MARTINSVILLE – Josh Skroupa was able to avoid most of the carnage at the paperclip and drive to victory lane for his second victory of the season Thursday night in the Premier Racing League Patriot Fire Cup Series. Starting from the NP3 Designs pole, Skroupa battled with several drivers all night trying to maintain track position at the Virginia track, but would lead the majority of laps and ultimately take home the grandfather clock.
“I just bought a house, I could use a clock” Skroupa said from victory lane. “It really got exciting there at the end, once the track got rubbered in it got really difficult to get around, Ricky Hardin raced me hard all night really clean so I gotta give him a shout out for the good racing between us”. Skroupa went on to thank Tommy Rhyne for talking him into his return to the Premier Racing League and that he was looking forward to the summer segment.
Drew Carroll would bring his #87 Clipping the Apex Ford home in second. Carroll or “Mr. Excitement” had been the source of some attention by fellow driver James Krahula when Krahula painted his car to look like the #87 but sponsored by a scud missile. “Yea I don’t have any comment on that, I wasn’t trying to really get into anyone tonight but I seemed to catch a couple guys at bad spots in the corner because of my line, so I gotta apologize to those guys for the contact”. When asked if he thought he had a shot at the victory “No, I actually had some damage like everyone else out here but it is what it is, didn’t make any friends but we will move on to Richmond and take it from there”. Carroll hopes to continue his momentum next week at Richmond.
Nick Kohan emerged as the surprise big winner of the evening after he pulled out the Spring Championship in exciting fashion. “The Rolling Rock is definitely going to be flowing around here tonight boys, man I still can’t believe we won it!”, said Kohan who would end up in a tie with Tommy Rhyne at the end of the segment but was named the champion due to his lone victory of the season at Phoenix as the tie breaker, “I thought the officials were wrong or maybe Steve Harvey was announcing it”.
Tommy Rhyne came home third in the race but was more frustrated with losing the segment championship tie breaker. Tommy tried to snatch the victory at Martinsville with some last minute risky strategy of staying out on nearly 90 lap old tires with only 3 laps to go in the event. The move nearly paid off as the final caution would fly in the first turn of the restart but Skroupa had managed to already pass him on the fresher rubber. “Just frustrated that we let it slip away from us, I keep thinking about what if I had just gotten one more point somewhere, a position here or there, or one bonus point and we have that championship, just goes to show you how important every single position s out here week in and week out” an exhausted Rhyne would say after the event.
The 300 lap event was slowed 12 times for 57 laps and the normal fireworks at a small track certainly flew. Lots of door slamming and short tempers flared as they normally do here at Martinsville. At the end of the race there were not a lot of cars without signs of hard racing being easily identified. At least one driver had to be parked as a result of incidents on the track and others saw the race as a chance to rectify previous injustices. The new “race others how you want to be raced” rule was certainly in effect and being utilized.
Brian Yaczik would finish third in the segment standings with his late push. Brian certainly looks to stay in contention as the summer segment begins and for the season long standings. Tyler Dalton and Bob Bryant would round out the top five in the standings for the Spring Championship. Each segment consists of 12 races and there is a season championship that will continue throughout all three segments.
The Premier Racing League Patriot Fire Cup Series starts the summer segment and heads to the Richmond International Raceway next for the Commonwealth 200 on Thursday, May 18th at 9:00 p.m. EST. As with every Patriot Fire Cup Series race, the action can be seen live on the Global SimRacing Channel and the iRacing live stream. For more information on the Patriot Fire Cup Series or the Premier Racing League, visit http://www.premierracingleague.com/
ELKHART LAKE – Unacceptable Racing driver Josh Skroupa cruised from start to finish and never seemed to lose control of the field for most of the race Thursday night to grab his first victory of the season in the Premier Racing League Patriot Fire Series. Starting from the NP3 Designs Pole, Skroupa battled for what seemed like the majority of the race with road course ringer Brian Mellendorf, leading the majority of laps at Road America to a win at the Wisconsin road course, the second road race the series has seen this season.
“Man, I’m worn out! It’s great to finally get a win after running up front all year without the results we would have liked” Skroupa said from the virtual victory lane. “We really just did a great job of saving the tires throughout the whole run to get the most out of the setup, we were definitely worried about Brian (Mellendorf) back there he is a great road racer so we just tried to keep him behind us”. Skroupa went on to say he was looking forward to getting back to ovals next week and hoped to get some more trips to victory lane.
Skroupa held off road course master Brian Mellendorf, who was trying to get into victory lane for the first time himself this season and came up short one spot. Mellendorf stated he struggled at times with the setup on the car but was happy with his finish. “We didn’t have to pass as many cars tonight as we did last time so that was nice, you just really had to be careful with your corners or you would burn up the tires”. Mellendorf pitted on laps 12 and 26 under green but was unable to surpass Skroupa who pitted the following lap. He was all smiles after the race though with his girlfriend Kaitlyn right by his side to congratulate him on his finish.
Tommy Rhyne was able to finish in third after a few weeks of some horrible luck for the South Carolina driver. “It’s so hard to finish in the top five in this series, guys have really brought their A game this season” Rhyne stated prior to the race. “I had to almost drive a perfect race for me to finish that good tonight, everyone had to really take care of their tires” Rhyne laughed as he left with this comment “I can’t keep up with Skroupa here man, that guy can fly at this place!”
Although there were several small incidents and at least one multi car wreck that caused some drivers to at least question why a yellow wasn’t thrown, the event was only slowed once for the competition caution on lap 16. Everyone would take the opportunity to grab fresh tires and regroup for the final stretch. Contenders Brian Yaczik and Paul Pepper rounded out the top five with good showings and what should help them both in the points standings.
Bob Bryant maintained his points lead on the field with Nick Kohan moving up to second just 20 points behind him. Tommy Rhyne jumped a spot to third in points after his top five finish. Scott Eckrich dropped to fourth before the drop weeks were calculated and is expected to contend with Bryant for the spring championship. Ricky Hardin rounds out the top five in points and hopes to gain more ground next week.
The Premier Racing League Patriot Fire Cup Series heads to the Gateway Motorsports Park next for the Amsoil 200 on Thursday, April 27th at 9:00 p.m. EST. As with every Patriot Fire Cup Series race, the action can be seen live on the Global SimRacing Channel and the iRacing Live stream. For more information on the Patriot Fire Cup Series or the Premier Racing League, visit premierracingleague.com.
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – A little over two weeks of preparation came down to just a few feet to determine the 2017 Daytona 300. Ricky Hardin was ahead of Nick Kohan by only .007 when the caution flew for the last time coming to 4 laps to go. Hardin started 37th after a crash in his Patriot Fire Duel a week prior, and found himself running towards the back of the field during the majority of the event. Hardin found a lucky break though when the first yellow flew on lap 79 of the event. Hardin found himself just leaving pit road at the time of the caution and would cycle within striking distance of the lead when the race restarted a few laps later. Hardin fought to the front and found himself in front to claim his 2nd Patriot Fire Cup Series win.
The Goat Rope Racing driver tried to muffle his celebration to not wake his sleeping wife and baby, but the excitement was apparent. “This is awesome man, I can’t believe it.” said Hardin in Daytona International Speedway’s victory lane. Hardin was also quick to thank his team, “We just work together very well as a team and I think it shows how good our team is at these type of events.”
NP3 Designs Pole winner Tommy Rhyne, who pushed Hardin to the victory, finished in 3rd, followed by Loud Pedal Motorsports drivers Scott Eckrich and Paul Pepper. Gary Whitson was the American Pool Supply Half Way Leader, but would finish 15th after being in the race ending crash.
Even though Daytona was the first race, the Patriot Fire Duel’s paid bonus points in the qualifying event. Meaning the season championship has Eckrich leading by 7 points over Gregory McDougal. Hardin with his win on Sunday moved him up to 3rd, followed by Rett McBride and Rhyne.
Along side the season championship will be three segments, and the Spring Segment did not pay points from the Patriot Fire Duel’s. This points battle will also see Eckrich leading, but Hardin will sit 2nd in this battle. Kohan, Rhyne, and McDougal will round out the Top 5.
The Premier Racing League heads further south next week where the league will visit the Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Miami 200 on March 2nd. Coverage of this race will start at 9pm ET on the Global Sim Racing Channel and iRacing Live. For more information on the Premier Racing League please visit PremierRacingLeague.com or at Facebook @PremierRacingLeague.
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – The SIM Racing Apps Grand National Series showed up to Daytona International Speedway 60 cars strong for the NP3 Designs 200 and the first race of the season. With only 43 spots on the grid, qualifying had a extra level of intensity heading into race one. Tanner Stoops would top them all by winning the NP3 Designs Pole Award, with Tony Showen making the lost spot on the grid by only .004 over Sean Ambrose who was attempting his first Premier Racing League start.
Come race time though, the Loud Pedal Motorsports Mustang of Paul Pepper would survive the wreck filled event, gaining his 2nd straight Sim Racing Apps Grand National win at Daytona after starting 27th. Pepper would finish ahead of his former teammate Tommy Rhyne by only a few feet. Jordan Hightower, Adam Jurski, and John Sterling would survive to finish in the Top 5. Tyler Dalton finished 14th after winning the American Pool Supply Halfway Leader bonus.
Rhyne leads the points after the first race thanks to bonus points early in the event over Pepper by 4. Hightower will sit 3rd in points while Dalton, Jurski, and Josh Skroupa will all sit tied for 4th.
15 drivers would participate in the consolation race after missing out on the main show, where Travis McQuistion would take home the victory.
Next week the SIM Racing Apps Grand National Series heads south to the Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Miami 175 on February 28th.