Scott Eckrich put on an absolute dominant performance Tuesday night at the Brickyard. Leading 75 of 120 laps, the guy can just go in circles really fast. You can count on one hand the number of races he hasn’t thoroughly dominated. If Jake Wright is has become the road course ringer, Scott Eckrich has become the oval ringer.
285,000 people were in stands to watch a full field of 40 drivers roll to the green flag. At the drop, Scott Eckrich assumed the lead with #27 Survey System tailing him. With Indianapolis providing a different setup for drivers being fast with flat corners. Tires burn off therefore times really drop off and the car becomes a handful towards the end of a fuel run. As with Daytona 2 weeks before the drivers of Advocare Cup series were up to the challenge and the race didn’t see its first caution until lap 93!
The #81 Shredz Chevrolet of Josh Parker used strategy to get himself out front for nearly a segment. As we have seen the short pit strategy will get you out front, it’s all in the timing, how much time can you make up with the newer tires. From a laps led standpoint Parker was the second best car on the track, leading 29 laps.
The first caution of the day came out when the #9 of Brad Fulham made contact with the inside pit wall on entry into turn 1. The #11 of Jonathon Caddell was caught in no-man’s-land and made contact with Fulham, and effectively ending his day. Caddell started in 38th and made a very strong charge to the front and was running 9th at the time of the wreck, so a very disappointing end to his day.
As they say “cautions breed cautions” and this was no exception. As 2 green flag laps later a 3 car incident involving #41 of Brian Mellendorf, #24 of James Krahula, and #60 of Robert Barney. As the decision was made to play 3 car accordion to the tune of “Bent Sheet metal.” With the 2 quick cautions it allowed for drivers to take advatage of the wave around and get new tires for everyone who had fallen back from the blistering pace set by the lead drivers.
The race resumed with 18 laps to go with the #5 Amsoil Chevrolet of Dan Murray leading the field. It took Eckrich all of a 2 laps to resume the lead as he restarted in the 4th position. The 3rd caution would fly, when #5 Dan Murray made contact with the outside wall in turn 1 exit and collect #24 Advocare Chevrolet of James Krahula again. All but 2 lead lap cars pitted at this caution as it would give them the rubber and fuel to make the final run at flank speed.
The #81 of Parker and #28 In-n-Out Toyota of Kalvin Filarski elected stay out with a pack of hungry dogs behind them. The green flag dropped, and as the song goes “the wheels began a spinnin’.” Filarski could not get going, and the cars of Michael Chrobok and Tommy Rhyne took evasive action, and made contact with one another as they raced toward turn one. A chain reaction of contact ensued and 14 cars were involved in the huge melee on the front stretch. The wreck caused heavy damage to most of the mid pack cars, and thick black smoke could be seen billowing from the infield as cars pulled in.
The #81 of Parker retained the lead, and held on to lead the field back to green with 4 to go. Eckrich disposed of second place Chris Westerfield into turn 1 and set his sights on Parker down the backstretch. #15 Ricky Hardin’s Northern Tool Chevrolet moved past Westerfield out of turn 2 and closed in on the bumper of Eckrich going out of the 4th corner. Eckrich moved to the bottom to go into turn 1, and drove hard into the corner, making some heavy contact with the door of Parker! Both maintain control and Eckrich completes the pass and Hardin followed Eckrich through to second. Its easy to catch somebody but its extremely hard to pass. Hardin got to Eckrich’s bumper but couldn’t complete the move, as Scott Eckrich, who dominated from the drop, completed his race at the sharp end.
With the win Scott Eckrich assumes the outright lead on the standings with his series leading 5th win. Top Five in points for the chase are: Eckrich, Wright, Krahula, Carrol, and Caddell.
With that, all 3 series are going to take there talents to the Pocono Mountains. The Tricky Triangle awaits them in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. Designed by Indy 500 winner Roger Ward, the track is 2.5 miles and features 3 distinct corners, all modeled after corners at 3 different tracks. The track provides a tough challenge for the drivers as shifting becomes part of the process of completing a lap.
The Sportsman Truck series will race Sunday Evening, Coastal Safety Auditors Grand National Series run Monday Evening, and the grand finale, CJ’s Automotive 200. Join the drivers of the Advocare Cup Series, and Brian and Tanner in the booth, as the green flag drops at 9:35 Tuesday Evening!
Race 15 of the Coastal Safety Auditors Grand National Series rolled in to Lexington, Ohio for the fifteenth race of the season on Monday night for the HPP Simulation 100. Brian Mellendorf took the pole and was a strong force all night long, but Jake Wright was the one to watch after 45 laps at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Mellendorf lead the first 16 laps until pitting and giving up the lead to Wright. After exiting the pits Mellendorf stormed back to the front and passed new leader Brain Yaczik, still on old tires, with 29 laps to go… But Wright was still lurking in the top 3 waiting to chase down the leader.
Wright started his march to the front after passing Jeff Ward for 2nd place with 26 laps to go, next in line was Mellendorf (1st) who had a 7 second lead over Wright.
With only 15 to go Wright pitted for tires, with Mellendorf pitting the next lap, and giving up the lead to Wright, who never looked back and led the remaining laps to take the win, his second win of the season.
As we came down to the final 5 laps of the Advocare Race of the America’s. Scott Eckrich had laid his cards out on the table well before the battle began. His situation was clear; save fuel, save fuel, hold off Wright. As final pit stops were made, the drama began to unfold. When Wright broke out of the long pit lane, he found himself 7.5 seconds behind with 12 laps to go. His situation was clear; run the #70 down. With the Eckrich conserving, and Wright charging, Wright made up 1.5 seconds on his out lap. With 5 laps to go he had closed inside of 2 seconds. With 17 miles to go the shots began firing…
18 Drivers started the race on the 20 turn, 3.418 mile track, that sets just outside of the Austin, Texas. The brain child of German engineer Hermann Tilke, was designed with Formula 1 in mind, with its extremely tight turns and undulating elevation. Tilke has designed multiple tracks for the FIA including Bahrain, Instanbul Park, Yas Marina, and the Sochi Autodrom, which uses the Olympic park from the 2014 Winter Olympics. The track provided a daunting challenge for the Advocare Cup series driver as they were tasked with wheeling an overpowered, overweight car, over a track designed for, quite frankly, the exact opposite. With difficulty of the track, league officials decided that, incident points were not going to count, and off track, was on track! It loosened up the track a little bit and allowed the drivers in the heavy cars a little bit more wiggle room. I think we can all agree that was the right call.
Qualifying however had to be incident free to record a time. Scott Eckrich’s #70 Ready 2 Frag Camry started at top of the pylon.At 2:12.244 he set a blistering lap and “Road Course Ringer” Jake Wright 0.934 seconds behind. The Top Ten starters were separated by 6.186 seconds. As you can tell the track was unrelenting even with and 85*F ambient temperature.
#27 Wright closed in on the #70 of Eckrich as the crossed the start line, it was side by side, and it would stay that way for the better part of 2 1/2 laps. The racing was aggressive but not egregious, tires were smoking, and by the time it was over both cars looked a little worn out. As the two drivers battled it out and took their final run down the “Andretti Straight” (Yaczik and Tanner’s name), Eckrich’s Engine burped… and burped again… starved for fuel. But it was over, Eckrich’s luck, or lack thereof, continues to haunt him on road courses, as Eckrich’s race would end out of fuel. But luck is part of racing, and lady luck has been riding along with Jake Wright. He takes the win and his unprecedented roll on the road courses continues.
Also with a win Sunday night in the Sportsman Truck Series at Mid-Ohio and another win Monday night at the HPP Simulations 100 also at Mid-Ohio, Jake Wright completed the first weekend sweep in PRL history!
When it was all said and done the #6 of Tommy Rhyne edged out the #24 of James Krahula for 2nd place. They battled each other most of the night. Jeff Ward in #89 Bose machine, recorded his 6th top 5 of the season and Gerald Livingston recorded his first top 5 of the season to round out the top 5. With Mr. Excitement taking the evening off Jonathon Caddell now takes over the top spot in points scored, Eckrich moves to 2nd and Jake Wright with his win moves into 3rd. Eckrich and Wright both have 4 wins and are tied with 631 points a piece. So they will be 1 and 2 in the chase if it were to start today.
Well, we leave Austin in the dust and go to the World’s Most Famous Race Track. Speedway, Indiana and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway play host to the largest single day virtual event for the Advocare Brickyard 300. With the Indy Dog’s on the grill and 285,000+ in the stands, this is a must see race! Join Brian Yaczik and Tanner Sharpe for live flag to flag action, with coverage beginning at 9:05pm.