flag came out only two laps later ruining his plan completely as the rest of the drivers came down pit road safely under the caution leaving Poteet one lap behind the leaders. Anderson held the lead off the restart ahead of Young going into lap 74 after a brief side by side battle that Young conceded from. The field again quickly single filed out as drivers were actively pacing themselves with almost 200 laps left in the night. Dannis Faircloth was up an impressive 28 spots from where he started the race and was running in 6th.

Young continued to pressure Anderson for the lead with 90 laps completed but had yet to make an attempt for the lead seemingly bidding his time. Fyfe was leading the secondary pack behind the leaders and had closed the gap up to Young bring Joe Yakes and Smith with him as the top 5 drivers had over a 1 second lead ahead of Shaun Pechin in 6th. Anderson continued to control the field as they crossed the 100-lap mark with the top 5 running single file behind him with Smith taking up the rear of the lead pack.

Coming out of lap 106, Anderson was the first to run down pit road under the green flag but lost a few seconds when he slid through his pit box and had to reposition before the crew was allowed to provide service to his Chevrolet. As the rest of the field went through their pit cycles, Anderson regained the lead on lap 114 with over a 3 second gap ahead of Young. Young was consistently reeling the leader back in however with his fresher tires closing by several tenths of a second each lap.

As the field approached the halfway point, Young had completely closed the gap to Anderson and overtook for the lead and quickly started to pull away. The early pit stop seemed to be a mistake as Anderson fell back further as more drivers caught him sending him back to 6th showing the falloff of his tires with only a handful a laps more on them than the drivers who pitted later with Young. 26 of the 41-car field were still on track with Kevin McGarvey in 23rd being the last truck on the lead lap.

Yakes caught Young and was able to take the lead away with Chad Mikosz following him up into 2nd while Young found himself under pressure from Fyfe as he tried to hold onto 3rd. Michael Strohl found his way into the battle for the lead getting alongside Smith and the two drivers battled side by side for several laps before Strohl was able to use the momentum from the outside line to move up to the outside of Yakes and challenge for the lead. Young and Smith ran alongside each other directly behind them battling over 3rd.

On lap 144, Strohl cleared ahead for the lead with Young pulling around to the outside of Yakes filling the hole that Strohl left behind and pushing Yakes back to 3rd ahead of Smith. Strohl maintained control of the field followed closely by the top 6 with Blake Trawick running in the rear of that pack with 100 laps remaining in the night. Young and Yakes battled back and forth over 2nd place with Young to the inside with Smith pushing from behind. That battle didn’t take any pressure off Strohl as he wasn’t able to pull away before Young cleared into 2nd the pack stayed with the leader.

Smith took back 2nd place from Young and made a move for the lead but couldn’t complete the pass falling back behind Strohl. Trawick started moving forward up into 4th and closed up on Smith’s rear bumper. Much of the field had closed back up into one long single file line as drivers were looking at saving their equipment with the green flag run stretching out with only a handful of quick battles throughout. Strohl started aggressively weaving his truck down the straights trying to break the draft with Young behind him to make any attempt for the lead more difficult.

With 80 laps remaining, Strohl started to break away with Young and Trawick in tow. Fyfe was running in 4th and led the secondary pack almost a second behind the lead pack. The lead pack came down pit road coming out of lap 176 under green flag conditions with Trawick beating Strohl down the pit exit and taking control of the field for the first time tonight. Young fell back to 5th behind Fyfe while Trawick and Strohl had a strong 3 second lead over James McKee in 3rd.

Going into the last 50 laps of the night, Trawick and Strohl extended the gap ahead of the field to almost 4 seconds working together to get as far ahead as possible with the laps counting down. Aggression throughout the field was picking up with every position becoming more important with the end of the night closely approaching. Trawick started to pull away from Strohl with a gap between them growing to over 2 seconds as Strohl fell off the leading pace.

Trawick came down pit road on lap 214 giving control of the field back to Strohl who stayed out on track. The rest of the field came down pit road over the next several laps while Strohl stayed out, possibly hoping for a caution, until lap 217. Young and Trawick were running in 2nd and 3rd respectively when Strohl pulled off track and quickly took the lead away. Strohl rejoined the track in 9th behind McKee and Trawick took control of the field with 30 laps remaining.

A late race caution in the final moments restacked the field for a GWC finish with Young in control of the field ahead of Trawick in 2nd and Strohl back up to 3rd. Trawick looked to the inside of Young but couldn’t complete the move while McKee moved up into 3rd. Trawick took another look coming out of the final corner but Brian Young maintained the lead taking the checkered flag after a long, hard fought battle with Blake Trawick, James McKee, Michael Chrobok, and David Grantham rounding out the top 5 finishers tonight at Auto Club Speedway.

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